It boots up until the progress bar is at about 80%, then it flashes to an empty grey screen, no login window shown, no Apple logo. 30 seconds later it reboots on its own.

Things I tried:

  • reset the PRAM/NVRAM
  • reset SMC
  • booted with d+shift: no indication of any kind of different boot, same as normal boot
  • booted with cmd+r: it doesn't boot to the recovery window, but switches to "Internet Recovery". Internet Recovery runs to 100% before switching to the grey screen
  • ran Apple Hardware Test (quick and extended): no failures
  • tried to boot from an "Install Sierra" USB pendrive: it recognizes the pendrive, but boots with the same behavior as a normal boot
  • booted to single user mode: I can boot to Single User mode and run fsck on the different partitions. I cannot repair user permissions (thanks, Apple, for removing that functionality).
  • booted with a live Linux USB-stick: it works, although I have to enter the boot option "nodmraid". However, I cannot start Xorg. I can ssh into the MacBook when booting with Linux. I also ran testdisk and recovered (at least I think so) the partition table. Both, the normal Mac partition, as well as the Recovery Partition are there.
  • booting to verbose mode.

Some errors occur:

task_exceeded_footprint: failed to warn the current task...

AppleKeyStore: operation failed (pid: 45 sel: 7 ret: e00002c2....

configureInterests - nElements <= 0!Failed to configure interests
I080211Controller:addSubscriptionForThisReporterFetchedOnTimer() Failed to addSubcription 

I080211InterfaceMonitor::configureSubscriptions() failed to add subscription

and it finally stops at

IOConsoleusers: gIOScreenLockState 3, hs 0, bs 0, now 0, sm 0x0

Any help is appreciated. Does this mean it has a dead GPU? I just found out that Apple's repair program ended in December 2016...


4 Answers 4


Does this mean it has a dead GPU?

Yes. Absolutely. This means it is one of thousands GPUs killed by inadequate thermal design that finally bit the bullet. As 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.

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


This bypasses the AMD GPU through a forced EFI variable. No amount of SMC reset voodoo or the like will restore a GPU dead MBP.

You might want to bake the chip for a flaky temporary fix like with the iBake procedure.

The only real fix though is to either sue Apple like they deserve for lying on this to us all or to replace only the AMD chip in question. That is way cheaper than to go the now defunct Apple road of replacing a faulty board with another faulty board.

Converting it over into a Linux machine makes the GPU bypass on a defective machine easier, but will not do much good for keeping it around long enough.


You can try this:
1. Remove hard drive.
2. Backup all data from it (external case will help) to another computer.
3. Format your HD.
4. Try to install and boot a fresh (factory like) MacOS.
PS: it is also an option to install a HD from a working MacBook, if you have access to one.

If that fails, you definitely have a hardware problem.

  • I am unsure whether or not step 4 will work... how can I install Mac OS without a physical medium to boot from? Aug 8, 2017 at 9:26
  • This question is very alike. Try contacting and probably your situation will appear the same, sadly though. apple.stackexchange.com/questions/273598/…
    – MrCheatak
    Aug 8, 2017 at 9:27
  • Here you will need a second computer another time to make a flash drive with a MacOS distributive. There are many articles on how to make one.
    – MrCheatak
    Aug 8, 2017 at 9:29
  • I made a flash drive with sierra from another mac. It isn't booting up... Aug 8, 2017 at 9:39
  • 1
    Then it's hardware and most likely GPU, though the exact diagnosis you will hear only after bringing your Mac to a service.
    – MrCheatak
    Aug 8, 2017 at 9:45

You model is known to have a faulty video logic board, and Apple even has a repair program for them.

Before going the Apple Store route, you can try one more thing, which , if it fails, proves that there is something gravely wrong with the hardware (something you probably already suspect). You can connect a FireWire/Thunderbolt cable between yours and a working Mac, and use Target Boot mode to see if it boots properly. You can find more detailed instructions here but it pretty much entails booting your MacBook while pressing the 'T' key.

  • 1
    unfortunately, the repair program ended 8 months ago for my model... Aug 8, 2017 at 9:40
  • 1
    @Bartholomaios I had the GPU failure with my mid-2012 15" Retina MacBook pro (different symptoms - everything was fine unless I wanted to reboot which took a few hours). After a couple calls to Apple and a visit to the store, they eventually agreed to replace the faulty logic board. Unfortunately, 5 months later, it's failing again, now with nearly identical symptoms to yours. Jun 25, 2018 at 13:03

In case anyone else ends up here with boot loop issues with a 2011 MBP or similar years. This is not the GPU fault as other answers have suggested.

From all my research this is most likely a new battery needed. I am replacing mine this week and will report back.

I have MBP 2011 and I had the GPU card fault. It doesn’t boot loop from this. It just causes screen issues. Mine was fixed when Apple finally caved in and offered repairs for the dodgy GPU.

As the original poster suggested I also tried all the fixes and it is impossible to even boot from a recovery drive of any sort. You get to Apple logo. Progress bar starts. Then you reboot or screen goes grey or black then reboot or shutdown. You won’t even get through to safe mode etc.

A few YouTube tech videos spotted it being a battery problem.

It seems non-sensical as power is getting to your laptop and starting it up. But something about the battery prevents it fully booting.

I wouldn’t put it past Apple to have made this intentional. But there is no reason a degraded battery should cause this.

On a separate note. Yes it’s an old MBP but these old ones are absolute workhorses and the last of the upgradable MBPs. Apple ruined the MBP line by preventing RAM and battery upgrades. They essentially realised the older MBPs lasted so long they’d shot themselves in the feet. And now with new MBPs they’re shooting us original Apple fans in the back with hyper expensive products with limited shelf lives.

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