Resolved 2011 • 15 & 17-inch MBP Gfx Work-A-Round

mightymacman

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 26, 2017
37
11
San Luis Obispo, CA
I have found and tested a successful work-a-round, for 2011 MacBook Pros with the known Dual Graphics Processor failure problem. This procedure if successfully implemented forces the “Integrated Only GPU” into operation, and does not allow the “Discrete GPU” to function. The “Discrete GPU” is what has or will fail. It also turns off the GPU automatic switching capability. This work around does not involve running Linux, or Windows. This is a Mac to Mac Solution.



In Summary. SIP must be disabled before making the changes noted below. Details below.
Install an application (App) called GFXCardStatus, Version 2.1 into your 2011 MacBook Pro's Application Folder. This applies to the 15 or 17 inch model, created early or late in 2011. The 13" Model is not affected by this problem. Once installed, boot the computer in safe mode (this assumes the Discrete GPU has already failed), this boots the Integrated GPU. Once in, open the app and configure it per directions found later in this document. Once configured, reboot the computer.
Be patient. ASSUMING THE DUAL GFX CARD IS IN FACT YOUR MBP’S ISSUE, properly done, your MBP will boot normally using the Integrated GPU and run quite well. It may require more than one reboot.

If your MBP has been “down” for some time due to this problem, there is a chance the internal battery is either drained completely, or will otherwise not function as a “good working Battery.” A battery in this condition, will not allow your MBP to boot up, even if the AC Adapter is connected and plugged in.
I learned this the hard way. I recommend you replace the battery before undertaking this project.



00 SIP must be disabled before making the changes noted below
.
(Apple says, SIP stands for System Integrity Protection (SIP). SIP protects files, directories, and processes at the root level from being modified.) 

To disable SIP, Boot into the Recovery Drive. 


Hold down Command-R key combinations on the keyboard immediately after pressing the power button to turn on the MBP, or immediately after the MBP begins to restart. 
Launch the Terminal from the upper menu bar. 
Key in: csrutil disable Reboot <return>
. The MBP/Computer will reboot. For the “Work-A-Round” to consistently work, SIP needs to remain inactive.

01 Get the software. On a working Mac, download GFXCardStatus version 2.1. Nothing higher. You may download the file from my DropBox site here: (Click on the DOWNLOAD Button on the upper right side of the screen.) https://www.dropbox.com/s/qb5q89if0xlreoo/gfxCardStatus-2.1.zip?dl=0

02 About the SSD/HD in the failing 2011 MBP. Either remove it from the MBP, and USB it to another working 2011 MacBook Pro. Or, with the SSD/HD still inside the errant 2011 MBP connect it to a working 2011 MBP via FireWire or Thunderbolt cable, using Target Disk Mode. 
You can connect to an iMac or other Mac Desktop as well.

03 Boot into the SSD/HD that was taken from the failing 2011 MBP.

04 Install gfxCardStatus 2.1 into the bootable SSD/HD that was taken from failing 2011 MBP. Now, configure the gfxCardStatus App. You may have to reboot into the SSD/HD again before you can configure the app.

05 Go to the upper menu bar to the stylized i. Click it open. Come down to it's Preferences.


Next: click on General, then check mark the 1st, 3rd, & 4th items only. Uncheck 2nd item if checked.
Next: click on Advanced, Now, check mark the 1st & 2nd items. Where it says On Battery: Select Integrated. Where it says Plugged In: Select Integrated. Now the screen has two check marked items, one grayed out, one not. This is as it should be.



06 Reboot into the SSD/HD that was taken from failing 2011 MBP
.

Next: Verify the gfxCardStatus app settings. 
Go to the stylized i in the upper menu bar, click on it, and see that it points to the "integrated only" option. If it does, mission accomplished.

 If booting into/through a desktop Mac, (not a MBP), the gfx app will show an error because a desktop Mac does not have the dual GPU found in the failing 2011 MBP.


07 Shut down the computer and/or eject the USB SSD/HD drive
. Put the SSD/HD drive back into the original 2011 MBP and button it up, if it was removed in an earlier step..

08 Boot the MBP.
It may still show a failed jumbled display screen. To overcome this if it happens, reboot the computer two or three times quickly. I successfully did this by pressing the COMMAND-CONTROL-Power Button 3 times. The goal is to interrupt the boot process 3 times quickly. That is, press and hold each button, first COMMAND (and hold), CONTROL (and hold) and Power Button, then release all three buttons at the same time. On the 3rd or 4th time, allow the MBP to boot normally. The display may start to look normal, but may flicker or show other oddities. However by the time the process ends, you should be at your desktop (Assuming you don't have to stop at a log in screen.) The MBP might reboot again on it’s own, as part of this process. If it does, that is okay.

