Macbook Pro Meltdown...can't make this stuff up!

Cruella47

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 8, 2014
9
0
Pennsylvania/Maryland line
Anyone ever see this? :D Sorry it's long but please read.

I was diligently playing with my 3rd child (Late 2011 MacBook Pro) Wed. evening and the screen went black. I could tell it was back-lit, but black. I forced shutdown and it wouldn't boot back up, just a black, back-lit screen. I reset the PRAM and it went to a gray screen. Since it's a uni-body (I think that's the right term) I wasn't sure I should take off the back and mess with anything.

I have an independent Mac repair shop I know and trust so I headed over to their shop before the holiday weekend. He had the same results. He put in a test drive and it still came up gray. He put my hard drive on one of their systems, it loaded each desktop icon one...at...a...time and he ran some test, it looked like a hospital heart monitor with the up and down spikes. He was explaining as it loaded that a lot of tall spikes were bad. Two guesses what I had? That's right, tall spikes out the wazoo! He said my logic board and my hard drive might be going out! WHAT? Two and a half years?!? That's all I get! Unfortunately, since Apple took away warranty work from any shops that aren't Apple stores and he said even though I am out of warranty and don't have AppleCare I might be able to get assistance or a lower rate for repair, but I have to go to an Apple store. So he tested the drive, put in a test drive to test the rest, and tried replacing the cable that runs from the hard drive to the something (logic board, maybe?).

I went home to try to copy some files, I knew I could get it started. I booted it resetting the PRAM and then restarted it again. It booted, but was slow and clearly unstable.

I tried running Time Machine, crash. I tried connecting my portable drive, crash. I had to share folders on my 7 year old, very slow and very full MacBook and copy one folder at a time (since it's full - it's my redundant back-up) and then transfer it to the portable drive, delete off the MacBook, repeat. It took forever! FOReveerrr!

I did open the back again, unplugged the battery and re-seated the RAM and hard-drive again.

So as my slow progress trudged along, it seemed to actually be improving. I didn't want to try changing anything, but life is short and it was ticking by. Did I mention I was in day 2 of copying. So, i tried plugging the portable hard drive directly again and it worked. I was, at this point, copying two years of photos. Iphoto export kept failing, not sure if that is due to my MacBook Pro issues or a limitation of iphoto when trying to export 3,704 pics.

Once I finally finished copying everything I shutdown and later turned back on and it booted! I plugged in my portable drive and ran Time Machines successfully! When it boots, it brings up the gray screen with the spinny "I'm thinking thing", flashes solid gray for a couple seconds and loads. Now I can't remember if that's normal or not, but it has worked since.

Now I am taking it very easy, only use it a little each day, piddle around on the interwebs and FB, and shut down every day. I am going to test it out doing real work tomorrow. I am also taking it back to my guy to run the test with the spikes again to see if the result is different.

So no power surge, working off battery when it happened. Never leave it plugged in when I am not at home and use a newer, quality surge protector when it is plugged in.

Has anyone ever see this?
I'll also update after I try to do some real work and after I visit the repair shop again.
 

bennynova

macrumors member
Jun 6, 2014
43
0
sounds like a hard drive problem

maybe time to get a SSD, and give that HDD a proper burial.


Anyone ever see this? :D Sorry it's long but please read.

I was diligently playing with my 3rd child (Late 2011 MacBook Pro) Wed. evening and the screen went black. I could tell it was back-lit, but black. I forced shutdown and it wouldn't boot back up, just a black, back-lit screen. I reset the PRAM and it went to a gray screen. Since it's a uni-body (I think that's the right term) I wasn't sure I should take off the back and mess with anything.

I have an independent Mac repair shop I know and trust so I headed over to their shop before the holiday weekend. He had the same results. He put in a test drive and it still came up gray. He put my hard drive on one of their systems, it loaded each desktop icon one...at...a...time and he ran some test, it looked like a hospital heart monitor with the up and down spikes. He was explaining as it loaded that a lot of tall spikes were bad. Two guesses what I had? That's right, tall spikes out the wazoo! He said my logic board and my hard drive might be going out! WHAT? Two and a half years?!? That's all I get! Unfortunately, since Apple took away warranty work from any shops that aren't Apple stores and he said even though I am out of warranty and don't have AppleCare I might be able to get assistance or a lower rate for repair, but I have to go to an Apple store. So he tested the drive, put in a test drive to test the rest, and tried replacing the cable that runs from the hard drive to the something (logic board, maybe?).

I went home to try to copy some files, I knew I could get it started. I booted it resetting the PRAM and then restarted it again. It booted, but was slow and clearly unstable.

