I did. I'm working my way through the epic 2.5-year saga of "MacBook Pro 2011 17" hard freeze," and then I'll return to all of the threads to get all of the new posts that have come in since I last checked. It's a pretty overwhelming amount of information. But I'm eager to really capture this all the way back to 2011, because I don't think we'll be seeing the big picture until we do.
Reading these threads has been like the movie "Groundhog Day" - users seem to come and go in waves, which means that a lot of good information gets lost as each new wave seems to repeat the same questions, considerations, arguments, ideas, and discussions. One of the reasons I'm sticking around even while my MacBook Pro is happily working with logic board #4 is that I don't want to miss any of the ongoing discussion... and I hope that my sticking around also helps preserve some of the prior knowledge that might otherwise slip away.
I have the same issue on my early 2011 macbook pro 17". Visited apple store in burlington, ontario, Genius quickly diagnosed the gpu issue. Logic board replacement $611. Very very frustrating to have to pay a large fee to cover a repair caused by a bad product design. How many machines have to break before apple does something!
Thanks for keeping track of it all!
I replied but didn't list specs ...
Late 2011 MBP 15" purchased as a BTO from the web site in Feb 2012 hi rez matte screen
Upgraded to 16gb ram, Samsung 840pro, DVD replaced with 2nd harddrive - the 750gb that shipped with it.
Problems stated 10/7 - this past Monday. Haven't been able to get to a Genius Bar yet - probably early next week.
Tried: numberous PRAM, SMC resets, hard drive checking/reparing, OS reinstall, reinstalling Apple's origional ram.
I did what Flamenco13 suggest, I remove all my Discrete drivers away, and my MBP boots almost normally.
However there is a problem, my mac thinks that I have an external display connected, and it doesn't allow gfxCardStatus switch to "Integrated Only". I'm on "Dynamic Switching", and not only that, Finder doesn't work, Photoshop crashes all the time, I can't see flash (web), and there are some horizontal blue lines crossing the display.
In Safe Mode, Finder works, Photoshop works, I can see flash (web), but the lines remains there.
I'm wondering, is there a solution for this... I mean, is there a way to fully disable the GPU and leave my MBP working fine but only with integrated graphics? This way the problem would just be a "graphic downgrade", and not "obsolete mac".
I actually sent an email to tcook with details and asking for assitance. I promptly received an email from Jocelyn, Corporate Executive Relations. She arranged for me to have a lengthy discssion with technical support to try and resolve the issue yesterday. I just got off the phone with Jocelyn and after discussion with the tech support technician and Apple engineers I am on my own as the engineers have decided that this is an isolated incident. The fact that hundreds of people have the same issue is not relavent apparently.
Maybe if enough of us protest the engineers will change their minds. At the very least it will let them know how many people are affected. Andy, from Shawshank got his books eventually.
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I have (or had) the same problem as all of us have. I wrote about my experience a few weeks ago and I am following quite a few discussions here and in other forums. I would like to post my experience and opinions after reading and learning a lot. And: There is hope!
My MacBook and official repair offers
I am in Germany, got a 15 inch MacBookPro 8,2, 2,2 Ghz Quad-Core (new around 2.500 Euro). It was 28 month old when the glitches appeared first. It took quite a long time to discover the problem: dedicated GPU. I went to an Apple Premium Reseller who offered me a repair for 680 Euro after first giving me hope for a free out-of-warranty repair covered by Apple. I had many discussions with Apple in Stores and on the phone with Apple Care and the most important Apple people I could be able to talk to (as they said – but they did not make me feel happy at all). Finally the cheapest offer was changing the entire logicboard for 490 Euro. (In Germany there is no 320 USD repair flat.)
Is this the right way of a premium manufacturer treating its customers?
No. At the end and from the customer’s point of view it is a complete denial of Apples responsibility and not acceptable. It is not accordable with the promise of quality and service. I do not want to comment on that in detail. Everyone should decide for her- or himself, if she or he buys an Apple product again.
I also thought about changing and boycott Apple, but apart from this incident my overall experience with Macs is great, furthermore I have so many licences for Mac software and other infrastructure, libraries for photos and music… it would cost me much time and money to change – and MacBooks are the ******* best notebooks I have ever used.)
What about the workarounds and software solutions?
Workarounds with GfxCardStatus or removing the driver for the dedicated GPU (so that it cannot be accessed and is completely deactivated) are described in detail in this forum. And they are ok for a while, to get back a running system after the first shock. If you get your machine running on the Intel chip only it will stay stable (in case of using GfxCardStatus booting might be an adventure, but from the point the software started it’s going to work).
But hey, it’s absolutely not an acceptable solution: You did not buy a machine like that to run it on low graphics power and without the ability of connecting an external display or projector.
Stop trying to find the failure with re-installing the system and changing things, it’s waste of time.
Apple repair or not?
At first I would have spent the money regarding the value of the machine, but the problem was: In case of replacement they always use boards produced the same time and way the defective boards where produced. (Maybe minor things might be changed during the production time of this board model, I do not know.) So there is a high risk that the problem occurs again with the replacement board, as a few of you experienced and reported here. You can be “lucky” getting the problem during the (ridiculous but common) warranty of 3 month. Being lucky in this case means that you have to run to Apple several times and leave your MacBook there for a couple of days until you might get finally a board that seriously works. If the glitches reappear when you are out of the repair warranty you will be ****** up.
