Epic Macbook Pro Fail

September 8, 2014

Latest Post The Hound of the Baskervilles by Owen Soule

Ah yes, as I sat down to continue work on Peck, Peck, Peck a few nights ago and my Cintiq suddenly went black. Then my Macbook Pro rebooted. How very odd. No bother, it started back up and I was operational for a short while, then my screen started to go all pixelated and wonky. "Maybe my Thunderbolt to DVI adapter", I thought? To troubleshoot I decided to disconnect my external displays and just use the Macbook Pro’s built in screen which yielded something like this:

There! The pixelated and wonky I speak of!

If you can’t see the crazy wonkiness in that image, never fear I have a detail image with a spinning-beach-ball-of-death included at no extra charge. The screen has been shifted to the left about 4 inches leaving an odd black gap, along with vertical flickering lines and a completely unresponsive computer that requires a hard reboot! Yay!

Fail shown using ZBrush because it causes the screen wonkiness almost immediately!

After rebooting and resetting NV and PRAM (by holding option + command + P + R), I decided to check on my disks and found there was indeed an issue that needed to be fixed. So I ran the requisite repair and all seemed fine. But all was not fine. This wonky just kept happening - and the happening got more and more frequent until I hit Google in search of information.

The hits just keep on coming.

To my horror I found this is a fairly common issue. In fact, there is a Change.org petition to get Apple and Tim Cook to recognize and fix the problem for all the many users experiencing it. Of course I signed and luckily it is very close to nearing it’s 15,000 user signature goal. To check it out please go here https://www.change.org/p/timothy-d-cook-replace-or-fix-all-2011-macbook-pro-with-graphics-failure Though I’m not sure the signatures will actually get Apple to perform any action, I guess it’s worth a shot?

I know what you’re thinking, “Why don’t you just use your AppleCare and get those ‘geniuses’ at Apple to fix it?” Well, smarty-pants, I didn’t f$*king buy AppleCare with this laptop! Of course I bought it with my 2007 iMac that still runs without issue. Oh, and I got it with my 2003 Powerbook G4 that also still runs, albeit very slowly. So the law of averages has finally caught up with me...

It's like screaming into a black hole.

In case you’d like to bitch on Apple forums about this issue, head on over to this great thread https://discussions.apple.com/message/2656832 titled “2011 MacBook Pro and Discrete Graphics Card”. To date it has been viewed 1.3 million times and has over 540 pages of replies. Don’t worry, you won’t upset Apple by bitching as they don’t respond to the thread or… dare I say... care about your lost hardware, productivity, money, etc.

From what I can gather the solution is to replace the logic board on the computer. For those of us who didn’t get AppleCare or whose AppleCare 3-year warranty has expired, the cost of such an operation ranges from $500-$1,000. Some have said the fix may only be a patch and the error can come back again, so there is always that.

Happy computing!

Owen Soule

Published September 8, 2014