I tried running Time Machine, crash. I tried connecting my portable drive, crash. I had to share folders on my 7 year old, very slow and very full MacBook and copy one folder at a time (since it's full - it's my redundant back-up) and then transfer it to the portable drive, delete off the MacBook, repeat. It took forever! FOReveerrr!

I did open the back again, unplugged the battery and re-seated the RAM and hard-drive again.

So as my slow progress trudged along, it seemed to actually be improving. I didn't want to try changing anything, but life is short and it was ticking by. Did I mention I was in day 2 of copying. So, i tried plugging the portable hard drive directly again and it worked. I was, at this point, copying two years of photos. Iphoto export kept failing, not sure if that is due to my MacBook Pro issues or a limitation of iphoto when trying to export 3,704 pics.

Once I finally finished copying everything I shutdown and later turned back on and it booted! I plugged in my portable drive and ran Time Machines successfully! When it boots, it brings up the gray screen with the spinny "I'm thinking thing", flashes solid gray for a couple seconds and loads. Now I can't remember if that's normal or not, but it has worked since.

Now I am taking it very easy, only use it a little each day, piddle around on the interwebs and FB, and shut down every day. I am going to test it out doing real work tomorrow. I am also taking it back to my guy to run the test with the spikes again to see if the result is different.

So no power surge, working off battery when it happened. Never leave it plugged in when I am not at home and use a newer, quality surge protector when it is plugged in.

Has anyone ever see this?
I'll also update after I try to do some real work and after I visit the repair shop again.
 

SarcasticJoe

macrumors 6502a
Nov 5, 2013
599
207
Finland
I disagree. It's a sign that Radeongate could be affecting it.
When you get a GPU failure the machine doesn't go back to normal anymore, it's basically permanently broken after that (or at least until you replace the GPU which on a laptop requires you to replace the motherboard).

A HDD on the other hand can go back and forth between broken, barely working and completely fine. I had one which would work completely fine except when it randomly died completely out of the blue. Whenever that happened the screen froze with the exception of the cursor and when you tried rebooting it, the HDD wasn't being detected (i.e just a gray screen). A few attempts and it the HDD would then go back to normal for a couple of hours.
 

macjunk(ie)

macrumors 6502a
Aug 12, 2009
906
504
Damn...another one bites the dust! Welcome to the club! I think Apple will, in their generosity, offer you a logic board replacement for 700. I have also heard of some cases where they do it for 300. Two and a half years out of the laptop is a long time according to some of forumers here. So yeah, you got good use out of it. And also, out is your fault that you did not buy Apple care .. you should have given Apple more of your money. ;-)
 

yjchua95

macrumors 604
Apr 23, 2011
6,725
230
GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
Damn...another one bites the dust! Welcome to the club! I think Apple will, in their generosity, offer you a logic board replacement for 700. I have also heard of some cases where they do it for 300. Two and a half years out of the laptop is a long time according to some of forumers here. So yeah, you got good use out of it. And also, out is your fault that you did not buy Apple care .. you should have given Apple more of your money. ;-)
Not really related, by my Radeongated machine bit the dust 3 days right after my 3-year AppleCare expired (I bought my BTO machine one day after it was released in the online store).

The AASP (no Apple Stores here) was unsympathetic.
 

MagicBoy

macrumors 68040
May 28, 2006
3,845
842
Manchester, UK
When you get a GPU failure the machine doesn't go back to normal anymore, it's basically permanently broken after that (or at least until you replace the GPU which on a laptop requires you to replace the motherboard).
Not necessarily. When my second replacement logic board went with the OPs symptoms the machine started working again 20 minutes later after it cooled down. Booked a genius appointment for a few days later as I knew death was imminent. If it booted/woke up it would work for a hour or so. Kernel panic'd and died for good day before the appointment.
 

SarcasticJoe

macrumors 6502a
Nov 5, 2013
599
207
Finland
Not necessarily. When my second replacement logic board went with the OPs symptoms the machine started working again 20 minutes later after it cooled down. Booked a genius appointment for a few days later as I knew death was imminent. If it booted/woke up it would work for a hour or so. Kernel panic'd and died for good day before the appointment.
My mid 2007 Macbook Pro (model infamous for the Nvidia defect that affected quite a few brands) died once and stayed (almost) stone dead (would still boot, but not output any video on the built in screen or via the DVI port) until they replaced the motherboard. When your HDD dies you generally don't get a kernel panic, the OS just completely freezes and then the machine probably isn't going to boot up on the first try after that (if the HDD is completely dead it won't boot until you replace the HDD).
 

