Macbook Pro mid 2010 15" now crashes regularly after many good years?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by satanicsurferz, Dec 30, 2016.

  1. satanicsurferz macrumors newbie

    Jan 26, 2013

    I purchased a brand new Macbook Pro mid 2010 15" (i7, 4 gigs, 512 gigs) in early 2011. That was my first Mac and I was more than happy with it. It had Snow Leopard back then and it was working flawlessly, very fast and it never crashes.

    Some years later, I had to upgrade it to Mountain Lion as the new XCode release didn't support Snow Leopard anymore. My Mac was then way slower and not as stable. I researched the Internet and did some actions to improve it (like resetting the PRAM). It was slower than with Snow Leopard but it was still working fine with no crashes.

    Than came Mavericks. I upgraded and I found my Mac to be more responsive, faster and was happy with this OS for many years. So much that I didn't upgrade to Yosemite or El Capitan.

    Fast forward in time to a few months ago (like September/October 2016). Before then, with Mavericks, my Mac was still working perfectly, it never crashes. But since that time, it began to crash once in a while... but now, it crashes at least once a day... for no reason.

    I didn't install anything new (still Mavericks), I didn't change any hardware and it seems to crash randomly. In other words, I'm not doing anything special, just browsing the web with Firefox/Chrome, I sometimes use OpenOffice, sometimes iTunes, but that's it, no games, no complicated softwares.

    When It crashes, the screen turns black for a few seconds, then gray with a message to reboot, I press any key and it reboots. This is obviously very annoying... but I don't want to buy a new Macbook Pro as they are now quite expensive and performance wise, I am still satisfied with my mid 2010.

    Here's what I tried:
    - I upgraded to macOS Sierra.
    - I upgraded the RAM from the original 4 gigs to 8 gigs (bought a reliable brand on Amazon).
    - I reset the PRAM.

    I then did some researches on the Internet and found many posts saying that it might have to do with the video card. I remember a long time ago that some Macbook Pro mid 2010 had some issues with it. Back then I ran the diagnostic tool and everything was fine. And since my Mac was working perfectly, I didn't bother more with it.

    I then tried this:
    - Disabled the "Automatic graphics switching" in the "Energy Saver" options.
    - Installed the gfxCardStatus application. I tried many different releases. I tried forcing it to "Integrated Only" but couldn't since I'm using an external monitor. I tried forcing it to "Discrete Only".
    - Disabled the "Use hardware acceleration when available" setting of some applications (Firefox and Chrome).

    But even after all this, I still have the same problems, it's not even better, it still crashes a least once a day.

    So now, I'm kind of confused. Is my problem really with the video card? If so, I read that I might need to change the whole motherboard... and I assume Apple won't do that for free since my Mac is out of warranty. Why did I start having problems just a few months ago?

    Or it might not be related to the video card at all.
    Either way, I don't know what to try anymore. Any suggestions? Thanks a lot!
  2. --ld-- macrumors member

    Jun 2, 2016
    I'm sorry to hear about your problems. I had and still have similar issues with my mid 2010 15" MBP.

    Have a look at the following thread:

    Try to see if you are having the same kernel panics caused by the GPU as in the first post.
    If you have them, you can first try the proposed software fix, which you can find in this post:

    The software fix reduced the panics on my machine, but I have to do the fix the faulty capacitor to get rid of them completely.

    Good luck!
  3. satanicsurferz thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 26, 2013
    Excuse my ignorance, but how do I get the kernel panic file?
  4. --ld-- macrumors member

    Jun 2, 2016
    After rebooting you get a dialog saying "Your computer was restarted because of a problem".
    Click on "more info" and then on "show details".

    It should give you the detailed problem description. If you find something similar to "GPU Panic" in there the crash was caused by the GPU.
  5. halfbad macrumors member

    Apr 20, 2014
    There is a decent chance it's your logic board, I had a similar issue after awhile with my 2012. The video cards get fried after awhile, if you make a appointment with apple they can run a test that will tell you if it's your video card.

    The problem can be intermittent. Also you may want to check your hard drive as well. If your not running on an SSD, then the HDD could be going, which I would definitely replace anyways after this long.
  6. satanicsurferz thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 26, 2013
    I still have the original HDD... which is not an SSD.
    I'll wait for the next crash and post the kernel panic here now that I know how to get it.
  7. halfbad macrumors member

    Apr 20, 2014

    Make an appointment ASAP this program is done after this year!!!! they fixed my logic board out of warranty it was $800CAD

    Your computer is on the list, it's most likely that. Called apple today, tell them about the issue mention the link above and they will make an appointment for you and you can still probably qualify. You have 1 day...