09 Finally, go to System Preferences ---> Startup Disk and make sure your SSD/HD is in fact selected. Reboot one more time.


10 The MBP should boot normally, with no screen anomalies.
This work-a-round has lasted through an upgrade from Mac OS Sierra through High Sierra, (10.12 to 10.13.1) in the authors personal 2011 • 17” MBP.

I recommend you clone your newly created drive, so you have a good working SSD/HD back up and/or restore point ... just in case. Carbon Copy Cloner is excellent for this job.

Last things: Items you may need for this project: (Not all items are necessary.) The gfxCardStatus v2.1 is a must. Your choice of cables depends on other Macs you have available...

• USB 3.0 to SATA Converter 
for SSD/HDD • An external 2.5" Drive Enclosure • Thunder Bolt Cable • Firewire 800 to 800 or Firewire 400 to 800.

Following the above procedure, my 17" 2011 MBP has successfully run for over a year.
Good luck !! Comeback and let me know if you have questions or comments.
 
Last edited:

mightymacman

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 26, 2017
37
11
San Luis Obispo, CA
MKNSSDRE1TB:

Capacity: 1 TB (1,000,204,886,016 bytes)
Model: MKNSSDRE1TB
Revision: P1225C
Serial Number: TBD
Native Command Queuing: Yes
Queue Depth: 32
Removable Media: No
Detachable Drive: No
BSD Name: disk1
Medium Type: Solid State
TRIM Support: No
Partition Map Type: GPT (GUID Partition Table)
S.M.A.R.T. status: Verified
Volumes:

MacBook Pro SSD:
Capacity: 999.35 GB (999,345,127,424 bytes)
Available: 851.75 GB (851,749,265,408 bytes)
Writable: Yes
File System: Journaled HFS+
BSD Name: disk1s2
Mount Point: /
Content: Apple_HFS
Volume UUID: 23223CB6-3832-3D46-B6D3-51FB02C483C2

Storage Device:
Capacity: 499.11 GB (499,113,885,696 bytes)
Available: 349.5 GB (349,497,180,160 bytes)
Writable: Yes
File System: Journaled HFS+
BSD Name: disk0s2
Mount Point: /Volumes/Storage Device
Content: Apple_HFS
Volume UUID: 5C93EDC0-E828-3F47-ADDE-C64076E5510B
 

jdran

macrumors newbie
May 22, 2013
14
1
Hi there. Thanks for all the info. I need a clarification though.
As stated from everymac.com, this solution you offer degrades* the Macbook Pro in a mac for only simple usage, i.e. browsing, office applications and no heavy duties anymore as previously (I used to use Photoshop, Illustrator, or other heavy duty occassions).

* EveryMac.com states about Dual Graphics: "This system has dual graphics processors -- an AMD Radeon HD 6750M graphics processor with 1 GB of dedicated GDDR5 SDRAM and Intel HD Graphics 3000 with 384 MB of DDR3 SDRAM shared with main memory. The system automatically switches between graphics systems based on use (when applications use OpenGL, Core Graphics or other graphically demanding technologies, the system will use the dedicated graphics card, otherwise it will use Intel HD Graphics to conserve battery life)."

I am not sure if I can implement your solution to my mac (I gave it to an Apple Certified Service dept -no Genius Bar or official Apple Stores here in Greece- before I read this article), but I guess I wont be able to install anything before getting my mac working again. I don't know if I will be able to access recovery mode or make a format again to make it work (as I did before see the grey screen for 2nd time).
They offered me a 250€ repair (chipset replacing) with a 6 months warranty. According to discdepotdundee.com this solution is not offered anymore as they came to realize this solution is only short term.
What is your opinion about it and what do you believe I should do?

250€ with a warranty of 6 months or even if it lasts 1 and 1/2 up to 2 years is way too much for me..

Thanks for your input beforehand.
Jonathan
 

NiCalm

macrumors newbie
Aug 29, 2018
7
3
Greece
Hi there. Thanks for all the info. I need a clarification though.
As stated from everymac.com, this solution you offer degrades* the Macbook Pro in a mac for only simple usage, i.e. browsing, office applications and no heavy duties anymore as previously (I used to use Photoshop, Illustrator, or other heavy duty occassions).

* EveryMac.com states about Dual Graphics: "This system has dual graphics processors -- an AMD Radeon HD 6750M graphics processor with 1 GB of dedicated GDDR5 SDRAM and Intel HD Graphics 3000 with 384 MB of DDR3 SDRAM shared with main memory. The system automatically switches between graphics systems based on use (when applications use OpenGL, Core Graphics or other graphically demanding technologies, the system will use the dedicated graphics card, otherwise it will use Intel HD Graphics to conserve battery life)."

