Booting a Radeongate-affected MBP

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by yjchua95, Apr 3, 2014.

  1. yjchua95 macrumors 604

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    #1
    Good day,

    My 15" 2011 MBP was one of those affected by Radeongate (the infamous Radeon GPU failure).

    Afaik, getting to the login screen requires the dGPU. Is there any way to get to the login screen by disabling the GPU?

    I know that the general gist is to boot into single-user mode and put the ATI/AMD kexts somewhere, but I don't know whether it's fully possible or not to get it booting this way.

    Thank you.
     
  2. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    #2
    If you're machine is affected and Apple said they'll be fixing these, why not send it into apple for repair?

    AFAIK, if its using the dGPU for logins, there's no way around it.
     
  3. Marvinz911 macrumors newbie

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    singapore
    #3
    Try this. Turn on the mbp, if it's stuck leave it to load and use a blanket to cover it for a few mins of till u find it got enough. Force it off and on again. Igpu should be used to boot up now. Try it, just used this trick to boot my 2011mbp
     
  4. yjchua95 thread starter macrumors 604

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    #4
    Got it, I'll try it later tonight when I reach home :)
     
  5. yjchua95 thread starter macrumors 604

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    #5
    Apple won't be fixing it yet (I wasn't about to shell out USD700 for a logic board replacement). The AASP guy also privately told me that replacement (refurb) logic boards won't last for more than a week, as customers who opted to replace it came back within the same week.

    So far, Apple hasn't announced an extended repair program for it yet :/
     
  6. venom600 macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    As someone who just bought a refurb Early 2011 17", is this something I should worry about?
     
  7. Gav Mack macrumors 68020

    Gav Mack

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    #7
    I'd say so.

    https://discussions.apple.com/thread/4766577?start=0&tstart=0

    Took a good few days to read all of it, though the 17's do run cooler than the 15, fail less but still fail. I have recently acquired a late 2011 17 for myself a few weeks ago. As soon as I could I stripped out my logic board, polished the heatsink contact plates shiny and used a sliver of artic silver 5 compound on both CPU and GPU. Got 20c drops for idle on both.

    Lots have had 2,3 or more swapped logic boards from Apple that repeatedly fail. Apple have yet to own up to it being a problem but even I have noticed a jump in failures over the past year. Only sure fire long term fix is for a third party to lead solder a fresh AMD GPU in place of the badly soldered and over thermal pasted original. Actually costs less than the apple swap out board, here in the uk it's £170.

    If mine goes pop like many of my clients have I will be keeping my invoice for a refund when Apple finally own up to this problem!
     
  8. venom600 macrumors 6502a

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    #8
    Mine qualifies for a full warranty and Applecare starting the day I bought it, so I'm not too concerned. I also know that after three major replacements Apple is likely to just replace the machine (they've done it before). I'm disappointed since I bought this to replace a Mac Mini that was running hot (200+ degrees just iTunes and web browsing in some cases).
     
  9. l.a.rossmann macrumors 65816

    l.a.rossmann

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    #9
    It depends on usage.

    If you use it lightly, it'll last.

    If you play games on it and do extensive video editing, it'll die.

    The 820-2850 and 820-2915 motherboards are not made for GPU usage. The GPU is there for show.. ornamental, not functional. Use it, and I guarantee it will die.
     
  10. yjchua95 thread starter macrumors 604

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    #10
    Mine went kaboom two days after my 3-year AppleCare expired :(

    ----------

    Yeah I guess I was using it heavily (AutoCAD, Photoshop and the occasional NFS in boot camp).

    I think the logic board isn't largely to blame; the over application of thermal paste and use of unleaded solder brought to Radeongate.
     
  11. Gav Mack macrumors 68020

    Gav Mack

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    #11
    Lead soldering a new GPU, polishing the heatsink plates and using AS-5 seems to have the potential to be a long term fix, though I would still recommend using a fan control app to avoid heat build up with these models. The unibodies weren't originally designed to have a big 45 watt CPU and juicy GPU alongside each other and the 2012 with Ivy Bridge and Kepler GPU combo rectified all that heat wise.
     
  12. yjchua95 thread starter macrumors 604

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    #12
    Before my MBP succumbed to Radeongate, I had smcfancontrol running at 4500rpm when idling :p

    Yeah, I'm planning to send it to a reballing place and tell them to use leaded solder and apply AS-5 properly :)
     
  13. Gav Mack macrumors 68020

    Gav Mack

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    #13
    I will get a new GPU with nice fresh lead solder dropped on mine if it goes, though I despair of their awful paste policy. I wonder if they used AS-5 and polished the plate just how many less logic board failures there would have been long term. A 20c drop in temps for mine on idle says it all really!
     
  14. paulCC macrumors member

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    #14
    In my case, the Mac worked in Target mode, Firewire, even with the failed dGPU, and I was able to get in and remove the relevant kext files. Then a normal reboot, and the machine was working on the integrated GPU.

