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MacBook Pro Troubleshooting


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#1 OFFLINE   ross549

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Posted 26 April 2011 - 02:25 PM

My MacBook Pro is ill. I have a 2009 model 15" with nvidia graphics and 4GB of RAM. The machine is hooked up via DVI to a 23" monitor, and both displays are typically in use simultaneously. Here is an example of what's going on. The displays are set to go to sleep after 10 minutes of inactivity. The laptop fan will be not be running or only running very slowly when the displays are sleeping. When I move the mouse, the displays wake up. I have a few programs running, but nothing major. IRC client, IM program, and a couple others. If I simply move the mouse to wake the displays, the fan will spin up to near 100% after only a few minutes of me doing absolutely nothing. Running Firefox 4 also seems to cause this behavior. As it eats more memory, the fan spins up and runs like crazy in the previous scenario. The processor is not doing anything significant, but the fan is running like mad.Sometimes when I run the processors at full capacity (like transcoding video), the system will go into a sleep-like state, where the only way to wake the system back up is to hit the power button, which then brings everything back to life. This is not the normal "display sleep," since my wifi is shut off, and I have to reconnect to IRC and IM.Other times, the system goes into a hibernate-like state. Waking the machine up requires the power button be pressed too.This behavior only started within the last couple of months. My system is covered under Apple Care until October, so I have a bit of time to figure out what is going on before taking it in.I ran a full sweep with Tech Tool on the Apple Care CD, and aside from doing some hard drive maintenance, nothing was coming up as faulty. Can I run Memtest86 on these machines to test memory? I want to stress it before the Apple Care runs out to find any issues.Has anyone experienced these symptoms? Thanks,Adam
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#2 OFFLINE   Tushman

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Posted 28 April 2011 - 10:26 PM

View Postross549, on Apr 26 2011, 01:25 PM, said:

Can I run Memtest86 on these machines to test memory? I want to stress it before the Apple Care runs out to find any issues.
I remember seeing some type of a memtest86 equivalent for Macs - it's actually been a while since I worked as a bench tech.  I can't quite remember the name of it.... If you'd like I can e-mail my friend who still works at the last place I worked at and ask him where you can acquire a copy of it.  He's an apple certified tech - so he's pretty apple savvy and knows his way around.I also tend to think that Memtest86 is OS agnostic and so it should work fine for testing the memory on your MacBook Pro.

Edited by Tushman, 28 April 2011 - 10:27 PM.


#3 OFFLINE   ross549

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Posted 29 April 2011 - 08:04 AM

Yeah, I just have to give it a whirl. I have not tried.  The Memtest86 program is distributed on a bootable ISO image, so I assume that if the computer can boot from CD (or DVD) then it should load.Macs can be kind of funky, since they have the EFI that replaces a traditional BIOS. Makes doing things like this a little trickier, I think.If there is a Mac-specific equivilant of Memtest86, I would like to know about it. If me mentions Tech Tool Deluxe, then that is something I have already run a couple times. The problem I see with the memory test in Tech Tool is that it runs for maybe ten seconds. A good test should run for a couple hours. Memtest86 runs a bunch of different tests that test the memory against different patterns on top of the regular 1s and 0s. If RAM passes on Memtest86, you can usually be confident that it is good to go.I also like to figure out a way to to a stress test on the video chip. Just running a 3D demo of a program is not enough. I would like it to be a verifiable test where the video chip is tested, and if failures are detected. I have not lloked for anything yet, but I think something exists.The simple fact that Macs run on x86 processors would make life easier, I think. ;)Adam
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#4 OFFLINE   ross549

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Posted 29 April 2011 - 08:23 AM

I will have to try this:http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3964
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#5 OFFLINE   Tushman

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Posted 29 April 2011 - 03:24 PM

Adam, I thought I had this guy's e-mail address but apparently I don't.  I called & left a voicemail at his workplace so I'm hoping that he'll get back to me today or tomorrow.  The problem is that it's been quite a while since I last worked with him and he may or may not feel all that 'enthusiastic' about returning my call.  He's kinda of a flake actually but very apple savvy.  I'll let you know if he returns my call.

Edited by Tushman, 29 April 2011 - 03:24 PM.


