Apple ignores calls to fix 2011 MacBook Pro failures as problem grows



  • Reply 61 of 180

    Originally Posted by joshuarayer View Post



    So were the 2008 Macbook Pro's with the nVidia graphics card issue but Apple still replaced those well beyond the warranty time period.

    Not willingly.


    It took a class action lawsuit to force them to do those repairs.  The same settlement affected Dell & HP.


    I suspect it'll take one here as well.  Nvidia seems to have serious problems building graphics chips that can handle the heat in a laptop.

  • Reply 62 of 180
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,576member
    lkrupp wrote: »
    Nope. That would already have happened by now if the lawyers smelled a real problem. As this article points out a couple of times, nobody knows how many MacBooks have failed, third party ‘estimates’ are useless, ‘views’ on the discussion forums are meaningless (just like ‘hits’ on a Google search are meaningless). Only Apple knows the true extent of the issue and they are not talking.

    I dunno. . .
    Sometimes the little guy wins and it doesn't always require a class-action. If it's that important just make sure you do your homework.
  • Reply 63 of 180
    eborebor Posts: 5member
    Shame on you, Apple. My MBP 17" is broken now, and they're not even offering a 17" MPB model anymore. I can use it running gfxCardStatus, forcing the use of the integrated chips, but it still crashes when entering TimeMachine. Reboots take 3-5 attempts to bring the machine back to life.

    APPLE products are supposed to last longer, not only to look better, than the PC crap out there. Bought in early 2011 and dead in early 2014?! I am actively considering NOT buying a new Mac.
  • Reply 64 of 180
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,388member
    Originally Posted by bitzandbitez View Post

    Use your google skills to do a search for FAILED MACBOOK PROS 2011 and see for yourself the APPLE DISCUSSION BOARDS ARE LIGHTING UP LIKE XMAS TREES...


    That’s not really evidence of anything.


    Originally Posted by waybacmac View Post

    * Note to TS: I define "right thing" as repair, replace, or credit towards purchase of a new device.


    What else would I think it means? <img class=" src="" /> The same program as the 8600M ought to be in place here. 

  • Reply 65 of 180

    Several years ago, the semiconductor industry moved to lead free solder balls. Unfortunately, this lead to a problem of cracked solder joints that disconnect the solder ball from PCB boards and even pulling the pad from the PCB board. This led to many semiconductor companies replacing devices and initiating large studies to find the best solution. You can find many of this studies online:



    This also led to life sustaining medical devices be exempt from lead free regulations to improve reliability. After all these studies, semiconductor companies figured out the best way to prevent this issue. This problem mostly affected early 2000 production devices. 


    AMD (who sold off their fabs in 2009) and Nvidia suffered through this much later than other companies. Both companies do not fabricate semiconductors. They contract the manufacturing to other companies. Since they are fab-less companies, they blamed their poorly selected manufacturing partners. So instead of replacing the parts, they have engaged in finger pointing and looking for someone to blame. Apple, Dell, Microsoft, and others electronics companies have been caught in the middle of this. Just much like the famous bulging capacitor issue...


    Anyway, they all should acknowledge the well known problem and institute policies to fix it.


    When my MacBooks fail, it is very random. So I just take a whole bunch of pictures of the failures and bring them to a Genius appointment. They will run their test and say everything passes, then I show my pictures. That usually gets the: "Oh that is really a problem!" One I forced a machine to fail at the store when I ran a game... Usually the pictures do a good job of explaining the problem. If I get a Genius saying this is new, I just pull up the link to the thread of this issue in Apple forums. That usually gets a quick, will send this off for repair...


    Now be wary of 2011 used computers sold. They will eventually fail... Do not buy one if it has not have a motherboard replacement in the past year. 

  • Reply 66 of 180
    An alternative option is to invoke consumer protection laws if they apply where you bought the MacBook Pro. My late-2011 failed in April and under consumer protection Apple agreed to a no-cost repair which came with 90 days warranty. Short version - the refurbished logic boards kept failing within a few weeks, so Apple replaced the machine with a new retina MacBook Pro.
  • Reply 67 of 180

    Originally Posted by DewMe View Post


    Exercise the thermonuclear option first rather than trying to engage man to man.


    Other issues aside, I don't know if that's fair. If Apple takes the position that the warranty is expired so the owner is SOL, there's not much one can do "man to man." A machine that costs as much as a MacBook Pro that is promoted as a high-quality alternative to unreliable dreck should be expected to live longer than 3 years. If it doesn't, and Apple refuses to do anything about it, what can an individual do? Joining with others to negotiate from a position of "strength in numbers" is a reasonable response.


    Originally Posted by DewMe View Post


    Shouting and screaming typically does not help establish a dialog that leads to resolution of issues between reasonable parties. 


    True, but Apple service is often not a "reasonable party." A few years ago Apple's service policy resulted in my having to pull a Mac Pro from service and haul it in to a Genius Bar to "diagnose" an obviously failed optical drive. It was that or ship it to a service center. I complained bitterly to no avail. I insisted that we could perform any necessary diagnostics required to eliminate other causes over the phone, and I could certainly manage the four screws and one ribbon cable involved in replacing it. Nope. Haul it in.


