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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > 8600M GT issues: Apple launches free repair program

8600M GT issues: Apple launches free repair program
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Oct 10, 2008, 10:44 AM
 
http://support.apple.com/kb/TS2377

So it appears if the 8600M GT inside your MBP is failing Apple will fix your MBP for free even if your warranty has expired.

If the NVIDIA graphics processor in your MacBook Pro has failed, or fails within two years of the original date of purchase, a repair will be done free of charge, even if your MacBook Pro is out of warranty.

Affected models: Mid 2007, Late 2007, and Early 2008 MBP models (C2D/Crestline, 2.2/2.4/2.5/2.6 GHz)

Symptoms:
• Distorted or scrambled video on the computer screen
• No video on the computer screen (or external display) even though the computer is on
     
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Oct 10, 2008, 10:45 AM
 

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." TJ
     
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Oct 10, 2008, 02:48 PM
 
/rant to apple
I bought one of this in summer 08 and surely dissapoints me that I might have a problem or might not at all. This is a 2000+ usd computer.. not a corn flakes give away one. By any standard, I rather know is it screwed up or not? to start making decisions. If I got a lemon.. fine, so be it (not to mention that my last mac was the faulty G3 iBook). But to be left there to the draw of the luck just blatantly .. screws up my day. I can not stand knowing that my computer MIGHT fail because of a previous known condition.. is just like telling a car owner that his brakes might or might not fail.
/rant off
     
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Oct 10, 2008, 03:08 PM
 
yeah mine died last month, at least i know it wasn't me!
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Oct 10, 2008, 03:47 PM
 
Any way to stress the system to reveal if your computer is affected or not? I agree that the wait and see approach on a 2k+ machine is bull.
     
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Oct 10, 2008, 04:08 PM
 
Originally Posted by polendo View Post
/rant to apple
I bought one of this in summer 08 and surely dissapoints me that I might have a problem or might not at all. This is a 2000+ usd computer.. not a corn flakes give away one. By any standard, I rather know is it screwed up or not? to start making decisions. If I got a lemon.. fine, so be it (not to mention that my last mac was the faulty G3 iBook). But to be left there to the draw of the luck just blatantly .. screws up my day. I can not stand knowing that my computer MIGHT fail because of a previous known condition.. is just like telling a car owner that his brakes might or might not fail.
/rant off
It just recently came to light that Nvidia had ridiculous yields of bad cards that got shipped out. I understand that it's frustrating, but this isn't really something that Apple could have prevented as far as I can tell. C'est la vie, as they say.
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Oct 10, 2008, 04:54 PM
 
Chuck,
Actually I do not expected Apple to know beforehand. If they knew, they wouldn´t have gotten that video card in the first place on MBPs.
My rant basically is about informing me, if my very own MBP is affected or not. The ambiguity is what kills me. If for example, they could somehow tell me , your MBP Pro is indeed on the batch with bad videocards, I will just simply reformat the drive and sell it for a loss (fine -such is life). Otherwise I would just simply use it.
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Oct 10, 2008, 06:16 PM
 
Originally Posted by polendo View Post
Chuck,
Actually I do not expected Apple to know beforehand. If they knew, they wouldn´t have gotten that video card in the first place on MBPs.
My rant basically is about informing me, if my very own MBP is affected or not. The ambiguity is what kills me. If for example, they could somehow tell me , your MBP Pro is indeed on the batch with bad videocards, I will just simply reformat the drive and sell it for a loss (fine -such is life). Otherwise I would just simply use it.
regards
I think the problem may lie in that Nvidia is unsure which cards were affected.
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Oct 10, 2008, 06:34 PM
 
Originally Posted by polendo View Post
My rant basically is about informing me, if my very own MBP is affected or not. The ambiguity is what kills me. If for example, they could somehow tell me , your MBP Pro is indeed on the batch with bad videocards, I will just simply reformat the drive and sell it for a loss (fine -such is life). Otherwise I would just simply use it.
regards
The problem is that Apple doesn't know if the computer is affected or not either. This can be seen by the fact that Apple has included the entire production range from May 2007 to September 2008 (just 10 days ago). NVIDIA told them that the parts they gave Apple weren't affected. (Now either NVIDIA lied or they truly didn't think the parts were affected). I don't think there is any way to tell if the chip is affected by looking at it.