    My computer started the same as yours, black screen from wake ups and then sometimes the hard drive wasn't recognized. I tried numerous things but in the end it was a faulty video card, and will only get worse.
  8. --ld-- macrumors member

    Jun 2, 2016
    He has a mid 2010, not early 2011. He just bought it in 2011.
    The repair program for the 2010 model expired last year AFAIK.
  9. halfbad macrumors member

    Apr 20, 2014
    Ah true, I would still call in about it, since it may be very similar and they may do you a solid and fix it.
  10. satanicsurferz thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 26, 2013
    I just read the link that --Id-- talked about in his first post and noticed that many people used the CineBench software to test their Macbook Pro. I just installed this software and run the first test (OpenGL) and in less than two minutes, my computer crashed.

    Here's the Kernel Panic (I guess I have the same problem as everyone as I can clearly see "GPU Panic" at the beginning?):

    Anonymous UUID: 934A35F5-77D0-EEFB-AB6C-47F43EE1FFBF

    Fri Dec 30 14:11:33 2016

    *** Panic Report ***
    panic(cpu 2 caller 0xffffff7f9c4e6bce): "GPU Panic: [<None>] 3 3 7f 0 0 0 0 3 : NVRM[0/1:0:0]: Read Error 0x00000100: CFG 0x0a2910de 0x00100000 0x00000000, BAR0 0xd2000000 0xffffff9134c9a000 0x0a5480a2, D0, P2/4\n"@/Library/Caches/
    Backtrace (CPU 2), Frame : Return Address
    0xffffff914ba0b680 : 0xffffff80190f211c
    0xffffff914ba0b700 : 0xffffff7f9c4e6bce
    0xffffff914ba0b7e0 : 0xffffff7f99df22d9
    0xffffff914ba0b8a0 : 0xffffff7f99ebe052
    0xffffff914ba0b8e0 : 0xffffff7f99ebe0bd
    0xffffff914ba0b960 : 0xffffff7f9a1397f0
    0xffffff914ba0ba80 : 0xffffff7f99edfbbd
    0xffffff914ba0baa0 : 0xffffff7f99df8ed0
    0xffffff914ba0bb50 : 0xffffff7f99df690c
    0xffffff914ba0bd40 : 0xffffff7f99df7ac9
    0xffffff914ba0be20 : 0xffffff7f99da34d8
    0xffffff914ba0be80 : 0xffffff7f9c4b2e6d
    0xffffff914ba0bee0 : 0xffffff7f9c4b15f6
    0xffffff914ba0bf00 : 0xffffff801912a28a
    0xffffff914ba0bfb0 : 0xffffff80190a0af7
    Kernel Extensions in backtrace:[23DC1B25-E50B-33AB-B46B-EA57AAEF9AF8]@0xffffff7f9c4d8000->0xffffff7f9c4ebfff

    BSD process name corresponding to current thread: kernel_task

    Mac OS version:

    Kernel version:
    Darwin Kernel Version 16.3.0: Thu Nov 17 20:23:58 PST 2016; root:xnu-3789.31.2~1/RELEASE_X86_64
    Kernel UUID: 8DF81F81-019F-348E-B47E-40A4484B9E21
    Kernel slide: 0x0000000018e00000
    Kernel text base: 0xffffff8019000000
    __HIB text base: 0xffffff8018f00000
    System model name: MacBookPro6,2 (Mac-F22586C8)

    System uptime in nanoseconds: 4845144963281
    last loaded kext at 4556865389872: 3 (addr 0xffffff7f9c667000, size 32768)
    last unloaded kext at 4684164595089: 3 (addr 0xffffff7f9c667000, size 32768)
    loaded kexts:
    foo.tap 1.0
    foo.tun 1.0 104 104 1.70 1.9.5d0 110.23.14 3.0 5.0.2f4 1 127 278.56 278.56 3.6.4 10.0.2 1 1.0.1 7.0.0 10.0.2 1 1.0.0 5.0.2f4 208 1.0.0 3.1 4.0.0 1.2.15 10.0.2 3.13.78 3.0.4d1 404.30.1 1.0.0d1 1.0.0 40 366.30.3 340 252 252 394.30.2 295.20.1 800.20.24 10.2.7 5.5.5 326 161.0.0 2.0 5.0 1.8 2.1 5.0 1.7 219.0.0 172 3 8 219.0.0 197

    Model: MacBookPro6,2, BootROM MBP61.0057.B11, 2 processors, Intel Core i7, 2.66 GHz, 8 GB, SMC 1.58f17
    Graphics: Intel HD Graphics, Intel HD Graphics, Built-In
    Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M, NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M, PCIe, 512 MB
    Memory Module: BANK 0/DIMM0, 4 GB, DDR3, 1067 MHz, 0x859B, 0x435434473353313036374D2E433136464B44
    Memory Module: BANK 1/DIMM0, 4 GB, DDR3, 1067 MHz, 0x859B, 0x435434473353313036374D2E433136464B44
    AirPort: spairport_wireless_card_type_airport_extreme (0x14E4, 0x93), Broadcom BCM43xx 1.0 (
    Bluetooth: Version 5.0.2f4, 3 services, 27 devices, 1 incoming serial ports
    Network Service: Wi-Fi, AirPort, en1
    Serial ATA Device: TOSHIBA MK5055GSXF, 500.11 GB
    Serial ATA Device: MATSHITADVD-R UJ-898
    USB Device: USB 2.0 Bus
    USB Device: Hub
    USB Device: Card Reader
    USB Device: Apple Internal Keyboard / Trackpad
    USB Device: BRCM2070 Hub
    USB Device: Bluetooth USB Host Controller
    USB Device: USB 2.0 Bus
    USB Device: Hub
    USB Device: IR Receiver
    USB Device: Built-in iSight
    Thunderbolt Bus:
    --- Post Merged, Dec 30, 2016 ---

