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I have an early 2013 15" MBP which I almost always use while connected to one or two external monitors (and have successfully done for years). Today, however, it crashed out of the blue — all screens went black, playing music stopped... only the keyboard backlighting stayed.

After troubleshooting some, I've noticed that:

  • If I start the laptop without an external display connected, everything works fine.
  • If I plug in an external monitor, after 20 seconds or so, the computer will crash as described above. I've tried three different monitors, and tried connecting via both Thunderbolt and HDMI.
  • If I reboot after the above crash, I hear the startup chime but I never get to the Apple logo.
  • If I power down the computer and let it sit for 5-10 minutes after a crash, it once again starts up fine.

I thought I'd try booting into safe mode to see if it was a software issue, but if I hold the shift key down during start up, the Apple logo shows for a bit and the machine crashes.

Any ideas? I'm worried about the computer needing a new graphics card or logic board but I thought I'd investigate all the options. Thank you!

  • Do you have any known-good HDMI cables to test with? Does the existing HDMI show any physical damage that wasn't there before? Sometimes the damage isn't visible, tho' – IconDaemon Jan 23 at 20:41
  • I have tried with a known working HDMI cable. The same problem occurs if I connect using either Thunderbolt port, though, so I think the problem is somewhere in the laptop. – TobyRush Jan 23 at 21:00

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