Macbook pro boots to blank screen and apple wont support

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by mconran, Sep 17, 2010.

  1. mconran macrumors newbie

    Sep 17, 2010
    guys im in aruba and having probably the worse time here trying to get my macbook fixed. Its like talking to a brick wall

    A few days ago my mac starting booting to a blank screen. The caps locks and num locks works so HD is fine. I did some research and found out there is a problem with the graphics cards and apple should replace for free even if out of warranty. My mac is out of warranty but these guys in aruba say I need to pay over 800 dollars for a new mother board??
    What do you think i should do??
  2. mconran thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 17, 2010
    well this is great help...sending me links I have already read.

    What my problem is that I know its a Ndivia graphics card issue but this crowd in aruba want me to pay to replace my entire board. Has anyone had this problem before or what do you recommend i should do?
  3. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    You didn't say what you have read, so there's no way for us to know. We're not mind readers.
  4. DewGuy1999 macrumors 68040


    Jan 25, 2009
    Have you seen this:

    :apple: MacBook Pro: Distorted video or no video issues

    The GPU on MacBooks/MacBook Pros are not separate replaceable parts, Apple's standard operating procedure is to replace the entire logic board for a GPU failure. If your MBP falls within the range of that article it should be a free repair at an Apple Store or an Apple Authorized Service Provider.
  5. creative78 macrumors regular


    Nov 8, 2007
  6. mconran thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 17, 2010
    I have a MacBook Pro (15-Inch, 2.2GHz)

    It falls within that range i.e i have no video yet mac is powered on and working.

    I am seriously worried about the technical expertize of the apple service provider in Aruba. He is understanding very little about whats happening. He is constantly saying the he " connects to the server, the server failed the test and apple wont give him a code to replace the part. you need to buy a new mother board"
    I cant ring the crew in US as they are only 1800 numbers and the apple support centre on the apple web site for Latin america and the carribean does not have a support phone number
  7. creative78 macrumors regular


    Nov 8, 2007
    Have you shown him the link posted in post #5?

    Perhaps you could try calling 408.996.1010 and ask if they can transfer you to Apple Care if you cannot get the 800 number to work.
  8. mconran thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 17, 2010
  9. DewGuy1999 macrumors 68040


    Jan 25, 2009

    1 Infinite Loop
    Cupertino, CA 95014
  10. Constantine1337 macrumors 6502

    Dec 3, 2009
    I work an one of the apple service providers in germany.

    It is sad to hear whats happening to you, but the tech guy is right. There is a certain test that apple technicians do when dealing with that particular issue (namely dead GFX card of old MBP). After running the test, a code pops up which a technician needs in order to replace the defect part. If the code is faulty (not the code he needs) there is nothing he can do about it.

    That faulty code means one of the three things:
    1. Your MacBook Pro is not one of those with faulty GFX cards (not all old MBP's have this problem)
    2. Its not the GFX card thats dead
    3. Your GFX card simply broke, not because it was faulty in production, but because it simply broke down.

    I can understand your pain, but its not the guys fault...
  11. Timur macrumors 6502a


    Oct 14, 2008
    Aah, good to know that your test software and code producing software can by no means be the source of the problem.

    On the other hand I have a faulty Wlan and ExpessCard module and Apple's magic diagnose software tells both to be OK. So maybe it is not half as much to be trusted as you like to propagate?!

    So what is broken instead then?

    So what is broken instead then?

    How can it "simply break" if it was produced properly and others do usually *not* simply break?

    How about using your own brain and educated expertise instead of blindly following some software?
  12. mconran thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 17, 2010
    so its looking like i have to spend up to 1000 dollars for a new motherboard?
    this really sucks as I am out of work...this could not have come at a worse time
    maybe it best to leave my baby broken and get a new one when i am working

    im thinking if it doesnt give him the code to replace, there is nothing else i can do?
    does anyone kno of a way i can atleast power it up once to get all my files off?
  13. Constantine1337 macrumors 6502

    Dec 3, 2009
    Ok, first of all, you have no idea how the test is run. To put it simple: if the software says the GFX card is not from that series that broke down = you don't get coverage. Period.

    As to your other questions... there are many things that can be broken... Display connector on the logic board, display cable, cable connector inside the display, etc. Its not like computers have only 4 issues that can go wrong. You have at least a million parts in one laptop so tiny and so vital, you can't even think of.

    Second: Stuff breaks. Deal with it. CPU's die. SSD's die. GFX's die. Everything breaks eventually for whatever reason. And you said it yourself: stuff usually does not break... but usually is not never.
    And without being anal, GFX card may have also broken because the guy possibly overclocked it in Windows? Or maybe he opened the MBP and accidentally broke it? Perhaps changed the thermal paste and not applied properly? I'm not saying its his fault, but it for all we know it may also have been. So stop pointing fingers at me, it ain't fun -.-

    This has nothing to do with "blindly following" anything. Its simple as this: Use certain tools to see if the GFX card was one of the faulty ones >if so, replace it. Its not rocket science you know...

