Suspected 8600GT problem that Apple refuses to fix :( Need Advice!

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Artagra, Mar 18, 2011.

  1. Artagra macrumors member

    Sep 6, 2007
    So I have a 2008 Macbook Pro with the nVidia 8600GT that won't boot at all - no chime, no noise out the speakers, no display.

    I've sent it in twice to the Apple service agents in South Africa (Core, unfortunately not the most trustworthy company) and they have twice offered me a quote of $900 for a Logic Board replacement as my only option.

    Before the second return, I spoke to Apple in the UK and got them to create a case number that Core could look up. The Apple agent I first spoke to said it sounded like it was the 8600GT problem, and that he would make a note here that they must specifically investigate that.

    Unfortunately, Apple has a test that Core runs from an external HDD, and they feel that if that test passes or cannot run, then the problem is not the 8600GT but something else.

    Now, from my understanding of the problem (solder joints below the graphics card failing over time due to heat cycling), Apple's argument that the only result of an 8600GT failure is a black screen but a computer that still powers on is illogical and flawed. Surely if random connections to the GPU are being severed, that could result in the system not switching on at all?

    I've seen on the forums that some people with the same problem as me (computer not booting far enough to run the test) were still able to get Apple to swap out their logic board. Has anyone got any advice on how I can proceed in this? Surely it's Apple's responsibility to prove that the system does not have the nVidia fault, rather than my responsibility to prove that it does?

    Otherwise, how much does a Logic Board replacement cost in the USA? I think the $900 they want to charge me in SA is ludicrous. I've read on older threads of people being charged a flat rate of $330 for a logic board replacement - is this still the case, or have the prices gone up?

    Finally, does anyone know how I can investigate further if this Macbook Pro does or does not have the 8600GT problem? Would there be any physical evidence, or any information (error logs etc) I could take off of the drive?
  2. Nightarchaon macrumors 65816


    Sep 1, 2010
    I had the exact same problem, GPU fried and took the logic board with it, Apple refused out of warrenty exchange for the GPU issue because they could not run the test.

    I am in the UK, so we have the sales of goods act 1974 (or 84 or whatever, i cant remember now, and im not at home with the paperwork to hand) so i tooke my MBP in, with a pre-printed letter, they looked at it, it failed to run the test, and they pulled the " you have to buy a new logic board " line, so i asked to speak to the manager, handed him the letter saying i would be seeking compensation because the fault was in line with an expected failure of a know faulty component and that i would be persuing the matter to the fullest extent of the available laws, and was promptly given authorization for a free reapair under the extended GPU warrenty.

    when i was in picking up my MBP after its repair 2 days later, somone else had a dead MBP and the "Genius" had sold them on buying a new MBP ..

    Apples staff are trained to avoid giving away repairs, and to drive new unit sales rather to gouge customers for cash, never forget they are in the business of makeing much $$$ , once you have handed over your cash, they dont want to see you again unless your giving them more.

    Kick up a fuss, tell them your gonig to persue the issue with any trading standards authroity your country has, and above all else, be polite, do not shout, but be clear, speak to the manager, and hand over your intent in writing. They will not want you stood there making there products look unreliable and there service to be shoddy!
  3. digitalfrog macrumors regular


    Nov 26, 2007
    I went through the same just a week ago here in the NL.

    I dropped my early 2008 MBP to an authorized apple dealer as I had video issues. The people at the shop were confident this would be a free repair even though my laptop was out of warranty.

    I received a 750 euros offer a couple of days before, with a statement that the nvidia diagnostic passed without issue but the logic board was dead. This smelled like nasty fish and called them upon it. The revised their statement (but not the offer) saying that because the logicboard was now dead, the test that apple provides to them (from nvidia) could not be executed. They just follow a diagnostic tree and that's it. I talked to a manager several times and he understood I should not pay for it as it's my fault apple can't prove what broke first etc... But the only option he had was to refer me to Apple's client relation.

    I eventually talked to someone from that department that investigated the issue, called the repair center etc... He concluded the same, it's a thin line and to them it's a broken logic board and can't judge what happened before. He also understood my point of view and escalated this to the Engineering department. 2 weeks later (I had to call because my emails were left unanswered) and I got hold of the same gentleman again. The engineering department's answer was negative. Stubborn cold answer: the logic board is dead you have to pay for it.

    Now, the local gentleman said he was still on the fence and offered to pay for the parts if I would agree to pay for the time of repair. I agreed to that and 3 days later my laptop was ready. Total invoice 69 euros ...
  4. Artagra thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 6, 2007
    Thanks for the responses! I'm beginning to feel like my best bet is going to be to get this laptop to the US - I keep reading of people coming right at the second or third Apple Store they go to, but in SA all I have is one ASP! The advice of following up calmly but firmly and investigating and then threatening legal options is a good one, but it's tough as the laptop was bought in the USA but now lives in South Africa - so I assume that would also work better in the USA.

