MBP dead after 29 months, Aus consumer protection?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Treeman574, Aug 13, 2013.

  1. Treeman574 macrumors regular

    Feb 5, 2011
    QLD, Australia
    My early 2011 15" mbp just died today. First Ram error (3 beeps), managed to quickly make a backup, then black screen and currently won't start. I'm also unable to start as a external drive, or perform any hardware test.

    So I'm off to get it looked at soon, and most likely the logic board has failed. I didn't pay for the extended warranty, but I might still be covered under the Australian Consumer Law.

    A free repair or replacement will be offered "A reasonable period from date of delivery until the failure becomes apparent"

    "Products must be of acceptable quality, that is:

    - safe, lasting, with no faults
    - look acceptable
    - do all the things someone would normally expect them to do.

    Acceptable quality takes into account what would normally be expected for the type of product and cost."

    So should I be entitled to this? I've taken very good care of this computer and I certainly didn't expect it to suddenly die this soon. My old iMac is still running 12 years on. That's why I got this laptop in the first place.
  2. Robster3 macrumors 68000

    Dec 13, 2012
    First thing i would do is ring Apple and see. Apple Warranty is now 2 years under Aust consumer law. I had a screen replaced on a iMac this year that was 3.5 years old for free. So you never know.
  3. surroundfan macrumors 6502

    Nov 22, 2005
    Melbourne, Australia
    I think 2.5 years would not be considered long enough for an expensive lappy to last (although there is necessarily a degree of uncertainty about just how long they should last for).

    I'd suggest taking it to an Apple Genius in the first instance and see what can be done. If Apple plays hardball, escalating to the Office of Fair Trading/ACCC and/or QCAT's small claims list would both be viable options. Obviously though, coming to an agreement with Apple will be far simpler and cheaper and is to be preferred...

  4. Kashsystems macrumors 6502

    Jul 23, 2012
    I noticed you said ram error.

    If a ram chip went bad have you tried removing one chip to see if it starts up, then putting back the chip you removed and remove the other?

    Bad memory could prevent start up.
  5. Treeman574 thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 5, 2011
    QLD, Australia
    Okay so after spending a few weeks dealing with apple support, here's the verdict:

    "Nothing is wrong, but it won't post."

    That is all apple can say about my computer. It passed all the hardware tests, and was working for a few days after the technician put it back together. He couldn't find anything wrong, then it just started working again. Now it's back to the usual, black screen can't boot from disk, can't run as external drive etc...

    Combine this with the terrible in store service, sending my personal information to random email addresses and lectures about replacing ram. You could forgive me for being a bit annoyed.

    So does anyone have any idea what to do? I'm reluctant to go out and buy another macbook after all this. I'm taking it back in on the weekend for another look.
  6. raptor402 macrumors 6502

    Jun 30, 2011
    Hey, Treeman

    I'm sorry to hear about your laptop. Why don't you start with some troubleshooting on your own? If you have some tech experience, it shouldn't be too hard. Open up your MacBook and start disconnecting all the peripheral. Leave only the RAM and the display. Use the jumper to attempt a boot. If it doesn't POST, then it's either the RAM or the Logic Board. If it does, then it could be something else. Keep adding things back, starting with the hard disk, and see what screws things up.

    Also, try your RAM DIMMs in another MacBook/Laptop and try different DIMMs in your MacBook. If the RAM is the issue, a new set won't be too expensive.

    I hope this helps. Best of luck.


    P.S.: iFixit is your guide through the process.
  7. Krazy Bill macrumors 68030

    Krazy Bill

    Dec 21, 2011
    Your RAM modules aren't seated properly. Remove - insert. Make sure they're snug.
  8. filtatos, Sep 3, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2013

    filtatos macrumors newbie

    Jul 26, 2010
    Take a look at this thread, maybe that's your case (it affects both 17''&15'')

    If the problem is the AMD GPU, welcome to the club...
  9. Treeman574 thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 5, 2011
    QLD, Australia
    Thanks for the advice guys! I swapped the ram out for the original 4gb, but nothing has changed. Don't really have time to go pulling it all apart, but I might give it a try if apple still won't do anything.
  10. jav6454 macrumors P6


    Nov 14, 2007
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
  11. Treeman574 thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 5, 2011
    QLD, Australia
    Okay, so now I'm getting really suspicious. Two replacement logic boards have died, usually within hours after starting up.

