Early 2011 MacBook Pro Won't Boot...GPU Problem?

yjchua95

macrumors 604
Apr 23, 2011
6,725
231
GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
A week ago, I noticed that the menu bar on my MacBook Pro turned completely black. I cold rebooted and the problem went away so I ignored it. Yesterday, my screen glitched while using Google Chrome with YouTube playing in the background. The window sort of shifted to the side quickly and “doubled” and the computer immediately shut off.

I tried rebooting but it just reaches a blank white screen (after the Apple logo and spinning wheel disappear) and then the fan begins to ramp up. I get the exact same results with internet recovery mode or resetting the PRAM/NVRAM.

Image

When I attempt to boot into recovery mode the laptop reaches a blue screen (sometimes with thin black vertical lines).

Image

My MacBook Pro is an early 2011 model. I have done some research and it seems like people are having similar problems with this model. Does this sound like the notorious problem with the GPU and does it require a logic board repair or replacement?

Any help is appreciated!
You got that straight. Radeongate hit your MBP.
 

FastEddiebags

macrumors 6502
Jun 1, 2012
336
1
NJ
Yup, looks like you're going to have to get a new logic board. Hopefully that solution lasts longer than it did for me. I believe apple just kept giving me refurb logic boards and they all would fail within a month.
 

saturnotaku

macrumors 68000
Mar 4, 2013
1,924
51
Yup, looks like you're going to have to get a new logic board. Hopefully that solution lasts longer than it did for me. I believe apple just kept giving me refurb logic boards and they all would fail within a month.
Have you had your board replaced 3 times? If so, you should go up the chain of command as much as possible and demand a brand new machine. Start with calling AppleCare. If no resolution, try going through executive customer support. Have any and all documentation from your repairs available.
 

justinc899

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 6, 2011
15
0
I thought it was the GPU. What a complete disappointment. I can't believe Apple is refusing to address this issue seeing as it is so common with the 2011 models.

Has anyone here had experience with GPU reballing? I have read that it is an alternative to having the entire logic board replaced.
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
66,689
33,575
Boston
Has anyone here had experience with GPU reballing? I have read that it is an alternative to having the entire logic board replaced.
If you do a search some people have had some success. At this point it probably couldn't hurt.
 

justinc899

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 6, 2011
15
0
I'm really sorry, but it is identical to mine. My LB failed two months ago. They fixed it and it failed again two days ago. I just went to the Apple store and got a high end $2599 Retina model for free.

The 2011 models where the only ones to use AMD over Nvidia graphics. There are serious documented cases of failures before and after repairs. Why they don't issue recalls is beyond me.

I had the same light and dark blue screen with dark lines.


Did you by any chance figure out how to actually boot up OSX and get past the blank white screen/hot spinning fans? I tried this temporary fix (halfway down the page) to no avail. :(
 
Last edited by a moderator:

FastEddiebags

macrumors 6502
Jun 1, 2012
336
1
NJ
I had applecare, and after two months and a couple calls to customer service, I got a brand new base MBP 15" Retina. I was still in grad school and my closest applestore was 45 minutes away, so it was a bit of a headache, but Apple treated me right in the end. I just think they should have acknowledged the Radongate issue earlier. They will try to blame everything else first, but thats just the nature of the beast.
 

Traverse

macrumors 604
Mar 11, 2013
6,868
3,101
Here
A week ago, I noticed that the menu bar on my MacBook Pro turned completely black. I cold rebooted and the problem went away so I ignored it. Yesterday, my screen glitched while using Google Chrome with YouTube playing in the background. The window sort of shifted to the side quickly and “doubled” and the computer immediately shut off.

I tried rebooting but it just reaches a blank white screen (after the Apple logo and spinning wheel disappear) and then the fan begins to ramp up. I get the exact same results with internet recovery mode or resetting the PRAM/NVRAM.

Image

When I attempt to boot into recovery mode the laptop reaches a blue screen (sometimes with thin black vertical lines).