I am not sure if I can implement your solution to my mac (I gave it to an Apple Certified Service dept -no Genius Bar or official Apple Stores here in Greece- before I read this article), but I guess I wont be able to install anything before getting my mac working again. I don't know if I will be able to access recovery mode or make a format again to make it work (as I did before see the grey screen for 2nd time).
They offered me a 250€ repair (chipset replacing) with a 6 months warranty. According to discdepotdundee.com this solution is not offered anymore as they came to realize this solution is only short term.
What is your opinion about it and what do you believe I should do?

250€ with a warranty of 6 months or even if it lasts 1 and 1/2 up to 2 years is way too much for me..

Thanks for your input beforehand.
Jonathan

I feel you, because I repaired my 2011 MacBook 2 times! First time lasted for a year or so and second time about 7 months.... I will eventually buy a new laptop for my work but till then, I am using my 2011 MacBook with the integrated graphics card.

I am also using illustrator, photoshop and indesign with no problems! Adobe suite software couldn’t use my dedicated card because mine is the 6750 with 512mb vram and adobe suite cc requires at least 1Gb at least.

If you want to test the performance of your laptop with the integrated graphics card, just install gfxstatus and force usage of the HD3000.
Then open any of the above applications you usually use and see if you notice any performance differences.

I hope it helps!
From a fellow Greek
 
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jdran

macrumors newbie
May 22, 2013
14
1
I feel you, because I repaired my 2011 MacBook 2 times! First time lasted for a year or so and second time about 7 months.... I will eventually buy a new laptop for my work but till then, I am using my 2011 MacBook with the integrated graphics card.

I am also using illustrator, photoshop and indesign with no problems! Adobe suite software couldn’t use my dedicated card because mine is the 6750 with 512mb vram and adobe suite cc requires at least 1Gb at least.

If you want to test the performance of your laptop with the integrated graphics card, just install gfxstatus and force usage of the HD3000.
Then open any of the above applications you usually use and see if you notice any performance differences.

I hope it helps!
From a fellow Greek
It's very relieving that someone -and a fellow Greek as well- who was having the same problem is clarifying things out.
Another question is what version of Adobe programs are you using?

It seems I will choose the much cheaper option of reflowing the chip to make my Mac accessible again and then i will disable the Radeon card..
 

NiCalm

macrumors newbie
Aug 29, 2018
7
3
Greece
It's very relieving that someone -and a fellow Greek as well- who was having the same problem is clarifying things out.
Another question is what version of Adobe programs are you using?

It seems I will choose the much cheaper option of reflowing the chip to make my Mac accessible again and then i will disable the Radeon card..
Glad I helped!
I’m currently using Adobe CC 2017.
Just another thing, if you haven’t upgraded your RAM already to 16GB, maybe you should consider it, as the intergraded card will use more vram if you have to share.
[doublepost=1540395903][/doublepost]
It's very relieving that someone -and a fellow Greek as well- who was having the same problem is clarifying things out.
Another question is what version of Adobe programs are you using?

It seems I will choose the much cheaper option of reflowing the chip to make my Mac accessible again and then i will disable the Radeon card..
Also, if you don’t want to reflow just for accessing your laptop, there is another workaround. That is was case for me also. Check this thread

https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/force-2011-macbook-pro-8-2-with-failed-amd-gpu-to-always-use-intel-integrated-gpu-efi-variable-fix.2037591/unread
 

mightymacman

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 26, 2017
37
11
San Luis Obispo, CA
I've upgraded my 2011 - 17" MBP to Mojave. It is an unsupported OS on this hardware. Someone much smarter than I found a way to make it work. DuckDuckGo/Google install Mojave on unsupported Mac for the details.

The point is to show that the computer continues to work. Although the About This Mac screen does not reflect which video chip is being used. According to the System Report the Intel Chip can access a max of 8 GIG VRAM. However it doses not display how much it is actually using. I'll keep you posted.
Screen Shot 2018-12-03 at 5.46.40 PM.png


It's very relieving that someone -and a fellow Greek as well- who was having the same problem is clarifying things out.
Another question is what version of Adobe programs are you using?

It seems I will choose the much cheaper option of reflowing the chip to make my Mac accessible again and then i will disable the Radeon card..
• • • •

Hello Jonathan,

Help us help you.

Which 2011 MBP do you have? 15” or 17”?
How much RAM, what kind of HD? HD or SSD?


Now having said that.

Both articles you referenced are right on target for what their subject matter is. 
One tells you about the GPU Specs, the other how to replace it, and the cost involved.
 The 2nd article, naturally does not play up the option I am using as, it does not involve replacing the GPU.

The option I am using renders the “high power” Radeon/AMD GPU inoperative, as this is the GPU that will fail or has failed. 

This leaves you with the Integrated Intel HD 3000 GPU. The question as I understand it, is this processor strong enough to do your daily tasks including Photoshop work etc.?



Based on my experience in my 17” 2011 MBP, I say, yes it is.