They really can't tell you as there is probably no way to know whether it will fail or not until it actually fails. And even if your chip is manufactured using the same faulty process, there's no guarantee that it will fail. Some will probably never fail. There's no way to tell, and it's nobody's fault.

So you're stuck, basically, with that ambiguity. So am I. I bought a MacBook Pro in June 2007. I've not run into the problem yet. Maybe I will, maybe I won't. If I do, I'm covered by Apple's program.

If you really can't live with it, then sell the laptop now, as it'll be worth a lot less after Tuesday when Apple introduces their new laptops. Then you can get one of those.
     
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Oct 10, 2008, 07:54 PM
 
About time... maybe now I'll be able to use Front Row on my MBP.

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Oct 10, 2008, 09:01 PM
 
Person & Rumor,
Those are exactly my thoughts. I know that if Apple knew they would tell me, like they did with the G3 iBooks (they informed the range of serial numbers affected). Since I bought a product from Apple, I´m ranting towards them, not nVidia. Apple should in turn claim for results to nVidia. In hindsight, I´m afraid they already did and the latter know nothing about what batches went screwed. All said and done, its either take a loss or pray for the darn thing not to malfunction.
     
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Oct 10, 2008, 11:49 PM
 
Originally Posted by polendo View Post
All said and done, its either take a loss or pray for the darn thing not to malfunction.
Or use it and enjoy it. If it breaks, get it fixed for free under the repair program. If it doesn't, well then that's great.

I'm using mine and enjoying it. I'm not worried about "when or if it is going to break." If it breaks, it breaks and I'll get it fixed. If it doesn't, it doesn't.
     
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Oct 11, 2008, 11:32 AM
 
Originally Posted by Person Man View Post
I'm using mine and enjoying it. I'm not worried about "when or if it is going to break." If it breaks, it breaks and I'll get it fixed. If it doesn't, it doesn't.
I'll be doing the same thing. Of course depending on how cool Tuesday's MBP is, I'll get one of those. If my current MBP breaks down, I'll already have moved to a new MBP as my main workhorse.
     
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Oct 11, 2008, 02:53 PM
 
This finally explains why randomly when I wake up my macbook pro that there is a black screen and nothing ever shows up even though its running. At least I know it isn't something I installed. Although since my brother had the same issue with his macbook pro I didn't think that was so.

So does anyone know how long it will take to replace my macbook pros video card then?

I live about two hours away from the nearest Apple Store. I can't be without it to long as I am using it for school every day. I don't mind the two hour trip really, its nice to get out. I just can't be to long without it.
I am hoping that I can have the parts ordered to the Apple store and then I go there to have them replace it in shop. I have been there once before to have my optical drive replaced. I just hope that the new video cards are not like the optical drive Apple sent that was refurbished and was faulty as well. That annoyed me.
     
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Oct 11, 2008, 05:53 PM
 
This is great news. I've had occasional issues on my MBP (see this thread, images included). I'm very happy that I can now take it in and get replaced! Although it does slightly increase my uncertainty as to what else could break down inside my MBP. Guess I'll be buying AppleCare in a few months (which I would have done anyway).
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Oct 15, 2008, 01:10 AM
 
So far so good with my 2.4 Penryn MBP that I got after my SR MBP was stolen in April. I mostly use mine in clamshell mode, but I've noticed scanlines when I use the notebook's display. Seems the only way to get rid of them is to put the display at full brightness.

I'm just not bothered to send it in for repair as it's my only machine. I'll probably get it looked at towards the end of the complimentary warranty. But I do wonder if it's from predominantly using it in clamshell mode and letting all the heat buildup inside.
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Oct 15, 2008, 03:39 AM
 
Originally Posted by milhous View Post
So far so good with my 2.4 Penryn MBP that I got after my SR MBP was stolen in April. I mostly use mine in clamshell mode, but I've noticed scanlines when I use the notebook's display. Seems the only way to get rid of them is to put the display at full brightness.

