Macbook Pro (mid-2010) Crashing


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 22, 2012
Hi all,

Been surfing these forums for a while now, they've been very helpful but I can't seem to work out what is wrong with my computer. Hopefully someone can help.

My Specs:

Model Name: MacBook Pro
Model Identifier: MacBookPro6,2
OS: OS X 10.6.8
Processor Name: Intel Core i7
Processor Speed: 2.66 GHz
Memory: 4 GB

The Problem:

Unpredictable crashing during normal use forcing me to hold down the power button to reset and reboot. No obvious links between crashes, could be using any program at the time.

Crashes occur in 3 different ways:

1) Most of the time the computer just freezes, mouse wont work and keyboard goes dead. Screen will remain locked like this until i hard reset. Sometimes accompanied by HD light flashing 3 times repeatedly. Computer gradually heats up if I dont turn it off.

2) Gray screen of death. The 'please shut down' screen comes up.

3) Crazy static/white noise patterns dance all over the screen, computer then must be hard reset.

Sometimes the crashes are accompanied by loud screeching noise, sometimes not. Happens at irregular intervals but often enough to make the computer unusable.

Twice now the computer has been in my bag on standby and when Ive taken it out it has crashed and heated up to very hot temperatures.

When I reboot the computer it turns on fine (though sometimes I get the 3 beeps of death thing first time around).

What I've done to try and fix it:

I found the hard drive to be corrupted and fixed it/ reset permissions using osx disk.

Reinstalled OSX using disk.

Ran basic diagnostics on startup disk, no problems found.

Brought it into Apple retailer where I bought it, had hardware diagnostics run, came up with nothing.

Brought it into another retailed where they ran full diagnostics, including manual hardware diagnostics, nothing found and they couldnt replicate problem.

Brought it home today and within half an hour it crashed (freeze crash).

I have now ran out of options, in my final year of collage I need to get this sorted ASAP. I figured it was the logic board but if diagnostics showed nothing i dont know what to think. Please if anyone can help I'd really appreciate it.

(Also for all those living in Europe, consumer law states a mandatory 2 year warranty on ALL computers, overruling Apple's 1 year warranty. Please check this for yourself if you wish to act on it.)




macrumors 68000
Jan 18, 2008
Hawaii, USA
Based on your problems, my first guess would be a corrupt RAM module. I don't trust Apple's hardware diagnostic tool, and I'm not sure that I trust other companies to test the RAM properly, either. A thorough RAM test should take several hours, and if you really have a lot of RAM (6+ GB), closer to an entire day (if not an entire day).

You can test it yourself for free. Use Memtest86+. Download it, burn it to a CD, and when you can spare 6-12 hours, boot off of it. (I like to run it over night.) You will not be able to use your computer while the tests are running. The tests will run on their own. Leave it alone, and just try to make sure that it's not sitting in the sun or near a heat source, as the computer will become warm. I'd suggest letting the program run through all tests three times. Seeing one error pop up doesn't mean anything; if you see repeated errors across the tests, then you have a faulty RAM module. Assuming you have two RAM modules, you can remove one and test each one individually to see where the problem is. Sometimes the problems are weird and only occur when certain modules are paired together, or when certain modules are in a particular RAM slot (and switching the slots makes the problem go away). If you have a faulty module, remove it and/or replace it and your problems will disappear.

The other possibility, based on the third symptom that you described, is some sort of graphic card failure. I'm not sure that graphic failure would cause the rest of what you've described, though.


macrumors 68030
Oct 19, 2011
(Also for all those living in Europe, consumer law states a mandatory 2 year warranty on ALL computers, overruling Apple's 1 year warranty. Please check this for yourself if you wish to act on it.)
Interesting, thanks for pointing this out. Indeed it seems that european law demands a two year warranty on all consumer products.

I made a non-representative survey over some online shops. It seems that asian vendors (Lenovo, Sony) correctly sell their products with a two year base warranty. On the other hand, american vendors (Dell, Apple) don't give a **** about european law and only give a one year long warranty.

I see some more lawsuits incoming :)


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 22, 2012
Thankyou Ledgem, maybe it is faulty RAM.

I've taken a video of it crashing tonight so I'll bring it into the shop and see if they can do anything for me. After that I'll try the program you suggested. I'm just a little worried that if I leave it on its own for that long and it crashes then it might cook the computer entirely.

No worries thundersteele, i thought it very dubious and when in the shop as soon as I mentioned the law they got the manager. I'd say its something that Apple want to keep hushed, alot of people buying applecare for their second year.

Any other suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks guys :)
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