Graphics corruption on MacBook Pro 15", Late 2006

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by AmbientChaos, Feb 11, 2014.

  1. AmbientChaos, Feb 11, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2014

    AmbientChaos macrumors member


    Feb 11, 2014
    So this Mac has served me very well, and it's been through a lot :)

    I was using it when suddenly the display went black. Initially it felt like sleep problems: In the past if I closed the lid and opened it immediately, it would be "confused", keyboard light still responsive but display off, until I shut the lid, let it fully sleep, and wake up again. However I was confused because I hadn't put it into sleep mode or shut the lid.

    When I rebooted it, the boot screen was filled with diagonal lines of what appeared to be corrupt pixels, running across the entire screen. They alternated between corrupt and normal, so you could still see diagonal glimpses of the boot logo in the background. Instead of loading the login screen, it became stuck at a completely white screen. After a few reboots, nothing changed. However one time, you could see the cursor, which was surrounded by roughly 1 square inch of corrupt pixels that followed it wherever it moved.

    I suspected that resetting the SMC + zapping the PRAM could possibly help, and it did not.

    I suspect the display card is failing. The only additional information I think might be relevant is that this Mac runs very hot, sometimes to the point of overheating, especially when in Windows 7. I've since invested in a cooler master fan base. Additionally, I've played some GTA IV on it, which transforms it into a mini-oven. These are the extremes; in Snow Leopard SMCfancontroller reports 60 degrees celcius normally, and intensive internet browsing/HD video playback brings it up to the mid 80's, and has peaked at 90 degrees.

    However, I don't know what exactly is wrong, so I included a few pics to see what you guys think. The boot logo is normal, I changed it via BootXChanger.

    Attached Files:

  2. AmbientChaos thread starter macrumors member


    Feb 11, 2014
  3. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    Looks like your GPU just kicked the bucket.

    Unfortunately for you, it'll cost more to repair than the computer is worth. Parts for these are becoming scarcer by the minute.

    Take your pick, either you have the whole logicboard replaced, or it's time for a new computer.
  4. AmbientChaos thread starter macrumors member


    Feb 11, 2014
    Oh dear. RIP Mac.

    I have a new Mac standing by, and the old HD is bootable.

    Thanks for chiming in.
  5. stevep macrumors 6502a


    Oct 13, 2004
  6. zuri macrumors member

    Mar 29, 2013
    Hi AmbientChaos

    The defect you have on your macbook pro is slightly desoldered GPU (nVidia chip).
    It can continue to complete desoldering which will render your computer unusable, you will only hear beep sound when you press power button.

    You can help yourself and do DIY repair if you have a heat gun. It is far from quality that complete resoldering provides, but you can give your ol macbook pro another punch for quite some time.

    Tell me if you want to try it, I can provide you with more info :)
  7. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Looks like the GPU gave up the ghost to me. At this point, it doesn't look like there's much you can do. You can try to rebake the logic board but I'd do a lot of research on that before attempting.
  8. AmbientChaos thread starter macrumors member


    Feb 11, 2014
    I got it fixed. Originally I gave up on it, but went ahead as I had nothing to lose. Rather than go to the Apple Store (where I'm guessing repairs would be pricier and they replace the entire logic board), I went on a short day trip to Shenzhen, China, (I live in Hong Kong) where they used some sort of oven (perhaps the baking procedure you speak of?), and replaced the chip. Cost me 500 RMB. Yay.

    edit: It's an ATI, not nVidia like you said above. Although I assume this desoldering is not unique to nVidia chips, unless maybe you meant it's a defect common with nVidia chips?
  9. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    The defect is extremely common on the nVidia 8600GT which were in the two generations after your computer.
  10. zuri macrumors member

    Mar 29, 2013
    Good for you :cool:
    Yes as snaky69 says it is extremely common on 8600gts but it happens on x1600 atis too.
    Using soldering oven is exact procedure these companies are using to repair it.

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