I'm just not bothered to send it in for repair as it's my only machine. I'll probably get it looked at towards the end of the complimentary warranty. But I do wonder if it's from predominantly using it in clamshell mode and letting all the heat buildup inside.
Supposedly, part of the heat dissapation design takes having the lid closed into account.
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Oct 15, 2008, 05:47 AM
 
I use my 2.4 GHz MBP in closed-lid mode about 50% of the time. I have no graphics issues at all.

The die temp is about ~5C higher in closed-lid mode. And yes, Apple has taken that into consideration. They actually endorse closed-lid mode. That's something they wouldn't do if they knew that due to increased temperatures they'd be seeing more warranty repairs.
     
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Oct 15, 2008, 07:45 PM
 
I just got my MBP back from having its logic board replaced under this program.

Just spent most of the afternoon restoring stuff from my Time Machine backup, troubleshooting an issue which caused my networking not to work, etc. Then ran a little test and...

... the GPU is still doing the same damn thing it was doing before.

I don't know whether to laugh or cry.

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Oct 15, 2008, 09:30 PM
 
CharlesS - what sort of test did you run? I hope you were able to take photos of this. Take it back into Apple and tell them the problem's not fixed.
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Oct 16, 2008, 05:27 AM
 
I played a certain music track in Front Row's music player - locks it up every time.

Photos wouldn't be too telling, because it often just gets stuck on one frame of the animation when flipping. A still photo wouldn't show the problem. Snapz Pro probably would, if I had it, but Ambrosia's expiring licenses annoy me, so I'll probably have to just bring it in there and demonstrate the problem.

Unless, of course, the problem is OS X itself and is software level - then I'm just screwed unless Apple decides to fix it, something I'm not too optimistic about since I've been reporting the issue to Apple since 10.5.2.

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Oct 19, 2008, 09:47 PM
 
Saturday morning my MBP woke up with a completely dead screen. Thankfully I could get in using screen sharing and do a final Time Machine back up and transfer some files. The earliest appointment I could get at the Genius Bar is Tuesday. I hope they can fix it quickly. I'd love to hear from people who have had repairs done by bringing it to an Apple Store. How long does it take? What exactly do they do? Do you get a new logic board with the same chip that might be just as likely to fail again?
     
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Oct 21, 2008, 05:43 PM
 
UPDATE: I read on the Apple discussion forums where somebody mentioned the fact that a lot of the people with the chip failure seemed to have 4GB of RAM. This reminded me that my RAM was 3rd-party, and that I should switch it out to the Apple RAM it came with before returning the computer for repair. So I changed my RAM to the 2GB it came with, and turned the machine back on to continue erasing the HD via screen sharing. To my absolute shock, the screen worked. It has been working for almost 2 days now. My appointment with the Genius Bar is tonight, but now I am hesitant to go. My main fear is that they actually can't do anything about the problem except replace the chip with one of the same kind that is not guaranteed to work any better.

I don't want to get the repair done unless it has a chance of fixing the problem -- I have an Invisibleshield on my wrist rest that I don't want to remove or have damaged for no reason. The thing cost me like $30 and I wouldn't be able to afford a replacement at this time. Also, I am not giving the comp to Apple with my personal files on it, so that means having to wipe the HD and reinstalling from Time Machine again (which already screwed up some files for me).

So does anybody know if the repair process actually does something to fix the problem, or just delay it from happening?
     
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Mar 24, 2009, 01:55 AM
 
Digging up an old thread here.... so I guess it might not be a good idea to buy a refurbished MBP?

But... the extended warranty is helpful, since AppleCare is expensive...
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Mar 24, 2009, 03:38 AM
 
What a coincidence this thread just got resurrected - I'm typing this right now on my iBook G4 because my MBP is locked up yet again. This time it was trying to watch a video in QuickTime that triggered it. This iBook is almost always around somewhere where I can get to it easily because of the disturbing regularity with which I have to fall back on it.

So no, I would not suggest you get a refurbished MBP. The last model before the unibody came out is the worst laptop Apple has made since the PowerBook 5300.

edit: oh good, SSHing into the machine and using 'sudo reboot' actually worked this time. It usually just makes it lock up and cause me to have to force-reboot it.

