With my 2011 MBP, when connected to my external screen I always encounter an issue when waking up from sleep mode, if the lid was closed (and only if lid is closed from what my tests show).
To summarize:

  • MBP + External screen + Lid closed
    Wake-up with scrambled external screen and black MBP screen. MBP frozen.
  • MBP + External screen + Lid not closed
    Wake-up normally from sleep mode.
  • MBP without external screen (lid closed or not)
    Wake-up normally from sleep mode.

Do you have any idea of what could cause this and how I could fix the issue?

Here is how my external screen looks like after a wake-up in the first case:

scrambled screen

I've seen this issue but it's for older version of MBP and my system is up to date regarding the Software Update option.

Edit: Last EFI update installed yesterday seems to have fixed the issue!

Last update:

Several years without any issue and then, recently, having really serious issues appearing (MBP freezing or rebooting (console showing gpuRestart crash logs)), I went to the Apple Store.

They changed the GPU (hence the full motherboard). This was free because of an extended repair program for this very specific problem. See details here. Program ends in Feb 2016, so hurry up in case you have the same issue!

  • If you take a screen shot using Skitch or the built in screen snapper - Does it show the video card is intending to draw the correct frame?
    – bmike
    Sep 20, 2011 at 19:09
  • 1
    @bmike When MBP wakes up in this case, it's completely frozen and I cannot use any application to take the screenshot (Unless I didn't understand the question!).
    – LudoMC
    Sep 20, 2011 at 19:13
  • I wasn't expecting that! I would call AppleCare to open a case while you are at home and get all the details (external monitor, etc...) documented. Give them a shot to send the details to engineering and do take it for repair if you can be without it. For the system to freeze hard, this should be something Apple can help get to the bottom of and resolve for you. (There should be worldwide phone support - even in Monaco :-) )
    – bmike
    Sep 20, 2011 at 19:18
  • Mini Display Port cable? support.apple.com/en-gb/HT203404
    – Tetsujin
    Sep 9, 2015 at 6:53
  • 1
    @Tetsujin See my last update. Thx for your attention
    – LudoMC
    Sep 10, 2015 at 18:11

1 Answer 1


Although it's likely a hardware issue, you could try a few things if you don't want to get hardware help from Apple yet.

  1. See if this happens when booting in Safe Mode.
  2. Install a clean OS on an external drive to be sure it's not some extension or conflict.
  3. Look in the console logs - see if you can see any obvious errors.
  4. Try with other monitors and cables - it could be a bad cable or display. An EFI or firmware update might be needed to make the mac handle this situation better (it should never freeze) - and a report to Apple with details how to reproduce this might help get a fix sooner unless others have reported this specific combination.
  5. If you have alternate RAM - do try swapping that in for testing. The newest macs use RAM heavily for display buffering - and wake from sleep is a time when you first can see issues with RAM going bad.

I'm lucky to have stores close by and would head there for a diagnostic checkup - so keep that in mind - it could just be a hardware failure / bad RAM, but anything you can do to narrow down the cause or rule out software / accessories by disconnecting everything but the bare minimum could save you a trip to the shop.

  • I also suspected something like that but wanted at least another point of view. So, I'll bring it to a Genius, still under warranty, so... The only issue is to find the time to go there...! :)
    – LudoMC
    Sep 23, 2011 at 18:10
  • You can "phone it in" an apple will send you a box. For portable GPU/CPU its generally equally fast as a store repair.
    – bmike
    Sep 23, 2011 at 22:12

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