Last night I was using my late 2011 MBP (higher res screen, dual Intel/AMD graphics), and the screen suddenly went black. I left it go for a minute - no change. I open and closed the lid – it suspended just fine, but opening the lid back up gave me nothing. So, I killed the power.

Turning it back on, the screen now had thin green lines overlayed over the apple logo boot screen. This stays for a moment – until the loading scroll bar reaches about 1/3 to 1/2 of the way across – and then the screen goes grey.

The same thing happens if I try to launch recovery, internet recovery, or diagnostics whatever. BIOS shows ok (except the overlayed green lines), and then a grey screen. If I hold option, it will show me disk selection (I triple boot OS X/Linux/Windows). But in all cases, the screen goes grey when I try to select something.

The only thing I was able to get to run was internet based diagnostics. I ran extended tests, and no problems were detected (yeah, right).

I've also tried resetting NVRAM, but it doesn't seem to work properly. Usually it boots, goes bong, reboots, and then loads. Instead, it booted, went bong, and then the screen went grey. It never restarted itself.

At the moment I am pretty sure it's either an issue with the the display cable if I'm lucky, or the dedicated graphics adapter or the motherboard (Intel graphics are on-die on the processor) if I'm not.

I have NOT tried hooking it up via dongle to an external display to see if the issue exists there as well, I'll try that this evening.

Has anyone else experienced this issue? Any other possibilities I could look into? I'm assuming that a repair at the Apple Store will be prohibitively expensive.

  • Is it a late 2011 or a late 2012? I guess the former from the model number, but your title and question don't match up.
    – calum_b
    Commented Jan 11, 2016 at 20:17
  • Sorry about that, it's an 8,2 late 2011 model. Basically, the last version that was extensively user modifiable before moving into retina displays and heavily modular designs.
    – Matthew
    Commented Jan 11, 2016 at 20:40
  • Official repairs are now completely impossible. The Repair Extension Program ended. Either get the GPU replaced at shop specialised in this kind of procedure or go here:GPU problem - Boot Hangs on Grey Screen. Refurbished boards are as defective as the original ones. Commented Oct 17, 2017 at 15:11

5 Answers 5


You may be suffering from a known graphics card issue. The good news, if you are, is that Apple will cover it via a repair extension program:

Apple has determined that a small percentage of MacBook Pro systems may exhibit distorted video, no video, or unexpected system restarts. These MacBook Pro systems were sold between February 2011 and December 2013.

Apple or an Apple Authorized Service Provider will repair affected MacBook Pro systems, free of charge.

  • If you have one, you could try an external monitor, that might narrow it down a bit. otherwise take it into your local Apple store. Commented Jan 11, 2016 at 22:26

I have Macbook Pro 15-inch, Late 2011 model. Only posting because I had the exact same issue and tried all recommendations. I found some forum that someone had their thermal paste replaced and it fixed it, so I gave it a try. I did the job myself and my MacBook has been running fine since.

  • Dont really see how replacing the thermal paste for the CPU would correct a boot issue? If you were overheating the CPU I could see that but I'm not sure I can see this causing what the OP stated. Also, the accepted answer by the OP would likely indicate it was the GPU.
    – ʀ2ᴅ2
    Commented Oct 16, 2018 at 2:32

I fixed this issue by disabling the AMD graphics chip as described in the chosen solution (look for the green section) on this forum: Solved: MacBook Pro 2011 GPU Glitch

Please read the full information there. Here are the steps (copied from linked page above):

The initial procedure:

Part 1: Disable SIP, disable dGPU, move one kernel extension

  1. To start from a clean slate: reset SMC and NVRAM:
shutdown, unplug everything except power, now hold 
and release all at the same time;

  2. Now power on again and hold
at the same time until you hear the startup chime two times.

  3. Boot into Single User Recovery by holding 

  4. Disable SIP: enter:
csrutil disable

  5. disable dGPU on boot with setting the following variable:
nvram fa4ce28d-b62f-4c99-9cc3-6815686e30f9:gpu-power-prefs=%01%00%00%00

  6. enable verbose boot mode:
nvram boot-args="-v"

  7. reboot into Single User-mode by holding 
on boot

  8. mount root partition writeable 
/sbin/mount -uw /

  9. make a kext-backup directory
mkdir -p /System/Library/Extensions-off

  10. only move ONE offending kext out of the way:
mv /System/Library/Extensions/AMDRadeonX3000.kext /System/Library/Extensions-off/

  11. inform the system to update its kextcache:
touch /System/Library/Extensions/

  12. reboot normally: 

You should now have an iGPU accelerated display, but the system doesn't know how to power-management the failed AMD-chip. (In this state the GPU is always idling with relatively high power, consuming quite a bit of battery when unplugged and leading to GPU temperatures from 60°C upwards [on average 60-85°C], despite not being used for anything by system.)

Part 2: improve thermal and power management

For improved power management of the disabled GPU you have to either manually load the one crucial kext after boot by:

sudo kextload /System/Library/Extensions-off/AMDRadeonX3000.kext

If you have a temperature sensor application you might want to have it open before issuing the above command and watch the temps drop…

Automate this with the following LoginHook that will get executed after the next reboot:

sudo mkdir -p /Library/LoginHook
sudo nano /Library/LoginHook/LoadX3000.sh

with the following content:

kextload /System/Library/Extensions-off/AMDRadeonX3000.kext
pmset -a force gpuswitch 0 # undocumented/experimental
exit 0

then make it executable and active:

sudo chmod a+x /Library/LoginHook/LoadX3000.sh
sudo defaults write com.apple.loginwindow LoginHook /Library/LoginHook/LoadX3000.sh

The undocumented use of this pmset command seems to improve sleep/wake/shutdown behaviour. If it doesn't, experiment with leaving it out.


I baked my logic board for 7 minutes at 188 °C, I can't believe it, but it works. Look for a YouTube video for instructions. It's a pain to remove the logic board, take your time, be organized.


Turning off FaceTime may help.

  • Welcome to Ask Different and thank you for your answer. :) Unfortunately, short answers such as this don't really provide enough detail or context to help many users. If possible, it'd be good if you could add some more info on why turning off FaceTime would solve this problem, and maybe even how to turn it off? Also, the question makes no reference to FaceTime, so that's another factor to consider. Finally, you may want to read How to Answer for tips on providing answers here.
    – Monomeeth
    Commented Oct 3, 2018 at 0:24

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