MBP 2011 - booting to a stripey screen

vidapura

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 4, 2014
4
0
Hi,
Just wondering if anyone can tell me whether or not I actually am experiencing the dreaded graphics card death of my trusty old macbook pro.

Its just recently stopped booting properly.. before that I had a coupla days of the screen going jittery whenever I opened Chrome browser.. (sliding off to the left .. etc)

Now, I can't get into the machine at all really...

When I press the power button I get the chimes as normal.. then I get the grey screen with the apple logo.. and a progress bar.. but then I end up at a full screen that is predominantly blue with thin red lines running down it.. they are spaced about 10 pixels apart.

When I try to boot in safe mode. I get the grey screen and the progress bar.. then a blank grey screen for ages..

I booted into single user mode and was able to run commands.. when I did an fsck I got that underallocation on main device error..

Ive seen some suggestions that maybe I'd cure this with a reinstall of Sierra?
Or am I just being too hopeful ? Is this a hardware problem? Is there a way to be sure?

I have some of the disk bootcamped to windows 10.. I selected that partition as the boot device.. but again.. arrived at the striped screen...

Thanks for reading...
 

CoastalOR

macrumors 68020
Jan 19, 2015
2,494
908
Oregon, USA
If it is a 15" or 17" 2011 MBP then it sure sounds like a failure of the AMD Radeon dGPU. Reinstalling the OS will not fix a hardware failure. You can take it to Apple for a "official" diagnosis (free). I would recommend working on finding a newer MBP and not spending any money of the 2011.
 

WhoNet

macrumors newbie
Dec 3, 2011
11
0
Perth, Western Australia
Is this because the OS is trying to find, but not use the dGPU ? I ask because i have
a early 17" 2011 MBP and when booting it does not use my dGPU. It is only using
my Intel HD graphics. I know Chrome uses the dGUP and you are better off using
Safari.
 

gigapocket1

macrumors 68000
Mar 15, 2009
1,651
944
Yeah... what happens when you try to force it to use discrete vs integrated graphics
 

vidapura

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 4, 2014
4
0
Thanks to everyone who replied.

I should have said at the outset that this is a 15" model.
Running High Sierra.

I would really like to keep using it in some capacity.. its got a 1Tb disk and 16Gb Ram.

Is it possible to force it to use discrete graphics?
Can someone please tell me how to do it?

I've tried an external monitor.. but same striped screen...sigh..

Another question.. is it possible to replace the Graphics card?
Or is it all on one board?
Any ideas where I'd buy one?

Thanks again
 

CoastalOR

macrumors 68020
Jan 19, 2015
2,494
908
Oregon, USA
What has failed is the discrete GPU (dGPU).You do not want to use the dGPU. External monitors, Chrome, and Windows on Bootcamp force using the dGPU which is bad. "Radeongate" has been discussed on the web and there are many threads that pop using Google.
Here are just a couple of threads about possible workarounds on MacRumors:
https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/force-2011-macbook-pro-8-2-with-failed-amd-gpu-to-always-use-intel-integrated-gpu-efi-variable-fix.2037591/
https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/permanently-disable-2011-15-17-macbook-pro-dedicated-gpu-gmux-ic-bypass.2134019/
 

Audit13

macrumors 601
Apr 19, 2017
4,415
1,112
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
You can't use an external monitor without the discrete gpu.

Replacing the gpu is definitely not worth it. I had it done almost two years ago and it's worked fine since then. If it fails again, I recommend scrapping it.
 

vidapura

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 4, 2014
4
0
Woo.. ok.. that hardware bypass solution is wayy too fiddly for me anyway.. I'd drive myself nuts...
Ahndd the software one.. hmmm.. there's a lot going on here huh.. Ill keep readin it anyway and see where it takes me..

Thanks so much for the help anyway...
 

pkts

macrumors member
Jun 29, 2007
95
9
Woo.. ok.. that hardware bypass solution is wayy too fiddly for me anyway.. I'd drive myself nuts...
Ahndd the software one.. hmmm.. there's a lot going on here huh.. Ill keep readin it anyway and see where it takes me..

Thanks so much for the help anyway...
I have a 2011 15 with a failed dGPU also. I was able to disable the dGPU but it might be too fiddly for you. Basically, I just leave it in standby and it works fantastic ( I don't need to connect an external monitor)

I start it up holding down CMD S ... that'll boot me into command line, then I enter

nvram fa4ce28d-b62f-4c99-9cc3-6815686e30f9:gpu-power-prefs=%01%00%00%00

press enter...then type reboot and press enter.

Occasionally PRAM and SMC need to be reset. Also, this didn't work when I had high sierra installed (only Sierra worked...so I downgraded the OS using target mode and another mac)

Good luck !