Image

My MacBook Pro is an early 2011 model. I have done some research and it seems like people are having similar problems with this model. Does this sound like the notorious problem with the GPU and does it require a logic board repair or replacement?

Any help is appreciated!
I'm really sorry, but it is identical to mine. My LB failed two months ago. They fixed it and it failed again two days ago. I just went to the Apple store and got a high end $2599 Retina model for free.

The 2011 models where the only ones to use AMD over Nvidia graphics. There are serious documented cases of failures before and after repairs. Why they don't issue recalls is beyond me.

I had the same light and dark blue screen with dark lines.

----------

Yup, looks like you're going to have to get a new logic board. Hopefully that solution lasts longer than it did for me. I believe apple just kept giving me refurb logic boards and they all would fail within a month.
Mine failed in 1.5 months.

----------

You got that straight. Radeongate hit your MBP.
It has a name now!? :p
 

justinc899

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 6, 2011
15
0
I'm really sorry, but it is identical to mine. My LB failed two months ago. They fixed it and it failed again two days ago. I just went to the Apple store and got a high end $2599 Retina model for free.

The 2011 models where the only ones to use AMD over Nvidia graphics. There are serious documented cases of failures before and after repairs. Why they don't issue recalls is beyond me.

I had the same light and dark blue screen with dark lines.


Did you by any chance figure out how to actually boot up OSX and get past the blank white screen/hot spinning fans? I tried this temporary fix (halfway down the page) to no avail. :(
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Traverse

macrumors 604
Mar 11, 2013
6,868
3,101
Here
Did you by any chance figure out how to actually boot up OSX and get past the blank white screen/hot spinning fans? I tried this temporary fix (halfway down the page) to no avail. :(
No. I tried booting from my normal user, my other partition, my OS X Mavericks USB, Recovery Partition, and my Snow Leopard Disk. All went white or dark blue.

Randomly the fans hit (what sounded like) their max and I forced shut it down because I didn't know if the systems built in temperature regulator was working.

Booting it up to the blank screen for an Apple employee goes along way in making them help you.

If the LB has completely failed there will be no way to boot. However, if you have access to another Mac you can boot that other Mac in "Target Disk Mode" and access your failed Mac's HD if you need to get files off. I did that at the Apple store to save some mission critical files.


Note: If this is your first repair (assuming you will get it fixed under AppleCare), they should have the 2011 issues documented and may give you a new model like they did me (although this was my 3rd repair). I would NOT pay for a replacement LB. All 2011 compatible LB's have this design failure and will fail. My new LB failed after just 1.5 months of use.
 
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justinc899

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 6, 2011
15
0
No. I tried booting from my normal user, my other partition, my OS X Mavericks USB, Recovery Partition, and my Snow Leopard Disk. All went white or dark blue.

Randomly the fans hit (what sounded like) their max and I forced shut it down because I didn't know if the systems built in temperature regulator was working.

Booting it up to the blank screen for an Apple employee goes along way in making them help you.

If the LB has completely failed there will be no way to boot. However, if you have access to another Mac you can boot that other Mac in "Target Disk Mode" and access your failed Mac's HD if you need to get files off. I did that at the Apple store to save some mission critical files.


Note: If this is your first repair (assuming you will get it fixed under AppleCare), they should have the 2011 issues documented and may give you a new model like they did me (although this was my 3rd repair). I would NOT pay for a replacement LB. All 2011 compatible LB's have this design failure and will fail. My new LB failed after just 1.5 months of use.
Haha, I actually let the fans go all the way and the regulator kicked in and the comp shutdown.

Unfortunately, I never bought Apple Care. Pretty sure it would have been just expired by this point in time anyways. I keep reading on other forums about a flat rate of $310 to ship the mbp to Apple and fix the LB. I'm not sure if they have something like that here in Canada...

I'll probably end up getting it fixed and just sell it afterwards and buy a PC.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Traverse

macrumors 604
Mar 11, 2013
6,868
3,101
Here
Haha, I actually let the fans go all the way and the regulator kicked in and the comp shutdown.