 I use: MS Office 2016, the latest versions of Pages, Keynote, & Numbers. I also use with out issue, FinalCut Pro, Graphic.app, My Movies Pro, Screen Recorder, Voice Memos & Waterfox. Plus, Mail, ScanSnap, and Photos. Oh, I surf the net too. No GPU lagging or dropping frames etc. The Intel HD 3000 does the job. 

All these open and run very well, with no graphic’s glitches what so ever. They are quick and responsive. I’ve used this “solution” for about a year now. Before you spend money replacing the GPU, or reflowing, try this solution first. It doesn’t cost a dime. If you find you are pleased with the results …. GREAT. If not, there is always the other alternatives to fall back on.

My configuration is: 2.2GHz QuadCore i7 • 17” Early 2011 MBP • 16 GIG RAM, 1TB SSD main drive, 512 SSD secondary drive. Mac OS Mojave. I boot from BONG to desktop in 20.68 seconds.

I hope this info helps!

- 

Gary (aka - The Mighty Mac Man - cheesy trumpet fan fair!)View attachment 797962
 
Last edited:

jdran

macrumors newbie
May 22, 2013
14
1
Glad I helped!
I’m currently using Adobe CC 2017.
Just another thing, if you haven’t upgraded your RAM already to 16GB, maybe you should consider it, as the intergraded card will use more vram if you have to share.

Also, if you don’t want to reflow just for accessing your laptop, there is another workaround. That is was case for me also. Check this thread

https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/force-2011-macbook-pro-8-2-with-failed-amd-gpu-to-always-use-intel-integrated-gpu-efi-variable-fix.2037591/unread
NiCalm, I 've already bought Crucial 16GB Ram years ago. Haven't seen any significant difference so far though.. Perhaps because I m running on SSD?
I had seen this thread you posted, but I didn't realize I could use it to "save" my mac. I thought my mac was totally inaccessible. I will retrieve it back from the store and I ll post back with the results! Thanks for pointing it out!

• • • •

Hello Jonathan,

Help us help you.

Which 2011 MBP do you have? 15” or 17”?
How much RAM, what kind of HD? HD or SSD?
First of all, some problem history-telling for who is interested. For the answer, skip this paragraph.
The problems first occurred on using Photoshop. Then, after that, I was able to access my mac again by letting it cool down (I didn't know that GFX chip caused the problem at that time). Then, I was conservatively using my mac (no heavy duties), but it got stuck sometimes by using Firefox (many tabs open). Finally after a RAM switching 16GB to my old 4GB sticks it was working normally for a couple of weeks until it got stuck again by just opening Java in settings. Thus, I decided to switch RAM's again, but this time, the upper stick got stuck into the board and Mac wouldn't start and I couldn't remove it. That's why I decided to take it to a store to have a total revamp incuding fixing the GFX problem.

Answering your question:
16GB RAM with a 125GB SSD (don't need more as I have plenty of external disks to do the job :D )

Now having said that.
Both articles you referenced are right on target for what their subject matter is. 
One tells you about the GPU Specs, the other how to replace it, and the cost involved.
 The 2nd article, naturally does not play up the option I am using as, it does not involve replacing the GPU.
The option I am using renders the “high power” Radeon/AMD GPU inoperative, as this is the GPU that will fail or has failed. 

This leaves you with the Integrated Intel HD 3000 GPU. The question as I understand it, is this processor strong enough to do your daily tasks including Photoshop work etc.?



Based on my experience in my 17” 2011 MBP, I say, yes it is.

 I use: MS Office 2016, the latest versions of Pages, Keynote, & Numbers. I also use with out issue, FinalCut Pro, Graphic.app, My Movies Pro, Screen Recorder, Voice Memos & Waterfox. Plus, Mail, ScanSnap, and Photos. Oh, I surf the net too. No GPU lagging or dropping frames etc. The Intel HD 3000 does the job. 

All these open and run very well, with no graphic’s glitches what so ever. They are quick and responsive. I’ve used this “solution” for about a year now. Before you spend money replacing the GPU, or reflowing, try this solution first. It doesn’t cost a dime. If you find you are pleased with the results …. GREAT. If not, there is always the other alternatives to fall back on.

My configuration is: 2.2GHz QuadCore i7 • 17” Early 2011 MBP • 16 GIG RAM, 1TB SSD main drive, 512 SSD secondary drive. Mac OS High Sierra. I boot from BONG to desktop in 20.68 seconds.

I hope this info helps!
Total Respect!

PS1. That's a real Mac Nation!
PS2. 1TB ssd? wow...

Guys, thank you tons for your inputs. I will post back for sure.

UPDATE: See post #16 for an update on my case. My Mac failed shortly after trying the solution (about a week).
 
