Is there anyway to avoid an nVidia 8600 graphics failure?
I have an early 2008 MacBook Pro 17" with the 2.6GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor and the Nvidia GeForce 8600 GT GPU with 512 MB of vram. My question is, will all these MacBook Pros be affected by the Nvidia failure? According to my serial number, my mac was made in the last week of July 2008. If it was made this late in the production could it still have a graphics card defect? I know some people who have these same macs and they fail in one year(but they bought them early in production), but mine has been running like a charm everyday for almost 3.5 years with no issues. Does this mean that it won't be affected?
I decided to bite the bullet and got myself a MacBook Pro Retina (no IR so far) and pass this computer down to my younger brother, wo stress tests it way move than I do graphically speaking. He has had it for roughly 3 months now and so far there have been no graphical issues. I guess that some may just last longer or maybe weren't defective at all. Mine though, is also a late 2008, so that may make a difference somehow. I do that smart thing and keep a Raid backup from my Xserve on all my computers, it helps avoid much of the hassle and worry when a computer dies. Hopefully Apple will never have a problem this bad for a long time.
Apple has not recalled ALL these units, only the ones that have failed. Only Apple and Nvidia really know if all the GPUs are defective or if it's just with the solder and, as far as I know, they aren't telling. What we really need on this is a way to fix these ourselves when Apple stops honoring the repairs.
Specific products affected:
MacBook Pro 15-inch and 17-inch models with NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT graphics processors
MacBook Pro (17-Inch, 2.4GHz)
MacBook Pro (15-Inch, 2.4/2.2GHz)
MacBook Pro (Early 2008)
These computers were manufactured between approximately May 2007 and September 2008
I took my early-2008 15" MacBook Pro to the Genius Bar after it started freezing on startup in late July, 2012. The Apple rep said that yes, it was the NVIDIA card, but that the four-year free-fix had expired on my computer. Normally, the repair cost for something like that would be $550, but that because of the circumstances the all-in repair cost would be $320. I said I would think about it, especially after looking at all the shiny new laptops in the Apple Store. (I have PC's, an iPad, and an iPhone, and my business needs for a MacBook aren't urgent.)
I think mine just failed last night. It's been running (literally) 24/7 for over four years since I bought it. I was never even aware that there had been an issue, until now. So, I'm basically left with tearing my HD out so I can off-load the data onto another computer.
Sucks eggs. But luckily the computer has been little more than an email machine for a few years.
But if I were you, I would do a complete HD backup on yours, now, to save that extra step if your machine WERE to fail soon. I can't even boot mine off a system DVD to do anything - which I've posted about here - with no helpful responses yet.
There is a way to fix the GPU issue with Apple care! I have done it successfully twice with 2 identical MacBook Pro machines:
Late 2008 Model
2.6Ghz Core 2 Duo
Nvidia 8600GT 512Mb
17" HighRes 1920x1200 display
Basically you have to completely remove the logic board from the machine, which is not too difficult. Then pre-heat your oven to 220 degrees.
Use foil, and make little legs on a baking tray.
Place the logic board, GPU up on the legs.
Put in the oven, and decrease temperature to 200 degrees.
Wait 7 minutes...
Remove, allow to cool. And re-fit, making sure EVERYTHING is properly connected.
No joke, worked both times!
The first used as a media machine is running perfectly! The second used everyday has begun to show issues, but has been under intense graphical stress a great deal more than the first.(Left 4 Dead 2 at full resolution).
There are youtube instructions! Check them out!