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Question: Macbook Pro (late 2011) won't boot past loading bar screen.

Macbook Pro 15" (late 2011) won't boot past loading bar screen.


It loads 1/3 of the way and then skips to the white/grey screen where it stays suspended.

Options I've tried:

  • Safe mode (loading bar makes it 2/3 before grey screen)
  • Resetting PR Ram
  • Recovery mode (loading bar then grey screen)


What should I try next?

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Nov 17, 2017 1:22 AM in response to rsmutch In response to rsmutch

Hi Smokerz, thanks for the reply!


It's only about 18 months old and it is an SSD.

Single user mode fsck states that there's no problem with the drive, is this reliable?

Booting from disc (holding C) also doesn't appear to work. When holding option I can see the Mac OS X disc, but when I click on it it just goes to the grey screen.


Thanks again

Nov 17, 2017 1:22 AM

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Nov 17, 2017 3:11 AM in response to Smokerz In response to Smokerz

Hi Smokerz, thanks for the reply!


It's only about 18 months old and it is an SSD.

Single user mode fsck states that there's no problem with the drive, is this reliable?

Booting from disc (holding C) also doesn't appear to work. When holding option I can see the Mac OS X disc, but when I click on it it just goes to the grey screen.


Thanks again

Nov 17, 2017 3:11 AM

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Nov 17, 2017 8:42 AM in response to rsmutch In response to rsmutch

case 1:

if it powers off after the progress bar, that indicates the drive could not be mounted due to Directory damage. to fix, boot to recovery and run disk Utility repair repeatedly until it is fixed or gets hopelessly stuck.


If you have a Trusted backup, you could erase the drive, but if not, you should buy a replacement drive and an external enclosure to hold it, and install MacOS on the new drive in the enclosure, then work on recovering your files.


case 2:

On the 2011 MacBook Pro 15-in with dual graphics, if it never shows the login screen or the desktop, but does NOT power off, that could indicate Discrete graphics chip failure. Work-arounds for this are complex, so post back if this is the case.

Nov 17, 2017 8:42 AM

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Nov 26, 2017 5:20 AM in response to Grant Bennet-Alder In response to Grant Bennet-Alder

Hi Grant, thanks for the detailed reply!


It doesn't shutdown, it just skips to a grey/white screen after not completing the loading bar.


If this suggests a graphics chip failure, would this require it being replaced?

Nov 26, 2017 5:20 AM

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Nov 26, 2017 7:06 AM in response to rsmutch In response to rsmutch

There are some work-arounds, with various levels of complexity:


Install gfxCardStatus (https://gfx.io) and set it to "i" (integrated graphics only). It will allow your MBP to run on integrated graphics only, bypassing the discrete GPU which has the issues. This may allow your MBP to run normally, although it will have reduced graphics performance when permforming demanding graphics tasks. The alternative is replacing the logic board, which is not cost effective on a machine that old, unless gfx does not resolve the issue and you really want to keep this MBP.


There is an acknowledged bug in the current version of Cody Kreiger's Open-Source gfxcardstatus, and the developer has confessed he does not have time to fix it right now.


There is a fork off the main build by steveschow available that seems to fix that problem for current versions of MacOS such as ElCapitan and Sierra. He provides a finished .app for direct download -- you do not have to compile anything.

https://github.com/steveschow/gfxCardStatus/releases


Also note that if your Mac does not run long enough to allow gfxcardstatus to be added, this is not really practical.


In addition, Steve Schow writes that he has abandoned further development -- because there are better solutions available [for both the 2010 model and 2011 models]. In particular, the use of ArchLinux bootable CD to gain access to and re-write the EFI on the drive, and permanently disable the discrete graphics chip. This page and scroll down past the list to the blog:


Releases · steveschow/gfxCardStatus · GitHub


there are two similar procedure listed. I used the second from MacRumors as it seemed easier. I have made the Arch Linux bootable CD on another Mac, and tried this approach. I now have a perfectly-functioning MacBook Pro late 2011 15-in model with Discrete Graphics disabled. Runs just fine.

Nov 26, 2017 7:06 AM

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Question: Macbook Pro (late 2011) won't boot past loading bar screen.