    That being said, I truly feel sorry for the guy, I really do. But its not like that technician has the authority to decide weather or not his MacBook Pro gets repaired or not. He has rules he needs to adhere to, and I doubt its his fault. Like said, my best bet is that his MBP is not from the "bad GFX" series. If it looks like a duck and walks like a duck, it's probably a duck, but not surely.
  14. ljx718 macrumors 6502

    Dec 13, 2008
    if youre willing to pay that much for a repair i would just buy a new computer
  15. DewGuy1999 macrumors 68040


    Jan 25, 2009
    Is there another Apple Authorized Service Provider you could take it to and have it diagnosed? Different AASP/Apple Stores sometimes yield different results.

    As far as getting the information off the hard drive, if the Mac is working otherwise you could connect it to another Mac via Firewire and boot your Mac into Target Disk Mode, this would mount your Mac's internal hard drive on the other other Mac as if it was an external hard drive. Here's an Apple doc with more info on it:

    :apple: How to use and troubleshoot FireWire target disk mode

    Another thing that you could do is remove (or have removed) your Mac's internal hard drive and install it (or have it installed) in an external hard drive enclosure (either USB 2.0 or Firewire 400) and then connect it to another Mac to access it.
  16. scaredpoet macrumors 604


    Apr 6, 2007
    If the test software were at fault, it would either be producing "wrong" results for other equipment, or producing intermittent "right" and "wrong" answers on the same equipment. We can probably assume that neither is happening here.

    Your issue and the OPs issue are different matters. Just because you're not happy with what Apple is telling you about your problem doesn't mean this authorized repair place is automatically shafting the OP.

    He doesn't have the system in front of him and he's not psychic, so he can't tell you. What we DO know is that the repair center has told the OP he needs a new logic board, and the problem doesn't rest with the GPU. Chances are, that diagnosis is probably right. Unfortunately, facts don't always favor the consumer.

    It happens all the time. Parts age, and components fail for multiple reasons, and they don't always fail at the same time.

    In this case, the OP is just unlucky to have this logic board fail at a bad time. It happens on macs and it happens on other systems, too. I've had it happen before. It sucks, but if it's not under warranty or a service contract, then not much can be done except to either pay for the repair or replace the equipment. It just happens.

    Unfortunately for you and for the OP, Apple is not a charity, and neither is the repair shop he took his dead laptop to.

    All right then, YOU diagnose the problem. Without the use of any diagnostic software, and using your own brain, explain how you will test his computer and identify the issue.
  17. Timur macrumors 6502a


    Oct 14, 2008
    Where can the customer see what series the GFX card is from and which series are affected? Does he get a printout of the test-results with the series number being listed?

    If a customer is asked to pay good dollares for a repair then he should know what he is paying for aka what is broken, right? A Logic Board does not get broken, if it does it was a piece of junk to begin with.

    If I bring my car to a garage they first tell me what's broken and usually even why it broke instead of just telling me "You need a new engine".

    In 30 years of very intensive computer experience I *never* saw a CPU die that was properly handled. It's really a very rare thing, especially with modern CPU/mainboards that shut down before a CPU burns down.

    And I would have to think very hard to remember if I ever saw a properly handled GPU die unless it was faulty from the very beginning. There was a series of broken capacitors on a whole bunch of mainboards for a time and RAM can be finicky.

    Other than that the parts that most often get broken are either mechanical (like harddrives, fans and whatever) or related to power stuff (like said capacitors, PSUs or other mainboard elements).

    The first is rather unlikely to happen unless he had changed voltages (which I don't see how he would do it on a Macbook). The latter could very easily be analyzed by the tech if there was that suspicion and unless it's proven it would be insolent to allege any such thing.

    You Apple tech folks are a funny folk. You change a *whole* display just because the aluminum bezel is slightly bend. You change a whole mainboard on suspicion of defect without even investigating an issue. That's cool as long as warranty (aka Apple) pays for it, but once a customer runs out of warranty it's a very ugly nuisance.

    As long as the tech cannot specify what causes the malfunction and said malfunction's symptoms fit perfectly with the description of said GFX issues the customer has little ground to trust "certain tools" and statements given only orally.

    Yeah, but if you want me to pay for a tiger instead of a duck you ought to have some good explanation why the tiger walks like a duck and quacks! :apple:
  18. Timur macrumors 6502a


    Oct 14, 2008
    Why can you assume that the test software does not produce wrong results for other equipment?

    My issue was an example of how Apple test software can fails just as much as any software and in practice it *does* fail.

    You cannot even blame the software (especially in the case where an issue only happens temporally and sporadically), but you can blame the ignorant tech who puts his whole judgement and responsibility on the outcome/results of said software.

    "No, your problem with not being able to turn on the windshield wiper doesn't rest with the electrics or board computer, you need a new engine. My software told me so. No, I cannot tell you what is broken exactly, you just need a new engine and it's gonna cost you lots of cash. Thank you."

    Maybe the OP could post a copy of the diagnose report? Oh wait, he probably didn't get one, because that would be something in written form (and even one without first signing a Non-Disclosure-Agreement).

