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Black screen with flickering on top on MacBook Pro 6,2 #77

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markusheiden opened this Issue Jun 27, 2012 · 32 comments

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markusheiden commented Jun 27, 2012

With version 2.2.1 of gfxCardStatus I got a black screen with a small flickering bar on the top. I am using a MacBook Pro 6,2 with a GeForce GT 330M with 512MB VRAM. Version 2.1 works fine.

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codykrieger Jun 28, 2012

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Sorry about that Markus – unfortunately the issue is that 15" MBPs from 2010 were manufactured with some hardware defects that are causing this. Apple has been replacing affected machines' logic boards, so you can do that if you want, or if v2.1 worked for you, you can download that here: http://codykrieger.com/gfxCardStatus/changelog

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codykrieger commented Jun 28, 2012

Sorry about that Markus – unfortunately the issue is that 15" MBPs from 2010 were manufactured with some hardware defects that are causing this. Apple has been replacing affected machines' logic boards, so you can do that if you want, or if v2.1 worked for you, you can download that here: http://codykrieger.com/gfxCardStatus/changelog

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codykrieger Jun 28, 2012

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For reference, this is one of the Apple support articles that mentions what I'm talking about: http://support.apple.com/kb/TS4088

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codykrieger commented Jun 28, 2012

For reference, this is one of the Apple support articles that mentions what I'm talking about: http://support.apple.com/kb/TS4088

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andrew-hill Jul 2, 2012

What is gfxCardStatus doing that causes this to happen though? And is it necessary? Is there, or could there be, an option to disable it?

I too experience this problem, only on v2.2.1. Nothing else on my system causes the black-screen-with-small-flickering-bar issue, so I'm not inclined to lose my laptop for a week to get it fixed if it really is that issue (the KB article doesn't mention the flickering line across the top, and doesn't provide much detail to be sure this is actually that exact problem).

If it is a known issue, then couldn't it also be detected and warned about?
e.g. If MBP6,2, disable whatever feature/option/checkbox might cause it to happen by default and show a warning next to it in the preferences so the user is aware of what's going on before they test it... or a more automated way of testing it, like how the OS tests VGA connections for supported graphics modes (reverts after 15 seconds, or reboots, or whatever is required to fix the problem if they don't click the OK button after testing the change).

Currently, if you have whatever option enabled that triggers this and have gfxCardStatus start on login (which seems likely for this application) then your computer becomes unusable when you update to v2.2.1, unless you know about starting in safe-mode or have some other way of disabling gfxCardStatus. This of course assumes you actually figure out its triggered by gfxCardStatus (as it happened I had 3 different on-boot applications with updates yesterday, and OS updates a few days earlier, so wasn't immediately obvious what the cause would be).

I realise its not your fault, but that doesn't mean it's not worth saving users from a lot of hassle/confusion if they happen to be affected by the faulty hardware.

andrew-hill commented Jul 2, 2012

What is gfxCardStatus doing that causes this to happen though? And is it necessary? Is there, or could there be, an option to disable it?

I too experience this problem, only on v2.2.1. Nothing else on my system causes the black-screen-with-small-flickering-bar issue, so I'm not inclined to lose my laptop for a week to get it fixed if it really is that issue (the KB article doesn't mention the flickering line across the top, and doesn't provide much detail to be sure this is actually that exact problem).

If it is a known issue, then couldn't it also be detected and warned about?
e.g. If MBP6,2, disable whatever feature/option/checkbox might cause it to happen by default and show a warning next to it in the preferences so the user is aware of what's going on before they test it... or a more automated way of testing it, like how the OS tests VGA connections for supported graphics modes (reverts after 15 seconds, or reboots, or whatever is required to fix the problem if they don't click the OK button after testing the change).

Currently, if you have whatever option enabled that triggers this and have gfxCardStatus start on login (which seems likely for this application) then your computer becomes unusable when you update to v2.2.1, unless you know about starting in safe-mode or have some other way of disabling gfxCardStatus. This of course assumes you actually figure out its triggered by gfxCardStatus (as it happened I had 3 different on-boot applications with updates yesterday, and OS updates a few days earlier, so wasn't immediately obvious what the cause would be).

I realise its not your fault, but that doesn't mean it's not worth saving users from a lot of hassle/confusion if they happen to be affected by the faulty hardware.

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andrew-hill Jul 2, 2012

For what it's worth, I can repeatedly and reliably recover from the black-screen-with-small-flickering-bar issue by switching back to discrete graphics mode (mouse placed on the menu bar icon, keyboard to switch). From then on, the integrated graphics seems to be in the failed mode and doesn't recover (yet to really test recovery with lid-closing and sleeping and such though).

Also, interestingly, getting into the state where the integrated graphics fails is not all that reliable. I can happily switch between the two most of the time, but the trigger of the failure seems to be when gfxCardStatus forces integrated graphics shortly after boot (more repeatable after a complete shutdown and power on). The weird part is that it boots on integrated graphics (and is working fine) before the sudden failure when gfxCardStatus loads and switches to integrated-only mode.

