Macbook Pro Video Update does nothing to solve Lion's Black Screen Of Death

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Lion (10.7)' started by Dolorian, Oct 26, 2011.

  1. Dolorian macrumors 65816


    Apr 25, 2007
    This has to be the first time in over 16 years that having a Mac has become a frustrating experience for me. Lion has very much ruined my computer for good. Here is a brief outline of how things have gone so far:

    - Before Lion was released, my computer was running perfectly for more than a year under Snow Leopard. No bugs, no crashes or slowdowns, no random black screen either. All was working fine.

    - When Lion was released I downloaded it and installed it without issue. I made an install over my previous Snow Leopard install.

    - As I started using Lion I began to experience slowdowns and the random black screen of death bug (which in my book is the most annoying thing ever).

    - Searching for solutions, I was told that the NVIDIA drivers were buggy under Lion, and was recommenced to install the CUDA drivers, to see if it helped. It didn't, I continued to experience the BSOD (Black Screen of Death).

    - Later on, I came across the tip of using the gfxCardStatus app to force the machine to use the integrated as opposed to the dedicated card. But the app kept switching back to dedicated and sometimes refused to switch to integrated and thus the BSOD persisted.

    - Then I found another tip, which said to delete from the Library/Preferences/ByHost folder any file named "windowserver" and then restart the machine, to help deal with the BSOD. It didn't work, the problem persisted.

    - Then Apple released Lion 10.7.1 and 10.7.2, and neither update fixed the problem.

    - Frustrated with this issue, and seeing how it was only until I installed Lion that I was experiencing this problem, I decided to back up my files, format my drive and make a clean install of Snow Leopard hoping that it would go way.

    It didn't, the problem persisted and this is because, it seems, Lion makes an update in the firmware, and so the change is set in stone, as it were, in the computer.

    Recently, Apple Released the Macbook Pro Video Update, which is aimed at addressing this very problem. Yet, it needs OS 10.7.2. Being under Snow Leopard and still with the problem, I decided to back up my files again, format my drive and make a clean install of Lion from a bootable DVD (not on top of SL). After updating everything in Lion up to 10.7.2, I downloaded and applied the Video Update and restarted.

    Not much later, I get the BSOD, the problem persists.

    Afterwards I restarted the computer in safe mode, repaired permissions, reseted the pram, etc all in the hope to see if something, anything, would fix the problem but no. Since I installed Lion in my computer, I seem to be stuck with the BSOD bug for good.

    Apple messed up big time on this one. Now I am stuck with a $2000+ computer only a year and a half old, which, thanks to Apple's latest OS update has become unreliable, if not frustrating to use. As it is now, I can't use this computer in a work environment anymore, as I had been doing prior to installing Lion. It will randomly black out on me while I am either working on Fireworks, CSSEdit, Transmit (has corrupted a couple of CSS files already blacking out in the middle of an upload) or even Chrome. The computer will even randomly black out when scrolling a Pages document or making QuickLook full screen. The problem happens totally randomly, making me be in constant fear of my computer blacking out after the next mouse click I make.

    I love Apple as much as the next guy but I just can't use a computer like that.
  2. Scarrus macrumors regular

    Apr 7, 2011
    I for one never had this problem prior to the Video Update. I've been running Lion since release day with no probs what so ever and now after this update, boom, Black Screen of Death :rolleyes:
  3. heisenberg123 macrumors 603


    Oct 31, 2010
    Hamilton, Ontario
    have you had your video card looked at to make sure its not hardware issue, since you already tried a clean install of SL it might of just been a coinsedence that it started happening on Lion
  4. Dolorian thread starter macrumors 65816


    Apr 25, 2007
    Ah, so the update adds the problem if you don't have it, eh? Sigh...I wonder if QA department has taken a permanent vacation at Apple :rolleyes:
  5. Scarrus macrumors regular

    Apr 7, 2011
    Well it really does make you wonder doesn't it...
  6. Dolorian thread starter macrumors 65816


    Apr 25, 2007
    It may be that, even thought I doubt it. In any case, I'll try and run the Apple Hardware Tests from the DVD when I get home today. I have a copy of TechTool Pro 6 around here in the office, I'll pop it in now and see if it detects anything.
  7. Hyper-X macrumors 6502a

    Jul 1, 2011
    Just because YOU don't experience these problems, doesn't mean there isn't a problem with Lion regarding the issue.

    All MBP's are not the same, in fact my 2011 13" differs from the other 2011 model which ship with Lion preinstalled (likely due to firmware differences) to say the least. It makes a difference in how Lion reacts with the machine overall in some cases, this has been confirmed at our local Apple store with their techs doing the work, on my machine and on theirs.
  8. Scarrus macrumors regular

    Apr 7, 2011
    Excuse me?! Please read my post before accusing me of anything buddy :rolleyes:
  9. Dolorian thread starter macrumors 65816


    Apr 25, 2007
    I ran the Apple Hardware Test from the DVD yesterday and it told me there were no problems with anything. I did the simple test that last about three minutes, I will do the extended one which lasts about an hour today.

    But really, TechTool Pro 6 also told me there were no problems after I did the Video/Graphic Diagnosis. So I really don't think the problem is related to hardware.

    BSOD is a novelty introduced only after I installed Lion, it remains even in Snow Leopard probably because Lion made some change (likely in firmware) that can't be undone even after formatting the HD and making a clean install.