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Mar 24, 2009, 08:11 AM
 
Originally Posted by CharlesS View Post
What a coincidence this thread just got resurrected - I'm typing this right now on my iBook G4 because my MBP is locked up yet again. This time it was trying to watch a video in QuickTime that triggered it. This iBook is almost always around somewhere where I can get to it easily because of the disturbing regularity with which I have to fall back on it.

So no, I would not suggest you get a refurbished MBP. The last model before the unibody came out is the worst laptop Apple has made since the PowerBook 5300.

edit: oh good, SSHing into the machine and using 'sudo reboot' actually worked this time. It usually just makes it lock up and cause me to have to force-reboot it.
Why don't you get your macbook pro repaired? I realize it would be a pain to be without it but most local, authorized service centers should be able to do the repairs in 2-3 days if you were opposed to sending the machine off to apple.
     
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Mar 24, 2009, 02:30 PM
 
The funny thing is, I did get it repaired last October at a local, authorized dealer. They swapped out the logic board (and I verified that it was indeed swapped, since my MAC address changed), but unfortunately the exact same issues occurred with the replaced motherboard. The dealer suggested I reformat and reinstall - well thanks, but I've done that three times, and it hasn't helped anything. I did it once more just for good measure, of course - predictably, it fixed nothing.

As it turns out, there will be an Apple store opening in my town at the end of the month, so I may give this a try after they are set up here (but the trouble is, I'm going to need my machine in April, so this might be somewhat risky if they take longer than a few days). The trouble is that I am pretty resigned at this point that it probably still won't fix it - these kind of lockups seem like they could be the result of overheating due to poor thermal design, which would be a problem inherent to this machine and not really fixable by a motherboard swap. I'll give it a try sometime next month, but I suspect that the problem is that the early 2008 MBP just sucks.

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Jun 1, 2009, 08:21 AM
 
Apple has updated the original KB article.

They now extend warranty repairs for the 8600M issues to three years after date of purchase.

If the NVIDIA graphics processor in your MacBook Pro has failed, or fails within three years of the original date of purchase, a repair will be done free of charge, even if your MacBook Pro is out of warranty.

http://support.apple.com/kb/TS2377
     
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Jun 1, 2009, 04:51 PM
 
What a coincidence, I just brought my MBP in to the shop for the fifth time this morning. Will it actually get fixed this time? Who knows?

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Jun 2, 2009, 03:38 PM
 
I've had 3 times where I was watching video and it went haywire on me. I had to power off the system by holding down the power button.

I just now looked and I have 2 video cards listed in my unibody mbp? a 9400 and a 9600 gt?
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Jun 2, 2009, 03:47 PM
 
Originally Posted by Simon View Post
Apple has updated the original KB article.

They now extend warranty repairs for the 8600M issues to three years after date of purchase.


That's the right thing to do.

Originally Posted by bishopazrael View Post
I've had 3 times where I was watching video and it went haywire on me. I had to power off the system by holding down the power button.

I just now looked and I have 2 video cards listed in my unibody mbp? a 9400 and a 9600 gt?
Your uMBP has an integrated GPU and a discrete GPU. It sounds like you have a GPU problem, but that's not covered by this particular repair program.

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Jun 4, 2009, 05:40 PM
 
Ok, I have one of the early MBPs and long ago, I tried to update my system to 10.5.2. My external video to my 24" 1920 by 1200 monitor failed. I down graded to 10.5 and restored external capability. Should I bother to take my computer in for the free repair??
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Jun 4, 2009, 05:57 PM
 
You make it sound like a software issue. The repair program however covers only a hardware defect.

I suggest you run Apple Hardware Test (boot from the install DVD holding d) and see if it reports any hardware errors. If so, note the error codes, take it in, and they will replace the MLB for free.
     
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Jun 4, 2009, 09:06 PM
 
Well, I don't see how that could be a software issue since 10.5.2 and up are perfectly capable of running on a dual-monitor setup.

It could be that there was a hardware problem with the GPU that didn't get exposed until some change in the video drivers in 10.5.2 triggered it.