So a work-around for v2.2.1 on MBP6,2 (and worth trying on other computers, based on the comments on twitter) seems to be to disable forcing integrated-only mode based on the power state.

I would suggest it's worth adding a warning about this possible failure in the advanced preference pane, and the first time the user attempts to force integrated mode, if they're on a MBP6,2.

Also keyboard shortcuts (or Alfred/Quicksilver/etc integration) could allow users to recover (to forced-discrete mode) quite easily if they don't have a second monitor handy to force it with hardware.

andrew-hill commented Jul 2, 2012

For what it's worth, I can repeatedly and reliably recover from the black-screen-with-small-flickering-bar issue by switching back to discrete graphics mode (mouse placed on the menu bar icon, keyboard to switch). From then on, the integrated graphics seems to be in the failed mode and doesn't recover (yet to really test recovery with lid-closing and sleeping and such though).

Also, interestingly, getting into the state where the integrated graphics fails is not all that reliable. I can happily switch between the two most of the time, but the trigger of the failure seems to be when gfxCardStatus forces integrated graphics shortly after boot (more repeatable after a complete shutdown and power on). The weird part is that it boots on integrated graphics (and is working fine) before the sudden failure when gfxCardStatus loads and switches to integrated-only mode.

So a work-around for v2.2.1 on MBP6,2 (and worth trying on other computers, based on the comments on twitter) seems to be to disable forcing integrated-only mode based on the power state.

I would suggest it's worth adding a warning about this possible failure in the advanced preference pane, and the first time the user attempts to force integrated mode, if they're on a MBP6,2.

Also keyboard shortcuts (or Alfred/Quicksilver/etc integration) could allow users to recover (to forced-discrete mode) quite easily if they don't have a second monitor handy to force it with hardware.

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andrew-hill Jul 2, 2012

One more work-around, sleeping the computer and waking it back up may get the integrated graphics back up and running. This worked for me, though it went to sleep and woke up on the discrete graphics mode, but after that I could happily switch back and forth.

Next time I get integrated mode to fail, I'll test sleep/wake on integrated to see if that fixes it. Hopefully that works and will thus save people a lot of time when they discover they have faulty hardware through this oddity.

andrew-hill commented Jul 2, 2012

One more work-around, sleeping the computer and waking it back up may get the integrated graphics back up and running. This worked for me, though it went to sleep and woke up on the discrete graphics mode, but after that I could happily switch back and forth.

Next time I get integrated mode to fail, I'll test sleep/wake on integrated to see if that fixes it. Hopefully that works and will thus save people a lot of time when they discover they have faulty hardware through this oddity.

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codykrieger Jul 2, 2012

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You're totally right, this is a huge pain in the neck - I think what
I'm going to do is just revert to the old switching method on 2010
machines unless you're willing to set a user defaults flag to enable
the new stuff. I think I'll kick this out in v2.3 pretty soon,
hopefully this week. Just need to find out how to get the machine's
model number programmatically.

Sent from my iPhone

On Jul 2, 2012, at 12:38 AM, Frog
reply@reply.github.com
wrote:

For what it's worth, I can repeatedly and reliably recover from the black-screen-with-small-flickering-bar issue by switching back to discrete graphics mode (mouse placed on the menu bar icon, keyboard to switch). From then on, the integrated graphics seems to be in the failed mode and doesn't recover (yet to really test recovery with lid-closing and sleeping and such though).

Also, interestingly, getting into the state where the integrated graphics fails is not all that reliable. I can happily switch between the two most of the time, but the trigger of the failure seems to be when gfxCardStatus forces integrated graphics shortly after boot (more repeatable after a complete shutdown and power on). The weird part is that it boots on integrated graphics (and is working fine) before the sudden failure when gfxCardStatus loads and switches to integrated-only mode.

So a work-around for v2.2.1 on MBP6,2 (and worth trying on other computers, based on the comments on twitter) seems to be to disable forcing integrated-only mode based on the power state.

I would suggest it's worth adding a warning about this possible failure in the advanced preference pane, and the first time the user attempts to force integrated mode, if they're on a MBP6,2.

Also keyboard shortcuts (or Alfred/Quicksilver/etc integration) could allow users to recover (to forced-discrete mode) quite easily if they don't have a second monitor handy to force it with hardware.


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#77 (comment)

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codykrieger commented Jul 2, 2012

You're totally right, this is a huge pain in the neck - I think what
I'm going to do is just revert to the old switching method on 2010
machines unless you're willing to set a user defaults flag to enable
the new stuff. I think I'll kick this out in v2.3 pretty soon,
hopefully this week. Just need to find out how to get the machine's
model number programmatically.

