Reinstall OS

honkin

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 7, 2019
5
0
Hi
Helping out a friend whose HDD died. I got him a new OWC Mercury Extreme 6G SSD and have installed it in the machine (an early 2011 Macbook Pro 8.2)

I have formatted the drive using disk utility, but am unable to get it to reinstall the OS. It tries to install Lion each time, but fails. I have tried to boot to a bootable USB with the High Sierra installer on it, but no go there. I even booted to recovery mode and accessed terminal and changed to the USB stick and tried to launch the installer app, but it said command not recognised.

I'm kind of running out of options, so if someone has any suggestions, that would be great. There is a CD drive in the Macbook, so maybe I could create a bootable CD with an OS on it. He had High Sierra installed when it died, so be great to do that, though I suspect I may have to do an earlier one firs and upgrade progressively.

Any help gladly accepted

cheers
 

Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
17,179
5,535
An IMPORTANT QUESTION about the 2011 MacBook Pro.
What size is the display?

If it's 15" or 17", could he have "RadeonGate"?
(If you don't know what that is, look it up)

This may have nothing to do at all with the problem.
But for a 2011 MBP, it must be asked.

Having said that, DON'T try to create a "boot DVD" for later versions of the OS.
Bootable USB is a BETTER choice.

I'm also suspicious of the OWC drive.
Why don't you try a standard 2.5" SSD inside the MBP instead?
Or... use a USB3/SATA external enclosure to "prep and test" the drive BEFORE you install it into the MBP?
 
Last edited:

honkin

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 7, 2019
5
0
An IMPORTANT QUESTION about the 2011 MacBook Pro.
What size is the display?

If it's 15" or 17", could he have "RadeonGate"?
(If you don't know what that is, look it up)

This may have nothing to do at all with the problem.
But for a 2011 MBP, it must be asked.

Having said that, DON'T try to create a "boot DVD" for later versions of the OS.
Bootable USB is a BETTER choice.

I'm also suspicious of the OWC drive.
Why don't you try a standard 2.5" SSD inside the MBP instead?
Or... use a USB3/SATA external enclosure to "prep and test" the drive BEFORE you install it into the MBP?
Hi Fishrrman

Thanks for your reply.

It is a 15" and yes, it does have some graphics issues occasionally, like a bright blue screen at times and even the screen splitting when in disk utility once or twice. Having said that, am not sure that would affect the install; hard to say. If I get the drive up and running and he still has issues, he may have to look to get it repaired or replaced. I simply offered to replace his HDD for him

I'll try one more time with a USB, but might go back to an earlier version of the OS and see how it goes. The last resort will be a SATA enclosure or external cable to setup the drive on my iMac and then put it back in the MBP

I have no such concerns with the OWC. Put two into my iMac when the fusion drive died and it fairly flies

thanks for your reply
 

CoastalOR

macrumors 68020
Jan 19, 2015
2,455
899
Oregon, USA
It is a 15" and yes, it does have some graphics issues occasionally, like a bright blue screen at times and even the screen splitting when in disk utility once or twice. Having said that, am not sure that would affect the install; hard to say. If I get the drive up and running and he still has issues, he may have to look to get it repaired or replaced. I simply offered to replace his HDD for him
I also suspect the dGPU is the problem. If the dGPU has failed completely then that can prevent startup during the boot hardware check. I had the same failure to boot by any method when my 2011 MBP failed.

Have you tried putting the SSD in an USB external drive enclosure? Granted it would be slow because it is USB2, but it is another check because sometimes the internal SATA cable goes bad. Just something else to try, but it looks bad since you could not boot from a USB High Sierra installer.
 

honkin

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 7, 2019
5
0
hi guys and thanks so much for your replies

I had tried all of the things suggested, but in the end, I followed some instructions I found online to actually disable the dGPU using Ubuntu, as it was determined this was the culprit. I then had a tiny sensor removed by someone with a soldering iron and a good eye to make sure it does not work at all. This has made the machine boot absolutely perfectly and it works fine. It was apparently a known issue by Apple and they even had a repair program to fix it for free; no longer of course.