Unfortunately, I never bought Apple Care. Pretty sure it would have been just expired by this point in time anyways. I keep reading on other forums about a flat rate of $310 to ship the mbp to Apple and fix the LB. I'm not sure if they have something like that here in Canada...

I'll probably end up getting it fixed and just sell it afterwards and buy a PC.
That's what some on this forum recommended. Fix it and sell it. Sorry that happened to you.
 

justinc899

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 6, 2011
15
0
Update

Final Update:

I shipped by MPB to PS3Specialist dot com for a GPU reball. It cost me about $200 (including shipping to send it to him) and took about a week. Turnaround time was extremely quick and it was only at the shop for about two days. I've only been using it for a day now but everything seems to be working well with the discrete GPU.

I definitely recommend PS3Specialist to anyone who has the infamous 2011 Macbook Pro GPU failure. He has tons of recommendations across the internet for users experiencing this problem. Definitely a better alternative than paying Apple to replace the logic board (especially in countries other than USA, which do not offer a flat $310 repair fee).

I also found this website very helpful for its temporary fix to get my computer booted in the meantime
 
Last edited by a moderator:

hatersgonnahate

macrumors 6502a
Jul 26, 2010
503
1
Final Update:

I shipped by MPB to PS3Specialist dot com for a GPU reball. It cost me about $200 (including shipping to send it to him) and took about a week. Turnaround time was extremely quick and it was only at the shop for about two days. I've only been using it for a day now but everything seems to be working well with the discrete GPU.

I definitely recommend PS3Specialist to anyone who has the infamous 2011 Macbook Pro GPU failure. He has tons of recommendations across the internet for users experiencing this problem. Definitely a better alternative than paying Apple to replace the logic board (especially in countries other than USA, which do not offer a flat $310 repair fee).

I also found this website very helpful for its temporary fix to get my computer booted in the meantime.
i have the same problem. does his work come with some sort of warranty?
 

RainCityMacFan

macrumors 6502a
Jun 10, 2007
922
3
NC
u had apple care?

so disappointed with this machine.
Yes, but mine occurred last year October and once again 3 months after warranty. I expressed disappointment as well.

Just go to the genius bar, they will offer you a $310 repair. You can choose to accept or not, but fill out the survey they send you.

Be nice to everyone and treat them with respect but express disappointment. A manager will give you a call and you can then see how it'll work out. Honestly, I will still buy Apple products but I learned a valuable lesson which is to never ever buy a machine that I can't afford to self-insure and expect all machines to last at most 3 years through Applecare.
 

hatersgonnahate

macrumors 6502a
Jul 26, 2010
503
1
Yes, but mine occurred last year October and once again 3 months after warranty. I expressed disappointment as well.

Just go to the genius bar, they will offer you a $310 repair. You can choose to accept or not, but fill out the survey they send you.

Be nice to everyone and treat them with respect but express disappointment. A manager will give you a call and you can then see how it'll work out. Honestly, I will still buy Apple products but I learned a valuable lesson which is to never ever buy a machine that I can't afford to self-insure and expect all machines to last at most 3 years through Applecare.
yes i went to the genius bar yesterday and got billed for $310. i declined. i expected this machine to last more than 3 years. heck the dell i replaced with the macbookpro, after being unused for 3 years still works.

i think im going to have it reballed, whatever that is.


so let me get this straight, you paid for the $310 repair bill and it still broke after?
 

RainCityMacFan

macrumors 6502a
Jun 10, 2007
922
3
NC
yes i went to the genius bar yesterday and got billed for $310. i declined. i expected this machine to last more than 3 years. heck the dell i replaced with the macbookpro, after being unused for 3 years still works.

i think im going to have it reballed, whatever that is.


so let me get this straight, you paid for the $310 repair bill and it still broke after?
I paid $0 under Applecare. Then they quoted me $310, I accepted out of mercy for not arguing with the genius. Got home and realized that there is something wrong with this laptop dying twice from the same issue and called... And paid $0.
 
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