Sent from my iPhone

On Jul 2, 2012, at 12:38 AM, Frog
reply@reply.github.com
wrote:

For what it's worth, I can repeatedly and reliably recover from the black-screen-with-small-flickering-bar issue by switching back to discrete graphics mode (mouse placed on the menu bar icon, keyboard to switch). From then on, the integrated graphics seems to be in the failed mode and doesn't recover (yet to really test recovery with lid-closing and sleeping and such though).

Also, interestingly, getting into the state where the integrated graphics fails is not all that reliable. I can happily switch between the two most of the time, but the trigger of the failure seems to be when gfxCardStatus forces integrated graphics shortly after boot (more repeatable after a complete shutdown and power on). The weird part is that it boots on integrated graphics (and is working fine) before the sudden failure when gfxCardStatus loads and switches to integrated-only mode.

So a work-around for v2.2.1 on MBP6,2 (and worth trying on other computers, based on the comments on twitter) seems to be to disable forcing integrated-only mode based on the power state.

I would suggest it's worth adding a warning about this possible failure in the advanced preference pane, and the first time the user attempts to force integrated mode, if they're on a MBP6,2.

Also keyboard shortcuts (or Alfred/Quicksilver/etc integration) could allow users to recover (to forced-discrete mode) quite easily if they don't have a second monitor handy to force it with hardware.


Reply to this email directly or view it on GitHub:
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lfpippa Jul 2, 2012

I know it might not be the key-point on this discussion, but since I'm affected and already got a feedback from Cody, here it goes:

"What is gfxCardStatus doing that causes this to happen though?"
"I too experience this problem, only on v2.2.1. Nothing else on my system causes the black-screen-with-small-flickering-bar issue, so I'm not inclined to lose my laptop for a week to get it fixed if it really is that issue (the KB article doesn't mention the flickering line across the top, and doesn't provide much detail to be sure this is actually that exact problem)."
"Also, interestingly, getting into the state where the integrated graphics fails is not all that reliable."

Well, I share most of drfrogsplat's ideas, but my MBP just got a new Logic Board last month and I want to be sure it is not one of the affected ones, therefore I'm willing to test. Since mine is a 17" MPB (6,1 not 6,2) is there anything I can do to reproduce it? Like drfrogsplat said, I can easily put it back to work again, but reproducing the issue is quite a challenge. I would really like to learn to control it.

lfpippa commented Jul 2, 2012

I know it might not be the key-point on this discussion, but since I'm affected and already got a feedback from Cody, here it goes:

"What is gfxCardStatus doing that causes this to happen though?"
"I too experience this problem, only on v2.2.1. Nothing else on my system causes the black-screen-with-small-flickering-bar issue, so I'm not inclined to lose my laptop for a week to get it fixed if it really is that issue (the KB article doesn't mention the flickering line across the top, and doesn't provide much detail to be sure this is actually that exact problem)."
"Also, interestingly, getting into the state where the integrated graphics fails is not all that reliable."

Well, I share most of drfrogsplat's ideas, but my MBP just got a new Logic Board last month and I want to be sure it is not one of the affected ones, therefore I'm willing to test. Since mine is a 17" MPB (6,1 not 6,2) is there anything I can do to reproduce it? Like drfrogsplat said, I can easily put it back to work again, but reproducing the issue is quite a challenge. I would really like to learn to control it.

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andrew-hill Jul 2, 2012

I would really like to learn to control it.

Actually that's an interesting point, it'd be kind of useful if people wondering if they're affected could use gfxCardStatus as a pseudo test utility to see if it's worth taking their laptop in for diagnosis.

Just need to find out how to get the machine's model number programmatically.

Here's a command-line method:

# system_profiler SPHardwareDataType | grep "Model Identifier"

andrew-hill commented Jul 2, 2012

I would really like to learn to control it.

Actually that's an interesting point, it'd be kind of useful if people wondering if they're affected could use gfxCardStatus as a pseudo test utility to see if it's worth taking their laptop in for diagnosis.

Just need to find out how to get the machine's model number programmatically.

Here's a command-line method:

# system_profiler SPHardwareDataType | grep "Model Identifier"
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codykrieger Jul 4, 2012

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17" machines are extremely difficult to reproduce it on since the affected machines by Apple's standards are only 15" models (which do have it significantly worse-off than 17" machines). I've seen it once on my 17" MBP since the v2.2.1 release, but I hadn't seen it a single time in the year leading up to v2.2.1's release. (Yeah, I had the new switching stuff done for a loooong time, but a lot of work went into this release, hence the year between updates).

There's no way to "control" it per se. It's entirely chance.

@drfrogsplat I'd like to do it via the IOKit APIs, because dealing with NSTask and shelling out to command line programs and then parsing the output is painful. :)

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codykrieger commented Jul 4, 2012

17" machines are extremely difficult to reproduce it on since the affected machines by Apple's standards are only 15" models (which do have it significantly worse-off than 17" machines). I've seen it once on my 17" MBP since the v2.2.1 release, but I hadn't seen it a single time in the year leading up to v2.2.1's release. (Yeah, I had the new switching stuff done for a loooong time, but a lot of work went into this release, hence the year between updates).

