Macbook pro stuck gray/white screen

bjwhite3114

macrumors member
Original poster
May 26, 2017
50
58
This morning, I was using my 2011 macbook pro 15” and it suddenly went black and restarted. Rebooted fine and then 10 minutes same thing. Now, it gets stuck on the boot after the apple logo and progressbar fills, screen goes white/gray and then it just sits there right before the login screen.

I’ve tried safe mode, clearing nvram, smc with no luck
Tried recovery mode, no luck. Same
Tried internet recover, no luck same.

I’m currently in single user mode and copying files off because I was between timemachine setups.

Only thing I haven’t tried is creating a bootable usb installer using my daughters macbook air, but I’d bet money it’ll do the same as the internet recovery and local did.

Any ideas on what I could do from the single user command line to jump start the boot?

I did the hardware test and it didn't find any problems.

I’m waiting to get a look at the new 16” setup before replacing this old beast.

Ideas for me to try?
 

Brian33

macrumors 6502a
Apr 30, 2008
783
52
USA (Virginia)
Yes, it sounds like your discrete graphics chip has failed. I have a 15" Early 2011 MacBook Pro with this situation. After quite some research and fiddling, I was able to force mine to use the integrated Intel graphics and bypass the failed AMD chip. It works fine for web browsing/Youtube/movie watching, and my son still plays Minecraft and some Steam games successfully on it. So there is hope.

IIRC the fix for me involved setting a certain nvram variable and removing a particular kernel extension (kext) related to the AMD GPU chip (thereby disabling it). MacOS updates tend to put the kext back, so one has to go back in after each upgrade and remove it again. Some people had fans run at full speed after the "fix", but mine's been ok. So you may or may not need any hacks related to that.

I got my info from this thread here at MacRumors:

...but there are 106 pages to analyze. Somewhere in there was a fairly concise series of steps to take.
 

bjwhite3114

macrumors member
Original poster
May 26, 2017
50
58
Thank you for the replies, as I kept meaning to post an update. I was able to use dosdude’s tool to disable the amd gpu and get me back into os x. Whew. Machine was still eating through batterry and getting hot over a couple days of use, so I went ahead and removed the recommended resistor. While I was there I also did the solder connect to allow it to wake from sleep, since that had been very annoying. Now my mac is running fast again, super cool and enjoyable to use. I even bought a $20 usb displaylink on youtube that still allows me to attach my external monitor at home. I think I can make it to Black Friday deals now. Eyeing the 13 MBP 2.4. I think the smaller form factor will be great, but I do love my trusty unibody MBP.