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tripmusic

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Oct 26, 2012
455
86
Switzerland
After years of putting it off, I finally decided to redo the thermal paste in my MacBook Pro. I used Arctic Silver Ceramique thermal compound. It went well and it was running cooler all around and seemed to be fine.

So today I wanted update one of my partitions that had El Capitan on it to High Sierra. The install went fine and I proceeded to migrate from a back up. After it was finished, it reboot and that’s when it all went south. I’m stuck on the grey screen and the Apple logo has horizontal lines and the progress bar is not straight. While migrating, I was using a laptop cooler with fans underneath, but it was still pretty hot.

I’ve tried all the resets, fans are both running and I tried booting from a different partition. Also to note, I’ve been using the gfx switcher app for years and am usually on the Intel graphics, so the AMD chip was hardly being used.

Is the AMD chip toast? Very odd because even before all of this, I didn’t have any early warning that the chip was on its way. No flickering, lines or black screens. Now I’m regretting redoing the thermal paste. I definitely didn’t put as much as Apple globs on, but I covered the surface well and tinted the heat sinks.
 

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matram

macrumors 6502a
Sep 18, 2011
781
416
Sweden
The grey screen is a completely normal console output for a booting unix system. Remember MacOs is a unix system at the bottom.

This console is normally hidden behind the blue boot screen. I assume if you look at the end of the fairly long list you have a fatal error message. What is it?
 

throAU

macrumors G3
Feb 13, 2012
9,003
7,167
Perth, Western Australia
Is the AMD chip toast?

Yup. This is a symptom of discrete GPU failure. Exact same thing started happening with my 2011 (lines in the display) before it failed completely in a similar manner. Yours has done well to live this long - mine died in 2015. I also ran gfxcardswitcher and avoided the discrete GPU as much as possible.

If you had SSH or Remote Desktop enabled you will be able to log into the machine from remote over the network. The machine will be booting past that screen but basically what happens is it boots on the internal display, then initialises the discrete GPU and starts displaying (or attempting to) on that or something and it fails, leaving the boot screen on th display even though its past that point.

This console is normally hidden behind the blue boot screen. I assume if you look at the end of the fairly long list you have a fatal error message. What is it?

Nah, as above. If you had any sort of remote network login or file share on the machine, if you check the network from another machine you'll likely find it booted up just fine but the display didn't carry on from the boot screen.
 
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tripmusic

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Oct 26, 2012
455
86
Switzerland
The grey screen is a completely normal console output for a booting unix system. Remember MacOs is a unix system at the bottom.

This console is normally hidden behind the blue boot screen. I assume if you look at the end of the fairly long list you have a fatal error message. What is it?
I purposely booted in single user-mode and posted the second pic to demonstrate how the graphics look degraded. You have to zoom in.
 
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tripmusic

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Oct 26, 2012
455
86
Switzerland
Yup. This is a symptom of discrete GPU failure. Exact same thing started happening with my 2011 (lines in the display) before it failed completely in a similar manner. Yours has done well to live this long - mine died in 2015. I also ran gfxcardswitcher and avoided the discrete GPU as much as possible.

If you had SSH or Remote Desktop enabled you will be able to log into the machine from remote over the network. The machine will be booting past that screen but basically what happens is it boots on the internal display, then initialises the discrete GPU and starts displaying (or attempting to) on that or something and it fails, leaving the boot screen on th display even though its past that point.

Did yours give you any indication that it was on its way, or it just died on you?

Do you know of this hack/mod to permanently disable the AMD from the efi and if so, would it still be possible to do?
 
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throAU

macrumors G3
Feb 13, 2012
9,003
7,167
Perth, Western Australia
Did yours give you any indication that it was on its way, or it just died on you?

I got a blue-green horizontal line in the display a month or so (from memory?) before total failure. YMMV obviously.

Do you know of this hack/mod to permanently disable the AMD from the efi and if so, would it still be possible to do?

Yeah, I tried it, it worked temporarily. It seemed to not persist across reboots for me.

I do still have the 2011 machine, but at this point I've gone through 2 upgrades (2015 13" Pro which was similar speed due to better boost/better IPC on a dual core with way faster SSD and better integrated graphics - and the current MBA) - so even if I was to get it to work, I'm just left with a 15" non-retina machine that's not really any quicker than my 2020 MBA despite being 2-3x the weight, no touchID, worse battery life, etc.

So I wasn't too fussed about trying too hard to figure it out (why it wouldn't work after reboot).
 

tripmusic

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Oct 26, 2012
455
86
Switzerland
I got a blue-green horizontal line in the display a month or so (from memory?) before total failure. YMMV obviously.



Yeah, I tried it, it worked temporarily. It seemed to not persist across reboots for me.

I do still have the 2011 machine, but at this point I've gone through 2 upgrades (2015 13" Pro which was similar speed due to better boost/better IPC on a dual core with way faster SSD and better integrated graphics - and the current MBA) - so even if I was to get it to work, I'm just left with a 15" non-retina machine that's not really any quicker than my 2020 MBA despite being 2-3x the weight, no touchID, worse battery life, etc.

So I wasn't too fussed about trying too hard to figure it out (why it wouldn't work after reboot).

I understand. I wound up permanently disabling the AMD chip with the EFI mod and removed the resistor. I had to revert back to El Capitan for the moment. Apparently, the backlight doesn't work with this mod on High Sierra and you need a jumper wire. Not too difficult, but I'm not properly set up for that right now. So my daily driver is at least working again, which is a relief. I've recently had to shell out a bunch of money trying to fix my MP 5,1, so I really don't have the funds to get another laptop at the moment. 2020 had indeed been a year of hell for my Macs.
 
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JMVB

macrumors regular
May 16, 2016
186
51
I have High Sierra installed and only removed the R8911 and follow the Adam's Realmacmods software steps, no wire jumper at all.

I removed a specific kext and installed an additional one, and done! I have brigthness control and no wake up issues

Check my post
 
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tripmusic

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Oct 26, 2012
455
86
Switzerland
I have High Sierra installed and only removed the R8911 and follow the Adam's Realmacmods software steps, no wire jumper at all.

I removed a specific kext and installed an additional one, and done! I have brigthness control and no wake up issues

Check my post

Oh excellent, I will try that out. That would be a life saver if it works for me. Thanks for the heads up!
 

tripmusic

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Oct 26, 2012
455
86
Switzerland
I have High Sierra installed and only removed the R8911 and follow the Adam's Realmacmods software steps, no wire jumper at all.

I removed a specific kext and installed an additional one, and done! I have brigthness control and no wake up issues

Check my post
Well I tried it, but I must've done something wrong because my High Sierra partition isn't booting at all now. I put the original kext back via FW from another mac, but slow progress bar and gets stuck. Any ideas/solutions?

EDIT: Nevermind all is good now. I reinstalled HS, ran the kext app this time and backlight and waking properly from sleep are working. Awesome, thanks again.
 
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Fishrrman

macrumors Penryn
Feb 20, 2009
28,613
12,735
Even though you got it working again, I'd treat it as "running on borrowed time".

It might be time to start planning for a replacement at some point in the not-too-distant future...
 

tripmusic

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Oct 26, 2012
455
86
Switzerland
Even though you got it working again, I'd treat it as "running on borrowed time".

It might be time to start planning for a replacement at some point in the not-too-distant future...
All of my Macs I've owned have lived on borrowed time. If I can source the problem parts cheap enough, I just attempt to fix it. As for this machine, it's really just for web/email and other basic tasks, so I don't really push it anymore. My MP 5,1 is for music production/heavy load stuff. But I will keep my eyes open for deals on MBP's.
 
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