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Some 15" models are experiencing it too. My Macbook Pro is a 15", and it freezes up when connecting to an external monitor with the mini-displayport to DVI adapter. After a variable amount of time, can be 10 minutes, or even up to an hour, the screen will go black, and my external monitor will just shut off like there's no signal running to it.
The genius bar guy said it's actually the computer forcing itself to sleep and refusing to wake up, which kind of makes sense. The only way to revive it is to hard restart it.
I've also found that while working in graphics programs, such as photoshop, or iphoto, certain specific actions cause my computer to lock up the same way, without the external monitor attached. One sure fire way is to zoom in using the pinch to zoom gesture. I'm not sure if this is happening to other people, would actually love for some other folks with the monitor issue to try this out. I know it seems like a different problem, but the crash reports look way similar to the external monitor crashing my macbook pro.
I'll be making a 3rd Genius Bar appointment this week, and trying to get them to actually do something this time to address the problem.
I have exactly the same problem with my new "mid-2010" MBP 13 - in my case with use of a Mini DisplayPort-to-HDMI connector. Problem happens reliably every single time an external monitor is connected - within a few minutes, both displays go to (usually) solid white or some shade of grey, and the MBP crashes to the point that only a hard reset will resurrect it. Happens with the external display configured to extend or to mirror - either setup causes the same problem. Resetting the PRAM didn't solve the problem, and the suggested workaround of running the MBP with the lid closed is not an option I want to live with.
From reading the past 12+ pages of posted message in this discussion thread it seems Apple has no idea how to fix this problem - assuming this hardware problem is even fixable. I'll have to live with this issue on my MBP and buy another brand of laptop that does work with an external monitor.
I just want to reply to parts of various posts, so I'm replying to the post that started this.
OK, my GUESS is that the problem with MBP's crashing when connected to external monitors is related to the logic board/video chip-set.
Why? 1) It seems that other posters have been able to eliminate the likelihood of this being a software problem.
2) Poster blackmade states that he tried three different adapters and all resulted in crashes. Also, when I took my MBP to the Apple "Genius" Bar, I also took in the mini-display to DVI adapter I had purchased with the laptop (from Apple), they connected it, as well as one of their own adapters, to an external monitor, but they were unable to duplicate the problem and were not prepared to let it run for possibly a few hours to recreate the problem. So they told me to return the MBP a replacement. So, to me I think that eliminates the adapter as a problem.
3) One poster, robotspacer, states that he had his logic board replaced and then had not experienced the problem after three weeks.
So . . . because I ordered my MBP on-line, I have to send it back in order to get a replacement. That means a new MBP from China with exactly the same hardware as the one I got originally and I would be willing to bet that it will have the same problem since it will be made with the logic boards/video chips as the original!
I wonder, as poster RISC_CISC asks, "Has anyone identified the same issue in their replacement units?"
I will probably send my unit back for a replacement and if I do, I'll post the results with the replacement unit.
Just another victim reporting the same problem.
My 13'3 mbp hangs with blank screens about every two or three hours. I have tried various hardware configurations (with/without external monitor, backup hard drive, usb dac etc.) and it seems that it only hangs when the external monitor(NEC Multisync LCD 2070vx @1600x1200) is connected. I have tried DVI and VGA connections and both have the same problem. I wonder if Apple external monitors have this problem too?
I already have the issue logged with apple. I shall report my findings back to them and see what they suggest. I'll let you know...
Ok here's my story and a long one at that.
I have purchased my macbook pro from an apple premium reseller in The Netherlands in July. In the first week, I experienced the same symptoms as mentioned in this forum, when i connected to an external monitor / beamer. This happened only when i was running with the laptop screen open. The macbook / external monitor screen would turn white and the only solution was a hard reboot using the power button. I initially thought it was a software glitch. So i ran through the usual suspects:
1. Reset PRAM / VRAM
2. Reset SMC
3. Run the hardware diagnostics
4. Reinstalling snow leopard from scratch after completely formatting my HDD.
None of this seemed to help. In-fact one of the weekend working from home the problem turned more severe. Now I would get random freezes with a pixelated screen (multi color pixels similar to the old macbook pro 8600M GT) This would happen every 5 to 15 minutes of booting the macbook, accompanied by a high temperature and loud fan noise.
I finally took my macbook (still with the frozen screen) to the reseller. They thought it was a problem with the logic board and replaced the same. However this problem did not go away and I experienced a similar freeze within 2 hours of receiving the macbook after the logic board was replaced.
So the next day i brought it in again and asked for a replacement. I was told that a replacement has to be ratified by Apple and it would be easier for me to get one if i called Apple customer support in Netherlands directly. I contacted the customer care from the reseller's showroom. The customer care was cordial and heard me out, then he connected me to his superior who he said would address this issue. This other person was downright rude and to quote him "We are the manufacturer and we are not responsible for replacing your macbook pro." I was told that since i had bought it from a premium retailer i should take it back to them for repairs. I assured him that i was standing in the store itself and the logic board for the macbook had already been replaced. His reply to this was "apparently they did not do a very good job". I was told that Apple could not help me with the replacement. Dejected I explained this to the tech staff at the premium reseller. They were very helpful and I was provided a replacement macbook pro 17 inch as i had to fly outside the country for a conference and needed a laptop. My macbook was taken in for repairs again. This time they decided to change the RAM modules.