There's no way to "control" it per se. It's entirely chance.

@drfrogsplat I'd like to do it via the IOKit APIs, because dealing with NSTask and shelling out to command line programs and then parsing the output is painful. :)

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bootareen Jul 4, 2012

It's strange to see that the new switching method is causing problems with the 2010 Macbook Pro's. I have the same problem and sleeping and then waking the machine makes the Intel graphics work until the next reboot. I went through 2 logic boards for the intermittent black screen issue and I haven't had a problem with the previous version of gfxcardstatus so it seems to be a software problem that exploits and inherent weakness in the 2010 Macbook Pros.

bootareen commented Jul 4, 2012

It's strange to see that the new switching method is causing problems with the 2010 Macbook Pro's. I have the same problem and sleeping and then waking the machine makes the Intel graphics work until the next reboot. I went through 2 logic boards for the intermittent black screen issue and I haven't had a problem with the previous version of gfxcardstatus so it seems to be a software problem that exploits and inherent weakness in the 2010 Macbook Pros.

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codykrieger Jul 4, 2012

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@bootareen Yeah, it's really unfortunate because it just plain shouldn't be possible to do that to the machines via software. I'm working on making gfxCardStatus not completely suck on the 2010 machines, but it would be fantastic if there weren't logic board issues. :/

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codykrieger commented Jul 4, 2012

@bootareen Yeah, it's really unfortunate because it just plain shouldn't be possible to do that to the machines via software. I'm working on making gfxCardStatus not completely suck on the 2010 machines, but it would be fantastic if there weren't logic board issues. :/

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APowerC Jul 12, 2012

Hi Cody, i just wanted to add that i don't think this is a hardware issue. I updated to v2.2.1 yesterday and went to sleep. This morning when i booted up my mac to check my mail-account, I was greeted with a garbled screen wich shocked me tbh. I only have this problem with V2.2.1, I now downgraded back to V2.1 and the problem disappeared plus I cannot regenerate it no matter what. I also have stress tested for 2 hours to rule out any hardware issues. I'm running Snow Leopard btw. Could this be a bug in the complete rewrite of the app?

Edit : And i also forgot to mention, that article about the black screen issue is caused by the nVidia Geforce 330M GT. the integrated card has nothing to do with the issue. There are countless forum-posts and articles about it on Apple's website.

APowerC commented Jul 12, 2012

Hi Cody, i just wanted to add that i don't think this is a hardware issue. I updated to v2.2.1 yesterday and went to sleep. This morning when i booted up my mac to check my mail-account, I was greeted with a garbled screen wich shocked me tbh. I only have this problem with V2.2.1, I now downgraded back to V2.1 and the problem disappeared plus I cannot regenerate it no matter what. I also have stress tested for 2 hours to rule out any hardware issues. I'm running Snow Leopard btw. Could this be a bug in the complete rewrite of the app?

Edit : And i also forgot to mention, that article about the black screen issue is caused by the nVidia Geforce 330M GT. the integrated card has nothing to do with the issue. There are countless forum-posts and articles about it on Apple's website.

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codykrieger Jul 12, 2012

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@APowerC I promise it is. :)

The bit of code in gfxCardStatus that makes the black/garbled screen thing happen works great on every other kind of MBP model except for the 2010s, and only a limited subset of them, at that. My 17" 2010 machine is fine. Some folks' 17" machines aren't fine. I have one friend whose 15" machine works great, which boggles my mind, because I thought it was all 15" models from 2010, but apparently not. It's really logic board-dependent.

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codykrieger commented Jul 12, 2012

@APowerC I promise it is. :)

The bit of code in gfxCardStatus that makes the black/garbled screen thing happen works great on every other kind of MBP model except for the 2010s, and only a limited subset of them, at that. My 17" 2010 machine is fine. Some folks' 17" machines aren't fine. I have one friend whose 15" machine works great, which boggles my mind, because I thought it was all 15" models from 2010, but apparently not. It's really logic board-dependent.

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APowerC Jul 13, 2012

Can you explain to me why I can't reproduce this problem on version 2.1 then? I went to my local apple authorized service point (Switch Gent) and payed 60 euro's for diagnostics(!!!) only to discover that my machine is working perfectly.

APowerC commented Jul 13, 2012

Can you explain to me why I can't reproduce this problem on version 2.1 then? I went to my local apple authorized service point (Switch Gent) and payed 60 euro's for diagnostics(!!!) only to discover that my machine is working perfectly.

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glaszig Jul 13, 2012

i've been using gfxcardstatus 2.2.1 until today and all of a sudden this issue struck me.
it only seems to appear in case i switch the card before i closed the lid and went to sleep at least once.

since the previous version did not trigger this there must be a way (code-wise) to prevent it.

glaszig commented Jul 13, 2012

i've been using gfxcardstatus 2.2.1 until today and all of a sudden this issue struck me.
it only seems to appear in case i switch the card before i closed the lid and went to sleep at least once.

since the previous version did not trigger this there must be a way (code-wise) to prevent it.

