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Santa Rosa MacBook Pros experience video failures

updated 12:10 pm EDT, Fri June 27, 2008

MacBook Pro video glitches

Owners of Santa Rosa-based MacBook Pros are suffering from video failures, reports claim. Victims say that the problem arises after waking or rebooting a Pro, at which point the computer may suddenly stop displaying video, whether on its native LCD or an attached monitor. Debugging is said to have revealed that the issue is with misidentified graphics chipsets -- rather than acknowledging their dedicated GeForce 8600M GT cards, Pros may be treating them as integrated X3100 chipsets.

AppleCare is said to be recommending a replacement of a Pro's logic board, but those who have have gone through with the procedure note that the fix may only be temporary, as the display can quickly go blank a second time. User-suggested fixes include firmware and PRAM/NVRAM/PMU resets, deleting Safe Sleep files, or altering memory configurations.

The issue appears to affect only those Pros sold in or around June of last year, but may ignore any variations in hardware, as well as the v1.5.1 EFI firmware update which addressed another video error.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Uncommon

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Not just June

    My wife's was bought in November and she has this problem. I got mine around June and I'm fine.

  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969


    More recent

    I got my 17" MBP in May of 2008, and while the screen doesn't go blank, the video is sometimes corrupted when I wake from sleep. (It looks like a Magic Eye image or something.)

    I believe I have traced it to a corrupt Safe Sleep file caused by sleeping the machine while VMWare Fusion is running my XP Boot Camp partition.

    Deleting the Safe Sleep file (/var/vm/sleepimage) and making sure the VM is either in standby or shut down when sleeping the MBP seems to eliminate the problem.

  1. MrHatken

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Me too

    I see a similar problem (Magic Eye image) sometimes when waking my MBP with external monitor attached.

    I've also had some dialog boxes appear in a similar fashion leading to the need for hard reboot.

    No VMWare running.

    Is this worth pursuing with Apple before my warranty ends? Is it the same as the problem in the article?


  1. TheSnarkmeister

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Whom ca you trust...

    I called AppleCare not more than a few days ago about a problem with my MBP doing hinky things upon waking from sleep. They assured me there were no reports of any problems and merely had me do the standard resets. Clearly they were lying through their teeth, a problem like this doesn't manifest and come to public attention within only a few days. When a company's customers can no longer trust a company's honesty, bad times cannot be fare behind. Perhaps this partly explains the roller-coaster ride that Apple's stock has been on.

  1. dynsight

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Isn't the term "Victims" a bit harsh?

  1. fletcher

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Par for the course

    In my experience both MacBooks and MacBook Pros are plagued by a lot of problems when waking from sleep. The power managers in this generation of laptops seem pretty flaky.

  1. bnumerick

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Happened to me

    I actually had my logic board replaced a few months ago for this exact problem. I had no warning. I just went to wake my computer up from sleep one morning before I left for work and it had a black screen. I had screen sharing enabled and was able to get into it that way and saw it was saying the video chipset was a x3100 instead of the 8600GT. Had no problems getting the logic board replaced and no problems yet since.

  1. mike3k

    Joined: Dec 1969


    It happened to me

    It happened just before WWDC. The Apple Store replaced the logic board and it's been working so far.

  1. Monde

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Shades of the G3 iBook

    I remember my G3 iBook going through 7 logic boards and then after warranty (only 3.5 years into ownership) it failed for the final time. Apple did replace the logic board with yet other faulty logic boards. VERY frustrating. Now it sits, a piece of junk, waiting to be scrapped/cannibalized.

    My 1.5 Ghz G4 PB is still going strong as ever, so, Apple dropped the ball on the ice iBook G3. Considering the cost of such a machine, I'd insist on a entirely new machine. Having seen the dark side of Apple's support, I can tell you at those prices, they owe it to the consumer.

    BTW: If apple knows/learns of design flaws and doesn't choose to do right by their customers, then "victims" is an appropriate classification for buyers of these laptops.

    Apple is still tops in my books insofar as computing goes, but they've a poor track record with their own Edsels.

  1. chelsel

    Joined: Dec 1969


    no problems

    I'm the first to complain about problems with my Mac (being a switcher), however, my MacBook Pro from June 2008 performs flawlessly... guess I'm lucky :-)

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