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News Archive for Thursday June 25, 2009       Goto Current News Page

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More reports on MacBook Pro Nvidia GPU Failures/Repairs
Catching up on recent emails related to the flawed 8600M GPU in some pre-unibody MBP models:

"Just read your website now. (I assume the article on MacBook Pro (Nvidia 8600M) GPU/Video Failures-Mike) I have a Macbook Pro 15" which booted up fine, but with no graphics display. The classic GPU problem. The laptop is only 18 months old. Apple (South Africa) quoted me R15,000 to repair (the laptop cost R22, 000). They said the main logic board needed to be replaced, and the laptop had failed the generic test for the GPU failure. (Apple's doc on MacBook Pro: Distorted video or no video issues notes an extended GPU related warranty (3 years from date of purchase for affected models) but I had a tech last month say in his experience many failures were not flagged as qualifying for the free repair by the special test they use.-Mike)
There was no way I could afford this quote, I'm still paying off the original purchase price! Apple SA offered no help, very disappointing service.
In desperation I took my laptop to a generic computer shop, and they repaired my Macbook Pro for only R1,000. The technician explained that the because of overheating, the graphics chip had separated from the logic board, and he was able to re-seat it. (rebonded? or resoldered?) The interesting thing was that he had a pile of Macbook Pro's in his shop, all awaiting repair, all with the same symptoms.
Isn't it disgraceful how loyal customers are being forced to pay for a genuine documented manufacturing fault. Apple US needs to be made aware of this terrible situation and the negative marketing that goes with it. Anyway, that is my story. ;-) Let me know if you need more detailed information.
Regards, Shawn
Cape Town, South Africa"

"I have a Macbook Pro that had the graphics card failure. One day, the video just stopped working. I brought it by the Apple Store and they confirmed a graphics card failure, but my Mac (purchased in 2008) didn't qualify for the free repair because the serial number was not on the list. They told me it would cost $1,300 to fix, so I left the store with a new 13 inch Macbook Pro and this time I bought Apple Care. At least if this one fries within 3 years, they'll fix it (I hope).

BTW - I had a reader send a reminder that I'd forgotten about - some credit cards (at least in the past) have included 'extended' warranties for items purchased with it. (Some doubled the std warranty period - but not sure if that's true anymore in most cases.)

"Bad news here - my Macbook Pro 2.4Ghz Model No: A1226, may have suffered the Nvidia Graphics Card meltdown. My serial number matched the range Apple put on their website. (in this doc) First thing this morning, I had white/pink pixels all over the screen, restarted same thing, then the machine froze, did a hard reset. Things seemed ok for 10-15mins then the pixels returned, machine froze again. On restart I had green and pink squares running in horizontal and vertical lines, got as far the Apple icon, then the black screen of death - 'Hold down the Power button' etc. Tried this twice same result.
Phone Apple Support UK, explained the problem, mentioned the Return program due to faulty Nvidia chips. I now have to take the machine to an Apple Store for confirmation, my appointment is next week in West London.
I'll keep you posted, as far as I'm concerned it's the graphics issue - here's hoping Apple see it that way and repair it free of charge. At present using my old G4 12" iBook - man this screen is small!! I keep a clone backup on an external Lacie FW drive (APM format), so that's my boot drive for now.
(Update 6/29/2009:)
A follow up on my Nvidia meltdown. Just taken my MacBook Pro to the Apple Store, they hooked up a test HD - labeled like 'Nvidia Macbook Pro test'. 2mins later I'm told the good news, it qualifies under the repair extension programme - should take 5-7 days.
I was a tad worried about having the pink/ green squares and some people not being so lucky with a free repair. I asked what gets 'done' - a new logic board. (The GPU is soldered on the mainboard.)
Regards, Phil"
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Safari 4/OS X Tiger Parental Controls problem
"Mike, I mailed you about this previously. The Safari 4 on Tiger problem seems to be gathering speed. More people are confirming the flaw. I wonder if i could draw on your readers to get more results.
Apple Discussion here "Safari Parental Controls"
The fifth post gives instructions on how to test.
This is causing a major headache at the school I handle IT for. Thanks.
Best Regards,
Kevan G."
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Apple Support/How-To/Troubleshooting Doc Updates

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