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MacBook Pro Restarts: How have people fared in getting apple to fix this?

230 Views 6 Replies Latest reply: Dec 19, 2013 8:09 PM by Linc Davis RSS
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Dec 17, 2013 6:15 AM

So, I have had trouble with my mid-2010 MacBook Pro restarting because of a problem: black screen, restart, then white screen with the "problem" notice. I have read all the threads and problems that people have been having, and everything points to the video card or logic board.


I have brought my computer to the Apple store twice now for this same issue, once within the three year repair window, and most recently a few months beyond that deadline. The first time I was led to believe that it was the RAM, and I replaced (and upgraded) the RAM through Crucial (their recommended RAM), and replaced the HD as well. It continued to happen, though having a child decreased my screen time and thus decreased its instances to have some of that fade in my memory. After some more heavy use, and multiple restarts during one session, I once again replaced my HD (because I hadn't learned anything apparently), and upgraded to Mavericks. 35 seconds into my first session after a day of restoring my computer, it restarted and I scheduled an appt at the Apple store.


They took my computer, ran tests on the RAM and the video card, and after about a week told me that it must be a software issue. They reset (took out and reinstalled) my new HD and my RAM, and gave a full reinstall of Mavericks. I brought it home and rebuilt my HD using Time Machine, avoiding anything system-level and bringing over only apps, music, photos and documents. And... it persisted. I have since used process of elimination, swapping out my RAM, to learn that it is indeed not the RAM... its something in this computer.

After that long story, what do you recommend for my next trip to the Apple store? Can anyone point to a good approach, or an additional point of contact, to help me get this thing fixed for free? I did bring it in within the 3-year window, they just mis-diagnosed it. They seemed to suggest that their hands were tied... I saw there was some mention of people having success outside the 3-year window and I would love to know how.


Many thanks.

MacBook Pro, iOS 7.0.4, Mid-2010 2.53 GHz Core i5
  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (107,530 points)

    If you have more than one user account, you must be logged in as an administrator to carry out these instructions.


    Launch the Console application in any of the following ways:


    ☞ Enter the first few letters of its name into a Spotlight search. Select it in the results (it should be at the top.)


    ☞ In the Finder, select Go Utilities from the menu bar, or press the key combination shift-command-U. The application is in the folder that opens.


    ☞ Open LaunchPad. Click Utilities, then Console in the icon grid.


    Select the most recent panic report (with a name that begins with "Kernel" and ends in ".panic") under the heading System Diagnostic Reports on the left. If you don't see that heading, select  


    View ▹ Show Log List

    from the menu bar. Post the entire contents of the report — the text, please, not a screenshot. In the interest of privacy, I suggest you edit out the “Anonymous UUID,” a long string of letters, numbers, and dashes in the header and body of the report, if it’s present (it may not be.) Please don't post any other kind of diagnostic report, such as a hang report.

  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (107,530 points)

    You have the MacBookPro6,2, the Edsel of Macs. It has a defective logic board that may be covered by this recall program:

    MacBook Pro (15-inch, Mid 2010): Intermittent black screen or loss of video

    Make a "Genius" appointment at an Apple Store, or go to another authorized service provider, to have the machine tested. The routine hardware diagnostics used by service providers do not detect the fault. There is a specific test for this issue.

    Print the first page of the panic report, and the support page linked above, and bring them with you.

    Note that the recall only applies within three years of purchase. After that, Apple may refuse the service. In that case, you may be quoted a price of about $300 (in the U.S.) for a "depot repair," which involves shipping the unit to a central repair facility and takes about two weeks. For that flat fee, anything found wrong with it should be fixed, not just the logic board.

    The model was discontinued in February 2011, so the replacement program will be ending soon. Some units may have been sold by Apple as refurbished after that date.

    Back up all data on the internal drive(s) before you hand over your computer to anyone. If privacy is a concern, erase the data partition(s) with the option to write zeros* (do this only if you have at least two complete, independent backups, and you know how to restore to an empty drive from any of them.) Don’t erase the recovery partition, if present.



    Sometimes the replacement part is also defective, so be prepared for that possibility.
    If it's too late for your unit to be repaired under the program, and you don't want to pay for a new logic board, you may be able to stop the panics by disabling automatic graphics switching.
    *An SSD doesn't need to be zeroed.
  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (107,530 points)

    What I'd love to know is whether people have had success getting apple to fix it outside of the 3-year window.


    Yes, some have. Store managers seem to have some discretion. Explain the circumstances politely. If necessary, escalate to Apple customer service.


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