Last edited:

mightymacman

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 26, 2017
37
11
San Luis Obispo, CA
NiCalm, I 've already bought Crucial 16GB Ram years ago. Haven't seen any significant difference so far though.. Perhaps because I m running on SSD?
I had seen this thread you posted, but I didn't realize I could use it to "save" my mac. I thought my mac was totally inaccessible. I will retrieve it back from the store and I ll post back with the results! Thanks for pointing it out!



First of all, some problem history-telling for who is interested. For the answer, skip this paragraph.
The problems first occurred on using Photoshop. Then, after that, I was able to access my mac again by letting it cool down (I didn't know that GFX chip caused the problem at that time). Then, I was conservatively using my mac (no heavy duties), but it got stuck sometimes by using Firefox (many tabs open). Finally after a RAM switching 16GB to my old 4GB sticks it was working normally for a couple of weeks until it got stuck again by just opening Java in settings. Thus, I decided to switch RAM's again, but this time, the upper stick got stuck into the board and Mac wouldn't start and I couldn't remove it. That's why I decided to take it to a store to have a total revamp incuding fixing the GFX problem.

Answering your question:
16GB RAM with a 125GB SSD (don't need more as I have plenty of external disks to do the job :D )



Total Respect!

PS1. That's a real Mac Nation!
PS2. 1TB ssd? wow...

Guys, thank you tons for your inputs. I will post back for sure.
I had the built-in HD replaced with a SSD.
Then pulled the DVD Super-Drive and replaced it with
a 500 GIG SSD. Using an external DVD Drive if I need one.
 
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Kln_

macrumors newbie
Dec 11, 2018
4
1
Hi @mightymacman,
Thank you for this clear description.

Like many, I've have been dealing with this issue for a few years, and it's right now failing again - just started to display split/grey screen/shutdowns when an application is activating the discrete GPU.

I have a MBP 15" early 2011 2.0Ghz (i7) with 16Gb RAM and 250Go SSD, running El Capitan. I often use photo editing software (rarely video editing).

Brief history : I had the GPU issue in 2015, temporally used Gfxcardstatus, then had a new GPU (so-called 'second generation') installed by Tfix, which then failed during their 6-month warranty period, they replaced it, it failed again after a while, and I had then the motherboard replaced under Apple repair program - that last one worked around 2 years.

I think using only the integrated GPU is today the best way to extend the life of these machines - which are still very good ones.

I have some questions :
- you asked Jonathan whether he has a 15" or a 17" MBP. Does that make a difference ?

- if the computer can start normally, is it possible to install without cloning the HD or using another Mac ?

- you run Mojave. I thought newer version of OS X would slow these 2011 MBP, so I stayed at El Capitan. What do you think of this OS X version vs. speed consideration, is it getting slower ?

Thank you !
Cheers
Yann
 
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mightymacman

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 26, 2017
37
11
San Luis Obispo, CA
Hi @mightymacman,
Thank you for this clear description.

Like many, I've have been dealing with this issue for a few years, and it's right now failing again - just started to display split/grey screen/shutdowns when an application is activating the discrete GPU.

I have a MBP 15" early 2011 2.0Ghz (i7) with 16Gb RAM and 250Go SSD, running El Capitan. I often use photo editing software (rarely video editing).

Brief history : I had the GPU issue in 2015, temporally used Gfxcardstatus, then had a new GPU (so-called 'second generation') installed by Tfix, which then failed during their 6-month warranty period, they replaced it, it failed again after a while, and I had then the motherboard replaced under Apple repair program - that last one worked around 2 years.

I think using only the integrated GPU is today the best way to extend the life of these machines - which are still very good ones.

I have some questions :
- you asked Jonathan whether he has a 15" or a 17" MBP. Does that make a difference ?

- if the computer can start normally, is it possible to install without cloning the HD or using another Mac ?

- you run Mojave. I thought newer version of OS X would slow these 2011 MBP, so I stayed at El Capitan. What do you think of this OS X version vs. speed consideration, is it getting slower ?

Thank you !
Cheers
Yann
Hi Kin,

The solution I've offered is the same for both the 15" & 17" MBP. I just wanted to make sure we are not dealing with a 13" MBP, those machines do not have the problem that I know of.
Connecting an external Display, is not supported by the built-in, Intel HD 3000 GPU. I've tried it too may times with zero results to be able to recommend it's use in that regard.

Please keep us/me posted as to your results.
 

mightymacman

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 26, 2017
37
11
San Luis Obispo, CA
Hi @mightymacman,
Thank you for this clear description.

Like many, I've have been dealing with this issue for a few years, and it's right now failing again - just started to display split/grey screen/shutdowns when an application is activating the discrete GPU.

I have a MBP 15" early 2011 2.0Ghz (i7) with 16Gb RAM and 250Go SSD, running El Capitan. I often use photo editing software (rarely video editing).