#6 OFFLINE   ross549

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Posted 29 April 2011 - 05:17 PM

OK, I reset the SMC.... now to see for a few days if this does any good. ;)
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#7 OFFLINE   Tushman

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Posted 29 April 2011 - 06:17 PM

View Postross549, on Apr 29 2011, 04:17 PM, said:

OK, I reset the SMC.... now to see for a few days if this does any good. ;)
Yup... hope & pray.

#8 OFFLINE   bjf123

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Posted 06 May 2011 - 11:27 PM

I had an issue with the display not going to sleep on my iMac, regardless of what the display settings were.  It took a trashing of the power management prefs file and resetting the SMC to resolve it.
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#9 OFFLINE   ross549

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Posted 01 November 2011 - 06:09 PM

OK,

The MacBook Pro has been in the Apple Store twice now. The first time I took it in, they replaced the logic board (motherboard) (big surprise).

There was a secondary issue that I thought was a side effect of the overheating issue. The display (specifically, the top third portion of the screen) flickers intermittently. When I got the MBP back, the fans were under control, and the system passed the hardest test I could think to throw at it. I opened two browser windows, and sent each to pepsi.com. Think I am nuts? Try it, and tell me what happens to your CPU. laugh.gif I also ran Hulu desktop playing kung fu movies.... for four hours. Temps shot up, and the fans turned into leaf blowers, but the system was stable at 100% cpu utilization on both cores.

However, the display was still flickering. My Apple Care warranty expired last week, so I got it back in, and told them the symptoms, and explained I thought it would be the display, considering they had just replaced the logic board.

here is a video showing exactly what happens......  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJMuYneBLLE

This phenomenon is completely random, from my perspective.

https://discussions.apple.com/thread/180710...=0&tstart=0

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=596727

From the reading I have done, this seems to be an issue with the integrated graphics chip itself.

Back to the Apple Store. The folks there said this is a known issue (duh!), and told me they would first check the connection on the logic board to make sure it was not loose. When they brought it back out, they said the only thing they could do is replace the logic board again, along witht he display. And by the way, did I know that my battery was swelling? Nope. They replaced that too!

I got it back this last Saturday, and guess what? The screen is still flickering. sad.gif

I called Apple Care directly, and was told to reset the SMC again. I did that a couple hours ago, and there is no change. The display still flickers.

Because I could, I went ahead and reinstalled OSX Snow Leopard and updated fully. I have not purchased Lion, and I really don't want to. Nothing I have done seems to have made a difference.

I wonder what I can do, especially since my warranty is done?

Adam
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#10 OFFLINE   Tushman

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 12:34 PM

QUOTE (ross549 @ Nov 1 2011, 05:09 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I wonder what I can do, especially since my warranty is done?

Adam



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#11 OFFLINE   ross549

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 08:14 PM

I was a bit misleading on my last post......

My Apple Care warranty is done. However, the repairs that were just completed are still covered for 90 days.

So I have a bit of time.

Adam
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#12 OFFLINE   ross549

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Posted 11 November 2011 - 11:52 AM

Big update now.

I called in to AppleCare, and they had me reset the SMC to fix the flickering problem. Since it did not go away, I called back and they overnighted me a box to send it in to the repair depot. I got the box in last Thursday. I sent it off (Apple paid for overnight shipping), and Apple replaced the main logic board again, as well as a thermal unit.

I just got it back. The flicker remains. sad.gif

My service adviser will be getting a call from me when he gets in to work early this afternoon. What will Apple do next?

More to come......

Adam
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#13 OFFLINE   ross549

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Posted 11 November 2011 - 03:17 PM

Wow!

Apple is sending me a whole new machine! They have attempted to fix it too many times, and it is simpler to simply give me a new one.

http://store.apple.com/us/configure/MD318L...uct=MD318LL%2FA

Adam
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#14 OFFLINE   ross549

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Posted 19 November 2011 - 01:15 PM

I have received the new machine! It looks exactly like the old one, though I have noticed that CPU intensive tasks are a lot faster.

I also sold off a another electronic item I had, and gave the new MacBook Pro the maximum upgrade- a OCZ vertex 3 120GB solid state disk. WOW!!!! This thing is insanely fast now!

I am a happy camper! pirate.gif

Adam
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