T5BRICK

macrumors G3
Aug 3, 2006
8,086
2,055
Oregon
Unfortunately, since Apple took away warranty work from any shops that aren't Apple stores and he said even though I am out of warranty and don't have AppleCare I might be able to get assistance or a lower rate for repair, but I have to go to an Apple store.
Something strange going on here. I know plenty of AASPs that still provide Apple Authorized repairs. Sounds like something is going on with the specific repair shop where you took your Mac.

Has anyone ever see this?
I agree that it sounds like HDD and logic board failure. You should see if you can have a "flat rate repair" done. Should be cheaper than any other option, but unfortunately they'll just replace the logic board with another that will potentially fail.

Also, backing up your data is important. Do it BEFORE anything goes wrong with your computer.
 

MagicBoy

macrumors 68040
May 28, 2006
3,845
842
Manchester, UK
My mid 2007 Macbook Pro (model infamous for the Nvidia defect that affected quite a few brands) died once and stayed (almost) stone dead (would still boot, but not output any video on the built in screen or via the DVI port) until they replaced the motherboard. When your HDD dies you generally don't get a kernel panic, the OS just completely freezes and then the machine probably isn't going to boot up on the first try after that (if the HDD is completely dead it won't boot until you replace the HDD).
The Nvidias I've seen tended to die and stay dead, where the AMDs scramble the display or show artefacts followed by a kernel panic or black screen. The 2011 will POST on the Intel graphics and then fail to load OS X when it can't initialise the dGPU.

If you need to check the HDD on a 2011 w/AMD put the Mac into Target Disk Mode and you can boot the drive from another Mac.
 

SarcasticJoe

macrumors 6502a
Nov 5, 2013
599
207
Finland
The Nvidias I've seen tended to die and stay dead, where the AMDs scramble the display or show artefacts followed by a kernel panic or black screen. The 2011 will POST on the Intel graphics and then fail to load OS X when it can't initialise the dGPU.
The thread starter isn't mentioning any kernel panics, so I don't think it is what you're describing. What he's mentioning is just a gray screen, which is what you'll see when the machine tries looking for the a bootable device, like the HDD that just died, but can't find anything.
 

MagicBoy

macrumors 68040
May 28, 2006
3,845
842
Manchester, UK
The 2011 will stick at a grey screen when the AMD dGPU is faulty and can't be initialised by OS X. The Mac chimes and POSTs normally and will pass diagnostics, sometimes with lines or artifacts on the screen.

Trust me, I've seen it. On three different logic boards, before the machine was replaced. Do I really need to upload the iPhone movie I took to YouTube before you'll believe me?
 

MagicBoy

macrumors 68040
May 28, 2006
3,845
842
Manchester, UK
The Mac shows the Apple logo, with the spinny wheel which indicates it's found an OS and is loading the kernel. It then goes back to a grey screen when the dGPU fails to initialise. I'm Apple certified, so I'm well aware of the OS X startup sequence.

Guess I need to upload that video...

EDIT : http://youtu.be/c4bpFu9AHdA
 
Last edited:

wct097

macrumors 6502
Nov 30, 2010
443
22
Moral of the story is: have a backup strategy in place prior to having HDD problems. I could toss my laptop in the pool tomorrow and be upset over the cost but not worry in the slightest about losing any data. Have backups on the time capsule, in Carbonite's cloud, and on Dropbox for everything I'm currently working on.
 

Cruella47

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 8, 2014
9
0
Pennsylvania/Maryland line
Update

Macbook Pro down!

For those who asked, this is the MacBook Pro I have:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/827256-REG/Apple_Z0NM_0002_15_4_MacBook_Pro_Notebook.html

So, she died.:apple: I had it running for five days or so. It ran with no problems but I wasn't doing any real work either. Mainly just screwing around on the interwebs and such. I tried to do some real work four days ago. She black screened again, but immediately restarted. I tried to make her go down again, seeing if I could replicate the problem, by launching Seven programs at one time. Four of which were Adobe products. The next day I was just using the internet and that was it, black screened again and hasn't started since. When I try to start up it chimes, gray screen with the apple logo and spinner, flashes black, goes to blank gray screen and stays.

I do not find 2.5 years acceptable at all!:mad: I've had my slow as crap MacBook for 7 now and it still runs like a champ. Might take you forever to get where you're going but Ol' Bessie will get you there. And especially since you consider that my MacBook was a base $1000 model and the MacBook Pro is a screamer $2400 model. I can only hope they'll give me the $350 deal:D:eek: and I ain't happy about paying that either.
 
