Resolved Force 2011 MacBook Pro 8,2 with failed AMD GPU to ALWAYS use Intel integrated GPU (EFI variable fix)

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by AppleMacFinder, Mar 18, 2017.

  1. duffman9000 macrumors 68000


    Sep 7, 2003
    Deep in the Depths of CA
    It’s the dGPU. We know your pain.
  2. emccready macrumors newbie


    May 12, 2019
    India at the moment

    My comment re the expensive storage has to do with the new models of MacBookAir and MacBookPro not the model for 2011.... and the storage is not upgradeable on the new ones... I was specifically told that when I bought the 256GB MacBook Air in Thailand in December that I was stuck with that and could not bring it up to the 1Terabyteand 1/2 that is offered when you buy. The upgrade on that seems overly costly to me. But at least in the older Macs you could put off and buy the upgraded hardware later. So I hope that makes my comments clearer.

    Also when doing the changes you suggested on the old one, I had my computer plugged in and it was at 100% with the battery. And I am talking about it resetting my NVRAM somehow when I use the tool bar black apple command Shut Down as one normally should. I have not done it since and have used the power button to force a shutdown and when I do that, it boots up nicely to the desktop like it should.

    Still having the problem with the cursor disappearing and the screen / functions freezing when I boot up. I don't have a mouse...but tried to use my Wacom pad and stylus to test if that would work but everything froze before I could get it in working mode. If you have any idea whether there is some issue other than the track pad needing reseating, let me know. Thanks again for all your great help!
  3. stormxeron macrumors member

    Jun 15, 2016
    @nsgr, Do you think this method will work for 2019-003 security updates as well? Should I try?
  4. vicdda macrumors newbie


    Jun 8, 2019
    I have a macbook pro 2011 with a problem on the chip. I took it in an electronics to make the exchange but they failed and left the chip off the plate. will it be possible to connect the macbook without the graphics chip? or is it not recommended? Is it possible to function?
  5. dosdude1 macrumors 68020


    Feb 16, 2012
    Yes, but you will have to disable the dedicated GPU via hardware, or by using my custom gMux IC firmware. Somebody actually just did this yesterday with my custom firmware, and it worked great!

    image.jpeg image.jpeg image.jpeg
  6. kona_pavan_kumar macrumors newbie

    Jun 9, 2019
  7. nsgr, Jun 9, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2019

    nsgr macrumors 6502

    May 22, 2017
    I did the Security Update High Sierra 10.3.6 - 2019-003 with boot-args="-v -x" + SIP Disable (
    csrutil disable) and everything went well.

    This is a big update and even Recovery Mode is updated.
    System Information -> Software: macOS 10.13.6 (17G7024)

    The Recovery Mode is updated first. Then the system partition (normal boot) is updated.

    It took 1 hour to complete the entire update. Many reboots.

    I noticed that the "-x" in boot-args slows down the Macbook Pro. But at least it does not freeze in the middle of the update.

    Update with MagSafe connected in Macbook Pro.

    After complete Update -> follow MikeyN Guide - page 35 - #875 .
  8. vicdda macrumors newbie


    Jun 8, 2019
    Can you tell me if I can do the recording with this device? I am in Brazil and if you buy Lattice, it takes about 45 days to arrive. I need my laptop urgently !!!!
  9. sepegden macrumors newbie

    Jun 12, 2019
    I'm also having the issue where photoshop crashes my revived macbook because of it reverting to the AMD Gpu i presume....did anyone manage to get passed this without soldering the motherboard?
  10. stormxeron macrumors member

    Jun 15, 2016
    Successfully completed the update to 2019-003. I am using the new AMDRadeonX3000.kext from the update as well. No problems after login so far.
    One question to you. If I shutdown my Mac after lets say a month, and after I believe NVRAM variables are resst, it takes mighty long time to start it again. What I mean is, either one of the four things happen.
    1. it boots with a chime but with full black screen, I cannot see any apple logo even if I light up the back side of the screen. I have to force shut down again.
    2. It boots with repeating chime sound and full black screen, [sound]...1sec....[sound]....1sec....[sound].... and continues till I force shut down again.
    3. It boots with distorted screen(sometimes blue/ grey and white distortions) and I cannot see nothing, where I am or can go, so I have to restart it again, then either 1 or 2 of the things above happen again.

    Finally after many/too many force restarts and going through 1 and 2 the most of the time and 3 the least, and after letting the mac to overheat for sometime(might be a placebo)
    4. a final eye warming boot screen with no distortions appear and I can get into the single user mode, see clear texts, set the NVRAM variable and get into the login screen. Then it works untill I restart.

    What do you think is causing the full black screen? Do you recommend doing anything to boot it up in one go?
  11. nsgr, Jun 13, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2019

    nsgr macrumors 6502

    May 22, 2017

    Maybe you have a problem in EFI chip (inside logic board).

    1 - The Macbook Pro 2011 that I do the tests never lost the "nvram gpu-power-prefs". Only when I do the "reset NVRAM/PRAM".

    2 - Repeated chime sound may be a problem in one of the memory slots or the RAM module.

