Take the 2-minute tour ×
Ask Different is a question and answer site for power users of Apple hardware and software. It's 100% free, no registration required.

My graphics card has malfunctioned and is preventing my MacBook Pro (2011) from booting.

Based on my research I will have to otherwise have the logic board replaced.

The defective ATI graphics card is preventing my MacBook Pro from booting because it gets stuck on a gray screen sometimes even when using the recovery CD.

share|improve this question
    
Hi, did you find any solution to disable the GC via comand line? (exept using gfx because I can't boot...) –  Samoth Dec 10 '13 at 10:06
    
@Samoth try Ivan's Solution below, but the real fix is to either replace the logic board or to do a solder reflow (which may void your warranty and they may even refuse to fix it even after the warranty has ended). If you do, ensure you use arctic silver heat compound. –  frazras Jan 24 at 17:06
add comment

5 Answers

The line between repairing a circuit with a bad card that is drawing down voltage, or killing a communications bus or overheating and just surgically disabling the component that is soldered to the whole is non-existant.

You'll need to swap the board or start destroying things and hope that you guess well and don't do more damage than good when you are disconnecting traces on the logic board.

If you had specific diagnostic information as to the precise failure, then perhaps there would be something to do, but as written, there's no cause for hope that you can extend the life of this computer.

share|improve this answer
add comment

I faced the same problem with my late 2011 MacBook Pro 15". After checking several possibilities (bad RAM, firmware, corrupt OS, etc) I ended up concluding that I have a malfunctioning discrete video card (AMD Radeon HD 6750M). The integrated card (Intel HD Graphics 3000) seems to be okay. After the boot process is concluded, it is possible to force the use of the integrated card using the software gfxCardStatus (http://gfx.io/). However, I could not find a way to force the use of the integrated video card during the boot process. I managed to find that the boot process can be finished after leaving the blank screen on for about 15 or even 30 minutes, powering the computer off, and turning it on again. I am still learning about the problem... Anyway, it seems to be possible to replace the discrete video card without replacing the logic board. Good luck, Hani

share|improve this answer
    
Is it possible to remove the discrete video card at all? I want it to work using integrated only. –  geotavros Nov 19 '13 at 7:19
add comment

Its been about seven months since my card went bad. Since then I have done 3 solder reflows using a hot air gun. Those fixes last for about a month. What I really end up doing is pray it actually progresses past the bootscreen, which it sometimes does after 30 restarts. I then run gfxCardStatus (http://gfx.io/) then ensure not to restart. I had 45days uptime recently until a usb short forced me to reboot. It failed, I turned it off for about six hours, tried again and it booted. I have been up 13days since running on the internal intel card.

WARNING!!!!

Do not do a solder reflow if you plan to get the logic board replaced at an apple store. They wont want to accept a modified system, and TEKSERVE in New York was charging me over $1000 for the logic board which is more expensive than a second hand MBP on Ebay.

share|improve this answer
    
7 reflows latr and still going :-) :-( –  frazras Oct 18 '13 at 17:49
    
so how is your macbook going? Do you remove logic board to do solder reflow with heat gun? And how do you do it? –  geotavros Apr 9 at 19:30
add comment

I have had this same problem with this same card. I know that it won't boot when I see horizontal blue bars through the Apple logo at the login screen, it goes to white-screen after that and the fans rev up.

I've found the most reliable way to boot up is to let it advance to the white/grey screen after the Apple logo, then I close the lid and wrap it in a blanket or put it in my laptop sleeve. It will overheat and automatically shut down. Almost every time it will start up in that state.

It used to be tense but after 9 months of this it's pretty standard.

share|improve this answer
    
So after over heating, it starts back up? Does it skip the white screen? –  frazras Oct 18 '13 at 17:48
    
@frazras, after overheating it starts. I turn it on and get grey screen and fans' noize. Put it on the sofa to overheat, after 2 - 10 restarts it loads OS. I can switch to integrated GPU with gfxCardStatus. After that it can work for several days without putting to sleep and restarting. –  geotavros Apr 9 at 19:29
add comment

My early 2011 17" starting exhibiting grapics errors yesterday. Today it would not boot. Boot fails when the screen exhibits vertical bars instead of gray background when the apple logo first appears. The apple logo disappears and only gray remains. Then the fans crank up.

I can get back to a successful boot with the integrated graphics. Here is how:

  1. Let system complete its failed bootup complete with whirring fans.
  2. Go through boot login procedure blind
  3. Wait appropriate time for login to complete.
  4. Remove power adapter (this steps seems to force computer to default to integrated graphics)
  5. Hold down power button for five seconds to force power off.
  6. Press power button and reboot normally on integrated graphics.

Once running, I use gfxCardStatus to set Integrated Only graphics. Of course, my external monitor can not be used.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.