The downside is, the mate I was doing this for is a photographer and he understood the risk of possibly losing the ability to use his external with the dGPU disabled. Well, this fear has been realised, as that dGPU was responsible for the external monitor. it was either a non-working machine or a working one with no external display. So he is now wanting another way to go so he can get back his ability to use an external display.

I have seen many replacement logic boards available for the 15" 2011 Macbook Pro 8.2. From what I can see his has a A1286 (EMC 2353-1*) in it or (EMC 2353*) - I'll find out definitively before I do anything. I would just have a couple of questions if I were to purchase this for him and install it.

Firstly, how does one guarantee the screw holes will line up? Is that A1286 form factor standard as far as that goes? Secondly, his 2011 machine had a pretty low RAM limit, yet some of the A1286 boards I have seen will take 128 or even 256 Gb of RAM. This would be great as an upgrade, but are there any pitfalls at all?

Thanks so much for your help.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
17,179
5,535
"The downside is, the mate I was doing this for is a photographer and he understood the risk of possibly losing the ability to use his external with the dGPU disabled. Well, this fear has been realised, as that dGPU was responsible for the external monitor. it was either a non-working machine or a working one with no external display. So he is now wanting another way to go so he can get back his ability to use an external display."

The "solution" to use another display is easy:
Buy another MacBook Pro.
 

MSastre

macrumors 6502a
Aug 18, 2014
524
207
"The downside is, the mate I was doing this for is a photographer and he understood the risk of possibly losing the ability to use his external with the dGPU disabled. Well, this fear has been realised, as that dGPU was responsible for the external monitor. it was either a non-working machine or a working one with no external display. So he is now wanting another way to go so he can get back his ability to use an external display."

The "solution" to use another display is easy:
Buy another MacBook Pro.
Agree. if he is using it professionally, it's past time to get a new machine.
 

honkin

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 7, 2019
5
0
Agree. if he is using it professionally, it's past time to get a new machine.
I see no mention anywhere of my mate using the machine professionally. I said he was a photographer. That's his hobby.

I really do appreciate both your replies, but the questions related to the purchase of a new logic board; neither answer bothered to address that

cheers
 

ApfelKuchen

macrumors 68040
Aug 28, 2012
3,141
1,800
Between the coasts
I can't answer with firm knowledge regarding the screw holes, but I will say this...

"Model 1286" describes the Late 2008, Mid 2009, Mid 201, Early 2011, Late 2011, and Mid 2012 15" MacBook Pros. I tend to doubt that mounting holes would line up perfectly for every one of those models. I'd stick to boards built for the 2011 to be safe. I'm fairly confident that Apple's not the type to move things around mid-stream.

A brief look at the used MLB listings tells me this - lower price seems to equate to greater age (CPU and GPU performance likely pay some part, as well as the likelihood that the older the unit, the smaller the demand for parts). The 2011 boards tend to sell in the $380+ USD range. While an investment in an SSD seems reasonable to revive a machine of that age (SSDs can be repurposed for other machines or external usage), I think $380 or more USD for a model-specific part is a bit too much to risk.

I did replace the drive and flex cable assembly in a similarly-aged MacBook Pro for a friend, and it turned out very well, leaving them with a far better machine than they had previously. But had that machine required a more expensive repair, I probably would not have recommended it.
 

honkin

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 7, 2019
5
0
Cheers ApfelKuchen

It's odd, as I would have expected the A1286 was a form factor, kind of like ATX, Micro ATX etc for PCs. If you are looking for an ATX motherboard, they all have the same screw holes, so you can replace one with confidence.

having already replaced his old drive with a speedy OWC Mercury Extreme SSD, it would just be nice if I can get him back the ability to use an external display. That was the only reason to look for a replacement logic board. It's just a bit frustrating not to be able to definitively know if a board will fit the machine.

Thanks again for your reply