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bootareen Jul 14, 2012

Yes this happens to me. If I close the lid at least once, it seems the problem goes away. I'm really not sure whether it's a hardware or software problem. I already ha my logic board replaced for the intermittent black screen problem (which stopped after the logic board replacement) so it should be the newest one without graphics issues.

On 2012-07-13, at 3:55 PM, glaszigreply@reply.github.com wrote:

i've been using gfxcardstatus until today and all of a sudden this issue struck me.
it only seems to appear in case i switch the card before i closed the lid and went to sleep at least once.

since the previous version did not trigger this there must be a way (code-wise) to prevent it.


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bootareen commented Jul 14, 2012

Yes this happens to me. If I close the lid at least once, it seems the problem goes away. I'm really not sure whether it's a hardware or software problem. I already ha my logic board replaced for the intermittent black screen problem (which stopped after the logic board replacement) so it should be the newest one without graphics issues.

On 2012-07-13, at 3:55 PM, glaszigreply@reply.github.com wrote:

i've been using gfxcardstatus until today and all of a sudden this issue struck me.
it only seems to appear in case i switch the card before i closed the lid and went to sleep at least once.

since the previous version did not trigger this there must be a way (code-wise) to prevent it.


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codykrieger Jul 14, 2012

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@APowerC v2.1 switched a little differently than v2.2.1 does. But as I said before, this issue only happens on certain machines – the ones with the acknowledged logic board problems. I'm going to have to go back to the old method of switching in the next update, but only if you're using a 2010 MacBook Pro. It's annoying, because that's a shitty workaround, and this problem shouldn't exist in the first place. The switching hardware was just shittily designed in the 2010 machines.

The issue with going back to the old method is that there has been a significant bug in gfxCardStatus for a while where if you're on Integrated Only, and you quit certain apps, OS X gets confused and kicks the discrete GPU on. The new switching method fixes that. But if I go back to the old stuff for 2010 users, they no longer have that fix.

@bootareen They would have replaced your logic board with the same one manufactured for the 2010 MacBook Pros, and since the graphics switching hardware wasn't changed in design until the 2011 revision, you've got basically the same logic board as you originally had, probably just slightly less flaky.

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codykrieger commented Jul 14, 2012

@APowerC v2.1 switched a little differently than v2.2.1 does. But as I said before, this issue only happens on certain machines – the ones with the acknowledged logic board problems. I'm going to have to go back to the old method of switching in the next update, but only if you're using a 2010 MacBook Pro. It's annoying, because that's a shitty workaround, and this problem shouldn't exist in the first place. The switching hardware was just shittily designed in the 2010 machines.

The issue with going back to the old method is that there has been a significant bug in gfxCardStatus for a while where if you're on Integrated Only, and you quit certain apps, OS X gets confused and kicks the discrete GPU on. The new switching method fixes that. But if I go back to the old stuff for 2010 users, they no longer have that fix.

@bootareen They would have replaced your logic board with the same one manufactured for the 2010 MacBook Pros, and since the graphics switching hardware wasn't changed in design until the 2011 revision, you've got basically the same logic board as you originally had, probably just slightly less flaky.

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glaszig Jul 17, 2012

i just cannot get my head around this. i have never had this problem before using gfxCardStatus and while using v2.1.

quoting the kb posted above:

[...] may intermittently freeze or stop displaying video on the built-in display or on an external display connected to the MacBook Pro. In this situation, you may also see a restart warning message before the video is lost or the display turns black or gray. Affected computers were manufactured between April 2010 and February 2011.

this does not really sound like what is happening here.

glaszig commented Jul 17, 2012

i just cannot get my head around this. i have never had this problem before using gfxCardStatus and while using v2.1.

quoting the kb posted above:

[...] may intermittently freeze or stop displaying video on the built-in display or on an external display connected to the MacBook Pro. In this situation, you may also see a restart warning message before the video is lost or the display turns black or gray. Affected computers were manufactured between April 2010 and February 2011.

this does not really sound like what is happening here.

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codykrieger Jul 17, 2012

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@glaszig I completely understand that you never had this issue on v2.1. The changes I introduced in v2.2.1 are what is making this problem more frequent for users of 2010 machines, but that doesn't change the fact that the root cause is hardware-related.

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codykrieger commented Jul 17, 2012

@glaszig I completely understand that you never had this issue on v2.1. The changes I introduced in v2.2.1 are what is making this problem more frequent for users of 2010 machines, but that doesn't change the fact that the root cause is hardware-related.

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ddexter Jul 20, 2012

If it helps, one thing I've noticed is that the energy saver option used to have an automatic switching checkbox which was replaced by a radio button which lets the user choose between auto-switching and "high-performance" discrete only. With the new gfxCardStatus, sometimes the radio buttons will appear in settings and sometimes it is the old checkbox. This results in gfxCardStatus being set to integrated only when the automatic switching checkbox is not checked (so the OS presumably thinks it should be using the discrete card?) Not sure if this is Apple's fault or even if it's related, but thought I'd throw it out there. Something else that happens to me is that the integrated graphics will work fine when in dynamic switching mode. gfxCardStatus even says the integrated card is being used, but the second I switch to "integrated only", the screen goes nuts.

