mbp semi-dead, why?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by maigado, Sep 10, 2013.

  1. maigado, Sep 10, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2013

    maigado macrumors member

    Oct 29, 2007
    I have a 5+ year old MBP running 10.8.4. It's a 15" 3,1 or 4,1. Normally, I run it with a dual monitor setup with an external monitor. I've done this for years

    A little while ago, I was using it and its 6 mb of RAM were pretty much fully used, as if often the case. While watching a YouTube video, the external monitor lost its image, became black as if it were turned off. The MBP monitor retained its display, but I couldn't interact with it anymore. Keyboard input was ignored. The mouse cursor moved around the screen, but clicks didn't do anything. Next to the mouse cursor was a square artifact with some black lines as a part of it. You can see what that looks like in the attached .jpg.

    So I powered down by disconnecting the power cable and the battery. After a few minutes, I tried to restart, but couldn't get past the white screen with the Apple logo on it. Every minute or so, I'd get a text message in multiple languages that said something about shutting down improperly and hitting any key or waiting to restart. But I couldn't restart. It just looped though this.

    I turned it off again and waited another 30 minutes or so. This time, I got to the login screen. I chose a user and entered the password. I got a similar message, but this time, it was in a message box instead of on the white screen. But I couldn't really get past that. The OS didn't fully boot and I never got past the screen you can see in the attached .jpg.

    The blue flare in the .jpg, btw, was something I added to hide the user name. The rest of the image is as it was.

    I'm taking it to the Apple Store tomorrow, but I'm wondering if anything is obvious about what this might be.

    I'm mostly backed up, but not completely and there are some things I'm hoping to get off of the hard drive, even if the machine is toast.

    Any thoughts would be appreciated.

    Attached Files:

  2. Astroboy907 macrumors 65816


    May 6, 2012
    Spaceball One
    Sounds like a classic Nvidia 8600 failure. The logic board is likely pretty much dead (you might be able to try a reflow and get it working again, but it is likely to fail again eventually).
  3. maigado thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 29, 2007
    Thanks for the response, astroboy.

    What's a reflow?

    I tried to boot into safe mode, got the progress bar about a third of the way completed. Then, the bar disappeared and soon afterwards, the spinning gear froze. I waited another couple of minutes and nothing happened, so I shut it down.

    Isn't the 8600 the video chip? Is the point that it overheated and fried the motherboard?

    That would be good news, actually. At least if the HD survived. I'm good about being backed up, but one of the things I need most desperately is one of the few that wasn't backed up.
  4. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    The 8600 is a known ticking timebomb, even nVidia acknowledged it and extended the warranty period on it to 4 years after a class action suit. Seeing as you signed up on october 2007, I'm curious as to why you've not heard of it on here.

    A poor dye makes it so that heat cycling the logicboard eventually breaks solder points of the 8600, rendering it useless.

    A reflow is essentially baking your logic board to litterally reflow the solder and hopefull restore contact.

    Your data was not affected, should the computer just die on you, just pull out the hard drive, stick it in a $10 caddy and you'll be able to copy everything over.

    Or, you know, keep backups.
  5. MyMac1976 macrumors 6502


    Apr 14, 2013
    Bake your boards to get micro cracks and the like out of the solder..google it
  6. maigado thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 29, 2007
    I joined this forum while after I bought a MBP. The current one was purchased about a year later. Funny thing is that the first one's motherboard fried, too. But it was still under warranty at the time. I didn't even realize it was likely because of this 8600 issue, which I knew nothing about until now. Though I joined years ago, I'm not that active here as a reader or poster, so I'm not on top of some of these ongoing issues.

    Thanks. I'll look further into this.

    I hope you're right about my HD not frying along with the MB. But I'm pretty confident I'll be OK. As mentioned, I do keep backups. But the last few days weren't backed up because my online backup account got full and I hadn't tweaked my account, yet. Bad timing, there.
  7. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    If you want to be real anal about backups, the best way to do so is to have 3 copies of everything.

    Original HD, backup HD and another copy off-site should the building burn down.
  8. maigado thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 29, 2007
    It is as you'd all surmised with the video chip. I'm getting the data off my hard drive now. The drive appears to be completely fine. I'll try baking the motherboard after reading up on how to go about it safely.

    Thanks for the help.

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