    If Apple produces laptops where CPU/GPU dies fail in such a short period of time then they produce the cheapest junk on the market. I hope this is not the case.

    So what exactly did fail on your so called "logic board"? The current transducer, some external port PHY, some connector, some conductor path, any capacitors or transistors, maybe even whole chips? What broke and why and what do you do today to keep it from happening again, now that you know what went wrong the first time?

    No, it just works! :apple:

    I am currently trying to get the latter into Apple's 2nd tier support's head, but Apple seems to think that repair shops work for free.

    I'm not asking the OP to pay over 800 dollars to me so it's not my job to do this, but the job of the company who wants the money! :apple:
  19. Constantine1337 macrumors 6502

    Dec 3, 2009
    Dude, stop making rocket science out of this. The tech guy tested the GFX card and it is not covered by the warranty, ergo no free repair. He also said that the logic board is broken. I myself get at least 1 MacBook per week with defect logic boards. Some are in warranty, some are out.

    What is so ********** complicated about this?

    By your logic, nothing never breaks, unless it was faulty in production... Dude... Are you serious?
  20. Timur macrumors 6502a


    Oct 14, 2008
    Yes, it becomes evident that Apple techs don't like complex situations. You could start by learning how to properly use the Quote function, it's not rocket science!

    I listed several components that can break (quite often even), but having a motherboard fail to the point where you cannot use the computer anymore is either really bad luck, caused by another component gone bad (like often the PSU) or bad quality to begin with. Since you state that you get many broken boards day in and day out I begin to suspect the latter.

    And just because repeating that "the tech guy tested the GFX card" and found the *whole* Logic board to be broken doesn't the OP a bit about deciding/knowing if spending such a big amount of money on a now useless brick of metal and plastic is worthwhile.

    Besides that the costs are out of proportion anyway, since neither the board nor your work hours (for just putting some screws and plugs out and back in) justify the amount asked by your fast-food-style techs. :apple:
  21. Constantine1337 macrumors 6502

    Dec 3, 2009
    1. Perhaps it Is bad luck. There you go!
    2. Compared to other computer manufactures, Apple computers brake waaaay less... Statistics show that apple is industry leading on this. google it before you try to throw around with faulty facts.

    Its his choice to decide weather he wants to repair it or not. Not yours, not mine, not Apples. If he wants to spend that amount of money, be my guest... if not, suite yourself.

    Ok, first of all, if you don't like prices of replacement parts, then don't buy them. Nobody is forcing this guy to repair his computer.
    And as for the working hours... let me make this easy for you to understand:

    when you buy a painting painted by someone, you don't go to him saying "WTF, the paint and the paper cost no more than 5€... why should I pay more than 20€ for this, since you painted this abstract painting in 10 mins.... You'Re crazy"

    Well, then you buy the plastic, the metal and then melt this guy a logic board, build him a CPU, build a GFX card and mail him one. Go ahead... be my guest... What? You can't? Oh that's sad...
    That's why there are people who are payed more then you and myself to design and make these things, and in the end replace them. THAT is why you pay money. You pay money to have someone who is smarter than you, who trained this job for years, to do something you can't do... and if he breaks something while doing so, he will pay for it. THAT is what you pay for, not the 40g of plastic and 1h of work.
  22. Timur macrumors 6502a


    Oct 14, 2008
    No, you pay for the big revenue of Apple when they sell these replacements way higher than what the "who is smarter than you" part costs.

    And don't even get me started with how much AppleCare costs, especially compared to the original price of the computer you are buying it for and the kind of service you get (i.e. 2 weeks to wait for a computer replacement that is shipped from China while other brands do 48h on-site for even their cheapest office computers).
  23. Constantine1337 macrumors 6502

    Dec 3, 2009
    Actually, you do. This is how modern economies are based. When you pay for a haircut, you don't just pay for the person, but you pay for his skills... same with the painting example I stated earlier, same with a computer technician. But hey, if you don't believe me, you don't have to.
  24. Timur macrumors 6502a


    Oct 14, 2008
    You misunderstand me or chose to ignore what your customers are telling you here.

    My statement is that Apple (techs) are taking more money than they deserve for the level of skills offered. Quality of Apple service is nothing to brag about and a lot more expensive while at a lower standard than what other companies offer (said standard inexpensive 48h on-site reaction warranty).

    And exactly this kind of sub-standard support is what the OP is suffering from in his country. Some Apple wise-guy tech sees a broken laptop out of warranty, the standard answer is: it's the Logic Board or display and it's gonna cost you a fortune.

    Sure he can chose to use that "service" or not, but what you conveniently forgot to mention is that there are no alternatives other than declaring the broken laptop a very expensive dead Apple advertising brick. Then you go and buy another new one for even more money.

    Yes, you could have bought the extended AppleCare support plan that costs 25% of the whole new laptop.

    Don't get me wrong, I understand your business model and it's brilliant and seems to perfectly fill the niche, but it's not anywhere as close to customer friendly as Apple (evangelists) like to suggest again and again. To the contrary, it's both expensive and leaves quite something to be desired once it comes to complex problems.

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