    Apple messed things up really badly here. The recent MacBook Pro Video Update seems to give people mixed results (as seen in this article) and doesn't solves the problem in any conclusive manner.
  10. frozencarbonite macrumors 6502


    Aug 3, 2006
  11. Dolorian thread starter macrumors 65816


    Apr 25, 2007
    Mid 2010 15" i5, the one for which the Video Update was released.
  12. rossip macrumors regular

    Feb 13, 2011
  13. Simplicated macrumors 65816


    Sep 20, 2008
    Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
    Hi, the OP said he has already done resetting said things. Plus gfxCardStatus has nothing to do with destabilizing the system.
  14. Dolorian thread starter macrumors 65816


    Apr 25, 2007
    Thanks but I've been there and done that. What I am using now is a clean install of Lion itself. I burned Lion into a DVD and formatted my HD to install it. But the problem is still occurring, getting the BSOD.
  15. Dolorian thread starter macrumors 65816


    Apr 25, 2007
    Yes and as it seems gfxCardStatus wouldn't help me either because I use my MacBook with an external display both at work (using both screens) and at home (in clamshell mode), something which needs the dedicated card, apparently. I had been using it this way for months under SL without problems until I installed Lion.

    But the BSOD also happens without any external monitor attached and while using only the MacBook Pro's display, which didn't happen before Lion.

    This is very much a mess.
  16. Lyokokrill macrumors newbie


    Aug 9, 2011
    Orlando, FL
    Have you tried taking the computer to an Apple Store to see if a Genius can help you out?
  17. frozencarbonite macrumors 6502


    Aug 3, 2006
    I would definitely take it into an Apple store to see what they could do. Tell them the whole story. They will probably do like they did mine and send it for a full diagnostics. They may install a new Logic Board (as they did with mine.) I'm guessing that the logic board is the problem. Since you have tried reinstalling Snow Leopard from the disc that came with your system, you shouldn't still be having these problems.

    The only other guess would be that an update that you installed after installing Lion "upgraded" the firmware on some part of your system. In this case a reinstall of Snow Leopard would not help because that firmware would not be downgraded with the reinstall of Snow Leopard.

    Do you have AppleCare?
  18. eddieddu macrumors newbie

    Nov 1, 2008
    Same to me. I have a Late 2010 MacBook Pro. BSOD since Lion Update. No work-around has any effect.

    But is this the right ways to get the logic board replaced by Applecare instead of delivering working drivers by Apple?

    This is obvious a drivers problem in conjunction with a specific Late 2010 generation of MacBook Pros.
  19. Dolorian, Oct 28, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2011

    Dolorian thread starter macrumors 65816


    Apr 25, 2007
    There are no Apple Stores here, but I'll try and take it to the local Apple Authorized Distributor/Cervice Center. That's very much all that I have left to do with this problem, as I have exhausted every avenue in trying to fix it. Last thing I did was install Lion Cache Cleaner and clean all the Cache and even updated the prebindings and restarted. It didn't fix it.

    I am now running the computer with "Automatic Graphic Switching" and "Automatically reduce brightness before display goes to sleep" turned off (in Energy Server settings), to see how that goes. Doubt it will help in any way as the problem seems to be related to the dedicated graphics card, and turning automatic graphic switching off forces the computer to use it. Or perhaps it is the switching itself that triggers the problem, as I've noted recently that the problem occurs when I plug my MacBook to the external monitor when I arrive at work or at home.
  20. dinobash macrumors newbie

    Dec 31, 2011
    I have been following your conversation and I have to say that you are not the only one having this problem. I too have a mid 2010 macbook pro with exactly the same problem you have. I have done everything you said with no luck. I dont also have an apple store here in Cyprus so i am on a dead end. Hopefully this gets fixed really soon because I'm loosing my patience with apple
  21. Frankiefah macrumors newbie

    Feb 16, 2012
    WAY past frustrated...

    I have been following your conversation as well and I want to join the list of people with this exact same problem! I also have a mid 2010 macbook pro and recently updated my OS to update 10.7.3 and the problem only got worse! The BSOD usually happened when I run games or use Photoshop but now I can't even use a normal application such as pages, iPhoto, iMovie, trackpad gestures, etc.

    It is REALLY getting frustrating and I am way past the point of being patients and excepting the problem. This is starting to become a big problem because it is effecting my work. I tried most of the things you tried with your Mac but nothing worked. I thought it was maybe effected by Parallels Desktops so I un-istalled it and the problem was still there.

    I am considering switching back to Snow Leopard OS if Apple doesn't fix this problem. Do you think it is wise to switch back?
    Also, do you think Apple doesn't know about this problem or don't they care that thousands of customers are unhappy? Because we are NOT the only ones with this problem...
  22. Puevlo macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2011
  23. eddieddu macrumors newbie

    Nov 1, 2008
    Yes, it is. I got my logic board replaced twice (by a faulty one) and finally they replaced the whole book. That's the only solution ....
  24. deesadler macrumors newbie

    Mar 8, 2012
    Happening for me too

    I have had the exact same experience. I've done the graphic card trick, I've reblasted the entire machine, I've ran every updater. This last one and some Adobe software have ruined my machine. It bit the dust a week ago, and made me reinstall everything again.

    Now, I am back to every hour or less the screen goes Black.

    Yes, I have also taken it in. It has Apple Care and there isn't anything that showed up. Only thing they offered was to replace the logic board. I am about to try that and see if that helps, although I've heard from others that it doesn't fix anything.

    I can't ethically even sell it to anyone else now.

  25. akendrick macrumors newbie

    Dec 1, 2012

    I, too, have the Mid 2010 MBP 15". Has anyone found a solution to this problem yet? Evoken?

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