Last edited:

davys

macrumors regular
Mar 24, 2010
118
13
Lanark
Feel sorry for the OP (and everyone else for that matter) who are victims of Radeongate.

I'm surprised that none of our friends in the USA have ever raised a class action over this as from what I can make out Apple deny that there's an issue, while there's clear evidence otherwise. Paying over £2k for a machine that lasts two and a half years is a bad joke and Apple need to acknowledge this. Sometimes offering a 700 dollar flat fee repair, depending on your luck, is not playing the game Apple.
 

brand

macrumors 601
Oct 3, 2006
4,363
395
127.0.0.1
The AASP (no Apple Stores here) was unsympathetic.
I wouldn't expect them to be since they would be the ones eating the cost of any parts and labor on an out of warranty repair. It is not a common thing for people to just give away money. Apple can do it because it is included in the warranty of the computers and they can write it off.
 

ogremoustro

macrumors 6502a
Aug 17, 2011
626
28
Los Angeles, CA
You should all sign the change.org petition that's out there that asks Apple to take care of Radeongate. Not sure if those petitions actually work but it's worth the try!

----------

Macbook Pro down!

For those who asked, this is the MacBook Pro I have:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/827256-REG/Apple_Z0NM_0002_15_4_MacBook_Pro_Notebook.html

So, she died.:apple: I had it running for five days or so. It ran with no problems but I wasn't doing any real work either. Mainly just screwing around on the interwebs and such. I tried to do some real work four days ago. She black screened again, but immediately restarted. I tried to make her go down again, seeing if I could replicate the problem, by launching Seven programs at one time. Four of which were Adobe products. The next day I was just using the internet and that was it, black screened again and hasn't started since. When I try to start up it chimes, gray screen with the apple logo and spinner, flashes black, goes to blank gray screen and stays.

I do not find 2.5 years acceptable at all!:mad: I've had my slow as crap MacBook for 7 now and it still runs like a champ. Might take you forever to get where you're going but Ol' Bessie will get you there. And especially since you consider that my MacBook was a base $1000 model and the MacBook Pro is a screamer $2400 model. I can only hope they'll give me the $350 deal:D:eek: and I ain't happy about paying that either.
Keep us updated on what happens!
 

brand

macrumors 601
Oct 3, 2006
4,363
395
127.0.0.1
You should all sign the change.org petition that's out there that asks Apple to take care of Radeongate. Not sure if those petitions actually work but it's worth the try!
Apple is the last company that would listen to an online petition. Laugh at maybe but definitely not listen to.
 

Cruella47

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 8, 2014
9
0
Pennsylvania/Maryland line
Update 2.0

Just got my child back from the Apple Store.:D:D:D:D:D:D They replaced the Logic Board and the "Bracket Top Case Front Cables - Defective", not really sure what that last part means. lol
 

ogremoustro

macrumors 6502a
Aug 17, 2011
626
28
Los Angeles, CA
Just got my child back from the Apple Store.:D:D:D:D:D:D They replaced the Logic Board and the "Bracket Top Case Front Cables - Defective", not really sure what that last part means. lol
Just got mine back today too! I don't know if it will work longer than a week though. Only payed $210 since Apple covered the $100 labor fee.
 

Lucas Godfrey

macrumors 6502
Jul 12, 2010
306
88
Somewhere between Here and There
Not really related, by my Radeongated machine bit the dust 3 days right after my 3-year AppleCare expired (I bought my BTO machine one day after it was released in the online store).

The AASP (no Apple Stores here) was unsympathetic.
An AASP can do repairs out of warranty and get them comped as well, we have leeway, but you just spoke to an *******.
I had a nice girl come down with a laptop that wasn't booting 3 months out of warranty, i diagnosed the logic board as the fault and contacted TSPS to see what they could do. within 15 mins i had explained that the unit was "only" 3 months out of warranty and the logic board should last longer than that, he agreed and released the part to me. no charge.

Speak to the AASP again about getting a CS code from TSPS and that might get the ball rolling on your repair.

----------

Just got my child back from the Apple Store.:D:D:D:D:D:D They replaced the Logic Board and the "Bracket Top Case Front Cables - Defective", not really sure what that last part means. lol
the "Bracket Top Case Front Cables" is the ribbon cable that runs from the logic board to the hdd and it also branches off and incorporates the IR sensor/ Sleep LED bracket.

That ribbon is kinda a known faulty part, a lot of late 2011 and mid 2012 macbook pros come in for hard drive related issues and its actually that cable that causes it. the Hdds are fine but the ribbon causes the drive to disappear or read errors.