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Released October 24, 2011 / 2.2, 2.4, or 2.5 GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7 Processor

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MacBook has gpu problems, but wont boot. Starts to boot but stops

I have a 2011 MacBook Pro that I know has GPU issues, but it will only boot half way and then stops.

I just installed OS-X on this drive using another MacBook and it worked on that one.

Could the drive cable be bad? Also is there any way to fix the GPU without disabling it?

It also does the same when booting from a known good Yosemite USB thumb drive.


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Sadly you have a bad GPU chip and the chip is no longer available from AMD. Some board repair shops may still have them but the cost of mounting a new chip given the value of the system makes this iffy.

Some people have tried heating the chip to revive it. Sorry to say this is nothing more than a last gasp of a dyeing system. You see, the design of these chips is what did them in, as well as us pushing them too far running apps that just where too much for them so the system overheats causing the GPU to breakdown faster. We fail to realize the timeframe these older systems were designed in and what great strides in apps over the last five or so years that these systems just can’t handle.

You could disable the dedicated GPU and use it with its Intel graphics engine while this will work it won’t be at the level this system was able to run.

The fact your internal or thumb drive won’t boot up is all related! As the POST is whats hanging. To prove this you can boot up under Target Disk Mode (you’ll see the FireWire/Thunderbolt Icon on the screen) then reboot and this time run your system in Safe mode. At that point you are running on the Intel GPU if you can get over the POST condition. Sometimes I had to do a SMC reset to get this to work as well.

Reference: Mac startup key combinations

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Thankfully, its not my main macbook. I got it to fix the mainboard in my main macbook as i blew up the audio chip, but as the gpu is bad on this one, it really doesnt help. My main one is the same late 2011 and it works fine. I noticed when I opened this one up, there was a lot of dust in the fans which mine didnt have, which is probably why its still surviving. Ill have to try that. Thanks! Atleast I can part it out and resell the parts on ebay to make my money back.

Also it would probably be easier to get the audio replaced on my MBP rather than fix the gpu on this one.


@danj Tried safe mode but it doesn't work. Still gets hung up, then the screen goes black, but the computer is still on. after a minute or so it just has a black screen, its hard to see everything as the screen is very cracked and damaged, but it does nothing past that


Does Target Disk mode work? Sounds like you'll need to use an external display. If the display is cracked I would disconnect the LVDS cable from the logic board to remove a short issue.


Ok. I managed to get it to boot into OSX in normal mode i think as it said it was using the radeon gpu. But after a little bit, the displays went crazy and I shut it down.

Target disk mode worked fine

Also, I was using an external display, but it won't give any output to it unless its in the OS, and I need to see whats going on.


Well you proved the issue is the GPU. Not much you can do here.


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Sounds like your MacBook Pro suffered exactly the same issue as mine.

Mine got the booting problem solved but at the cost of the battery as it was not charging at all.

Try starting the MacBook Pro without a battery, see if it can boot to the login screen.

For the GPU, you better off finding a proper replacement chip that Apple issued for the problem, since reballing the old chip may fix the problem, but temporarily, even with leaded solder.

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Cameron zal eeuwig dankbaar zijn.

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