Mid 2010 MBP with faulty logic board.

ddexter commented Jul 20, 2012

If it helps, one thing I've noticed is that the energy saver option used to have an automatic switching checkbox which was replaced by a radio button which lets the user choose between auto-switching and "high-performance" discrete only. With the new gfxCardStatus, sometimes the radio buttons will appear in settings and sometimes it is the old checkbox. This results in gfxCardStatus being set to integrated only when the automatic switching checkbox is not checked (so the OS presumably thinks it should be using the discrete card?) Not sure if this is Apple's fault or even if it's related, but thought I'd throw it out there. Something else that happens to me is that the integrated graphics will work fine when in dynamic switching mode. gfxCardStatus even says the integrated card is being used, but the second I switch to "integrated only", the screen goes nuts.

Mid 2010 MBP with faulty logic board.

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codykrieger Jul 20, 2012

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The changes to the Energy Saver prefpane are intentional in v2.2.1 -
gfxCardStatus changes something called the switch policy in order to
basically completely disable automatic switching. Changing the switch
policy is also what's causing the problem with machines with hardware
issues.

Sent from my iPhone

On Jul 19, 2012, at 9:56 PM, Dan Dexter
reply@reply.github.com
wrote:

If it helps, one thing I've noticed is that the energy saver option used to have an automatic switching checkbox which was replaced by a radio button which lets the user choose between auto-switching and "high-performance" discrete only. With the new gfxCardStatus, sometimes the radio buttons will appear in settings and sometimes it is the old checkbox. This results in gfxCardStatus being set to integrated only when the automatic switching checkbox is not checked (so the OS presumably thinks it should be using the discrete card?) Not sure if this is Apple's fault or even if it's related, but thought I'd throw it out there. Something else that happens to me is that the integrated graphics will work fine when in dynamic switching mode. gfxCardStatus even says the integrated card is being used, but the second I switch to "integrated only", the screen goes nuts.

Mid 2010 MBP with faulty logic board.


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codykrieger commented Jul 20, 2012

The changes to the Energy Saver prefpane are intentional in v2.2.1 -
gfxCardStatus changes something called the switch policy in order to
basically completely disable automatic switching. Changing the switch
policy is also what's causing the problem with machines with hardware
issues.

Sent from my iPhone

On Jul 19, 2012, at 9:56 PM, Dan Dexter
reply@reply.github.com
wrote:

If it helps, one thing I've noticed is that the energy saver option used to have an automatic switching checkbox which was replaced by a radio button which lets the user choose between auto-switching and "high-performance" discrete only. With the new gfxCardStatus, sometimes the radio buttons will appear in settings and sometimes it is the old checkbox. This results in gfxCardStatus being set to integrated only when the automatic switching checkbox is not checked (so the OS presumably thinks it should be using the discrete card?) Not sure if this is Apple's fault or even if it's related, but thought I'd throw it out there. Something else that happens to me is that the integrated graphics will work fine when in dynamic switching mode. gfxCardStatus even says the integrated card is being used, but the second I switch to "integrated only", the screen goes nuts.

Mid 2010 MBP with faulty logic board.


Reply to this email directly or view it on GitHub:
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codykrieger Jul 30, 2012

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Just a quick update for everyone affected by this, I'm putting a workaround in v2.3 and releasing that (hopefully) within the next couple days, so check the gfxCardStatus website often (http://codykrieger.com/gfxCardStatus) if you've downgraded to v2.1 and turned off automatic updates.

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codykrieger commented Jul 30, 2012

Just a quick update for everyone affected by this, I'm putting a workaround in v2.3 and releasing that (hopefully) within the next couple days, so check the gfxCardStatus website often (http://codykrieger.com/gfxCardStatus) if you've downgraded to v2.1 and turned off automatic updates.

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pegleg Sep 24, 2012

I've just installed this on my Macbook Pro 6.2 and I'm now seeing this issue with 2.3 but I didn't see it before :-(

pegleg commented Sep 24, 2012

I've just installed this on my Macbook Pro 6.2 and I'm now seeing this issue with 2.3 but I didn't see it before :-(

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codykrieger Sep 24, 2012

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@pegleg Try clearing your SMC.

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codykrieger commented Sep 24, 2012

@pegleg Try clearing your SMC.

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pegleg Oct 1, 2012

ah! thanks! seems to be working OK now

pegleg commented Oct 1, 2012

ah! thanks! seems to be working OK now

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paulferguson Mar 22, 2013

I can see this discussion is a bit old now, but I thought I would leave my $0.02 worth anyway in the hope it is useful.

