I have dealt with this issue for months. Two trips to the Apple store resulted in no helpful diagnostics. Third trip resulted in a new HD. Fourth trip they replaced the logic board.
My computer is now amazing. No crashes. Boots up fast from sleep. And as an unexpected benefit all third party periphriels are being detected faster and are connecting faster.
My guess is the nvidia issue actually throws errors far more often then it causes crashes. The result is a slower machine.
My 2 cents: work with Apple, keep getting your machine tested, be the squeaky wheel, and get a new LB. Once you do, you'll be as happy as you were when you first brought the machine home.
I have had this problem too. All you need to do is meet with a genuis at an Apple Store and tell him your problem. He/she will run a video test on your machine, and your mac will most likely fail the test. Then you leave your mac there and they will replace your logic board free of charge. You'll be able to pick it up in 5-7 days and it should run like a dream.
You can call apple (http://www.apple.com/dk/contact/) and they will create a support ticket and tell you where to drop off the mbp. Usually Eplehuset or Humac in Denmark. They have stores both in Copenhagen and Aarhus, or there may be a local authroized service center near where you live. I would highly recommend Eplehuset, they are nice and professional. Humac has tried to rip me off more times then i can count ;P
I am really glad that this thread exists. I brought in my Mac last weekend and it is getting repaired now. But I feel like you could put all the information together and clear things up a little. So that's what I will attempt to do now.
What error is everybody here talking about?
On some Macbook Pro 2010s the screen suddenly turns black when opening applications or switching between those. A hard reset (pressing the power button some seconds) is needed to bring the Mac back to life. This could result in data loss and similar (and is annoying, of course).
What is the origin of this error?
Macbook Pros 2010, 15" that were manufactured in a certain time range have an issue with the integrated graphic chip/graphic card. The process of switching between them causes errors (normally, this is supposed lower battery usage). Something on the Logic Board (the core component of your Macbook) was built in a wrong way which now results in the beloved error.
What is Apple's solution?
For potentially affected Macbook owners Apple offers a knowledge base article called TS4088 which provides the following resolutions:
- Update your operating system (10.8 owners can skip this step)
- Go to your (nearest) Authorized Service Partner/Apple Store
How can I be sure that this is my problem?
There are some "symptoms" you can watch out for before running into an Apple Store:
- The crash occurs all of the sudden and results in a black screen (not the grey Apple crash screen)
- The crash occurs regularely (this does not mean every 2 minutes, for me the frequency varied between some hours and some days).
- The kernel panics (which can be found in the Console) contain phrases like "NVRM" in the first few lines, "NVDAResman" and "GeForce" in the backtrace. Those should always look quite similar except for the dates and the current thread name.
Can I reproduce/provoke this error?
Unfortunately, this is not possible. You could try open applications that make the Macbook switch the graphic chip so long until it crashes but this is not very time-effecient nor a good way.
So, I want this problem to be fixed. How?
If updating didn't help (which was unlikely in the first place but you can always try) you should pack your Macbook in a notebook bag, schedule an appointment at the Genius Bar and go there really soon (I tried to suppress this issue but one day it got so bad, it was enough)
Why the Apple Store? Isn't my "Authorized Service Partner" enough?
Maybe. For me and others in the thread those "could not find any errors". Well, too bad. They will not replace anything as long as they don't have the test results Apple requires for a Logic Board replacement. I had to travel 200km by train to get to an Apple Store but they confirmed my problem.
What happens in the Apple Store and what afterwards?
If you left a comment on your Genius Bar appointment telling the Genius about the issue (remember mentioning TS4088) he/she will most likely have a clue what he/she needs to do - you won't do much (except saying "Hi!"). If he/she doesn't, just describe the issue and mention the VST.
That test checks your video system, the existence of this error and will be run over network on your Macbook (which takes a looooong time to load, trust me; minutes of torture) and will probably display a capital lettered FAILED message on your screen with the hint "Replace MLB". That's your success moment: you'll get your Logic Board replaced.
Now you have two options: Either leave your Macbook at the Apple Store and pick it up when it's repaired (3-5 days) or - which is the better solution for people who came from far - take a Genius Bar sheet with you to your nearest Service Partner. This document proves of the existence of the error (resellers, take that!) and is the repair assignment for the Service Partner - you have the right to get it repaired, they can do it, they need to do it, they will do it. And the best part is: It's free (404 Euros would've been the original price for me).
VST: Video System Test
This is the important test for you. It's developed by Apple specially to check for this issue, is updated before running and will relatively quickly determine whether you have a less stressed time with your Mac again.
AST: Apple Service Toolkit
This is the software Geniuses can boot via network on your Mac to select certain checks which should be performed (like a general system health check which will probably be run first on your system). Note: This is no test. It's the Genius Bar software to start checks to find hardware errors.
BSOD: Black Screen Of Death
I've never used this abbreviation but some people call the crash a BSOD. The screen turns black and the Mac does not come back to life. In most cases a hard reset will bring the Mac back to life. So it's like a zombie. Part dead, part alive.
I hope this helps me as this covers all of the points I had before I took my Mac to Apple.
Well what a complete and utter joke. I have been suffering this issue since upgrading to OS X Lion. Have tried everything mentioned to address this issue and still not resolved. Still crashes, blacks out and nada and a forced restart is required by holding down the power button until the thing shuts off....
noticed last week that apple released a new update for OS X Lion. It was a sizeable update which updated me to OS X 10.7.5. So did it fix the problem ?????????
NO Apple. All you did was bury the problem and managed to figure out how to trap the issue and now instead of the computer getting a black screen of death and doing nothing... you've managed to force the computer to restart.
So you've just made the problem even MORE annoying.
I'm a professional photographer who relies heavily on his MBP.. and i'm now forced to either BUY a new MBP and switch my allegiance to PC.
What a dam joke.
Number 1; It's not a 'solution', it's a 'temporary solution'. If done correctly, it turns off your dedicated Video Card and therefore sidesteps the problems its causing, you still need to replace that card to have a real solution.
Number 2; If this solution is not working then one of two things is happening. You either have a program that bypasses the card switcher and accesses your Video Card anyway, lots of 3D games and things with flashy effects will do this when the Mac detects that they want to use effects that your integrated (low power low performance) backup card can't do. You need to look through any 3D apps you are running, such as BumpTop, and any Widgets or apps with flashy effects, as well as games. Disable them all, then turn them on one by one util you find out which App is triggering the use of your discrete (high power high performace but in this case buggered) video card.
The third possibility is that you are experiencing an altogether rarer hardware fault that is causing the same symptms but isn't fixabe the same way.
Ultimately these are only suggestions for a temporary solution depending on your problem, the permaneant solution is the same; Go and see Apple for a VST test.
Message was edited by: gen_ Typos
gen_: Do you have any idea of the consequences of turning off the nvidia card? Clearly you dont. You're bascially saying that people should disable everything and make their computer useless. Get you facts right man, i dont want to argue with people like you so i leave it with this one comment only for now. To call it a "temporary solution" is wrong terminology when it isnt even that, because people wont be able to use what they need to use with the nvidia graphics card. For example if you have an external display it will most likely turn on your second graphics card, and if you dont have that graphics card turned on the display wont work, thats the case with the apple cinema display at least and that only one example. I hate stupid people who "thinks" they know how to solve a problem or thinks they have a temporary solution which doesnt fix anything else than "yes, youre computer is working now as long as you only use the browser and your mail client, back to the year 1990"
The real solution was to print out the bug report from apple and get your logic board replaced free of charge.