Brief history : I had the GPU issue in 2015, temporally used Gfxcardstatus, then had a new GPU (so-called 'second generation') installed by Tfix, which then failed during their 6-month warranty period, they replaced it, it failed again after a while, and I had then the motherboard replaced under Apple repair program - that last one worked around 2 years.

I think using only the integrated GPU is today the best way to extend the life of these machines - which are still very good ones.

I have some questions :
- you asked Jonathan whether he has a 15" or a 17" MBP. Does that make a difference ?

- if the computer can start normally, is it possible to install without cloning the HD or using another Mac ?

- you run Mojave. I thought newer version of OS X would slow these 2011 MBP, so I stayed at El Capitan. What do you think of this OS X version vs. speed consideration, is it getting slower ?

Thank you !
Cheers
Yann
Yes it is possible if not easier to have a booting machine with which to make these changes. If you have a bootable 2011, merely drop gfxCardStatus v2.1 (Unzipped) into the Applications Folder. Then configure the application as shown above. Assuming all is well, then your problem is resolved.

Running Mojave works fine in my MBP 2011. There is an occasional screen "blip" but nothing stands out as a show stopper. Good luck and keep us posted.
 

Kln_

macrumors newbie
Dec 11, 2018
4
1
Thank you for your replies.
Unfortunately, following the last forced shutdown, I can't power on the computer now. This has happened before, and so far waiting a few hours or a night has solved the issue and allowed it to start. No way to safe/recovery/single-user boot or any key combination. Could be the battery, I've been alternatively using the original battery (now quite old) and a third-party battery (now old too). Let's see.

Connecting an external Display, is not supported by the built-in, Intel HD 3000 GPU. I've tried it too may times with zero results to be able to recommend it's use in that regard.
I read about the external display not working with integrated GPU. That's a problem (in my case) for occasionally using projectors. I read on a forum a user that managed to get it work with a small 30$ USB adapter/external graphic card device - with time lag but usable.
 

Airboy1466

macrumors 6502
Feb 23, 2015
326
29
Thank you for your replies.
Unfortunately, following the last forced shutdown, I can't power on the computer now. This has happened before, and so far waiting a few hours or a night has solved the issue and allowed it to start. No way to safe/recovery/single-user boot or any key combination. Could be the battery, I've been alternatively using the original battery (now quite old) and a third-party battery (now old too). Let's see.



I read about the external display not working with integrated GPU. That's a problem (in my case) for occasionally using projectors. I read on a forum a user that managed to get it work with a small 30$ USB adapter/external graphic card device - with time lag but usable.
this is sounding like more of a headache than its worth it why not upgrade to a 2012 15inch without the problems?
your 2011 is becoming more of a money pit than a solution.
 

jdran

macrumors newbie
May 22, 2013
14
1
Hi again,
Sorry for being late to reply, I was terribly busy, as I had no time to deal with it, I was urged to buy another laptop to do my job and I decided to leave it for later.

What I did:
I turned mbp upside down and left it for several hours to auto-reflow the dGPU and it was usable again (and it would be for a small period of time before dGPU messed up again).
Then, I tried the guide above, except that as Kln_ mentions (asking), I did not follow the steps that involve getting the drive out and putting back into the faulty mbp of course, as my mbp was still working.
I 'm going to try once again to auto-reflow the mac and check if dGPU is affecting the laptop. If it does not, I guess I am doomed, if yes, I guess that the gfxCardStatus v2.1 is not helping much in my case and I ll try the GRUB solution, as I suspect that there is a problem with boot (not disabling dGPU during boot).

this is sounding like more of a headache than its worth it why not upgrade to a 2012 15inch without the problems?
your 2011 is becoming more of a money pit than a solution.
I painfully tend to agree, no matter how hard it is for a MBP customer. Especially for me, that I was offered from MacGenius to switch my MBP 17 2011 for a newer MBP 15 2012 when I was still in warranty (year 2013). But I declined it as I needed big screen for Graphics.. (they had stopped selling 17 inches). I feel stupid and I am angry that I was not explained clearly why they had to let me choose between the solutions offered. If I knew, I would take the smaller-screen laptop.
However, I guess that MBP '12 also have similar problems..
 

Kln_

macrumors newbie
Dec 11, 2018
4
1
Thank you all for your comments. I fixed the issue only now so here's an update.

@mightymacman

The issue was not easy to diagnose (beyond the obvious GPU issue) without actually taking out the motherboard and looking into details. I check with 2 repair shops with solid experience (one authorised, one not), but they would only diagnose & repair at the same time after I agree with a standard motherboard repair fee of 300€ (incl. changing the GPU + other components, 6-month warranty), which makes sense : why spend time diagnosing the motherboard if the client is not willing to pay that amount ? Having good reasons to think there was another issue beyond the GPU, I took the chance. The issue was the SMC, and they replaced both the SMC and the GPU. I'm anticipating the GPU to fail in 6 months to 2 years, and getting ready with GFXCardStatus. At the same time, they also changed for only the cost of the part one of the speakers that I previously gave up replacing, as well as the airport cable (for free) that broke likely during the repair.

