This is on an Early 2011 Macbook Pro 17" with i7 2.2ghz and the Intel + Radeon HD6750:


If it is a screen error then I don't mind fixing it myself, but if the GPU is the problem, I'm worried I might have to buy a new logic board assuming I can't use the GPU.

  • 1
    Welcome to Ask Different! :) I hope you come to find this site has a lot to offer! In case you haven't already, it's worth taking the time to read the tour. All the best! – Monomeeth Jan 18 '19 at 22:55
  • The seller should really show you that mac connected to external screen or offer to let you get it evaluated by a repair shop before you pay money for it. Of course if they’re giving you such a good deal that it doesn’t matter then you can just take the deal. But if they’re selling it as a good machine they should help you verify that. – bmike Jan 18 '19 at 23:31
  • That is what exact model? – LаngLаngС Jan 18 '19 at 23:46
  • It is the Early 2011 Macbook Pro 17" with i7 2.2ghz and the intel+radeonHD6750 – Iann Lee Jan 19 '19 at 7:41

The folder with the question mark means it cannot find a bootable system.

That said, because it can display that image, then I would think it is a screen problem - does it show signs of being bent or having dents in it...

Are you sure of your skills to do the necessary repairs or is this a "throwaway" project...

  • This is me trying to buy a macbook from someone. I am quite decent at repairs but I am also aware of how devastatingly expensive a logic board can cost especially for 17" macs. The ? is because it does not have a HDD. I plan to use it for college on the go since I have a dedicated desktop at home already. There are no dents – Iann Lee Jan 18 '19 at 22:01
  • @IannLee Already have a Mac, I would buy an iPad rather than this MacBook Pro. Plus one for an interesting question that’s bringing about all sorts of good answers and information. Well done – bmike Jan 18 '19 at 23:29

The best way to determine if the vertical bar is due to the screen is to boot the Mac into an operating system and take a screenshot.

If the vertical bar still appears in the actual screenshot, then you know it's related to something else (e.g. the GPU, etc). If it's not there, it's a problem with the screen.

Another option you could try is to test the hardware by running Apple Hardware Test over the internet.

To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Shut down the MacBook Pro
  2. Restart the MacBook Pro
  3. Press and hold the option and D keys before the gray startup screen appears.
  4. After a while, Apple Hardware Test (AHT) will start.
  5. When prompted, select your language and click the right arrow.
  6. When the AHT console appears, you can choose to run Basic tests by clicking the Test button. However, I suggest you select the "Perform extended testing" checkbox before you click the Test button.
  7. Your test results will appear in the window in the bottom-right of the console.
  • No. Don’t trust AHT. Especially if you suspect GPU failing. It’s false negative far too much. Do the empirical tests. Great answer, I just disagree on AHT from long experience with it. – bmike Jan 18 '19 at 23:35
  • I also haven't seen artefacts in screenshots from well known GPU problems. Why would that be, it seems to be like the shot comes from a different stage in the pipeline? – LаngLаngС Jan 18 '19 at 23:46
  • @bmike I agree - AHT certainly isn't 100% accurate. – Monomeeth Jan 18 '19 at 23:58
  • @LangLangC You're right, not all GPU problems will necessarily present themselves in screenshots, although if it's a problem that's visible on the display than a screenshot would usually narrow down whether it's an issue with the display or something else. – Monomeeth Jan 19 '19 at 0:01

That’s a hard one. It could really be either.

  • not the operating system since it’s just the firmware running
  • it’s less likely it’s the GPU when you see an issue before the OS loads, but it still could be the GPU.
  • it’s more likely the LCD or cabling when there is clear, crips vertical defects

So the tie goes to LCD failure and not GPU if I was forced to guess, but I wouldn’t guess with my money. I would meet the seller with an external display so that you can evaluate before you pay. Or set two prices - the price you pay if it’s the GPU and the price you pay if it's not the GPU. The seller has more information than you, so you don’t want to get taken advantage of. Similarly, you also can’t waste the sellers time if you’re not going to make a legitimate offer once you understand the condition of the goods.

  • Looking at the form factor there will be no more official Apple products anywhere, except Turkey? (Or other special jurisdictions I do not know about now. But Apple actively prohibits this wherever they can. It's all vintage now?) It might be also just the cable, inverter, quite cheap to replace. Etc. At this stage, I'd say we know not really much about it. Except that more details in the Q would help. – LаngLаngС Jan 18 '19 at 23:55
  • I agree, using an external display is another good test! – Monomeeth Jan 19 '19 at 0:02

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