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Model A1286. Released February 2011 / 2.0, 2.2, or 2.3 GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7 Processor

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Keeps booting to white screen when starting internet recovery Solved

I have this laptop I’m trying to fix but still no results.

What I’ve tried so far:

  • Internet recovery starts loading, shows the apple logo and then white screen
  • Diagnostics test shows no errors found
  • Reseat RAM and reset PRAM/NVRAM
  • Bought a new hard drive cable, but still white screen
  • Completely wipe the hard drive (no partitions now) and MBR/GPT, both no difference, still white screen

What would be your suggestions? Maybe try to put my motherboard in the oven? I heard that works sometimes. If so, what temperatures and how long? Any help is appreciated, thank you!

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Ovens are for baking cookies, not logic boards!

You are correct, the white screen indicates a bad hard drive or hard drive cable. We prefer to go with the 2012 hard drive cable when replacing.

Pull your drive and hook it up using a USB to SATA adapter externally and see if the drive is working correctly.

What OS-X are you trying to run?

This model also had a recall on the GPU (program now expired) but we can look at that later.


Try starting in Target Mode to see if the GPU has failed. Target Mode is holding down the T key on start up. Let us know your results, please


with the Target mode working and your Safe Boot not, it is telling us your GPU has failed. See the bottom of this post where your machine was included in the extension program

UPDATE @danj solution worked

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Well, I just replaced the hard drive cable with the 2012 model, that was an earlier suggestion I tried.

I'm just not able to open the internet recovery, even with the drive out. I can not see any option, it loads halfway and gives me a grey screen now. See the following:

This screen loads about halfway and then shows a grey screen. With or without hard drive + cable installed.


UPDATE: could start up Target Mode, showing me this screen:

Seems to work, but I have no disk with working MacOS on right now.


@danj have you previously posted a fix on this issue? I have three machines on my bench right now that I can't fix.


@mayer This Macbook Pro is an early 2011 model, so sadly not part of the program as I can't find an exact date of purchase either.


@mayer - Not a real fix as the dedicated GPU is gone ;-{ This will need a new GPU or logic board. Not much else will work. While some people have tried to re-ball/reflow the GPU chip it really doesn't fix things. Given the expense I think its just better to throw in the towel and get a replacement system (used). Both the early & late 2011 models have serious issues with the GPU's. If you can get a 2012 model and don't try running heavy graphics like on-line gaming you'll find it will be fine.

You can limp along a bit by disabling the dedicated GPU as outlined here: GPU problem - Boot Hangs on Grey Screen


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There are not that many reliable labs with the right machines, skills and access to new GPU chips, but some like Rossman in N.Y.City undoubtfully can do the job properly and might be worth the steep costs they would be charging. After all these are the last 15" non retina upgradable Macs out there and still pretty efficient besides GPU issues.

The only caveat here is to avoid people who would do "reballing" and kick boards in one kind of oven or the other in the end.


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@arbaman Rossman, In his words says to "Sh*t can this one".

You might be able to sell for parts on eBay as you can't get good replacement GPUs for it.


Yep, even Rossmann won't fix these any more he can't get fresh GPU chips as they are no longer made.


@mayer @danj Didn't know he threw in the towel too. Well, if he can't do it..RIP good old i7 quadcores, nice and troublesome machines, I'll miss them but only a bit =:)


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