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macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 28, 2013
Hi all,

Long time reader, first time posting here on MacRumors!

I've had this Macbook Pro 15" since March 2011, and it's run very well until recently. About 6 months after purchase I upgraded the 500GB HDD to a 120GB SSD, and replaced the 4GB RAM with 8GB.

The spec is thus as follows:

March 2011 15" MBP, 1680x1050 screen
2GHz i7
AMD 6490M 256MB

A couple of times in the last 6 months the computer has, when switched on, frozen at a blank white screen with no cursor and nothing whatsoever on the screen.

These were isolated incidents, and holding down the power button to shut down would clear the problem and it would boot fine on the next attempt.

The problem has reared its head several times today however. Every time I start the machine it freezes on that white blank screen. When I hold the power button to shut down (the only option at that point), and try to start it again, I get this screen:

Note that despite how it may look in the photo, the blue colour is uniform across the display.

Repeated attempts to restart may result in either this screen or the white screen several more times before it boots to desktop successfully.

Holding shift to go into safe mode generally works, but a few times the blue screen has appeared during the boot sequence to safe mode (appeared while the grey progress bar loads at the bottom of the screen).

I've never done much gaming on this computer, but tried some borderlands yesterday before these problems started. It ran surprisingly well on low settings. I've also played through Portal 2 on this machine with no issues. When I try to play either game today, the computer crashes.

Either to a black screen (though the display is still powered), or to this screen:

That last shot is close-up to show the texture on the screen. Uniform grey with vertical lines across the entire screen.

In either case the computer is unresponsive and has to be reset by holding the power button. Sometimes the audio (menu music) continues to play in the background, and sometimes the audio loops.

I've been living in Jerez, southern Spain for the last year, but will be returning home to the UK in a couple of months. I can't realistically take it anywhere to be looked at here - I'd rather wait until I get back to the UK and take it to an apple store where hopefully my 3 year AppleCare will be of help!

I've tried 'Verify Disk' and 'Repair Disk Permissions' in Disk Utility. There were a couple of permissions to be repaired, and it's done that successfully.

I've also tried a full hardware scan (Option + D on startup) which took about 45 minutes and showed no trouble.

It seems to be useable at the moment, but loading Borderlands/Portal 2 causes these problems and it requires several attempts to boot to desktop.

Does anyone have any idea what the problem might be? Any insight would be greatly appreciated!



macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 28, 2013

The computer no longer boots at all - attempted startup without holding any buttons on the keyboard gives either the blue screen above or a plain white screen.

Holding shift to enter safe mode begins the process of entering safe mode, but at about 1/3 on the progress bar at the bottom of the screen the process stops, and I get the blank blue screen shown above.

The blue screen is a single shade of royal blue across the entire display with no cursor.

I've been trying to start the machine for the last half hour with no luck - if anyone could help at all I'd appreciate it. Thanks!


macrumors 68020
Feb 5, 2011
I would do a Shift-Command-V during boot to boot it in verbose safe mode, and then watch the messages as they scroll by to try to determine where it's stopping.

Sounds like a logic board issue to me though.


macrumors newbie
Aug 28, 2013
My Macbook Pro (Late 2011) is doing exactly the same thing, I checked in with "Apple Genius" and they told me I needed a new $300-$500 logic board. Did you find out anything?


macrumors member
Dec 2, 2011
I think we can establish that you need to fork over a considerable sum of money to Apple so that you can have it fixed, only to have it break 3 months later.


macrumors regular
Jul 21, 2011
I'm having the same problem. I've run the hardware tests and they pass. I have apple care but have modded my machine by adding memory and an SSD drive. I don't want t have to pull all of that out unless absolutely necessary.
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