MBP froze during use, now stuck on grey screen

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by keithos27, Oct 6, 2014.

  1. keithos27 macrumors regular

    Apr 17, 2006
    I was using my MacBook Pro 15" that is around 3 years old. I have had no issues with this computer ever. I last formatted it back in March 2014 and I'm running the latest OS X (10.9.5) and use Parallels 9 (latest build that supports 10.9.5) on a daily basis with Windows 8.1. Today I was in Windows 8.1 using GoToMeeting on a conference call for over 2 hours along with Skype (was dialed into the audio of my conference call via Skype). All of a sudden about 2.5 hours into the call the computer went black and an audio clip was stuck on a loop (the last syllable the person on the call said) over and over and over. Finally after 30+ seconds I held down the power button to turn off the MBP. When I turned the computer back on all I see is a grey screen (no icons or logos on the screen, just a plan grey screen). I left the grey screen on for a few minutes and eventually the computer's fan spins up and runs at full speed. I hard to turn off the computer via holding down the power button. When I turned it back on same thing... grey screen.

    I followed this article (http://support.apple.com/kb/TS2570) and tried the different steps down the line. I don't have any peripherals connected except an ethernet cord so I disconnected that. I also don't have any 3rd party hardware installed (RAM, etc.). I performed a Safe Boot and came up grey. I reset the NVRAM/PRAM and now the Apple logo pops up for a second along the grey screen, then just a grey screen again. If I leave the grey screen up for a while again the fan spins up and stays running. I tried resetting the NVRAM/PRAM for a second time and again same thing... Apple logo, then grey screen. No spinning cog, no Finder logo, no folder logo, etc. Just a fan running at full speed.

    Can anyone please help?

  2. jav6454 macrumors P6


    Nov 14, 2007
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
  3. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    Sounds like a 2011 model you have.

    One word: Radeongate.
  4. Staggeredsix macrumors newbie

    Oct 3, 2014
    Do yourself a favor before you decide it's dead. Do the RAM dance and pull the HDD. If it continues take the motherboard out. Remove the heatsink and clean the thermal compound off from the CPU and GPU. The GPU needs to be reflowed. Some computer repair shops will do this, and if you have two hands and a brain, which I hope you do, you can reflow the GPU yourself. The worst that will happen is you'll have kicked a dead horse.

    There are two ways to reflow a BGA chip. One is using an oven, one is doing it with a heat gun. I suggest you watch a youtube video.

    If you want to get your hands dirty, reflowing and fixing your own laptop is actually rewarding and a lot cheaper than paying someone to do it. It's extremely easy and not daunting at all.

    Basically you pull the board out, put some heat resistant tape around the GPU chip and then start cooking it. A laser thermometer is handy to check the temperature of the IC while you're cooking it. You dont want to go above 215 degrees, the solder will remelt at 200ish. Cook the IC from both sides of the motherboard. Keep it at around 200 for about 20 seconds and then let it cool. Put the motherboard back in and test it. If the video comes back up you are good for a while. It will cut back out if you don't find a better thermal solution for your laptop. In other words, get a dremel and start cutting vents.

    If you need assistance I hop around this forum at random hours.
  5. keithos27 thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 17, 2006
    Turns out my Logic board had a short. $310 later my logic board (and 2.5 year old battery!) were replaced and it's running just fine. Thanks everyone.

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