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Mensagem original de: jay ,

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My MBP (8,2) Early 2011 succumbed to the faulty graphics problem sometime in 2015, but remained relatively useful with only occasional glitchy graphics. Little squares sprinkled over the screen sometimes followed by a system freeze. But a simple reboot always solved the problem.  I installed the gfxCardStatus app to help manage the problem.

I use my mac with two external monitors. One connected to the thunderbolt port via a DVI connector, the other connected through a “Pluggable” USB graphics adapter that works surprisingly well. So with the MBP open and two 24” monitors, I have 3 screens. Probably too much for most people, but this setup has worked very well for me and I love it.

However, knowing that my machine had this issue, I finally took it to Apple for the free repair before their replacement program ended.

Apple replaced the motherboard and the graphics problems disappeared. Until about a month ago. I started noticing very minor glitches that assured me I was in for the same problems once again. It appears that the replacement motherboard now has a failing graphics chip.

Anyway, a few days ago the glitches became worse, then it froze and shut down. Rebooting didn’t work, white screen of death. I tried various attempts unplugging the external monitors, resetting the SMC, booting into safe mode, using the option key on startup to manually select the startup disk, booting into recovery mode, I seem to have lost my original Installation disks (which I kept up with until recently, but now are somehow missing). Nothing worked until I finally attempted to boot to an older bootable external HD that I had replaced. It booted, and after changing the startup disk back to the SSD, it booted back to it’s old self. The graphic issues still occur after prolonged use, but they are fairly minor. I can unplug and replug my thunderbolt monitor and the glitches go away. If it goes to sleep while Chrome is running it will often freeze or shut down. It’s often difficult to get it to reboot, but after resetting SMC and PRAM, trying safe mode, booting to my time machine drive, or other external boot drive first, then rebooting to the SSD, it will eventually boot. But it’s a huge PITA and I feel certain that it’s only a matter of time before it fails to reboot at all.

So. Having said all that, I have a question.

Since I use two external monitors, the integrated graphics chip cannot drive them so it must use the Discrete ADM chip. I still use gfxCardStatus set to load at startup and switch dynamically. My question is, if the AMD chip is the one that is failing, why does it seem to be the only one that works when I manage to successfully boot up? Is the AMD chip the real problem anyway? Could I have a different problem? Or, is it just a case of the AMD chip working sometime and failing randomly? It’s so finicky and difficult to reboot, but once it’s up and running it works great. In fact, when it’s running (with the AMD chip driving 3 screens) it’s not as glitchy as it was before the recent freeze and subsequent rebooting problem began.

What can I do to ensure that it reboots reliably? Running doesn’t seem to be a big problem. In fact I think I’ve narrowed down the factors …allowing  it to go to sleep while Chrome is running. If I quit chrome when I walk away, or put it to sleep, then it wakes up and keeps going. If it goes to sleep while Chrome is running it often will not wake up, or will simply shut itself down. And then it’s back to many failed reboot attempts before landing on a successful reboot. I’ve gotten in the habit of closing Chrome more often and setting the system preferences to never sleep. Actually I believe Chrome plays an important part of the problem, because the graphic glitches only began after a recent Chrome upgrade. I would abandon Chrome if I didn’t depend on it for my web development work. I know there are other options, but I’m very happy with Chrome Dev Tools which is superior to other browser dev apps I’ve used.

Does anyone have any other suggestions? I love this machine when it works. I can’t afford to replace it right now, but I also can’t afford to not have one at all (work). The main problem is with booting up. Once it’s up, it’s relatively reliable. Any advice to help me reboot reliably and still be able to use the AMD chip (required for my external monitors) would be HUGELY appreciated!

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