I have an old Macbook Pro (15-inch, mid-2010). Unfortunately,

  1. (mechanical, non-SSD) hard disk has bad sectors; it needs to be replaced,
  2. the GPU is faulty, if it is in use, the kernel panics; sometimes within several minutes from the boot up.

I figured out the procedure for installing a new working hard drive, yet before I do that, I have to ask:

Does the macOS installer rely on GPU? If yes, is it possible to make the installer not to use GPU?

  • It not so much that it relies on the GPU, but it's a graphical installer so it will likely make calls to it. – Allan Mar 30 '18 at 13:18

Is your Mac a dual-gpu model? I've seen cases where the descrete GPU goes bad and causes crashes, but if you disable it and go integrated GPU only, it will function normally. Worth a shot.

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  • Dual-GPU = dedicated GPU + intergrated one? – coderodde Mar 30 '18 at 13:42
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    This MacBook Pro has an NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M and Intel HD Graphics. This thread at iFixit has more info about graphics card problems on your particular MBP. – IconDaemon Mar 30 '18 at 14:53
  • @IconDaemon Ohhh, boy... That's not gonna be easy. – coderodde Mar 30 '18 at 15:47
  • Do you have another Mac? You can install the OS on to your Mac via Target Disk mode, then boot it up and quickly disable the discrete GPU in System Prefs. Hopefully your iffy Mac can make it that far without crashing. Then if this is actually the solution to the problem, you should be good. – l008com Mar 31 '18 at 1:21
  • @l008com Unfortunately not. – coderodde Mar 31 '18 at 16:38

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