Logic Board Failure due to Nvidia Graphics processor GT330M
I purchased my Macbook pro 1.5 years ago in Aug 2010 (did not purchase Apple care for extended warranty) . Started getting kernel panics recently and after every panic attack the machine would beep 3 times repeatedly. However, after not bothering with it for many hours (busy with work) I would be able to turn the machine on and use it for 5-15mins and would experience another kernel panic. I recently took it to Genius Bar in UK and was advised it was a 3rd party conflict (Sophos anti-virus) issue. I was advised to delete Sophos and everything would be fine. But it wasn't the case and I had to travel to go again. This time I was advised that the technicians would run a detailed diagnostic test and they suspected that it was a Logic Board or RAM issue. Today I was advised by a store personnel that it was a "Logic Board " fault and had to be replaced (costs approx 400GBP). I wanted the technical details of the fault emailed to me so I could get a second opinion. Instead, I get an email advising me that I have to physically go to the store to get the technical details of the fault.This is so disappointing. It has lasted just 1.5 years and as a student I just don't have the funds to get this fixed (could probably get a decent PC for that money).
On Monday the Apple store informed me it was my Logic Board. I wanted to find out the exact details of what's wrong with the Logic Board and waited to hear from them for two days. Initially they said that I could not get this by email. Yesterday when I rang them again, I was advised that they were running more tests to make sure it was the Logic Board.
Today I get a call advising me that their diagnostic test LO AND BEHOLD highlighted that their "GRAPHICS CARD" ( Nvidea ) had failed. When I pointed out the whole "NVIDEA-MACBOOK PRO SAGA" genius bar member ( she was nice and empathetic) said to me that the problem with my GRAPHICS CARD was not the same problem. So, I asked her to specify what the problem was with " my graphics card". Apparently, they do not have the techinical knowhow (even it went to their factory or some sort of centre) to find out what was wrong with the GPU and all they do is plug in a gadget to test it. This seems like a party line that they have to tow. All in all, I will have to fork out 400pounds to get this fixed.
However, I am not going to accept this and am going back to witness the diagnostic test. I would like to arm myself with as much info as possible about this whole NVIDEA saga. Spoke to Apple Centre and they were very helpful. However, the ultimate decision to put in a new Logic Board FoC depends on the store manager.
People with new Macbook pro's (Nvidia GT330M) and not just the old GeForce 8600M GT seem to experience this as well. Help and suggestions are much appreciated.
Kernel Panics are often corrupted memory blocks caused by a misbehaving process. While it's possible the cause could be bad hardware (RAM or the GPU) I've seen more software causes than hardware failures.
Did you upgrade your OS or add/upgrade any applications just before you started seeing the kernel panics? There have been reports of some video driver problems during the Lion upgrade process that cause odd kernel panics.
I would first try isolating out the software causes. The easiest is by using an external HD (Firewire would be better than USB here) which has a fresh copy of Mac OS-X 10.6.8 on it (not Lion 10.7.x if that is what you had been using). Then select it as your boot disk (you can still use the internal HD's apps). Did the problem go away? If that did make a difference you'll need to make a full backup of your HD wipe it down completely then using an external HD to boot from install a fresh copy of OS on the internal and use the migration tool to copy back your files.
One note here: if you did upgrade to Lion you want to boot under a straight Lion OS external HD not one had was upgraded or copied from an upgraded Leopard or Snow Leopard OS (to make sure you don't copy over any of the older drivers). To prep and install the fresh copy of OS.
If the panics are still happening after booting up under the external HD you could try exchanging out the RAM with a fresh set of SIMM's. I wouldn't spend the effort moving your current SIMMS from slot to slot or removing one, unless you upgraded the RAM after you bought your system (different manufactures). Otherwise I suspect one of your Apps has an issue, remember what apps you use and the order you use them after a fresh reboot to see what apps could be suspect then focus on making sure you upgrade these to the newest versions (don't forget OS add-ons and virus checkers).
As far as the Nvidia issues of the older MB Pro's ('08) Nvidia had a bad run of chips do to a design flaw. Depending on where your chip was located on the wafer the thickness of the layers are very slightly different. The inner core are thicker and the outer edge are thinner (think how centrifugal force works). The current theory is the dies (chips) closer to the edge just couldn't hold up as well under stress as the others. Normally these outer edge chips get tested more fully and depending on what happens they are tossed out. Some how the process failed so some got released. As far as I know only the 8600M GT was effected. As your system has the 330M GT it does not relate as being the same problem.
Check this out about the older Nvidia 8600 GT chip: http://www.macrumors.com/2008/10/10/some...
Bottom line here is your issue might be a new issue with the 330M GT chip which so far has not been acknowledged by Apple or Nvidia. So far no other system manufacture has had issues with this chip either as far as I can find.
kernal panic always come due to Ram. took out the 1 ram from the laptop and run the laptop. check kernal panic is coming or not . if coming then remove that one and put back the old one. if still same problem then reinstall the mac means first back up all your data the reinstall the mac with restore dvds or retail dvd. it will solve you problem. i have a same mac core i5 mid 2010 15 inch. i already faced this problem of kernal panic . this was solved by changing 1 ram . i m happy becoz my mac is covered with apple protection plan. try this will help you
Had the same problem--apple genius, after video test, reported GPU failed, replace logic board. They offered a replacement logic board for $310 (including two way overnite shipping and labor). Told me that free fixes ended 12/2013. I had the fix done and I'm hoping for reimbursement either via executive letter or class action. Now I'm looking for a torture test for the Nvidia 330M gpu.