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

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MacBook Pro 2011 overheating. Heats up. Shuts down

I have a 2011 15" MacBook Pro A1286. This issue started 3 days ago.

My system becomes HOT TO TOUCH (on the left side & backside) 5-15 minutes after startup. Then it shuts off or the screen goes black & brings me back to login window after 2-5 minutes (like the Mac went to sleep). I wait for the system to cool down & restart but the problem persist.

The first action I took to find a solution was to check the activity monitor to see the CPU load. No program was too intensive on my CPU. I even ran my system with no applications running & ran into the same issues.

NEXT, I did a SMC reset. Didn't help. ALSO reset the PRAM. Didn't help.

NEXT, I used SMC fan control. I put the fans on full blast. Didn't help. The fan does not cool my laptop down. I hear the fan & can feel it but it has no effect on the CPU. The temperature of my system is a normal range based on what I read in the forums.

On recommendation online, I decided to apply new thermal paste to the heat sink 2 days ago. I did that successfully but the system is still shutting down.

To clarify the overheating & shutting down are the only issues. The computer runs perfect fully smooth and as normal.

A detail to note is that playing any type of video makes the system turn off faster. For a example, if a play a video on quicktime player or even youtube, I notice it shuts down more abruptly. That is what's leading me to think it's a GPU issue. This year of macbook tends to have these issues.

Also to note the logic board was replaced in January & a new board was installed. Never had a problem with the mac until a few days ago. Looking for suggestion & solutions.

UPDATE: I ran the Apple hardware test today. I got an error message. ' ALERT! Apple hardware test has detected an error

4SNS/1/40000000 YG0C- 0.0000

I ran this message in the Google search & it seems it's a system sensor issue. Temperature issue. How should I address this?

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When you replaced the thermal paste, did you dust out the heat sink fins above the fan?

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@guardian10 Yeah. I dusted out everything inside including the fins.

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@greenfortgriot

If you have the board out

Check for corrosion around the SMC area as iv seen machines with this issue caused by corrosion

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@hellomacos no corrosion on the logic board. I inspected the board it when I applied new thermal paste.

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@greenfortgriot

Ok

Let’s try and find out you issue more in-depth by using a built in diagnostic

Restart your Mac and hold the D key as soon as it starts:-)

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First the error is VG0C not YG0C!

Jumping to the schematics and doing a search we find this GPU Vcore Voltage Sense / Filter

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This logic board needs repairs! This maybe just one issue as PPVCORE_GPU is often a sign the discreet GPU is in trouble.

Update (07/08/2022)

To allow the older 2011 display to work with the newer 2012 board do the following

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Just so you know I'm banging on such a system it was a late 2011 which is now running 2.7 GHz Intel Core i7 with a NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M GPU! Best investment after having Apple replace the logic board three times!

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@danj thanks for the clarification on the VG03. Are they're any DIY guides to this type of repair? or should I send it to a professional.

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@greenfortgriot - I would first see if a deep clean of the TIM from both chips (if both have too much paste) is able to fix this. I would also look for damage comparing a good board to yours (check the photos in the guides) and look for corrosion damage.

Sadly, the GPU part is not available new and this series has know issues with the GPU's failing so any used ones are highly suspect.

Frankly, I would look for a 2012 logic board as being the better direction! Surprisingly both 2011 systems can also use the 2012 board with one slight modification with the LVDS cable as I've pictured above.

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@danj buying a 2012 logic board sounds good as well. Which board SPECS would you recommend?. This macbook is a Early 2011 A1286- "Core I7" 2.2 ghz

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@greenfortgriot Take a look here EveryMac - Lookup: MacBookPro9,1 to review your options. any one of the three systems should do as they all have NVIDA GPU's which where the better at this time point over AMD.

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I attempt to re-apply thermal paste to the CPU. But it could just be old and the motherboard has some type of board-level issue

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Download Mac Fan Controller check your temps should be 50-75 C

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@consistent

Iv already tried macs fan controls with them

We care just narrowing it down to see if it’s a board level issue:-)

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@consistent so you want me to reapply the thermal paste again? i tried it three days ago & it had no effect. Should i put more paste this time around? i put a healthy amount last time but i can put more.

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O'boy load it up with a pound of TIM!! Nope! Less is more here!

I find people kill their logic boards by putting too much on! Think of it this way find the thinnest facial tissue cut it into a piece that's the exact same size as the silicon chip, now wet it so you can roll it into a tight ball thats even still more than you need by volume.

TIM is designed to be just an interface between the two metal surfaces (if the chip is lidded or in laptops the bare silicon chip) it is not designed to shed heat directly, so spilling over the edge doesn't help you. In fact, all you do is damage the chip carriers SMD devices as the TIM effects the capacitance and resistance of the devices so they don't work properly.

I'm sure if you lift off the insulator which surrounds to CPU or GPU chip you'll see the paste has oozed through getting all over the SMD devices! To clean this up you'll need to first get the bulk off using a small brush and paper tissue and then get a chargeable spray can loaded with a cleaner that is able to clean away the TIM (Iso Alcohol) so you can clean the SMD devices without the risk of pulling them off.

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@danj where is the PPVCORE_GPU issue located on my macbook logic board? i have pictures of both the front & back of the logic board. i replaced the thermal paste for the heat sinks already. https://flic.kr/p/2nxrh3F https://flic.kr/p/2nxwsy9

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