The freeze didn't happen again after this fix however i noticed that my keyboard "control" key had stopped working. Being a terminal user it was unacceptable. so again I took it back to the reseller, and it turned out to be a hardware issue. The top casing / keyboard was replaced this time.
I finally got my macbook pro yesterday with a working keyboard and i am running it in a dual monitor setup with the lid open. No crashes yet! but i am still keeping my fingers and toes crossed.
So what has this experience taught me.
1. It is a hardware glitch, might or might not be fixed with a logic board replacement.
2. Apple build and customer care is not what it used to be (I have been using MacBooks for 6 years now) I can forgive the build quality but the customer care experience is not excusable.
3. Will i buy apple again? probably but definitely from the online store if the customer care is anything to go by
4. I still think that the macbook pro is a cracking piece of equipment. Despite all these glitches i still love it.
5. Prefer a physical shop, atleast they will stand by you if you land with a dud.
Message was edited by: tathya
Interesting -- we may be on to something here. I'm one of the people who experienced the issue, and apple took my macbook pro in for logic board replacement.
Now the common theme here is that it came back with a note that they'd replaced my keyboard too due to a key not working. (I was like WTH? all my keys were fine when I sent it off)...
Anyone else have their keyboard replaced during logic board repair? Is that the common thread for those whose MBPs work fine after replacement?
I own an IT company in Thailand and am an Apple Authorized Reseller.
I sold a brand new 13" MacBook Pro to a corporate client and it had exactly the same issues like others reported when an external Monitor was connected to it. We also sold one (same model) to his wife and she did not have this issue. We tested everything possible like swapping hard drives, re-installing, all to no avail.
After quite some discussions with Apple Thailand, they agreed to exchange the MacBook for a new one. Unfortunately the new one has exactly the same issue.
The big problem here is to get Apple to acknowledge that there is a design flaw. It does not seem to affect every MacBook (as the one from his wife works fine) but obviously many.
My customer is extremely unhappy with both, the fact that the MacBook has such a problem and the fact, that Apple always tries to avoid to acknowledge and exchange. And of course about the fact that when we send his MacBook Pro back to Apple, he needs to wait around 2-3 weeks to get a new one. Though from what I read that might be just an issue in Thailand but still, it's bad. How can a business executive be without his Notebook for 3 weeks. And why does Apple not acknowledge the issue and at least tell us that they are working on a fix (similar to the firmware fix for the 15" and 17" models?).
Apple's action is pretty much unacceptable and business executives might think twice before relying on Apple if they have to wait weeks for repair / exchange.
The most frustrating thing about this entire ordeal is that this has been a documented issue for well over 5 months! In this discussion grouping alone, there exists 13 pages of related issues. I find it impossible to believe that a technology company--such as Apple--lacks the talent or infrastructure to compile issues reported here in this "official" support forum with similarly documented cases of actual repair instances that have been experienced by Apple repair staff. Why has apple not officially responded to this posting/issue? I think it is fair to say that the "customer oriented" computer company of yesteryear is gone forever! Not that it completely matters to apple, but i could have potentially purchased a competing product. Apple has always been afforded a certain level of competitive advantage over its competitors with regard to quality of design and build.
This recent experience has taught me some very REAL lessons:
1) Apple's Quality Control is obliviously not what it used to be.
2) Apple complete deniability over manufacturing design flaws and so forth is absolutely unacceptable--especially when their internal quality control measures are not as sufficiently high as they once were!
To be completely frank, I have willingly paid a premium price for an inferior product! I honestly feel as though I have been taken advantage of by the very company--until most recently--I have unquestionably admired and respected for as far back as i can accurately recall! I think it would be extremely beneficial to the continued success of Apple to openly acknowledge that there is a real problem with these units, and to aggressively work towards a mutually beneficial solution. Otherwise, I will have to come to terms with the fact that I own a beautifully designed, poorly constructed Macbook Pro that is crippled in functionality thanks to the dangerously irresponsible negligence of Apple engineers. As beautiful as my new Macbook Pro may be, i would much rather have a computer that actually works as intended. If no expectable solution is drafted, i will definitely NEVER buy another Apple product!
--Delbert (former apple enthusiast)
I had contact with Apple support here in the Netherlands. I received a program that analyzes the log files and sends it to Apple, which I ran with a 'crashing monitor'.
After sending in the data they told me that Apple is aware of the problem and busy trying to find the problem and a solution. No time frame was given though, just 'keep an eye on software update'.
One of the communication problems is that Apple Europe doesn't have direct access to Apple USA. And when there is a defect then Apple USA starts collecting faulty machines, but only from the USA so Apple-anywhere-else doesn't know about it and can't help with it. Quite frustrating for the Apple-anywhere-else, as they really don't know what is happening, and can't help their customers.