2016 15" external monitor/graphics issues... workaround?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by t3rminus, Dec 8, 2016.

  1. t3rminus macrumors newbie

    t3rminus

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2016
    #1
    So I have a Radeon 450 (low-tier) 2016 15" MBP, and have been following the graphics debacle really closely. My system exhibits some of these issues, in weird ways.

    First of all: I never got full-screen distortions on the built-in display. I can't help with that.

    What would happen for me, is if I woke the computer from sleep or restarted while in lid-closed mode, with two external 4K displays attached, the graphics card would freak out, and the system would kernel panic and completely freeze. By "freak out", I mean I got either distortions on part of the screen, black screens, no signal, or a full screen random colour (I've had sky blue, dark blue, two shades of green, red... ), some times with a cursor in the top-left, sometimes without. No matter what, it would require a hard-reset to fix.

    Now, I installed 10.12.2 beta 5, hoping it would fix the issue. It didn't.
    Then 10.12.2 beta 6 was released today and lo and behold, it seemed to work!

    So I put my desk back together, and... the issue re-appeared.

    The only thing different was the SIDE I WAS PLUGGING IN THE DISPLAYS.
    Usually, I had the monitors plugged in on the LEFT side TB3 ports (esc-side).

    While doing the beta6 update, I turned the computer around so it could restart with the built-in display while updating, and tested with the monitors plugged in on the RIGHT side TB3 ports (TouchID-side).

    So I switched my cable routing around, and I have no issues with the displays plugged in on the right, now. The system sleeps and wakes fine, and reboots with the external monitors attached without issues.

    I know there were a few people in this forum that were having the same issue I was, and would love it if someone can corroborate that this also helps with their issue.
     
  2. gwang73 macrumors 6502a

    gwang73

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2009
    Location:
    San Francisco Area
    #2
    I've been having the exact same issue with my 15", Radeon 460. The computer will 100% freeze if I'm using the computer in laptop mode, closing the lid and sleep. I come to my desk, plug in the external monitors and power. Nothing and frozen - hard reboot time.

    My workaround was to come to my desk, plug in power and open the lid first. Then I can plug in my monitors and that worked.

    With today's 10.12.2 beta 6 release, it seems to be fixed and no more freezes. I exclusively use the LEFT side ports for the monitors and the right side for power.

    Maybe try a SMC/NVRAM reset and see if that works for your LEFT port issue.

    To be honest, this issue has happened to me on and off ever since my first 2008 MBP with external monitors. I would be surprised that at some point in the future it gets broken again but for now, I'm very happy if this is now fixed.
     
  3. gwang73 macrumors 6502a

    gwang73

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2009
    Location:
    San Francisco Area
    #3
    External monitor switching broken again in 10.12.3 beta 1. Hopefully they'll release a new beta next week before the holidays.
     
  4. malu05a macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2015
    #4
    If i close the lid on my macbook pro, then use my external monitor to put the macbook to sleep, then im 100% guaranteed that i will not be able to get the macbook pro to wake again (screen will keep black and the touchpad will freeze). And connecting my external monitor have a 5% chance of causing graphical glitches on the macbook screen.

    I have never had a computer that had issues connecting to a screen, heck, the first off-brand usb-c to HDM cable i bought (in a mac store) didn't work with the macbook pro, so i had to buy a apple branded one.

    Yet.... i still love it.
     
  5. t3rminus thread starter macrumors newbie

    t3rminus

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2016
    #5
    I've had better luck after the 10.12.2 update. External monitors work properly about 90% of the time now. This wasn't even the case during the last beta before release.

    I've heard of a lot of people having the "black screen" issue too... and that you can potentially fix it by pressing the power button, followed by "s" to put it to sleep, then trying to wake it again. The OS keeps running (and so responds to keyboard commands), but the graphics don't initialize properly, so all you get is a black screen. Sleep/wake via keyboard shortcuts resets the graphics.

    To be honest, though I had started the replacement process for my original MBP within a few days of getting it and discovering the graphics problems. I thought it was potentially a hardware problem, and didn't want to be stuck with such an annoying issue for the next 5+ years.

    I got the replacement last Friday, and I haven't had a single issue with it yet, but I've only had it for a few days, and only one day of working with my external monitors, so it's probably too early to tell.
    --- Post Merged, Dec 19, 2016 ---
    BOO. Glad I got out of the beta channel when 10.12.2 was properly released.

    I've been severely concerned about the quality of the OS these days... I just don't understand how they could ship a machine with such buggy graphics drivers, beta or not.
     
  6. t3rminus thread starter macrumors newbie

    t3rminus

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2016
    #6
    Ugh. I hate replying to the same thread, but I just did some tests with my replacement MacBook Pro, and it definitely has exactly the same issue.

    Steps to reproduce:
    1. Close lid. Plug in power cable, 2x external ASUS 4K displays using Plugable USB-C to DisplayPort cables.
    2. Wake computer in lid-closed mode.
    3. Unplug both monitors
    4. Open lid, wake computer in normal laptop mode. (1st & 2nd GPURestarts actually happen here. Some flickering and corruption occasionally, briefly visible.)
    5. Close lid. Re-attach 2x external monitors.
    6. Dead computer.
    I am frustrated. I don't want a 3rd replacement. I just want this crappy piece of junk and its garbage software to work as well as my 2010 MBP did.
     
