Repair Recommendation

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by JTSmeed, Mar 3, 2011.

  1. JTSmeed macrumors member

    Jun 25, 2009
    My boss has a 17" MacBook Pro with the silver keys that is in sad shape. He just ordered a core i7 to replace it but asked me to see what repair options make sense for the old one.

    The optical drive is dead after he fished a small CD out of it with a paper clip, so that needs to be replaced. This item I'm not too concerned about. We can either leave it broken or I can replace this item myself.

    The screen often turns multiple colors with vertical lines running through it. This problem is temporarily resolved by either smacking the palm rest or slightly bending the machine. I suspect that this will require a logic board replacement.

    So, I'm looking for advice as to the most economical repair option for this machine as the warranty has long since expired. Should I look to the Genius bar to see how much it would cost to repair or perhaps a local authorized apple repair outfit? If I could source the parts and be confident that a logic board replacement will solve the issue, I feel confident in doing the replacement myself. Where would I look to find these parts?

    Thanks for any thoughts.
  2. alust2013 macrumors 601


    Feb 6, 2010
    On the fence
    If it requires a logic board replacement, it would be far more expensive than it's worth.
  3. jbrenn macrumors 6502a

    Aug 27, 2008
    If it has the 8600 gt that may be the problem. It would be replaced for free. Check the pcie lane width it should be x16 if it is less then the chip is failing. If it has the 8600m gt and it shows x16 it still might be failing take it to an apple store or service provider and they can run a test on it. To fix the superdrive just buy and external you can find them for about $30 it will be cheaper then replacing it.
  4. dime21 macrumors 6502

    Dec 9, 2010
    your boss is a gorilla. he has no business trying to "fix" anything.... which is precisely how it got into its current state of neglect. you want my thoughts? i think you should tell your boss to fix his own damn computer. or maybe get yourself a new boss.
  5. JTSmeed thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 25, 2009
    While he may have treated the machine the way a gorilla might, it is none the less my job to deal with all of the computer needs here. He would not be doing any of the repairs though. All repairs will done by Apple or an Authorized repair agent, or myself.

    When I can get my hands on it, I'll check out the specs more closely and see what type of graphics it has. The superdrive is of minimal concern as it's been doing fine for several months without a functioning drive.

    Thanks for the input all.
  6. JTSmeed thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 25, 2009
    Very helpful. I got a hold of the System Profiler data for the machine and it has the 8600M GT with pcie lane width x16. As soon as his new machine arrives, I'll get it to Apple to see if they will repair/replace it. Are you implying that there is a chance of repair despite it being an early 2008 model with no extended Apple Care?

  7. jbrenn macrumors 6502a

    Aug 27, 2008
    yes those chips are known to fail. They have a special tester and if it fails the test they will repair it for free.

    Last Modified: June 10, 2010
    Article: TS2377

    In July 2008, NVIDIA publicly acknowledged a higher than normal failure rate for some of their graphics processors due to a packaging defect. At that same time, NVIDIA assured Apple that Mac computers with these graphics processors were not affected. However, after an Apple-led investigation, Apple has determined that some MacBook Pro computers with the NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT graphics processor may be affected. If the NVIDIA graphics processor in your MacBook Pro has failed, or fails within four years of the original date of purchase, a repair will be done free of charge, even if your MacBook Pro is out of warranty.

    What to look for:

    Distorted or scrambled video on the computer screen
    No video on the computer screen (or external display) even though the computer is on
    Specific products affected:

    MacBook Pro 15-inch and 17-inch models with NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT graphics processors

    MacBook Pro (17-Inch, 2.4GHz)
    MacBook Pro (15-Inch, 2.4/2.2GHz)
    MacBook Pro (Early 2008)
    These computers were manufactured between approximately May 2007 and September 2008
    Products Affected
    MacBook Pro, models with NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT graphics processors

    If your MacBook Pro is exhibiting any of the symptoms listed above, please take it to an Apple Retail Store or an Apple Authorized Service Provider (AASP) for evaluation, or call your nearest Apple Contact Center. Before visiting the Genius Bar at the Apple Retail Store, please make a reservation (available in some countries only).

    Apple is issuing refunds to customers who may have paid for repairs related to this issue. Please contact Apple for details on the refund process.
  8. JTSmeed, Mar 3, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2011

    JTSmeed thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 25, 2009
    Thanks jbrenn

    That's great info. I'll post back once I've had the chance to get Apple to test it. :)
  9. JTSmeed thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 25, 2009

    Sorry for the long-ish post... But...

    So, I took the machine to an Authorized Apple Repair place (not an Apple store) and they tested for the Nvidia fault. The machine passed the tests, despite the screen looking all garbled while I was there having it tested. I asked them to check out the machine and quote me for repair. I was quoted as needing a new display clamshell for more than $800 after labor costs. I didn't agree with their assessment since the display cable coming out of the display clamshell and connecting to the logic board was in fine condition and moving the screen had no effect on the condition. So, I declined the repair and took the machine as is.

    While messing with the machine, I noticed that there was a lot of flex in the main body of the machine and flexing it certain ways either caused or (temporarily) cured the graphics issue. So, I tore it apart. When the chassis was flexing, so was the logic board. Strangely, nearly every screw on the inside was loose; however, tightening them had minimal effect. After a bit of googling, I came across this post about baking a logic board that had graphics problems.


    While the issue I was having was different from the one in the blog post, I decided it was worth a shot. I had already found a couple of replacement logic boards on eBay for around $300 in case this failed catastrophically.

    Long story short, I masked off the plastic bits on the logic board and baked at around 370ºF for about 8 minutes. I let it cool in the oven with it turned off and the door open for about 20 minutes and then an additional 10 or so outside of the oven. Reinstalled the board and booted it up. It booted right up and did not show any graphical glitches. It's been about a day since the baking and so far, I haven't seen any graphics glitches.

    Not so happy with the Authorized Apple Service place, but still pleased that I got the machine up and running. Only time will tell if this is a permanent solution or only a temporary band-aid.
  10. alexxn macrumors regular


    May 14, 2009
    S. Fla

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