What’s the real problem behind the glitches?
I tried to find out what the real problem is (of course I cannot assure this for each and every case): The GPU or the logicboard are not defective, it is just the solder connections between the GPU and the board that get tiny cracks/fissures over the time (with changing temperatures).
But why is it possible that these connections crack? I am not a real technician, but I am interested in this stuff and I spoke to people who know a bit more about that, so my theory: It’s not the first time that a computer manufacturer builds solder connections between modules on a mainboard. But what changed within the last years: Apple (and others) have been criticized for the environmental impact of their products and the production process, the public had a look at that and new laws appeared, so the manufacturers started to bring the life cycle impact into focus. Now it looks like the “environmental impact” is improved. (in Apple’s case they made a nice presentation you can find here http://www.apple.com/macbook-pro/environment/)
Now MacBooks comply with standards and do not contain certain “dangerous and toxic” substances.
Now, for example, they do not use lead anymore. (In the European Union it is officially forbidden for solder connections in electronic products since 2006. It is only allowed for connections that have to feature a strong durability, for example in certain medical products). The main objective of using lead for solder connections is to prohibit embrittlement and cracks in the connection. It is hardly possible to get the same quality without lead. Looks like the problem here.
I am very interested in (environmental) sustainability. But regarding the consequences and the way defective boards are “repaired” by being replaced I would see this approach as counterproductive.
What alternative repair options exist?
The official way is replacing the mainboard. With the big disadvantage that it’s expensive and the much bigger disadvantage that there always is a risk that you will get a board that is also affected and the glitches reappear again after the warranty on the repair (see above) – and the disadvantage that it produces waste by changing parts that are not defective.
There is a better way:
I do not talk about crazy methods like how to “cook logicboards” – however they are no witchcraft: It might “refresh” the solder connections and might help for a while, maybe for a long time, but it’s never sure if and how long it helps. And seriously: It takes you hours to demount the whole machine if you are not familiar with that.
I looked for something professional and found a few small companies on the Internet offering such repairs, but I was afraid sending my machine to someone I do not know. Fortunately I finally found one not far from where I live, in Wuppertal (Germany), called MJ Computer. I visited Markus who runs the company specialised on things like that, doing a lot of notebook repairs like that and work for Hifi companies like Onkyo. He told me that he had this case already a few times and explained me exactly what he is going to do to get it repaired:
- removal of the GPU from the logic board
- removal of the old solder connections from GPU and logic board
- cleaning of all parts
- assembling of new thermal paste (in the right amount, originally there is too much used from Apple’s assemblers)
- assembling of new solder connections (containing lead)
- assembling of the GPU
- cleaning of the mainboard and the cooling parts
- stress tests
The result: I got back a working machine with 6 month warranty on the work. The hardware is still the same, old board, old GPU. The connections are now soldered with lead, because it’s recommended for a higher durability and to eliminate the risk of embrittlement – so I pleased him to do so.
I paid 100 Euro for the repair and I have got a much better feeling than with a replacement board after having learned all that about the origin of the failure and after having read your stories.
That’s what I can recommend: Search for companies like MJ Computer Wuppertal, write Markus an e-mail, make a repair order and you will get back a working machine. His website is in German only, but under “Impressum” you find a phone no., mail and postal address. I have been there and it’s a very trustworthy company.
I hope that I can help you with that, I was extremely frustrated and I am very glad now that my problem is finally solved. I would appreciate to here from you if you can share my experience.
For 310 USD (220 Euro) instead of 500 Euro I might also have tried that, but in Germany (don't know where else) there is no repair flat
And yes, it might happen that the reballing fails and the board cannot be used any more. Keep in mind that there is a risk. As I heard Apple might than be even more uncool with repair offers, the repair flat cannot be used and it might be more expensive to change the board at an Apple Store than it would have been if you would have done the repair at Apple before trying a third party repair. I have no experiences with that, the only one I can report that it worked fine in my case.
MacBook Model: Early 2011 MacBook Pro 17″ (high res)
Serial Number: C0*******MGH
Country or Region: US
I am experiencing the same problem. I bought this machine in March 2011, it worked fine until September 2013. The display just flashed and went black. After rebooting there where some vertical red stripes. The system eventually boot-up but only worked for a while before crashing again. Now it goes to a white screen and freezes. I took it to be checked out by the apple tech and was informed that the logic board is damaged and it will cost for the repair.
This is my second experience with this issue. I bought this machine after my 2008 MacBook Pro 17″ stopped working and was diagnosed with logic board failure.
This is not what I expect from Apple products. I have been a apple user for nearly 20 years from PowerMac 610, 7200, 9500, MacBook G3, PowerBook G3, original iMac, PowerMac G4, G5, eMac, MacMini, IPhone 2G, 4G. Many of those units are still working after 10 years or more.
This is not like apple to build products with 24-30 months life span.
Apple need to do something about this issue.
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Same problem in Colombia, the value for replacement is around USD 600 down here, might as well go buy a new laptop if the issue is gonna repeat itself.
Funny thing we have 4 laptops in the office bought together, they all failed within a couple weeks of each other (exactly 24 months after purchase), fortunately the other guys had apple care, not so fortunate for me.
Taking into account this kind of issue Apple has really drove me away after two generations of laptops , don't want to even think how costly would it be to fix a retina display laptop if they develop similar issue.