News Archive for Friday October 14, 2011:

Macs | CPU Upgrades | Video | Storage | Audio | Apps/OS/Network
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= Recent Articles and Reviews =

More Reports from CPU/Video Card Upgraded Early Mac Pros running 10.7.2
Due to length, I've posted replies (8 as of early this morning) to yesterday's post about some Early Mac Pros with upgrades/ATI cards seeing screen flashing w/10.7.2 on a separate page of OS X 10.7.2 on Early Mac Pros with Upgrades (CPUs/Graphics cards, etc). That page includes a copy of yesterday's post and tip on screen flashing. Thanks to everyone that wrote. (Added more reports recd Fri afternoon.)
  
Reply to post on 15inch 2010 MacBook Pro Video Problems (under investigation at Apple)
A reader reply to apple's comments/doc in yesterday's news.
(FYI - See update below on apple's update to address this.)
"I have a MacBook Pro 6,2 (Mid-2010) 2.66gHz Core i7 and it started this problem as of a few months ago, but seems to be getting worse. I'll get the black screen 3-5 times a day now.

The way the Apple Doc reads, it sounds like all is well, but just no display. This is not the case. I use my laptop to do a lot of audio and video editing, and every time the screen blacks out, the audio that is playing drops into a loop of the last half second, or so of what was playing. Nothing is able to stop it, other than holding down the power for a hard reset/restart. Quite frustrating.
(Sounds like system crash. Apple's doc mentioned "In this situation, you may also see a restart warning message before the video is lost or the display turns black or gray.", which I assumed was a kernel panic.-Mike

I'm hoping this was caused by software update, and not a logic board fault, or some other hardware malfunction.
(For the record I asked about OS version used, firmware, etc.)
Here are the details:

    OS: 10.6.8
    MacBook Pro 6,2 (Core i7, 2.66GHz, 2 cores)
    Memory: 8 GB
    Boot ROM Version: MBP61.0057.B0C
    SMC Version (system): 1.58f16

    (And info on the GPU(s))
    Intel HD Graphics:
      Bus: Built-In
      VRAM (Total): 288 MB (shared)
      Vendor: Intel (0x8086)
      Device ID: 0x0046
      Revision ID: 0x0018
      gMux Version: 1.9.21

    NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M:
      Bus: PCIe
      PCIe Lane Width: x16
      VRAM (Total): 512 MB
      Device ID: 0x0a29
      Revision ID: 0x00a2
      ROM Revision: 3560
      gMux Version: 1.9.21

The only update not yet applied is Safari 5.1.1.

(I asked if it mattered which GPU (dedicated or integrated) he was using when the problem happens.)
I thought about that, too. Using the switch in the Power Ctrl Panel, I tried forcing to the Nvidia. No change.
-Peter M.

I first thought it may have been a GPU bug/flaw (either hardware or firmware), but if it happens with both, maybe it's not (unless some failure mode pulls the entire bus/system down regardless if it's the active one).   If it is hardware related and happens with either gpu, perhaps something in the chipset/switching but I'm just guessing at this point. (Also wonder if it is related to some specific revision or build/batch of component(s), although the listed date range is basically the start and end dates of these Mid-2010 models.)
   I wonder what the logs show (if anything) when this happens. Based on the Apple doc, they have been able to replicate it and are working on a (software or firmware) fix: "Apple is aware of the issue and is working on a solution. Keep your software up-to-date using Software Update."

Years ago I once saw a friend's powerbook G4 lose video (happened right after he installed some blizzard beta game IIRC) - resetting (fully clearing) the nvram/pram fixed it, which surprised me at the time as it was acting just like a hardware failure. I suspect Peter's already done the usual TS efforts (zap pram, clear system caches, vol check/repair, reinstall last update via a combo download updater, check for corrupted files/prefs, etc). Anyway, if anything changes (improves, gets worse or is fixed in an update), send a note.

Update from Apple: On Oct. 24th apple posted an update to (hopefully) address this:

"About MacBook Pro Video Update 1.0
This update addresses an issue where MacBook Pro (15-inch Mid 2010) computers may intermittently freeze or stop displaying video.
For detailed information about this update, please visit: http://support.apple.com/kb/TS4088.
(Same doc as above, updated with info on their fix)

System Requirements: OS X Lion 10.7.2"
(FYI/Update: Apparently this is included in 10.7.3 as the apple doc on the issue no longer links to this update, instead saying to update to 10.7.3 or later.)

I wrote Peter (reader above) to ask if this solved the problem on his MBP. But he noted running OS X 10.6.8, so per the updated Doc, he'll have to take it to an apple store or Authorized Service Provider for the update. "Apple will run a software diagnostic test to determine if your computer qualifies for service for this issue." (BTW - he later wrote he tried installing the update in 10.6.8 using Pacifist and warned others to NOT try that. It's not 10.6 compatible.)
   And even for OS X Lion, there's a note "If the symptoms persist after installing the update, select one of the service options below." (apple store/ASP, etc.) The last paragaph reminds me of the MBP/8600M case (emphasis/underline is mine, as wording is similar to the apple doc on 8600M issues that had several extensions over the years).

"Apple will service affected 15-inch MacBook Pro computers free of charge until two years from date of purchase. Apple will provide further extensions to this program as needed. This worldwide Apple program does not extend the standard warranty coverage of the affected MacBook Pro."

Update: As of 7/31/2012, the apple doc has been updated again to note 3 years from purchase date, and still says that may be extended as needed.


(I also had replies about other models (older and newer) about no video after waking from sleep, but not during normal use. For no video on wake, I'd check the logs (timestamped) for info on anything hanging on wake. Also Resetting the SMC is worth trying, but may not help. And also disconnect any attached devices as a test. Sometimes 3rd party addons can cause problems w/sleep or wake. (Not starting back up or shutting down properly.) An old test for issues with user directory addons (or corrupted user's prefs/files) is to create a new user acct and login with that acct to see if the problem repeats. Won't help if problem is related to a system/global file (or hardware issues of course). If the usual TS tips don't help, test with another bootable system disk if you have one.)
  

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