I have a Mid-2010 17" MBP (2.66GHz i7) running SL 10.6.8 and gfxCardStatus v2.2.1.

My graphics have had no problems until this morning when two things happened:

  1. gfxCS was set to force Integrated (Intel) Graphics only (I'd been running yesterday on battery power and didn't need the nVidia performance). I plugged in a second monitor to the display port but it didn't turn on - I didn't realise at the time I'd locked it to Intel graphics which didn't support a second display (Doh!).
  2. I installed the recent security update 2013-001, plus the Java update.

I rebooted to install the update, figuring the problem with the second display would resolve with a reboot (uptime 40days).

When the reboot was complete the Mac switched to intel graphics and after logging in the desktop was displayed fine but then went into the state of grey corruption. I don't know for sure, but since the display worked correctly until shortly after the desktop was displayed after successful login I wonder if the corrupt screen state happened around the time gfxCS loaded?

The first time I logged out to the login screen, and the display remained corrupted so I forced off with power. On booting up again the same happened with graphics all fine until after successful login and the desktop appearing then shortly after it went to the grey corrupted state.

Feeling rather short on options I plugged in the second display again to see if it would come up. gfxCS must have been set back to dynamic switching as plugging in the second display switched to the discrete nVidia GPU and the corruption went leaving normal graphics working correctly on both displays. Unplug the second display and Intel was selected again so reverted to corruption on the MBP display.

I was able to figure out my way around the corrupted screen enough to set gfxCS to force discrete nVidia graphics and the display returned to normal. When it did I noticed the display preferences briefly showed a resolution of 1x1 on switching from Intel to nVidia.

A further reboot and the problem went away. I did another reboot to make sure this wasn't a fluke and all is working - intel, discrete nVidia and dynamic all work properly again.

Exactly what happened here I don't know. I suspect that the problem was caused either by the security update or me plugging in a second display with Intel forced in gfxCS which then caused a problem when Intel graphics were subsequently selected. Reading through this thread my money is on the latter - Mac OS X just didn't like being forced to use the Intel graphics when I plugged in a second monitor and kept telling it to detect the display. How it left the Intel graphics resolution at 1x1 I don't know as I did try setting the correct 1920x1200 resolution in display preferences through the corrupted display.

All is working again so hopefully what ever happened has sorted itself out.
Hopefully this is useful to anyone that has the same problem.

Paul

paulferguson commented Mar 22, 2013

I can see this discussion is a bit old now, but I thought I would leave my $0.02 worth anyway in the hope it is useful.

I have a Mid-2010 17" MBP (2.66GHz i7) running SL 10.6.8 and gfxCardStatus v2.2.1.

My graphics have had no problems until this morning when two things happened:

  1. gfxCS was set to force Integrated (Intel) Graphics only (I'd been running yesterday on battery power and didn't need the nVidia performance). I plugged in a second monitor to the display port but it didn't turn on - I didn't realise at the time I'd locked it to Intel graphics which didn't support a second display (Doh!).
  2. I installed the recent security update 2013-001, plus the Java update.

I rebooted to install the update, figuring the problem with the second display would resolve with a reboot (uptime 40days).

When the reboot was complete the Mac switched to intel graphics and after logging in the desktop was displayed fine but then went into the state of grey corruption. I don't know for sure, but since the display worked correctly until shortly after the desktop was displayed after successful login I wonder if the corrupt screen state happened around the time gfxCS loaded?

The first time I logged out to the login screen, and the display remained corrupted so I forced off with power. On booting up again the same happened with graphics all fine until after successful login and the desktop appearing then shortly after it went to the grey corrupted state.

Feeling rather short on options I plugged in the second display again to see if it would come up. gfxCS must have been set back to dynamic switching as plugging in the second display switched to the discrete nVidia GPU and the corruption went leaving normal graphics working correctly on both displays. Unplug the second display and Intel was selected again so reverted to corruption on the MBP display.

I was able to figure out my way around the corrupted screen enough to set gfxCS to force discrete nVidia graphics and the display returned to normal. When it did I noticed the display preferences briefly showed a resolution of 1x1 on switching from Intel to nVidia.

A further reboot and the problem went away. I did another reboot to make sure this wasn't a fluke and all is working - intel, discrete nVidia and dynamic all work properly again.

Exactly what happened here I don't know. I suspect that the problem was caused either by the security update or me plugging in a second display with Intel forced in gfxCS which then caused a problem when Intel graphics were subsequently selected. Reading through this thread my money is on the latter - Mac OS X just didn't like being forced to use the Intel graphics when I plugged in a second monitor and kept telling it to detect the display. How it left the Intel graphics resolution at 1x1 I don't know as I did try setting the correct 1920x1200 resolution in display preferences through the corrupted display.

All is working again so hopefully what ever happened has sorted itself out.
Hopefully this is useful to anyone that has the same problem.

