MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Early 2011

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

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Graphics issues related to heating - bad soldering?

Once this MacBook Pro 15-inch, early 2011 (May) was quite hot, and I took it off the power plug and launched Angry Birds, the system freezed, with some video distortions on screen.

I've seen similar situation with my previous MBP'2009 wich I had fixed under the NVidia chip replacement program. Never find reports of such issues regarding newer MBP '2011 though.

So, after reset the book shown a distorted Apple logo. Here's the screen photo.

Next morning, totally cooled, the book displayed exactly the same startup picture, and didn't go any further. I placed it in my backpack and took it to the store I bought it, on a bike. Maybe it was of the shakes during the way there, but the book turned on without any problems in the store!

Back home I turned off WIFI in favor of an Ethernet cable and watched over temperatures: installed "Temperature Monitor" and the "Fan Control" to speed up the fans. This helped for a few days, but then the book got overheated again doing some photo processing and then uploading to Facebook via flash plugin. It might make sense, as it was the Flash plugin that I started, when my first MBP got dead. So, it was video distortion again, and a distorted screen right on power-on, not going further than Apple logo distorted and the rotating wait icon.

Someone told me that it might be the weak soldering on the logic board, that causes this temperature-related issues.

I'm on Samui island in Thailand for few more months, and the nearest Apple service is in Singapore. No perspective of a quick fix.

Is there a chance that 'heating' the logic board, or some heat-related treatment of the board's soldering would help? This MBP is over 1 year, not covered by warranty.

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Stuck on a beautiful island, I wish I was there!

Sergei - Try monitoring your running software using Activity Monitor which is in the system > utility folder. Something is burning you up. You our correct, Flash Player is a known culprit, did you install the newest version which is much better? Check out what else is running that is causing you to heat up so much.

Yes, it's possible you have a cold solder joint on your logic board or display unit. And the problem can come and go like you describe.

I wouldn't try fixing this your self as you really need the proper SMT heating system to re-solder the bad solder joint/s. I've had to replace a few logic boards because people tried to fix their systems them selves (which is quit costly!) Vs spot soldering the component/s that need attention with the correct gear and skills.

Try cooling your system down in a refrigerator. Put your system is a air tight bag and remove as much air as possible so no moisture builds up inside (given the climate your in). Was it able to help? For now you may need to do this until you get to an Apple Store or authorized Apple repair station to get your system repaired correctly.

I would give the Apple Store a try first as soon as possible as you maybe able to get an extended warranty repair. Try giving them a call so your on record even if you can't get to the Apple Store for a while.

Good Luck!

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Thanks for the reply, Dan! I'm quite comfortable with Activity Monitor, as well as "top" command in Terminal. It's the Firefox and the Skype being the "leaders" with up to 10% CPU usage. And all the plugins/updates are the most current, for sure. Thanks for the advice - will give Apple a call. Best regards, Sergei.

by Sergei Sokolov

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Sergei Sokolov will be eternally grateful.

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