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  1. #1

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    Default 2007 Macbook Pro logic board failure

    So i've just been told my logic board has failed in my MBP. $2154.90 to repair it or $2099 for a new MBP!

    I've been doing some research and there seems to be a known issue with my year MBP. My problem is that it isn't turning on at all, not that the screen isn't working. Having said that leading up to it completely failing I was having problems with the screen (turning off my itself and the computer restarting itself). Does anyone have any comments on this and if apple would replace it free of charge based on the known issue?

    Thank you

  2. #2

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    Awful. A pain. Apple would have informed you at the Genius Bar. If you want to re-attend with the evidence of known problems to remind them, suppose that's worth a possible $2k savings.

    Alternatives: sell for parts, 2nd-hand computer, that sort of thing. Could try getting someone to fix the logic board, but that's not something I would rely on.

    As for backing up: put drive in external enclosure, and copy data off it to another computer. Another Mac, unless you have a [friend with a] PC that can read Mac drives.

    Quite sure Dick Smith is having a 10% off sale now—yea, they are.

  3. #3

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    Default

    yes "genius" bar, and i use that word very lightly!
    yeah im going to go down on the weekend and see what they have to say for themselves. this is obviously a known issue with this model and should be fixed free of charge (but i dont like my chances!!)

  4. #4

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    Hmm - the logic board on my 2007 MBP failed last year while I was in the UK. They quoted me 700 quid, plus labour, and then dropped the labour charge when I expressed my shock at the cost. It was still cheaper getting it fixed than buying a new one, which makes me think your quote seems outrageous.

    The genius ran a series of tests on the machine and explained to me she was checking to see if it was one of the models that had the known issue, but sadly I had to cough up the money.

    Good luck with your trip to the genius bar.

  5. #5

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    The nVidia 8600M GT issue is certainly a known issue with 2007 and 2008 models. Normally the issue causes the machine to power on and you may hear the computer booting up, but you will not have any video on the internal or any external displays. Apple Stores and Authorised Service Providers need to run a diagnostic on the machine and logic board to determine whether it's eligible for free replacement. I do have reason to believe this or an unrelated but equally as common issue can sometimes cause a power on with no boot at all (no chime, no disk activity), which makes it impossible to run the necessary test, but the diagnostics make no account for this which makes it difficult to get it covered by Apple.

    A computer that doesn't turn on at all is also possible, but not as common and it may not be related to the known defect.

    You can contact Apple on 133 622 on speak to their staff in person and provide the information to them in the hope of getting the logic board covered, but it's difficult to say what level of success you may have as it's ultimately up to them to decide. Apple Resellers are equally as willing to help (possibly even moreso) but once again, at the mercy of Apple to decide.

  6. #6

    Default Same happened to me. Have a read how to approach it

    Check out the thread here. Hope it helps.
    ignitedsoftware.com - Makers of the iPhone's only Mind Mapping Calculator - ThinkDigits

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by ignited View Post
    Check out the thread here. Hope it helps.
    yes thank you. sorry, stupid question, what does gpu stand for?

    mine doesnt boot up now, but i was having issues with the screen before it died. is that what i should be pushing? how will they test/know its part of the known issue with the gpu/graphics card?

    thanks

    ---------- Post added at 07:20 PM ---------- Previous post was at 07:17 PM ----------

    if they dont help me on sunday, i will call their customers relations department. for a computer that cost me $3500, you'd think i'd get a bit more life out of it, arent apple always going on about how reliable their products are? also, my local apple store is ALWAYS packed out, maybe if i start talking a little bit louder about this they might take notice because they wont want me to scare their customers away!! (just a thought!!)

  8. #8

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    Graphics Processor Unit.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brains View Post
    Graphics Processor Unit.
    ok thanks. so is that the nvidia that everyone is talking about? so the gpu issue is the nvidia issue (one and the same)??

  10. #10

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    This looks to be the Apple repair and extension program being referred to.

  11. #11

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    NVIDIA made the 8600M GT graphics chip used in those models of MacBook Pro.

    In late 2007, NVIDIA announced a new range of faster graphics chips which used thinner conductors on the silicon, meaning more transistors on the chip and thus a huge boost in pixel-pushing power. Unfortunately, this generated a lot of heat. Normally, thermal displacement (the geeky term for energy wasted as heat) is taken into consideration when the chips and their packaging are designed.

    You've no doubt seen modern electronic circuit-boards where the chips lay spider-like, with dozens and dozens of tiny little metal legs that are soldered to the board. With really powerful chips, like CPUs and graphics chips, sometimes several hundred connections have to be made between the chip and the circuit-board ... but there's not enough room around the edge of the chip. Instead, solder connections cover the underside of the chip which meat up with a grid of connection-points on the board, and because you can't get to these kinds of joins with a soldering iron, they use a "ball grid array" (BGA) where a machine drops tiny globules of molten solder called "bumps" onto each bit of the grid and then squashes the chip onto them before the solder cools.

    There are different types of solder for different kinds of applications, with most of them using a mix of lead and tin, two metals with a low melting point, but when you are working with chips that put out a lot of heat, you need to remove the lead to raise the melting point. Unfortunately, someone at NVIDIA decided they could get away with a lead solder because it was cheaper, but these new GPUs ran at temperatures above the melting point. Those little globs of solder would eventually melt, then cool, then melt, then cool ....and eventually, it would not be making an electrical contact. And it only takes one bump out of the three hundred and eighty-odd to go bad for the entire chip to stop working, and the host computer scream "AAAGGHH!!! I'M BLIND!!"