    The most recent one gave up after just 10 minutes, luckily while I was still in the apple store. I opened up grapher and ran some 3d examples before the screen became pixelated and the whole thing shut down. Then it's back to the usual, won't post, black/striped screen etc...

    Is there anyway apple could be tampering with the hardware test? I've always run the extended one after a repair (except in the last case), and it has always passed with no issues.

    I've sent an email to the ACCC and I am trying to elevate my concerns through apple support. This 3rd replacement board will be ready in a few days.
  12. filtatos macrumors newbie

    Jul 26, 2010

    Well, if you take a look to the thread at which I pointed out a few posts
    above, you'll see that this is a common issue.

    I had the logic board replaced once (luckily for free due to the 2years
    EU guarantee) to have the replacement board fail after 4 months use.
    Others have 3 or even 4 replacements with the same results.

    There is obviously an issue with early 2011 Macbook pros and the
    AMD GPU, possibly a manufacturing issue. The worst thing is, the
    problem is very difficult to be diagnosed. The Apple technician told
    me that he was unable to diagnose any issues, while I managed
    to record a Video switching Fail once (with ASD, 1 hour ago), but the
    controller managed to pass the test 400 times, 5 minutes later!
    (I'm not a computer expert, so I don't know if this is common).

    All we can hope is that Apple will respond officially to this,
    with a replacement program...
  13. Treeman574 thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 5, 2011
    QLD, Australia
    I managed to contact someone higher up within apple support. And talked with him for a long time about the possible amd card failures. I also emailed him many threads from disscusions.apple.

    The store technician claimed that the laptop worked fine with apple's known good ram, but it wouldn't even post when he finally let me see it.

    After several more logic boards failed, the technician quietly admitted there was a problem with the amd cards. I am now getting a new replacement.
  14. thaifood macrumors 6502

    Jun 8, 2011
    Hopefully you get a result from this latest fix.

    What I don't understand though is why they would go through the motions for so long to replace the logic board multiple times when they know there could be a problem with the AMD cards. It seems like such a waste of labour and parts (plus your time too) to jump through the hoops. To keep it quiet, they could have a least replaced the logic board and AMD cards and claimed it as a gesture of good-will.

    Now with a manager admitting faults with AMD cards from that era, it could open up a can of worms.
  15. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    The AMD GPU is soldered to the logic board - two consecutive failures like this are in the boundaries of science fiction. I think the issue is one of the components they did not replace. In fact, the pattern you describing is most likely caused by a defective power supply unit - unstable voltages can stress out the components much quicker then they usually would. Do you have clean power in your area? BTW, if they can't repair it, you are entitled for a complete replacement.
  16. Treeman574 thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 5, 2011
    QLD, Australia
    It's more like 3 consecutive failures now. They claim to have tested with new magsafe components, battery and the logic board each time. I don't think there's much else that could go wrong considering the hard-drive was bypassed for each test and apple's working ram was used.

    We have had very rare brown-outs, but I always have the computer running through a surge/brown-out protector when charging. These recent tests have all been through apple. I haven't had the computer home for quite a while now.

    I should receive a replacement 2012 mbp very soon. Hopefully the new Nvidia chips are more reliable.
  17. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    Well, there is no way that AMD chip is at fault here, because it would mean that no Radeon-based MBP would survive a few days. We have four in our department and they are still working flawlessly. The issue is somewhere else. If the replacement does not fix it, then its probably your surge protector.
  18. Millionaire2K macrumors 6502a

    Apr 12, 2011
    With that logic there must be a monster inside his machine that is causing this.

    Your AMD chip can't be bad because mine works.... WOW!

    NOTE: I'm not saying AMD is his problem.
  19. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    Two different chips failing half an hour after he turn on the machine? Surely AMD's fault ;)

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