Paul

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theblizzardofoz Sep 24, 2015

Hi, I might be all alone in my issue as I have a MBP 2010- 6.2 - 15" running yosemite. I had never heard of the logic board issue before :( I had no idea because I have been sick for 4 years and rarely used the computer. I had not upgraded and was running snow leopard until just recently and of course as soon as I upgraded, the problem reared its ugly head. I have no idea what version of gfxCardStatus I should be using for my model??? I just tried using gfxCardStatus v2.3 and even though I have it set on (discrete only) it continuously changes modes anyways??and I have had a few crashes already, are their additional steps or add ons I need to take? or add something else to the mix? System preferences in Yosemite /energy saver has an automatic graphics switch should it be enabled or disabled when paired with gfxCardStatus?

Pretty shocked to find out I could have had a free fix but I didn't know I had a defective MBP until it is now apparently way too late. A recall that expires?! Help! Thanks in advance :)

theblizzardofoz commented Sep 24, 2015

Hi, I might be all alone in my issue as I have a MBP 2010- 6.2 - 15" running yosemite. I had never heard of the logic board issue before :( I had no idea because I have been sick for 4 years and rarely used the computer. I had not upgraded and was running snow leopard until just recently and of course as soon as I upgraded, the problem reared its ugly head. I have no idea what version of gfxCardStatus I should be using for my model??? I just tried using gfxCardStatus v2.3 and even though I have it set on (discrete only) it continuously changes modes anyways??and I have had a few crashes already, are their additional steps or add ons I need to take? or add something else to the mix? System preferences in Yosemite /energy saver has an automatic graphics switch should it be enabled or disabled when paired with gfxCardStatus?

Pretty shocked to find out I could have had a free fix but I didn't know I had a defective MBP until it is now apparently way too late. A recall that expires?! Help! Thanks in advance :)

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codykrieger Sep 24, 2015

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@theblizzardofoz At this point, with a machine that's approaching six years old, I'd recommend just getting a new machine.

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codykrieger commented Sep 24, 2015

@theblizzardofoz At this point, with a machine that's approaching six years old, I'd recommend just getting a new machine.

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theblizzardofoz Sep 25, 2015

man..really? a $2500 purchase used for 2yrs...useless now :( they say they'll fix it for $646 but I read it doesn't even guarantee the logic board won't fry again

theblizzardofoz commented Sep 25, 2015

man..really? a $2500 purchase used for 2yrs...useless now :( they say they'll fix it for $646 but I read it doesn't even guarantee the logic board won't fry again

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glaszig Sep 25, 2015

@theblizzardofoz you purchased a 3 year old machine for 2500 bucks?
anyway, a few days ago i was on the phone with an AASP guy who was still talking about that recall option. i'm not sure if he was up to date but i'd recommend you go to a genius bar and tell them that you're affected, didn't know because it wasn't properly communicated and you didn't have a repair yet. even better might be to send it in for repair via the support section on apple.com. i've heard (and this is unconfirmed) that send-in-repairs might be more graceful.

glaszig commented Sep 25, 2015

@theblizzardofoz you purchased a 3 year old machine for 2500 bucks?
anyway, a few days ago i was on the phone with an AASP guy who was still talking about that recall option. i'm not sure if he was up to date but i'd recommend you go to a genius bar and tell them that you're affected, didn't know because it wasn't properly communicated and you didn't have a repair yet. even better might be to send it in for repair via the support section on apple.com. i've heard (and this is unconfirmed) that send-in-repairs might be more graceful.

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theblizzardofoz Sep 25, 2015

@glaszig bought brand new in 2010,,used for 2 yrs..then didn't use until recently..I went to a genius bar and they acted like they didn't know what was wrong...after learning what I learned from that..I found out about the recall,,,even though I already was at a genius bar..do you think its worth while to send in via support section?

theblizzardofoz commented Sep 25, 2015

@glaszig bought brand new in 2010,,used for 2 yrs..then didn't use until recently..I went to a genius bar and they acted like they didn't know what was wrong...after learning what I learned from that..I found out about the recall,,,even though I already was at a genius bar..do you think its worth while to send in via support section?

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glaszig Sep 25, 2015

i'd try at least. specifically mention you're suffering this defect: http://support.apple.com/kb/TS4088

Am 25.09.2015 um 03:01 schrieb theblizzardofoz notifications@github.com:

@glaszig bought brand new in 2010,,used for 2 yrs..then didn't use until recently..I went to a genius bar and they acted like they didn't know what was wrong...after learning what I learned from that..I found out about the recall,,,even though I already was at a genius bar..do you think its worth while to send in via support section?


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glaszig commented Sep 25, 2015

i'd try at least. specifically mention you're suffering this defect: http://support.apple.com/kb/TS4088

Am 25.09.2015 um 03:01 schrieb theblizzardofoz notifications@github.com:

@glaszig bought brand new in 2010,,used for 2 yrs..then didn't use until recently..I went to a genius bar and they acted like they didn't know what was wrong...after learning what I learned from that..I found out about the recall,,,even though I already was at a genius bar..do you think its worth while to send in via support section?


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