    Towards the end of 2008, NVIDIA got caned when Apple, HP and Dell jointly published a list of defective GPUs. According to them, every single chip in each family was faulty, even after NVIDIA said "Ooops, here have some non-faulty ones" which turned out to be just as faulty. The list: 8400, 8400M, 8400M GT, 8600, 8600M, 8600M GT, 8600 GTX, Go 6000 family, Go 7000 family, Quadro 135 and the Quadro FX 360. At the time, these accounted for almost 60% of all GPUs sold, going onto high-end gamer videocards and into laptops.

    It resulted in a successful class action suit in the USA, which cost NVIDIA an estimated US$120 million.

  12. #12

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    Very well explained Brains, best i've read so far.

  13. #13

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    UPDATE:

    So I look my MBP into Apple on Sunday. I explained that I had been in on Thursday and the guy had told me I needed a new logic board, so I did my own research and found the graphics card issue. I explained that I was having the screen issues/symptoms before it completely shut down and wouldn't turn on. I guy a spoke to on Sunday was so good, he's like yep no worries I'll put it through under the graphics card issue and see what we can do.

    Got a call on Wednesday night from the technician that had been working on it all day. He said he thinks all it was was RAM creep (?), but he had never seen it this bad. He explained what RAM creep is and I said oh well that was me, Apple tells you to take the RAM out and put it back in trying different combinations, so I musnt have put the RAM sticks back in properly. He said as soon as he put the RAM back in properly it started up fine!!! (opps!) Anyway, he ran a number of tests, including the NVIDIA test but there is nothing wrong with it.... Good news, but don't I feel a bit silly!!! I need to learn how to put my RAM back in properly in case it ever happens again!

    The tech recons my MBP will only last another 6 months to a year before I have to buy a new one. I hope not, I love my MBP! And other than this last issue, I have never had a problem with it in 4 years.

    I've bought a shinny new 1TB external hard drive today and I'm going home to back up all my data (especially my photos which is what I've been worried about loosing!!)

    Thanks for all your help guys, a good outcome

    Ps. Can anyone explain in simple terms how RAM creep occurs and how/if it can be avoided? All he said was over time the RAM works its way out of its socket. My MBP gets REALLY hot, so hot I can't have it sitting on my legs. Is there a way to cool it down? Does the RAM creep have to do with it getting hot? Thanks

  14. #14

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    How can the tech determine that your MBP will only last another 6 months to a year? Geez, that's a life span I'd expect out of a pc. Actually, that's pushing it but still you know what I mean.

    But good news your MBP has no major problems despite the embarrassment!

  15. #15

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    In the Bronze Age of computer technology, the process was called "chip creep." Computers then were made up of sometimes hundreds of chips, each one costing a few dollars, so to make repair easier they were all put into individual sockets. As the computers warmed up with use, the metal pins in the socket would expand and push the chip upwards very slightly, but when it cooled down, the chip stayed in its new position. Repeat several thousand times and the chip would fall out of the socket!

    RAM creep is a similar thing, although the physical clips can stop the RAM from falling out of the sockets, the movement can be enough to slide a contact-pin in the socket off of the contact-pad on the RAM stick, or in some cases flex away from the RAM stick.

    Heat is always a problem with MacBooks and MacBook Pros, as there is only the one long thin slot along the hinge that is both air intake and heat exhaust. When the slots get clogged, or the fins of the heatsinks that run along the hole get clogged, things can start to really heat up inside. Another problem is the thermal paste Apple keeps using (the goo that goes between the heatsink and the main processors) is garbage, and after three years or so stops doing an effective job.

    The best way to get your beloved beastie back to a manageable temperature will require the skills of a good technician. A checklist of what needs to be done:
    - Both left and right fans removed, opened, and the blades cleaned with a small stiff brush.
    - Heatsink fins in the fan bays cleaned with a vacuum and small stiff brush.
    - Logic board removed, heatsinks removed & cleaned of dust & thermal paste.
    - CPU and GPU cleaned of thermal paste.
    - Small amount of quality thermal paste applied to CPU and GPU, heatsinks refitted, machine re-assembled & tested.
    - Pins of the RAM sockets to be cleaned using stiff paper stock soaked in isopropyl alcohol.
    - Contact pads of the RAM sticks to be cleaned using stiff paper stock soaked in isopropyl alcohol.

    The best thermal paste (sometimes called thermal compound) is Innovative Cooling's IC7 Diamond, and quality ones are made by Coolermaster and Zalman. Do not use Arctic Silver or Arctic Ceramique, and definitely do not use the disgusting Shin-Etsu garbage paste Apple keeps supplying to their technicians.

    If you supply your own thermal paste, a good tech should be able to field-strip the machine, clean, re-apply paste and re-assemble in under 90 minutes. As this would not be a warranty job, you will be up for a two hour labour charge.

  16. #16

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    Great reply Brains, thank you so much. Now my challenge will be to find a decent tech to do this for me!!

    Quote Originally Posted by jayda View Post
    How can the tech determine that your MBP will only last another 6 months to a year?
    Yeah my thoughts exactly. Other than this issue I've had no other problems with my MBP, for a laptop that cost $3500 I was hoping to would last more than 4 years!! I've had no issues with the speed of it, its still just as fast today as it was when I bought it.
    Last edited by rachael85; 25th June 2011 at 04:53 PM.

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