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Jun 4, 2009, 10:34 PM
 
Originally Posted by CharlesS View Post
Well, I don't see how that could be a software issue since 10.5.2 and up are perfectly capable of running on a dual-monitor setup.
It could be that there was a hardware problem with the GPU that didn't get exposed until some change in the video drivers in 10.5.2 triggered it.
Yes, that was part of the original problem and was written up when the problem occurred. My question stands, "Is it worth it to upgrade and then have them replace my computer"?
     
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Jun 5, 2009, 03:40 AM
 
But if it's a hardware problem that was just exposed by 10.5.2 it should be easy to get the hardware error codes from AHT and present them to Apple or an AASP. That way they'll know immediately that you qualify for the repair program and you'll hopefully have a speedy turn around.

Once you have the error codes you know that you will get the replacement it doesn't really matter if you do the update now or after repairs. Just remember that you will get a new MLB with a new SN and new MAC address. So things like iTunes deactivation and updates on routers with MAC address filtering should be on your mind.
     
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Jun 5, 2009, 05:28 AM
 
In my experience, the AHT is completely useless and never turns anything up even when dealing with the most obviously defective of hardware.

If it were me, I'd format and install a virgin copy of Leopard onto an external drive, boot from that, and see if the problem still persists. If it does, then you've ruled out the software, and at this point you can bring your computer to a Genius bar. They will go hook it up to an external monitor to reproduce it, and if it's as easy to reproduce as it sounds like it is, it shouldn't take them very long to determine that the hardware is faulty, and do whatever needs to be done to fix it.

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Jun 5, 2009, 05:32 AM
 
I agree with you Charles in that I too have seen AHT not report hardware issues that were obviously there (in my case it was a bad DIMM).

That said, in the case of the 8600M failures there is a clear error pattern associated with the problem and AHT has been shown to report it. I would think that this would be faster than setting up a vanilla OS X installation and then testing, but of course you are right, that will work too.
     
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Jun 5, 2009, 02:53 PM
 
Perhaps with some of the 8600M failures. However, my MBP passes that stupid test every time, and it's sufficiently messed up that I can't seem to use Front Row's music player for more than 20 minutes without the screen getting glitched every time (and often it takes less than 20 minutes - once it glitched out after only a minute and a half).

When I brought it in, I demonstrated it to the Apple Genius, and he agreed with me that something's wrong with it, despite passing the test.

Here are some screenshots from my "working perfectly, according to AHT" MacBook Pro.



( Last edited by CharlesS; Jun 5, 2009 at 03:00 PM. )

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Jul 4, 2009, 06:20 AM
 
Finally my 8600M has started failing too. And this is after almost 2 years of heavy-duty (and lot of closed-lid) use.

It's a Mid 2007 2.4 GHz MBP. At the time this was the high-end model with the extra VRAM.

On a warm afternoon while doing some work (at the airport, on my lap) I saw some weird lines appear. At first I though it was some kind of graphics glitch (darn 10.5.7 update!) so I refreshed the image and the lines disappeared only to reappear a few minutes later. And now AHT is indeed showing a graphics-related error.

Now I just have to figure out if I should buy a new MBP before I send this one in. I have a 13" MB and an old 15" MBP I could use as replacements. But I don't feel like being without a fast 15" MBP for a week. Eww.

     
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Jul 4, 2009, 11:03 AM
 
Forgive my ignorance but is the 10.5.7 update supposed to have graphics glitches? I am dealing with a hard freezing issue on my uMBP while running the 9600 GT. Console reports NVDA (Open GL) errors and the mac genius thinks it is a software issue. Should I avoid reinstalling the 10.5.7 update when I do a reinstall on this machine?
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Jul 8, 2009, 01:16 AM
 
Well damn, mine just locked up with purple all over the screen while using ichat. I was able to force shut down (held down the button) and it came back. The machine had been running hot the past few days and I had smcfancontrol running the fans a little but higher to keep it cool (well under 60c). Checked temp monitor when it booted back up and it was only at 50c for the gpu -- so i don't know what to make of all this.

I made an appointment for tomorrow but I'm nervous 'cause I've put my own hd in and have 3rd party ram and don't want to have them ship it off for who knows how long / risk losing those and i really semi-need it right now. At least I have a local service center lined up to get it serviced faster.

