Released October 24, 2011 / 2.2, 2.4, or 2.5 GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7 Processor

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How to disable graphic card using unix commands

My MacBook Pro is not booting.

I suspect the graphic card. As this model has two graphic cards. I Am able to boot into single user mode. Is it possible to disable graphic card in single user mode

If possible please suggest me how to remove it

Update (08/13/2017)

My MacBook displays Apple logo while booting with low resolution screen and horizontal lines on screen. The booting progress bar ends and a blank white full resolution screen appears and it is blank. Can you suggest the reason for this

Update (08/13/2017)

My single user mode finally started with low resolution

The screen display is red color with text and horizontal lines. As I am not aware of unix command I am not able to proceed further.

Answered! View the answer I have this problem too

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Can you give us a bit more here... When you try to start it do you get any reaction on the display? (black, grey or white) any icons like a blinking question mark.

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OK, good start with some more useful info!

Are you able to hook up your Mac to an external monitor? If you are do you see the same reaction on it?

Did you bang or get your system wet at some point? You might want to take the bottom cover off and look at the logic board for any staining or corrosion damage. More so around the display cables connection.

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No banging history or wet. While connecting t o external screen it shows same screen

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@pgdennis - Did you also try Single User mode (see below) op see if even works?

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Thats OK, I think your testing has now proven the issue is within the logic board.

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The trick here is to just keep trying to boot the machine. Eventually, you should get the regular gray apple screen to show up with the Apple logo and then it should boot to Mac OS okay. Sometimes, if you get a gray apple log screen it may still switch to an all gray screen and do nothing, but just keep trying as the gray means it's getting nearer to the state you want it to be in. This can be very time consuming as you may have to hit the power button off/on for a couple hours. In other words, turn it on, if you get lines, turn it off...over and over....once you get all gray let it go until you finally get an all gray to boot to Mac OS. Yup, you may see the pink/grey lines or blue lines, but all I can suggest is to have patience and it should boot up to a solid gray. Once you got it booted (and assuming you have gfxCardStatus) installed ...then it should last you awhile in this state where it's booting into Mac OS and activating the "Intel HD Graphics 3000" graphics card (the one you want to be active).

MOST IMPORTANT THING: If you get it in this state, just put it to sleep ONLY when you are not using it and try to never power it down. Well, unless it flakes out again as you may not have a choice then.

Rinse and repeat!

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Sadly, the going bad components won't last much longer. I've got two systems in now that need repaired logic boards for this exact condition.

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I agree in that it's a band-aide to perform the steps to make this work. However, I have a system that I've done this on for 2+ years and I've never had anything replaced. Now, this may not work for everyone and, for the most part, it requires a lot of patience to get to the point where it boots up correctly. I also notice some things simply won't run that are graphic intensive. Such as Adobe Photoshop may hang.

The solution definitely works, but it really comes down to getting a replacement laptop when you have the means. For those on a serious budget, this will at least make you functional until you can buy a completely different system as I don't recommend replacing parts on a 2011 laptop.

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There is no means to remove the dedicated graphics logic as its part of the logic board.

More often the HD and/or the HD SATA cable need attention.

If you do have a GPU issue then you'll need to get the logic board repaired. A major issue was the capacitors breaking down due to heat.

Update (08/14/2017)

During the boot up process the system is using the low res graphics within the GPU services (Intel HD Graphics 3000 and/or the dedicated AMD Radion). So the fact you see horizontal lines on screen implies either the CPU has a problem or the display does. Hopefully you can use an external monitor to see if the lines are visible their.

A blank white screen is indicative of the either a hardware or OS level problem. Basically the system was unable to get past the Power On Self Test (POST) process.

Reference for the next steps: Startup key combinations for Mac

  • The first thing I would do is restart the system in single user mode to see if the system is able to process the OS Start up your Mac in single-user mode or verbose mode. As this is a command line interface the low res CPU graphic services will be used. Did it run thought without any errors? If you see an error carefully note the complete line.
  • The next would re-start in Safe Mode: Use safe mode to isolate issues with your Mac. Safe Mode also uses the low res CPU graphic services.
  • Next I would run Disk Utility to make sure the drive was OK. If you encounter any errors here you may need to reformat the drive and the HD SATA cable could be bad (pop the cover off and check the black plastic bottom cover clips along the mid plane wall the one near the HD is important! If its broken you'll need to replace it with the good one on the other side if its OK, otherwise you'll need to find a replacement set and replace the SATA cable. You might want to also try booting up under an external drive.

If all of the testing so far goes through without any errors then you likely have the bad capacitor issue. You'll need to find someone with the skills and parts to replace them.

Let us know what you find.

Update (08/13/2017)

From your latest testing I'm sorry your logic board needs some serious TLC here.

As an option have you looked at just replacing it? That might be a cheaper & faster option MacBook Pro 15" Unibody (Late 2011) 2.4 GHz Logic Board - Used, here's the IFIXIT guide you'll need to follow: MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Late 2011 Logic Board Replacement

MacBook Pro 15" Unibody (Late 2011) 2.4 GHz Logic Board Image

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Apple was replacing boards for this model - no charge, but I think that ended. Maybe this page will help http://logicboardmac.blogspot.com/

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This program ended on December 31st, 2016. RIP.

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I know a guy who just succeeded in disabling the discrete graphics card via tweaking the firmware.

But I doubt it is worth the trouble. And we're not yet sure if any update would affect this "set-up" or how it will work out on the long run..

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@rany - Yes there is a software tool gfxCardStatus which allows you to toggle between the different GPU's. of a dual GPU system. It won't help here as he is states he is unable to boot up.

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@danj you're right about this case. Was just sharing general info..

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Just the same it's a good idea!

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Dennis Pavana will be eternally grateful.
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