    I'm getting the macbook back here, and then will test it - see if allowing it to warm up gets it to boot or to make the chime, and if it does I will take video evidence of that and then follow up with Apple. They told me over the phone that basically there is no chance of anything being done if the ASP can't get it to fail the test, and if it's not chiming they can't run the test. So if I can get it to chime, and show proof of that, but the ASP can't get it to chime, then I can argue that the ASP is incompetent and that we can't depend on their testing.

    I assume trying to get that software test somewhere online is a pipe dream?
  5. /user/me macrumors 6502

    Feb 28, 2011
  6. iStudentUK macrumors 65816


    Mar 8, 2009
    Sale Of Goods Act 1979 s.14(2). Best bit of info a UK consumer can know!

    Good for you! Nice to see people enforcing their rights. I always try and talk to staff and get a repair/replacement on good faith (which often works) as I don't want to annoy them, but it is good to be able to bring this piece of info out to add some weight if you aren't getting anywhere.

    Where did you actually buy the laptop? You mention the USA, UK and South Africa. The UK has the best consumer rights of the three, so if you bought it there I'd go for the Sale of Goods Act point if you exhaust other options.
  7. Artagra thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 6, 2007
    Bought the laptop in the USA, live and use it in South Africa. Been on the phone to Apple UK because they are in a similar time zone to SA.

    If it had been bought in SA, I could threaten to take the company to the small claims court and I think I would come right - but because it was bought in the US, that's not an option. So it looks like getting a family member / friend to take it back to the US is my best option. Thanks for the advice!
  8. Terrador macrumors regular

    Aug 22, 2008
    There was a website about the NVIDIA/Apple class-action lawsuit that would tell you if you were entitled to compensation or a new computer. Does anyone have that link?
  9. Artagra thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 6, 2007
    Yeah I found that site, unfortunately we are in SA so the class-action lawsuit would be difficult to join, and besides that the time period for claims is closed :/

    Thanks for the help guys. Getting the macbook back on Saturday most likely, will then see what I can do!
  10. saxofunk macrumors regular


    Jul 19, 2006
    Denver, CO
    Seen this many, many times

    I used to be a Genius at Apple, now I work for a Mac repair shop that has no affiliation with them. From my experience and research, it would appear that after the GPU has failed, if the SMC or firmware are reset (sometimes) the firmware ROM will become corrupt. I can usually identify this by removing the RAM (to produce beeps), trying to startup to the bootloader (holding [option]), and trying to force eject a disc from the super drive. If none of these things are working or producing results, it's likely that your firmware has become corrupted. This is why no one can run the NVIDIA test to see if the GPU has failed. The good news is that Apple has the option to use your serial number in place of the graphics test result, every Genius was trained on this when I was there, but I'm not sure they're getting it anymore. Also of not is that the knowledge base article ( pertaining to this REP says that it will only last for four years after the purchase date, so you best hurry.
  11. FlamingoDino macrumors newbie

    Apr 5, 2011
    I'm in the same boat. I was told that b/c the laptop doesn't POST that it isn't the GPU, but is instead the logic board. Not knowing any better (I mean, not as though I can isolate the parts), I returned home defeated. But is that true? I'm in the USA, and I'm trying to solve this one, because it seems unlikely to me that a laptop with a part known to have a higher fail rate isn't the part that has failed.

    For the record, the only things that happen when I power it on are the harddrive spinning up and the light on the front glowing. There's no Apple start tone, or anything else.
  12. DesmoPilot macrumors 65816

    Feb 18, 2008
    Apple policy is if a machine cannot run the GPT test (the test specifically for the nVidia issue) then it is not the nVidia issue.
  13. c7aea macrumors regular

    Oct 2, 2010
    I had the logic board on my 2008 MBP with the 8600GT die a few months ago. It would turn on for 1-3 seconds then turn off.

    I brought it to an authorized apple repair place. They told me that they would take a look at it but they didnt think they could do anything about it, and it would have to be sent to apple. I was quoted a fixed repair cost of $380, so what ever the problem was it would only be $380. I said great because I knew if you damage the board yourself (like a spill) it is a 1K+ repair. It came back in a couple days good as new. According to the receipt they replaced the logic board and also replaced the audio board and some cable. I used a charge card to pay. During the repair time I researched GPU problem. I called apple and asked if it was a bad GPU the caused the logic board to fail. They pulled up the record and said that the test to determine if it had a bad GPU had not been done. It couldn't because the computer wouldn't boot. After asking about all the GPU problems, and the extended warrantee for this problem. I finally got a call back from some one higher up, and he authorized full refund for my $380.

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