@Airboy1466 @jdran

The 2012 is probably a good idea, I didn't look into it financially, but it's almost as old - and without a matte screen like the 2011 (i'm a photographer). But I've seen that it's possible to put the 2012 motherboard into the 2011 and perhaps I'll do that in the future.

Apart from that, here are the reasons why I choose to repair. It's not directly in answer to your suggestion to get a 2012 MBP, but they may be of interest to other readers.
  • First, I don't like the idea to just throw away as soon as the cost of repairs become 'significant'. The environmental impact of our electronics is just tremendous - it's just out of sight (increased mining, pollution, deforestation + all the dealing with exported e-trash sector). We enjoy the benefits these machines bring, let's also take some extra burden to extend their life as much as possible. Even if the cost of repair is high, I consider that is part of the cost of the product over its lifetime.
  • Then, replacing with a new computer doesn't mean the end of troubles. Many Macbooks seem to have some sort of problems (I didn't hear about 2012s, but I heard issues with 2014, 2015 and 2016 MBP). In addition, according to iFixit laptop repairability rankings, newer Macbooks are less and less repairable : the 2011 MBP has a score of 8/10 and they go steadily down till the 2018 MBP that ranks 1/10 (search for 'iFixit laptop repairability scores'). Thanks Apple for your environmental footprint and your attitude to consumers...
  • Finally, looking at the average cost, here is a simple calculation : a MBP from 2011 was around 2000-2500$, let's say average usage lifetime is 5-6 years (and many people use them for 8-10 years) with some RAM/SSD upgrading or small repairs - that makes 400-500$/year. Changing for a new computer will not change that figure. Instead, for Apple at least, it will likely make it more expensive. In case of my MBP, all the costs average at 500$/year (I'm in Europe, electronics are more expensive than in the US), so it was a good deal to repair in that case if there was a good chance it can last more than a year (the motherboard was replaced late 2016 under Apple replacement program, so the circuitboard is not that old and I've used an app to boost fans speed and avoid some overheating). Especially as it's still a powerful working machine with specs (16Gb RAM / SSD) that are still not much cheaper today, even on PCs.
Anyway, thanks again ! I'll follow up if it fails :rolleyes:
 
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teachmetosurf

macrumors newbie
Feb 24, 2019
1
0
Hello, I just created an account here because I've just encountered this issue with my late 2011 15" MBP. I wasn't even aware this was a widespread issue until now - I bought the laptop refurbished in 2012 and have had many years of service from this faithful laptop. I upgraded the RAM (16gb Crucial) and just switched to a SDD this past year and this old thing still outperforms most other laptops I've encountered.

@mightymacman - I'm interested in your workaround, though I've used another to get the computer (mostly) usable for now. I found a youtube video that explained how to disable graphics-related extensions by moving them into a new directory from the Command-R boot menu

It worked! I'm posting this from the "sick" computer... but the graphics performance is notably poor, sluggish and choppy. Does your workaround include these side effects?
Since my laptop is mostly usable, I could download and try this program out, but no sense if the results will be the same.

I do not wish to buy a new computer. I have recording interfaces that use the now outdated firewire. Other than the GPU issue, this laptop should live quite a while longer!

Thanks
 

Kln_

macrumors newbie
Dec 11, 2018
4
1
@teachmetosurf As far as I know, when you use Gfxcardstatus to bypass the discrete GPU and only rely on the integrated GPU, there aren't these side effects that make the laptop only 'mostly usable'. It is fully usable, fast, normal etc. I guess there must be some performance difference (otherwise why would the laptop include a discrete GPU), but I haven't noticed them (not that I was especially paying attention).

Actually even when the discrete GPU is working, like on mine now, Gfx tells me the system is switching between GPUs depending on what program is running : Skype & Lightroom are activating the discrete GPU, FF doesn't, and videos in FF or VLC also don't.

Good luck.
 

Pulsar25

macrumors newbie
Mar 26, 2019
1
0
Hi everyone,

Herr with a mid 2012 Macbook pro Retina that I believe has exactly the same issue with the GPU. But instead of flickering or distorted images, my screen just goes black. Funnily enough I could see the login screen if I shine a flashlight through the apple logo on the back of the screen.

Until now I've been relying on this technique to get my macbook to boot up with an image. However it got annoying really quick because the macbook was still just going black in the middle of usage. So I tried downloading GFX Card Status and setting it up. However, I didn't do the rebooting bit after, just the check-box steps.