    If you have two RAM modules then you can leave only one RAM module and see if the problem continues.

    If the chime sound continues, then test the RAM module in another slot.

    The Macbook Pro 2011 that I do the tests has a problem in one of the RAM slots. My solution was to buy an 8GB RAM module and put it in the Slot that is working properly.

    Now I do not have the sound of repeated chime.

    3 - EFI chip lost NVRAM gpu-power-prefs to Intel GPU.

    Overheat Macbook Pro 2011 does some things on the AMD GPU chip.
    In my first tests I had to overheat the Macbook Pro 2011 to be able to get into the Recovery Mode graphical environment.
    After the AppleMacFinder post (Linux) and after the discovery of the gpu-power-prefs NVRAM command, then I no longer need to overheat.

    Update 1:
    You can make an executable file with nvram gpu-power-prefs and put it in the "root" directory or at the first directory level.

    You enter the name of the executable file with the black screen and make a gpu-power-pref nvram along with a Reboot command.

    I'm going to do a test and then put the contents of the executable file later.

    You will enter the name of the executable file in the dark.

    Update 2:

    A) Create intelgpu executable file with nvram gpu-power-prefs Intel GPU with Graphical environment:

    1 - Boot normal or Safe Mode (press SHIFT key at boot).

    2 - Finder -> Applications -> Utilities -> Terminal

    3 - Go to the first level directory with cd command (cd = change directory) - cd "SPACE key" /
    cd /

    4 - Confirm first level directory with ls command.
    The directories will be listed: System, Users, Library, etc.
    System                etc                private
    Applications            Users                home                sbin
    Volumes                installer.failurerequests    tmp
    DisableExtensions        bin        usr
    Library                cores                net                var
    Network                dev                opt

    5 - Use nano text editor with sudo command (root administrator privileges).
    sudo nano intelgpu

    6 - Copy and paste this commands exactly:
    nvram fa4ce28d-b62f-4c99-9cc3-6815686e30f9:gpu-power-prefs=%01
    exit 0

    7 - Exit and save file text intelgpu
    7.1 - Press CTRL + X
    7.2 - Nano editor message: Save modified buffer (ANSWERING "No" WILL DESTROY CHANGES)
    7.3 - Press Y key for YES -> save and exit intelgpu file.

    8 - Change file attribute intelgpu -> chmod command -> executable file (x)
    sudo chmod +x intelgpu

    9 - Confirm intelgpu with executable attribute (x) - ls command.
    ls -la intelgpu
    -rwxr-xr-x  1 root  wheel  89 Jun 13 15:49 intelgpu

    10 - On UNIX systems, executable files that are not in the system PATH must be used "./" before the name of the executable file (intelgpu).

    Run intelgpu executable file with no "./" - error message
    bash: intelgpu: command not found

    Run intelgpu with "./" with sudo command - nvram command need sudo command.
    Remember: your Macbook Pro will reboot.
    sudo ./intelgpu

    Error nvram command without sudo command:
    nvram: Error setting variable - 'fa4ce28d-b62f-4c99-9cc3-6815686e30f9:gpu-power-prefs': (iokit/common) general error

    11 - When you turn on the Macbook Pro 2011 and appear stripes or black screen, then restart Macbook Pro 2011 in Single User Mode (press Command + S keys at boot).

    Edit 1:

    12 - Run intelgpu executable file in the dark (black screen).

    In Single User Mode no needed sudo command. It is optional.

    Boot Single User Mode. Wait 2 minute.

    First press ENTER key 3 times. In my tests, the Single User Mode is locked on the command line. There are some messages.

    I press ENTER 3 times and the command line is available.

  12. stormxeron, Jun 14, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2019

    stormxeron macrumors member

    Jun 15, 2016
    Thank you for the message.
    At step. 11 , the problem I face the most is, When I boot, most of the time(90% of the time), I can't see anything! If I press Command + S, the screen is still black with no single-user commandline texts, no _cursor, nothing. I can't see if it has entered into single user mode or not. Is single user running in the background even with black screen? and if I type 'sudo ./intelgpu' even if I can't see what I typed, does it work? If it works, that would be awesome.

    Also, the repeating chime boot only occurs if I force restart my mac too too many times because of the black screen I face 90% of the time after every force restart. If 'sudo ./intelgpu' typed(after command + s) without seeing what/where I am typing works, then my problem will be solved completely.
  13. nsgr macrumors 6502

    May 22, 2017
    Edit 1 in my previous post. Step 12.

    If the problem is only from the AMD GPU (black screen), then I think it will work. Only testing in practice.
  14. stormxeron macrumors member

    Jun 15, 2016
    I created the script, I will try that whenever I reboot my Mac and confront the black screen. I will update the post with results. Thanks for your help.
  15. kd8nzg macrumors newbie

    Aug 4, 2015
    Salem, OH

    So I followed all of these steps up to the point I boot into linux. I put "nomodeset" at the end of the text. The computer boots up and I see a bit of text and then it restarts. Any help/advice?
  16. AppleMacFinder thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Dec 7, 2009
    Sadly it does not seem to be open source. What if there's a backdoor? And all the people there are sharing the solutions for free, while yours requires getting some expensive one-time licence - that's unless someone will find a way to crack your stuff and release it for free
  17. tony359 macrumors newbie

    Oct 23, 2018
    Many MANY thanks for taking the time to do this. I have successfully upgraded my macbook, no issues at all.

