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17in 2008 MBP video controller issues

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

My friend has a 2008 MBP 17in, running Leopard. She is having random freezes, especially viewing,using PDF files. She ran Apple Hardware test, and the following came up-4YDC/1/4000003: Video Controller.

I do know that she has never restored her system software, but does have all updates to leopard. 

I suggested to wipe and install Snow leopard, but if the video card is going out, that won't work. 

Any suggestions?

post #2 of 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by haikujim View Post

My friend has a 2008 MBP 17in, running Leopard. She is having random freezes, especially viewing,using PDF files. She ran Apple Hardware test, and the following came up-4YDC/1/4000003: Video Controller.
I do know that she has never restored her system software, but does have all updates to leopard. 
I suggested to wipe and install Snow leopard, but if the video card is going out, that won't work. 
Any suggestions?

It sounds like the old GPU failure issue:

https://discussions.apple.com/message/9785570#9785570
https://discussions.apple.com/thread/3039724?start=0&tstart=0

PDF rendering is hardware accelerated so would trigger the GPU crash. The 8600M GT graphics card was defective:

http://support.apple.com/kb/ts2377
http://www.tomshardware.com/news/apple-nvidia-gpu-defective-macbook,6477.html

They had a warranty program but it's just a matter of time before they all fail. The symptoms are often distorted video and lockups at first and then severely distorted video and then the system doesn't boot at all. Make sure to keep a regular backup of all the data (you can clone the whole system to an external or use Time Machine). You can also remove the hard drive after it dying.

When it fails, there are options to have it repaired via a 3rd party:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/macbook-pro17-2-6-2-5-2-4-2008-A1229-LOGIC-BOARD-LIQUID-DAMAGE-REPAIR-BROKEN-FIX-/251106552094

but after 5 years, the repair cost is about half of what the machine is worth:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Apple-Macbook-Pro-A1261-17-320-GB-HHD-4-GB-RAM-MOUNTAIN-LION-OFFICE-/121175814255

These have the same defect though. Another option is to sell it as spares and put the money towards a new machine. They don't sell 17" any more so it would have to be a 15" to get it under warranty:

http://store.apple.com/us/product/FD103LL/A/refurbished-macbook-pro-23ghz-quad-core-intel-i7

The last 17" was in 2011:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Apple-MacBook-Pro-A1297-17-Laptop-MC725LL-A-February-2011-4GB-RAM-/281172661796

There's an event on October 15th so if Apple releases new MBPs, they might lower the prices of the refurbs. I'm not sure if they lower prices right away but they should as soon as 2013 refurbs hit the store.
post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 

Thank you for your reply, seems like it time for her to get a new Mac. 

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