My early 2011 MBP stopped booting up. It now shows only a grey screen after about 1/3 of the boot up process. I tried Verbose mode, where the last lines visible before the grey screen can be seen in the picture. Could it be a faulty GPU? It is a MBP from the era with defective AMD GPUs. So far I never had problems with it.

Screenshot of verbose boot

I've read that I can disable the AMD gpu by moving away the AMD kexts. However single user mode gives me sandbox violations if I do this.

The problem exists if I try to boot into Safe Mode as well.

I have run AHT extended and get a 4MEM/9/40… error. I guess this means the RAM is bad? Now trying only one module at a time.

With only one module, I don't get errors. Tried three AHT passes. However I still can't boot. Not even recovery with Cmd+R. Next step: internet recovery.

Internet recovery leads to the same grey screen and fans spinning. Next step: PRAM an SMC reset.

SMC reset did not help either. I fear I am out of options. I guess I'll have to get the machine to a service place…

  • 1
    Have you tried running Apple Hardware Test (AHT). Hold the D key while booting from a powered off state with the AC adapter connected. Given that this is a 2011 MBP which have been known to have GPU, it's quite likely, but until you diagnose it, you won't know for sure.
    – Allan
    Feb 19, 2017 at 13:44
  • Nope. Did not know this existed. Will try!
    – Arne
    Feb 19, 2017 at 16:33
  • It's Option+D on my Mac. Extended test is running now.
    – Arne
    Feb 19, 2017 at 17:00

2 Answers 2


I had the same problem. Your GPU is dead. There was a recall awhile back for my late 2011 model. Maybe Apple will honor it and repair yours for free.

  • 1
    Well, went to a service point. Test shows it's the GPU. Service guy and Apple hotline say: bad luck. Machine is classifiedas vintage since 2017-1-1. so no more repairs…
    – Arne
    Feb 20, 2017 at 19:21
  • 1
    @Arne I feel for ya. Those things aren't cheap. I've considered buying a cheap Dell and then putting Linux on it for my next Laptop.
    – acithium
    Feb 20, 2017 at 19:23
  • 1
    I've used Linux since 1995 and still use it on my Raspberrys, but will stay with Apple. However I don't need a laptop, so will get an iMac instead -- Hopefully those are even more sturdy. Already got a laptop at work, plus the iPhone...
    – Arne
    Feb 21, 2017 at 8:17

Any grace the corporation might have shown you has expired. Free repairs are not offered anymore.

Since all MBPs from that era are defective by design it is impossible to keep them around for the amount of time you would expect from a quality product. Apple's usual procedure is to replace a faulty logicboard wholesale with another faulty logicboard. This is a braindead solution and only a temporary fix currently only still possible through Apple and "Apple Authorized Service Providers" (AASPs) in California or Turkey. Company obsolescence policy prohibits AASPs from performing a logicboard service for machines this old, and even if AASPs were willing to perform a replacement they will not get any replacement parts from Apple.

Only independent service providers might be able to exchange the GPU or even the whole logicboard.

If this machine is still around then it can be partially resurrected with a procedure like this:


This change in software configuration bypasses the AMD GPU on boot through a forced EFI variable in NVRAM and gives you a few more usable weeks with a "zombie" MacBook Pro.

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