    As --Id-- pointed out, I have a mid 2010 that I bought in 2011.
    I checked your link and unfortunately, the mid 2010 doesn't seem to be covered.

    It looks like I noticed the crash problem just a little bit too late :(
  11. --ld-- macrumors member

    Jun 2, 2016
    My machine also ran fine for almost 7 years and then about a month ago the GPU started to crash repeatedly. Sorry to hear that you are affected too @satanicsurferz

    After looking at your detailed crash report IMHO it is clearly the common GPU issue which affected a lot of mid 2010's.
    There was a repair program for the 2010's as well, but it ended a year ago.

    In summary there are 2 ways of fixing the problem (which are both described in the tread i mentioned earlier):
    1. Hardware fix by replacing a capacitor on the logic board (you have to read in deeper for this)
    2. Modifying a kext file to make the dGPU run in low power mode (see the post i linked in my first post)
    The kext fix is quite easy to try out and reduced the crashes from 3-4 per day to about 1 or 2 per week.

    You can of course also try to ask if apple is willing to fix it for you as mentioned by @halfbad, even though the program already expired.
  12. halfbad macrumors member

    Apr 20, 2014
    If your close to an Apple Store, I would call apple service explain your situation, and then see if they do anything. Else if not still have them run their diagnostics, takes around 10 minutes, and then you will know what's up.
  13. satanicsurferz thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 26, 2013

    I think you summarized my options very well.

    - I don't think Apple will want to fix my Macbook Pro for free after almost 6 years. I think I read somewhere that the mid 2010 are considered "vintage" and that Apple don't even have parts anymore.

    - I'm in no way able to replace the capacitor on the logic board myself... and don't know anyone who could do this.

    - So that leaves me with the kext file solution. I'm still reading the post you linked, it looks simple enough and it seems to have fixed the issue for many people.

    I'll try the kext file solution and see if it works.
    What did you do? Just the kext file solution as well?

    Thanks a lot for your help!
  14. --ld--, Dec 30, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2016

    --ld-- macrumors member

    Jun 2, 2016
    I tried the kext solution over the last month and it works quite well for me when using my MBP without external monitor attached (no crashes). However when I connect an external monitor, it still crashes every now and then (about once every week). Because I need a second monitor, I will go for the capacitor replacement because a friend of mine is experienced with such repairs.

    The only downside of the kext fix is that you need to reapply it after every os update and that you have to disable SIP (system integrity protection). Furthermore the performance of the GPU is also decreased due to forcing the GPU to a lower voltage state.
  15. jackoatmon macrumors 6502a


    Sep 15, 2011
    computers only last 5 years.

    get used to it, because it's been true since the dawn of personal computing.
  16. satanicsurferz thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 26, 2013

    I almost always work with an external monitor :(

    I don't like that I have to leave the SIP disabled to make the kext fix work.
    I'll see if I can find a guy to help me change the capacitor.

    Thanks again for all your help on this.
    --- Post Merged, Dec 30, 2016 ---

    For the price Apple charges for their Macbook Pro, they better last 5 years and more.
    Mime has been working well for 6 years, this is not bad, but I'd rather keep it for a couple of years more.
  17. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    Its a six year old laptop. No surprise whatsoever that it has developed a problem. Hardware deteriorates with time and use. Its time to move on and get new machine. You already got more out of it than its expected lifetime.
  18. satanicsurferz thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 26, 2013
    jackoatmon & leman,

    I know you're right... but you can't blame me for trying to extend its lifetime a bit more?
    I don't have the cash right now to buy those shinny new Macbook Pro.
  19. julian-poidevin macrumors member


    May 2, 2017
  20. satanicsurferz thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 26, 2013
    Thanks a lot... but unfortunately, if I understand correctly, this fix won't help my situation as I'm always using an external monitor.

    I wish someone could find a solution for whose using external display as this problem is really annoying.
  21. auroralaptop macrumors newbie


    Oct 22, 2017
    --- Post Merged, Nov 1, 2017 ---
    --- Post Merged, Nov 1, 2017 ---
    Recently fixed a 2010 Macbook Pro secondhand that started getting intermittent kernel panic attacks and error reports. This is a known hardware issue for 15 inch models 2010, 2011, 2012 maybe others as well.

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