Radeongate-afflicted MBP (3rd time?), out of options

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by kw1, Mar 26, 2016.

  1. kw1 macrumors newbie

    Sep 24, 2015
    I have a 15" early-2011 MBP that ran great for 4+ years before going down to Radeongate last September with the usual symptoms. Under Apple's repair program, I brought it in and they replaced the logic board for free. It ran for about two months before it happened again. I brought it in again, and they replaced the board again with what they claimed was a brand new one.

    It was working well until about a week ago, when it wouldn't boot up. Rather than the typical video issues or the blank white screen, the machine would either freeze up just after login or sometimes get stuck at the loading screen and start making beeping sounds. I did some investigation and found that the beeping indicated a RAM problem, so I swapped out the RAM, but that didn't fix the problem. Suspecting the video card again, I tried going into single-user mode and attempting the workaround where I delete the ATI drivers, but that didn't fix anything either. I brought it into the Apple store yesterday, and they tried their RAM as well and didn't get it to work. They said it was likely a problem with the logic board, and that it would have to be replaced. They tried to run a graphics diagnostic, but the machine would freeze before they could do it, so even if the graphics card was the root cause, they can't test it. This is important, because since they can't tell whether this is the Radeongate issue again or not, they can't repair it for free and I would have to pay for a new logic board. I told them that they installed a brand new one last time, which they confirmed. The previous repair had a warranty of 90 days, so I'm out of luck there.

    I have a backup of my data, and I have another laptop I can use, so I'm OK as far as my computing needs. My MBP is basically a brick at this point though, and I'm not sure what else I can do in terms of getting Apple to fix it again or replace it. I'm looking for any advice or last-ditch efforts to get it working, even on a temporary basis, so that they can at least run the graphics diagnostic. It may be that it was just a bad logic board, in which case I probably can't do anything since the warranty ran out. Any ideas?
  2. JTToft macrumors 68040

    Apr 27, 2010
    Aarhus, Denmark
  3. kw1 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 24, 2015
    Currently living in Japan, although I travel to the US often enough that I could bring it into a store there if that makes a difference (probably not).
  4. tubeexperience macrumors 68040

    Feb 17, 2016
    The replacement logic boards that Apple gives you are refurbished, not new.

    There is no permanent fix for the GPU issue.

    The refurbished logic board Apple gives you is only intended to outlast the 90 days warranty at which point it will fail, but Apple will wash its hands of the issue.

    I too own a 2011 MBP and I am very frustrated with the way Apple had handled this issue.
  5. ajcgn macrumors regular


    Oct 19, 2014
    Toronto, Ontario
    I had my early 2011 MBP reballed about a year and a half ago and it is still working fine. Before that they did a refresh, that lasted only a couple of weeks (same mom and pop guy that did the reball.)
    I don't have near enough know how to say if that is the problem, but the reball only cost me a couple of hundred Canadian and that was including the unsuccessful refresh.
  6. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009

    I'd say your only real "option" at this point is to pack it in and start shopping for something new...
  7. Queen6 macrumors 604


    Dec 11, 2008
    Flying over the rainforest at dawn - Priceless
    Look for a local provider who can "replace" the dGPU with leaded solder, thats the path I would take in you position. Personally I would just scrap the notebook, nor will I buy another Mac portable with dGPU as Apple`s track record is tragic at best. If I require a portable with dGPU Apple would be far from the top of the list. Thankfully with the release of TB3 eGPU`s are looking to be a far more solid solution as all mobile dGPU`s are massively compromised by their very nature.

  8. jorgk macrumors member


    Mar 20, 2013
    OP, you are aware that the repair program got extended ?

    "The program covers affected MacBook Pro models until December 31, 2016 or four years from its original date of sale, whichever provides longer coverage for you."
    --- Post Merged, Mar 29, 2016 ---
    BTW, just to document it in case any one else comes across this:

    I use a MBP late-2011 15" - now on it's third LB b/c of Radeongate. Thought things are fine since the last LB exchange and unsuccessful torturing the dGPU (Unigine Valley, GpuTest [FurMark and similar]). However, I recently started to get some problems again (irregular Kernel Panic; very different outcome to the graphics glitches seen with the older LBs). Was insecure as to whether this was SW or HW related:

    Running 95% on the dGPU since using an external monitor at work. Thus, logic would predict I would do bad, in case the dGPU goes bad again, while using the external display (for which only the dGPU can generate the necessary output - without dGPU no external monitor).

    The funny thing was, Kernel Panic's always occurred at home, when w/o external monitor (thus, supposedly, while utilizing the internal graphic card).

    After lot's of trying to nail it to Safari, my initial suspect, I finally got to the real point: At home I use online-banking. That poor site will trigger the dGPU (for unknown reasons since it's graphically not demanding at all ...), as I can see by using the gfxCardStatus-Utility. Now, after having logged out of the bank site, the graphics will switch back to the integrated-GPU. And then, sometimes immediately, sometimes few minutes later, the machine will crash. Usually only when Safari has lot's of windows open (my habit ... in excess of about 50 ...).
    The text of the Kernel Panic is always the same: "AGC GPU REGISTER RESTORE FAILED".

    Thus, now I run my laptop ALWAYS ON the dGPU - and no more Kernel Panic since !!! (set to dGPU by using gfxCardStatus v2.3).

    This might be a rare incident with a Radeongate affected LB - though I cannot be 1000% sure on this. I just know, once I switch to integrated, all my 50 Safari windows are a pain to recollect (Reopen All Windows from Last Session: Works fine for this, but is not 100% fool-prove, sometimes some window stays blank and would then finally be lost in the next Panic-round).
  9. kw1 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 24, 2015
    I am aware that the repair program was extended, but since the symptoms are different this time, and a graphics diagnostic can't be run, it can't be proven that this is Radeongate again as opposed to just a bad logic board.

    I played around with the RAM a bit more and found that if I only insert RAM into the top slot (nearest to the frame), the machine will start to load but freeze when the loading progress bar becomes full. However, if I put RAM only into the bottom slot, nothing will come up and it will just start beeping as soon as I turn it on.

    I'm mostly resigned to the likelihood that it's dead and not worth investing in a new logic board replacement, but I'll keep trying, and if anyone has other ideas, that would be welcome.
  10. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Unfortuneatly, it sounds like you're out of options and its a dead computer. The issue with the repair program is that you getting previously failed logic boards that get reballed. If there were other problems associated with the older logic board they may have gotten missed by Apple.
  11. Queen6 macrumors 604


    Dec 11, 2008
    Flying over the rainforest at dawn - Priceless
    Reworking failed boards (speaking generally) results in a much higher rate of failure. Apple simply opted for the cheapest option, at the same time leaving a good number of it`s customers in the lurch. Apple should have been forced by a court of law to replace all defective units with newly designed rMBP`s that are less prone to such issue. As frankly Apple has made rather a habit of the 15" MBP failing prematurely due to dGPU issues...


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10 March 26, 2016