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?

Thanks

Update

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.

Answer this question I have this problem too

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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

UPDATE 1/2015

Since I wrote this answer I have replaced several of the left I/O boards on machines that failed to boot rather than boot with no video. I have had a 80% success rate. So it was not the GPU on these.

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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.)

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fyi you do want to clean logic board completely before heating....otherwise there may be a fire in your oven.also be sure to clean ( i like the artic clean combo) all heat sinks and then reapply some good heatsink compound to the 3 areas on the heat sink pipe. best to use less than you think it needs, just a smear. it wont hurt to use a little on the top vrs as well, you will see heat marks on the bottom of keyboard that will help you find them....

by master tech

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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.

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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!

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same here, no boot or boot with mass lines in screen. preheated oven for a good 20 mins @ 375 deg f . used foil balls underneath logic board (with board inverted) @ all 4 corners on cake pan to make sure heat flowed fully around board. ive got 2 of these mac books identical make and model that have same issue. the first one is what im useing to send this msg. its has been working perfect since oven bake. it does take some work, but if you have nothing working you really dont have anything to loose. will be trying this on other mac book pro core 2 duo in then next few days...will update

by master tech

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Mine laster 5 years but has now given up the ghost.

I've dismantled it and plan to send the logic board off for reflow solder repair.

I'm assuming this will give it a new lease on life....

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Worked for me. I baked for 10 minutes at 385 degrees F. Make sure that there is plenty of silver compound between the heat syncs and the processors, as my fans initially ramped way up and a hardware test ("D" key upon startup with install disk 1 inserted) identified a system error related to the temp sensor failure. After removing the previously baked motherboard a second time, adding silver compound to each of the three heat syncs, and reinstalling e motherboard, then the three processors made better contact and the issue was solved. My Mac has never been as fast as it is now! Wow!

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I also cover 90% of the mother board with foil to protect the plastic parts, leaving only the top and bottom of the processors exposed.

by Matt C

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It sounds like an overheating causes failure, same thing happens to some laptops in PC world, easiest system to prevent is to go in power settings and turn down power consumption/save energy... computer runs slower but does not break down, opposite idea of over clocking.

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3207

Graphics: bettery battery life

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mac bake for mac book pro works ! just remember that it doesnt work every time but if its dead and you try, your not lousing anything, your gaining experience . And be sure to bake the logic board ONLY after a full cleaning of all labels and gunk , not the entire machine. The cooler electronics run, the longer they last !

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same here, no boot or boot with mass lines in screen. preheated oven for a good 20 mins @ 375 deg f . used foil balls underneath logic board (with board inverted) @ all 4 corners on cake pan to make sure heat flowed fully around board. ive got 2 of these mac books identical make and model that have same issue. the first one is what im useing to send this msg. its has been working perfect since oven bake. it does take some work, but if you have nothing working you really dont have anything to loose. will be trying this on other mac book pro core 2 duo in then next few days...will update

by master tech

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Owen Cunneely will be eternally grateful.

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