Old firmware + OS update = FAIL
Over the past couple of days some Macbook Pro users have been met with dead laptops, with screens going black shortly after the Apple startup logo.
The problem, according to various sites, is related to a firmware incompatibility when Macbooks with an out of date firmware - that the software updater fails to detect - are patched with the latest OS X updated. There's extensive discussion on the Apple forums.
The failure might not appear straight after the update is applied, with reports claiming it happens on the second reboot - which could be days after the update is run if you sleep your device.
It's possible to fix the stricken laptops by applying the overlooked firmware update, assuming an external monitor, mouse and keyboard are to hand.
So if your Macbook Pro suddenly looks deaded - check for this particular issue before assuming hardware failure.