    So I did. When they eventually came to the obvious conclusion that the drive had failed, they told me they didn't have one in stock and that I'd either have to leave it with them or haul the machine back into the store AGAIN in seven-to-ten days. Calm, reasoned discussion of alternatives got me nowhere, so I tried yelling. That worked. A week later I received a new drive.


    Rational solution finding only works if both parties are willing to play along. Because Apple is a really big company and they have a quality reputation to protect, they have policies that allow them to control the service experience and minimize callbacks. That's usually a good thing, but there will always be some issues that are better resolved in ways the policy wasn't designed to address. If the party on the other side of the counter is the type who won't deviate from the printed playbook, sometimes yelling is the only way to get the attention of someone who will.

  • Reply 68 of 180

    An alternative option is to invoke consumer protection laws if they apply where you bought the MacBook Pro.


    My late-2011 failed in April and under consumer protection Apple agreed to a no-cost repair which came with 90 days warranty. Short version - the refurbished logic boards kept failing within a few weeks so Apple replaced the machine with a new retina MacBook Pro.

  • Reply 69 of 180
    I'm a victim of this. Bought the early 2011 17" and early 2013 and this exact thing happened. I was watching a Netflix video (via-silverlight) when it first gave the distorted screen, and then I got a blue screen, I reset the computer and it seemed to work for about a week, but then the whole thing just crashed. I couldn't get past the grey start-up screen with the apple logo. It was out of warranty but apple sent it out to get refurbished and I had to pay. Anyhow, the problem seemed to me related to running silverlight, for some reason when I watch Netflix the internal cooling fan kicks on as if I'm running some kind of graphics intensive game. I'm not looking forward to when this will occur again.
  • Reply 70 of 180
    I have a Mid-2011 that had the same problem, and a few other mid-2011 owners are on the same forum threads beefing about the same thing.

    My laptops graphics card died in the exact same manner all the ones on the forum are dying. I fought with Apple tooth and nail over this for nearly 3 weeks and then finally gave in and paid the $630 it cost to have it replaced in Canada.

    I asked for the old board back as i wanted to have a look at it and inspect the solder joints on the GPU but my request was refused saying it wasn't possible, which is weird considering i actually *bought* the new board and didn't have it replaced under Applecare. Technically both boards belonged to me.
  • Reply 71 of 180
    magman1979magman1979 Posts: 1,273member
    goeh wrote: »
    I'm a self-employed iOS and web developer. I bought my late 2011 MBP for over $3000 in December 2011. It worked without major problems until last week. It started as gfx glitches as shown by many screen shots. Then last Friday it did not boot at all with blue banding on the external display.

    I payed extra for Apple Care and I'm a registered (paying) iOS developer. I pay extra for iCloud storage. I own several Apple devices. What pisses me off is that despite being a business customer/partner and an ambassador for Apple I did not get *any* benefits at the Apple Store. All slots were booked (by teens with smashed iPhone displays or Facebook problems). They first recommended me to come back another day. But I insisted and waited/hoped for a cancelled time slot. And after just 30 minutes I got help.

    But the logic board was not in stock so the repair would take 5-7 days. This is a disaster for my business! I'm loosing money every hour. I thought Apple Care would help here and reduce the down time, but the only thing it gave me was free repair. That's ok but I expected a little more.

    The Apple Store guy gave me an "Apple Joint Venture" folder and told me next time I buy a computer I should pay even more to get benefits like free backup computer while waiting for repair. I went home from the Apple Store very disappointed.

    But I felt better later that day when I managed to restore the backup on a spare Mac Mini, so I only lost a day. I'm now up to (reduced) speed again and coding iOS and web apps almost like before the crash. But I really miss my MBP and I hope I will get it back soon.

    Lessons learned: Keep a spare Mac available and make sure your backups are current. It's very easy to restore the backup onto a new computer.
    Holy crap, does someone have a sense of entitlement or what? And what makes you so special that you think you deserve more attention and better care than the other people that come to an Apple store looking for help with their issues?

    Get off your freaking high horse. We're not talking Jaguar's here where you actually NEED a second car in your garage because one is always in the shop. Crap happens, parts wear out and die, and that's a fact of life. I don't disagree about Apple needing to be more vocal and involved with this matter, but the fact is, this is a three year old machine now. Most PC laptops are lucky if they give you 9 months of service without some part calling it quits.
  • Reply 72 of 180
    magman1979magman1979 Posts: 1,273member
    marvfox wrote: »
    I disagree with you Samsung is very reliable and Apple always has some type of problems when they introduce new products especially i phones.
    Looks like we have a paid Samsung shill here folks...
  • Reply 73 of 180
    ipenipen Posts: 410member

    This is really unexpected from Apple... sad... for the people who're suffering from this problem.  Maybe from now on, Apple won't go that extra step for all its loyal customers.  All the premium we pay are going into aapl investors' pocket.  Buy aapl and use the profit to fix or buy apple products.  That's my strategy. 