    I was lucky to have 2 Macs available, maybe you have a friend with another Mac ?

    Paul.
     
  15. 5to1 macrumors regular

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    #15
    I'd be amazed if they didn't cover that under goodwill. I once had an issue with an iPad a couple of weeks out of warranty. I told them I was busy and use it for work so didn't have time to take it in. They covered it without a question. Did you try calling Apple Care?
     
  16. yjchua95 thread starter macrumors 604

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    #16
    I have 11 Macs at home (one of them's not in the signature due to lack of space), and I did pull my data off through TDM. However, how do I remove the ATI/AMD kexts? Where are they located?

    Thanks in advance :)

    ----------

    I did, and well...consumer protection in Malaysia is practically non-existent.

    They told me to pay USD700 and no other way. I tried explaining to them that I paid one hell of a lot this and expected it to last for at least 5 years. 3 years is just too short. I even gave them some BS that it was crucial to my work (although I have plenty of other Macs at home, you can see them in my signature. Quite a number of them were gifts and two were from a raffle). But the AASP blokes didn't budge, so I just walked out of the AASP in disgust.
     
  17. The Mercurian macrumors 65816

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    #17
    I only recently heard about the radeongate issue.

    Does it affect early & late 2011 MBP's ? I have a late 2011 15" MBP bought in mid 2012 and so has one year Apple care left. I don't tend to use graphics intensive software so I would say my GPU is underutilised most of the time - however I do notice the fans spin up when I use an external monitor to expand my workspace, and I run BOINC which sometimes crunches numbers on the GPU.

    Just wondering if this issue is likely to affect my machine. I am considering upgrading it anyhow, but am trying to hold out for spec bump at least and maybe broadwell refresh. Are there life preserving things I can do like not using the external monitor or stopping BOINC from using GPU - will steps like that make any difference ?
     
  18. yjchua95 thread starter macrumors 604

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    #18
    It affects both early and late 2011 models. It will affect your machine, it's just a matter of time before it does.

    For life preserving, you could try to do a reflow first and reball the GPU with leaded solder. Besides that, use SMCfancontrol to keep your MBP cool and also use GFXcardstatus to force the GPU into Intel only unless you need the Radeon card sometimes.

    Anyway, I did find a way to boot it up without the Radeon GPU:
    - Boot in single user mode (cmd+s on startup)
    - Enable read/write on the boot volume by typing "/sbin/mount -w"
    - Create a directory to store the extensions files - "mkdir /DisabledExtensions"
    - Navigate to the extensions directory - "cd /System/Library/Extensions"
    - Move all ATI/AMD extensions to the directory previously created - "mv ATI* /DisabledExtensions" - "mv AMD* /DisabledExtensions"
    - Finally, type reboot
     
  19. Marty62 macrumors 6502

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    Berlin formerly London
    #19
    I have the same dilemma, Late 2011 bought in July 2012.
    So far I have only had a couple of the "Radeongate" type re-boots and it
    could be down to RAM, which failed under memtest ( need to go get that exchanged )
    I don't do any graphic intensive work or gaming and have an SSD fitted, so it runs
    pretty cool almost all the time.

    I can only remember fans spinning up on perhaps 4/5 occasions since I've owned it.

    I stress it quite hard with music apps / work but that doesn't seem to bother it too much.

    Marty.
     
  20. The Mercurian macrumors 65816

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    #20
    Thanks for that info guys both.

    Eh regarding reflow first and reball the GPU with leaded solder - not sure I'm prepared to do that - for one thing wouldn't it invalidate my Apple Care?

    Thanks for the reboot instructions - good to know that info is here if/when its needed.


    Marty - I rarely do GPU intensive stuff, but I do alot of CPU intensive stuff, and it spins up half way most of the time - spins up fully when I do specific things. Does CPU use bring on the issue also ?
     
  21. yjchua95 thread starter macrumors 604

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    #21
    Yup, it'll invalidate your AppleCare. If you're under AppleCare, you can just leave it as it is and when the time comes, you can replace your logic board for free under AppleCare and keep replacing it until the third time, where Apple will just give you a brand new 15" rMBP :)
     
  22. The Mercurian macrumors 65816

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    #22
    Really :eek:

    It fails continuously ? What is the actual mechanism of failure anyhow ? I knwo the rpoblem exists but not the specifics
     
  23. yjchua95 thread starter macrumors 604

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    #23
    The mechanism for failure is due to:
    1. Use of unleaded solder
    2. Poorly-applied thermal paste.

    During idling, the temperatures are pretty high (around 65ºC), causing the fans to ramp up. This is due to the poor application of thermal paste.

    The higher temperatures also cause the unleaded solder to wear out over time and break one day. Leaded solder withstands heat way better than unleaded solder does.
     
  24. The Mercurian macrumors 65816

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    #24
    Ok gotcha. But this applies only to the GPU, not the CPU ? Or both ? Only GPu's fail right ?
     
  25. yjchua95 thread starter macrumors 604

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    #25
    Only the dGPU will fail.
     

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