So apparently people that have a MacBook Pro Early 2011 Model (both 15″ & 17″ models) seem to be suffering from a video card malfunctioning issue. And of course this has happened to me along with about 1,000+ additional people.
You can find and extended list of users talking about the issue here (discussion here. As of this writing there are 7,402 replies on this discussion). However, this isn’t going to do anything to get your problem recognized by Apple.
You can also look into signing a petition at change.org
If you are anything like me and you rely on your Mac for business purposes, there are a few things you need to consider.
- Your MacBook Pro may be dying. I know it’s not what you want to hear, but it’s likely true.
- Have a Data Backup. Make sure you have a backup of your important items. Go out and get an External Drive (like this one on Amazon, but you will need to format it for the mac when you get it, you can follow this tutorial to complete, it’s easy.) and backup your files manually or allow Time Machine to do it for you. Personally, I selected Time Machine. In the event you have time for an online backup solution, I recommend Backblaze. Personally, it’s what I use. It always nice to have an offsite backup in case you drop your backup harddrive and kill it… It’s $50/year for $5 per month. Click here to take a look at BackBlaze.
- Have a Backup Machine. What will you do in the event that you need to have your Mac repaired? What will you use in the mean time? Do you have a backup Mac to use (if so Yay!). If you are like me and don’t then, can you afford to get a backup machine? Can you use someone else’s? Can you buy a cheap $300 or so laptop to cover your butt?
- Install gfxCardStatus. Download this utility. It runs in your status bar and alerts you when your Mac changes from the integrated card to the more power hungry, hotter “Discrete” video card. This may also help you recognize what applications may cause your video card to fail and you can avoid those app and only use those only in “Must Use” cases. At some point it won’t matter and the Mac video card will completely fail. But it’s a start.
What to do when it does finally die.
Setup a Genius Bar appointment. Take it in and explain what is going on. The store should run a diagnostic on the hardware for free and it may take 1-2 days for them to get back to you. Side Note: if you have to return a phone call, call Apple Care and ask them to directly connect you to the Apple store because the automated service will put you in a pissy mood:
Disembodied Voice: Hi, thanks for calling the Apple Store are you calling about your recent repair?
DV: Okay, let me connect you to AppleCare
AppleCare DV: Are you calling about your recent repair for your computer?
AC DV: Okay, you need to call the Apple Store
DV: Hi, thanks for calling the Apple Store are you calling about your recent repair?
Me: You *#$^ ^#&@ thing. I hate youre stupid &#($*%# system.
DV: Okay, let me connect you to Apple Care!
Me: #*#@ you….
So, just call Apple Care and ask to speak with an Adviser and then have them connect you to the Apple Store.
In my case, on Day 2 without my Mac, I was told that the Logic Board in my Mac needed to be replaced. I was also told that it would be $310 plus tax, flat rate, to ship off to their repair center to be fixed. While I can see how the Logic Board may be having issue, I have a feeling it is more likely a video card issue. So I hope they can get everything fixed for $500 or less, Anything more and it’s better off getting a new Mac. Heck a MacMini comparable to my Mac is about $900.