  7. gwang73 macrumors 6502a

    gwang73

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2009
    Location:
    San Francisco Area
    #7
    I don't think it's a hardware issue as I saw this problem close to solved in the 10.12.2 public release. Having said that, 10.12.3 beta 1 and beta 2 still has the external monitor switching issue but it does seem like they are working on it as beta 2 is sometimes recovering if I disconnect both monitors and open the lid - I don't have to hard-reboot the machine to recover.

    My workaround for now is to make sure I open the lid before connecting the external monitors to the machine. This works every time without issues. I don't have issues disconnecting the external monitor and using in laptop mode.

    PS. I replied to your PM.
     
  8. t3rminus thread starter macrumors newbie

    t3rminus

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2016
    #8
    Well, they are definitely working on it.

    In my exasperation, I sent an e-mail to Tim Cook and tried to guess Craig Federighi's e-mail (which bounced).

    Today, I received a reply from Craig Federighi himself! My original apparently made it to someone at Apple, and was forwarded to his actual address. I also got a phone call from someone in Apple Executive Relations. They want my system diagnostics, and potentially want to "capture" my machine.

    I've sent them my diagnostics, steps to reproduce, a video of the issue occurring, and confirmed I'm willing to get this machine replaced again if it means solving the problem.

    It's quite an incredible level of support, to be honest, and it gives me a lot of confidence we'll see this fixed very soon, one way or another.
     
  9. gwang73 macrumors 6502a

    gwang73

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2009
    Location:
    San Francisco Area
    #9
    Great news! Unfortunately I've have the external monitor switching issues on and off since 2008 on various MBP's and with different releases so I'm not surprised that it's in Sierra.

    Hopefully they can get this fixed quickly.
     
  10. t3rminus thread starter macrumors newbie

    t3rminus

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2016
    #10
    My two previous MacBook Pros (2007 and mid-2010) had absolutely no issues with graphics or external monitors, even though the 2010 is apparently notoriously buggy. I used that machine for over 6 years, going to work, plugging in my external display (with MiniDP to HDMI cable, in lid-closed mode), and waking it with a bluetooth keyboard and trackpad.

    At the end of the day: Unplug, pick up, and go home. Until 2014, I plugged it right in to an external display at home, as well (eventually I wanted to do more gaming, so I built a tower, which I use more often at home, now... ).

    I've never had crashes like this.
     
  11. jerryk macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2011
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    #11
    My 2015 15" rMBP does not crash, but sometimes it is a struggle to get both monitors to sync up. Getting one is easy, but once a week when I come into work I have to disconnect the cables, power cycle the monitors, or reboot the mac to get both external displays working at the same time.
     
  12. math kitchen macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2016
    #12
    My TB MBP 15inch has the same problem.
    It's very annoying. Today Mine shows black screen and freezing after several hours of unplugged sleep.

    I read this posting and now I can reproduce this.
    I found that whenever I make the laptop sleep, close lid and unplug power cable immediately while leaving external monitor cable plugged. Black screen comes out when I wake up my laptop later.
    And moreover, my touch id finger prints has removed. I had to register a new prints.
    BTW i am using one 4k monitor.

    Do you think will it be resolved soon?
    I am still on my return period hence I can exchange with new one, but I not sure this would help this problem if it is a software thing.
     
  13. Mxbzz macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2012
    #13
    I've had this issue ever since the recent software update. I'll get an error after force-rebooting the MBP about the Touchbar/Control Strip being the issue. There doesn't seem to be a rhyme or reason to the bugginess of these new MBPs, but I definitely think this is more software-related.

    I don't have the issue of my fingerprints randomly being removed-- so that's cool, I guess.
     
  14. gwang73 macrumors 6502a

    gwang73

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2009
    Location:
    San Francisco Area
    #14
    Funny you mention that. This update removed all my fingerprints and I had to add them again.
     
  15. Mxbzz macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2012
    #15
    Ha, scratch that. Came home and lifted up the lid of the MBP only to have found it crashed sometime during the day (while in sleep mode) and deleted my fingerprints. Ridiculously buggy.
     
  16. t3rminus thread starter macrumors newbie

    t3rminus

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2016
    #16
    So... couple of weeks later, and here's what happened:
    The "executive relations" rep stepped in and replaced my machine (again). This is the second replacement, so far., and I'm still having graphics issues with external monitors.

    I found if I wait for 10+ minutes while the displays show a solid color, eventually one of them comes on with the "You need to restart your computer" multi-language kernel panic message.

    Not having a good time here, I must say.
     
  17. gwang73 macrumors 6502a

    gwang73

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2009
    Location:
    San Francisco Area
    #17
    Update: It does seem like the external monitor switching is fixed the latest beta release, 10.12.3 Beta (16D25a). I've been switching back and forth between dual 27" Apple Cinema monitors (mDP version) and the laptop and hasn't crashed or froze once. It does take few seconds for the laptop to wake, but has been working solid.
     
  18. t3rminus thread starter macrumors newbie

    t3rminus

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2016
    #18
    That's fantastic news.
    I spoke with an Apple Engineer today, and was told the fix might be present in 10.12.2 build 16C68, which I can get with a clean install from the recovery partition. I'm going to test that theory in a few hours.
     
  19. gwang73 macrumors 6502a

    gwang73

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2009
    Location:
    San Francisco Area
    #19
    And kinda broken again in Beta 4.... works half of the time. Whatever they're doing over there, it's not good.
     

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