It was working fine for the entire day, and I thought I'd solved the problem and permanently bypassed the gpu issue. But 8at one point while I was watching YouTube, the screen went black again. I tried the command + option +power button x3 to reboot the computer, but it didn't work. An image would show with the apple logo and loading bar, but it would disappear before it can get me to the login screen. Any thoughts on this?

Also, I'm on Mojave.
 

mightymacman

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 26, 2017
37
11
San Luis Obispo, CA
@teachmetosurf As far as I know, when you use Gfxcardstatus to bypass the discrete GPU and only rely on the integrated GPU, there aren't these side effects that make the laptop only 'mostly usable'. It is fully usable, fast, normal etc. I guess there must be some performance difference (otherwise why would the laptop include a discrete GPU), but I haven't noticed them (not that I was especially paying attention).

Actually even when the discrete GPU is working, like on mine now, Gfx tells me the system is switching between GPUs depending on what program is running : Skype & Lightroom are activating the discrete GPU, FF doesn't, and videos in FF or VLC also don't.

Good luck.
My 2011 17" is QUITE usable.
 

juanipina

macrumors newbie
Aug 23, 2019
2
0
Quebec, Canada.
MKNSSDRE1TB:

Capacity: 1 TB (1,000,204,886,016 bytes)
Model: MKNSSDRE1TB
Revision: P1225C
Serial Number: TBD
Native Command Queuing: Yes
Queue Depth: 32
Removable Media: No
Detachable Drive: No
BSD Name: disk1
Medium Type: Solid State
TRIM Support: No
Partition Map Type: GPT (GUID Partition Table)
S.M.A.R.T. status: Verified
Volumes:

MacBook Pro SSD:
Capacity: 999.35 GB (999,345,127,424 bytes)
Available: 851.75 GB (851,749,265,408 bytes)
Writable: Yes
File System: Journaled HFS+
BSD Name: disk1s2
Mount Point: /
Content: Apple_HFS
Volume UUID: 23223CB6-3832-3D46-B6D3-51FB02C483C2

Storage Device:
Capacity: 499.11 GB (499,113,885,696 bytes)
Available: 349.5 GB (349,497,180,160 bytes)
Writable: Yes
File System: Journaled HFS+
BSD Name: disk0s2
Mount Point: /Volumes/Storage Device
Content: Apple_HFS
Volume UUID: 5C93EDC0-E828-3F47-ADDE-C64076E5510B
Sorry, not sure that I posted in the right place.
Hi, I just start having problems with display, but was able to reboot after many tries. I have download your APP gfxCardStatus 2.1 from you. Is it possible to install it on my MBP while still work ? I mean without taking the SSD out.
thank you
 
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mightymacman

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 26, 2017
37
11
San Luis Obispo, CA
Hi, I just start having problems with display, but was able to reboot after many tries. I have download your APP gfxCardStatus 2.1 from you. Is it possible to install it on my MBP while still work ? I mean without taking the SSD out.
thank you
Absolutely! Do review my content above and set up the checkboxes and reboot one more time. Assuming the GPU is in fact the problem you will have solved it.
Thank you for your replies.
Unfortunately, following the last forced shutdown, I can't power on the computer now. This has happened before, and so far waiting a few hours or a night has solved the issue and allowed it to start. No way to safe/recovery/single-user boot or any key combination. Could be the battery, I've been alternatively using the original battery (now quite old) and a third-party battery (now old too). Let's see.



I read about the external display not working with integrated GPU. That's a problem (in my case) for occasionally using projectors. I read on a forum a user that managed to get it work with a small 30$ USB adapter/external graphic card device - with time lag but usable.

Make sure your battery is GOOD. If in doubt, replace it with a new battery. Our MBP's will not boot with a bad battery, with or, without an AC MagSafe Adapter connected. It just won't happen. I cannot tell you how many hours of "testing" I wasted, because I did not realize my original battery was in fact "bad" or "dead" ...
[doublepost=1566577760][/doublepost]ALSO NOTE: Make sure SIP is inactive. If it (somehow) turns itself back on during all these reboots (It shouldn't but one never knows how it does) your "work-a-round" will not function.

If you have a working 15" or 17" 2011 MBP, you can install gfxCardStatus into the Applications Folder. Configure it as noted above. This may take two reboots, 1) after you install << reboot >> and 2) Configure as noted above, << reboot >>. Upon that reboot, your Intel GFX Chip will be in control. YOU WILL NOT HAVE the use of an external display at this point. Follow the configuration instructions above and assuming the GFX Card is in fact your issue, you'll be good to go.
 

Blowback

macrumors member
Jan 10, 2018
53
10
VA
MMM:
I don't have access to a working 2011 MBP but do have my 2017 MBP. For step 00 through 07 would it be possible to use the 2017 MBP and get proper results ?