  • Reply 74 of 180
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    marvfox wrote: »
    I disagree with you Samsung is very reliable and Apple always has some type of problems when they introduce new products especially i phones.

    Could you detail these "always" problems they have?
  • Reply 75 of 180
    The thinner the laptops got, the hotter that big Mac Pro GPU sandwich becomes.

    Just maybe it was all inevitable.
  • Reply 76 of 180
    softekysofteky Posts: 136member
    I look after over 100 macs for various friends, family and acquaintances. The list of Macs I help with has been growing ever since the old Mac "demo days" late last century.

    I have four macs that exhibited the described hardware problems. I have fixed two and am about to embark on the third fix. While this may not work for everyone there does seem to be a general class of problem that is present. Here's my analysis.

    The root cause of the problems I'm seeing appears to be related to heat. Or rather heating/cooling cycles. The most affected component is the graphics cards or on-board graphics chips. It is as if the existing solder joints crystallize over time, the most affected macs are the ones that have been used as gaming machines or have notoriously hot graphics environments. Eventually affected joints go electrically out-of-spec and the chips they connect fail in some progressive manner.

    The two fixes I have performed have involved pulling the motherboards and graphics card, removing as many plastic parts (tape, insulation, etc) as reasonable. Opening up any heat sinks and removing the (usually excessively applied) thermal compound (cleaning the chip surfaces with isopropyl alcohol to remove all the compound residue). Cover any remaining plastic in baking foil (protects Ethernet port etc. plastic). Make 3 or 4 foil balls (an inch or so diameter). Rest the board, big chip side up, on the foil balls on a cookie tray and bake them for no more than 9 mins at 395 degrees F in a normal household oven (not a toaster oven as they cannot maintain an even temperature or have the temperature survive door opening well). Once the time is up, carefully remove the tray from the oven, let cool to room temperature (no shock cooling), apply fresh thermal compound (just enough to connect chips to heat sinks without air gaps, and certainly no extruded residue when reassembled). Carefully reassemble without twisting/bending the newly reflowed boards.

    This reflows the solder and starts the crystallization clock over again. Google "solder reflow mac" for other reports. I chose the baking approach because it seemed to me to be the least arbitrary (most repeatable, as opposed to heat gun)

    It's a major procedure but so far it has worked for me every time (two for two). So far I've fixed a late 2008 MacBook Pro and a 2011 iMac using this method. So far the fixes have both lasted several months and counting (three and four respectively).

    YMMV. Please use available tear down guides (those at are generally pretty good). I have a magnetic work pad and take lots of pictures as I disassemble (to ensure screws and wires go back in correct places). Takes a bit of patience and care. Working slowly is always better (calming breaths etc.).

    I should get notification of replies to this thread and will respond to questions posted in-thread as I'm able.
  • Reply 77 of 180
    nobodyynobodyy Posts: 377member

    Originally Posted by Panoptician View Post


    I know someone who had the GPU in his 2011 15" fail in less than two years. Apple is simply replacing it with the same part, so people will likely find themselves in the same situation again.


    I had mine fail under warranty and they swapped it. It failed a second time, out of warranty, and I had to cover the cost. 


    I would have much rather invested that money into a new MBP, but since I just upgraded SSD, RAM, and BTcard there isn't a reason to.

  • Reply 78 of 180
    tyler82tyler82 Posts: 1,035member

    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

    2011? That's beyond the normal warranty.

    Same for most cars too. So you think it's acceptable to have to replace your car every three or four years because it is no longer drivable? 

  • Reply 79 of 180
    It may be 3 years old, but the hardware is still extremely usable to this day and for at least a few more years. I'd hope they would find a way to fix this issue. Multiple replacement logic boards kind of sucks lol.
  • Reply 80 of 180

    Originally Posted by MagMan1979 View Post

    [...] the fact is, this is a three year old machine now. 


    Three is not exactly elderly. I've never experienced a catastrophic failure in a machine only three years old. Have you? I've managed to break a switch and a port cover, but barring deliberate abuse (like blocking the vents), the only way for components on a logic board to fail that quickly is a defect, either in the component or the product design.


    Originally Posted by MagMan1979 View Post

    Most PC laptops are lucky if they give you 9 months of service without some part calling it quits.


    I suppose some cheap mechanical parts like switches or hinges may fail, but the only serious computer failure I've had in 30 years was a Apple MacBook Pro that died last year at six years old. My old Vaio was five years old when I bought that Mac, and it still works fine now.


    Even if it's true that current PC laptops die sooner, it's easier to accept when you get your money's worth out of it. If a $750 - $1000 machine dies after three years the cost per year is about the same as our now-dead MacBook Pro. I could live with that.


    What I could NOT live with is paying twice as much and getting the same level of reliability and longevity. I don't think three years is old enough that one should reasonably expect to start having problems.



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