What a pain -- I don't even want a new one 'cause of the lack of 2 fw ports, expresscard, and a matte screen -- not to mention that the current cards are likely affected too. Though the 2.66GHz one looks nice, haha... we shall see.

Grrr... I'll keep everyone updated.
15" MacBook Pro 2.0GHz i7 4GB RAM 6490M 120GB OWC 6G SSD 500GB HD
15" MacBook Pro 2.4GHz C2D 2GB RAM 8600M GT 200GB HD
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Simon  (op)
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Jul 8, 2009, 03:16 AM
 
Apple has a repair program for the 8600M issues. They will exchange the MLB and ship it back to you. There is no reason to believe they'll replace your MBP with a newer model.
     
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Jul 8, 2009, 03:49 AM
 
Hey, they replaced my MBP. Granted, that was after three consecutive MLB replacements failed to solve the issue.

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Simon  (op)
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Jul 8, 2009, 03:55 AM
 
Yeah, there are a lot of stories about Apple swapping Macs after three repair attempts. I don't know if it's official policy, but if after three failed repair attempts you ask about a replacement they usually come through.

But I'd say chances of anybody getting a brand new MBP as a replacement for a MBP with a failing 8600M for the first time is about zero. So I think the poster above who was worried he might not have his 2 FW ports can relax.
     
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Jul 8, 2009, 03:59 AM
 
Yeah... I can actually kind of understand the sentiment. They swapped my machine on the day before the new ones came out, and I actually kind of consider myself lucky, since this way I still have an ExpressCard slot.

Too bad Apple can't ever give you anything without taking something away.

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Jul 8, 2009, 10:18 AM
 
Originally Posted by Simon View Post
Yeah, there are a lot of stories about Apple swapping Macs after three repair attempts. I don't know if it's official policy, but if after three failed repair attempts you ask about a replacement they usually come through.

But I'd say chances of anybody getting a brand new MBP as a replacement for a MBP with a failing 8600M for the first time is about zero. So I think the poster above who was worried he might not have his 2 FW ports can relax.
I think the 3 strikes rule is pretty well defined at this point -- but it's worth a shot, haha.
15" MacBook Pro 2.0GHz i7 4GB RAM 6490M 120GB OWC 6G SSD 500GB HD
15" MacBook Pro 2.4GHz C2D 2GB RAM 8600M GT 200GB HD
17" C2D iMac 2.0GHz 2GB RAM x1600 500GB HD
     
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Jul 8, 2009, 08:21 PM
 
Update: Well, grand waste of 30 minutes. Out of warranty, passes their test, can't demonstrate the problem on demand. $310 to fix.

It behaved fine for 8 hours of work today so that's good, perhaps it was a driver issue that resolved itself.

This thing has to make it another year and a half -- will it last? I guess it's a wait and see if it decides to completely die and then they will fix it -- maybe.
15" MacBook Pro 2.0GHz i7 4GB RAM 6490M 120GB OWC 6G SSD 500GB HD
15" MacBook Pro 2.4GHz C2D 2GB RAM 8600M GT 200GB HD
17" C2D iMac 2.0GHz 2GB RAM x1600 500GB HD
     
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Jul 8, 2009, 09:18 PM
 
Mine passed the tests too. Those tests aren't worth crap. See if you can reproduce the problem before bringing it in, and then show it to them in that state.

Ticking sound coming from a .pkg package? Don't let the .bom go off! Inspect it first with Pacifist. Macworld - five mice!
     
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Jul 8, 2009, 10:09 PM
 
Originally Posted by CharlesS View Post
Mine passed the tests too. Those tests aren't worth crap. See if you can reproduce the problem before bringing it in, and then show it to them in that state.
If it does it again I will definitely take it in along w. the print out about the service program.
15" MacBook Pro 2.0GHz i7 4GB RAM 6490M 120GB OWC 6G SSD 500GB HD
15" MacBook Pro 2.4GHz C2D 2GB RAM 8600M GT 200GB HD
17" C2D iMac 2.0GHz 2GB RAM x1600 500GB HD
     
 
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