  18. nsgr, Jun 17, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2019

    nsgr macrumors 6502

    May 22, 2017
    Macbook Pro Early 2011 - High Sierra 10.13.6

    Good news for those who do not have a system installed or a USB stick with the Mac OS installer with failed AMD GPU active (red screen / white stripes) -> Macbook Pro 2011 overheat/freeze to get Recovery Mode (Graphical).

    Test: Macbook Pro 2011 (failed AMD GPU active) with ethernet cable connection. Download Mac OS Lion installer with only nvram command.

    SIP (csrutil) only El Capitan, Sierra and High Sierra, etc.

    Option+Command+R: Upgrade to the latest macOS compatible with your Mac.

    Install the macOS that came with your Mac, or the closest version still available.

    Recovery Mode (text - terminal):

    1 - Power on Macbook Pro 2011 with red screen and white stripes. Press Option+Command+R keys or
    Shift+Option+Command+R keys.

    2 - Macbook Pro connect to Apple Server and download BaseSystem.dmg (Recovery Mode).

    3 - The screen shows the world globe spinning and progress bar (download).

    4 - Press Command + S keys and hold 5 seconds. Release Command + S keys.

    5 - When the progress bar reaches 90%, press Command + S and continue holding.

    6 -After the progress bar reaches 100%, then Recovery Mode will load.
    As the Command + S keys are still pressed, then Recovery Mode will go to text mode (no overheat and freeze Macbook Pro 2011).

    7 - Several messages will appear on the screen and wait until several "s" appears. You continue pressing Command + S keys.

    8 - Press the ENTER key 3 times to clear the command line.

    9 - Enter nvram command with gpu-power-prefs to Intel GPU:
    nvram fa4ce28d-b62f-4c99-9cc3-6815686e30f9:gpu-power-prefs=%01%00%00%00

    nvram fa4ce28d-b62f-4c99-9cc3-6815686e30f9:gpu-power-prefs=%01

    9.1 - To prevent the Macbook Pro 2011 freeze in the middle of the installation of the Mac OS, then set the option (-x) in boot-args.

    The (-x) in boot-args slows down the performance of Macbook Pro 2011. The installation will take longer to complete.

    Install with the MagSafe connected to the power outlet.

    -v : verbose mode - optional.
    -x: safe mode

    nvram -d boot-args
    nvram boot-args="-v -x"

    10 - Reboot Macbook Pro 2011

    11 - Press Option+Command+R keys or Shift+Option+Command+R keys -> download Recovery Mode -> Recovery Mode (Graphical) -> install Mac OS.

    12 - Read MikeyN Guide deacrese AMD GPU - System temperature - #875

    13 - Remove (-x) boot-args:
    nvram -d boot-args

    sudo nvram -d boot-args

    Mac startup key combinations

    How to reinstall macOS from macOS Recovery

    Update 1:

    Step 9.1, 12 and 13 added.
  19. Stuffa macrumors newbie

    May 7, 2017
    Hi All. Back in May 2017 I successfully managed to apply the dGPu fix to get my daughters 2011 Macbook Pro usable again. It has not missed a beat since.

    The MBP is currently running Mavericks and my daughter would like to do a clean install/upgrade to High Sierra on an SSD to give it a performance boost.

    My question is will this cause the fix to fail and allow the dGPU to become "active" again?
  20. pckrullenbol macrumors member

    Sep 30, 2016
    The Netherlands
    You get back the hardware issue of the failing dGPU.
    I think you don't get much better performance with (High) Sierra but the SSD is a must-do! That really boosts the performance.
  21. Stuffa macrumors newbie

    May 7, 2017
    Ok. Can I just do a clone to a new SSD with the same OS and retain the fix? Rather not have to do the fix again if I don't have to. I think I fluked it last time. (not a mac user at all)
  22. bbbc macrumors newbie

    Nov 19, 2012
    $20 is expensive to resurrect an upgradeable MacBook Pro? I'm totally into open source, but can't a guy make a reasonable buck. I've used dosdude1 twice and he didn't rape me (monetarily) whatsoever. I don't know about others, but I'd like to keep dosdude1 motivated to fix crap Apple knows has been buggy since day one.
  23. redheeler macrumors 604


    Oct 17, 2014
    @dosdude1 Is there a reason the tool you developed removes all the AMD kexts?

    The GPU in my 2011 17" MBP hasn't gone bad, but I'd still like to disable it to run MacOS Mojave on the Intel HD 3000 exclusively (and decrease the likelihood of dGPU failure in the future). Problem is, with all the AMD kexts removed, the brightness control does not work. I reinstalled the AMD kexts from MacOS Sierra to resolve the brightness control issue.
  24. tony359 macrumors newbie

    Oct 23, 2018
    You say "with all the AMD kexts removed" - only ONE Kext needs to be removed.

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