Apple Working on “Black Screen” Problem for Mid 2010 MacBook Pro

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Apple is aware of and working on a solution for the so called “black screen” problem afflicting some Mid 2010 MacBook Pros. The company issued a KnowledgeBase article officially acknowledging the problem for the first time on Wednesday, adding that the company is working on a solution.

MacBook Pro Black Screen
MacBook Pro “Black Screen”

“Apple has determined that a small number of MacBook Pro (15-inch, Mid 2010) computers may intermittently stop displaying video on the built-in display or on an external display connected to the MacBook Pro,” the company wrote in the KBase article. “In this situation, you may also see a restart warning message before the video is lost or the display turns black or gray.”

The article doesn’t offer a solution for the problem, but it does include a note that it will be updated as Apple learns more about the problem.

CNet’s MacFixIt noted that one workaround for the problem is to use a third party (free and open source) utility called gfxCardStatus to set the MacBook Pro to only run on the integrated graphics processor. That integrated GPU is much slower than the discreet one in the MacBook Pro, but for those users experiencing this problem, slow graphics are far better than a black screen of stalled death.

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6 Comments Leave Your Own

geoduck

I’ve seen the same thing on my 2008 Macbook. About one in 20 times when it’s sleeping and I hit the spacebar. I can hear the drive wake up. If needed the fans wind up. But the screen stays completely blank. I have to hold down power, let it shut down, and then reboot.

Lee Dronick

I?ve seen the same thing on my 2008 Macbook. About one in 20 times when it?s sleeping and I hit the spacebar. I can hear the drive wake up. If needed the fans wind up. But the screen stays completely blank. I have to hold down power, let it shut down, and then reboot.

I too have seen it a few times on my MacBook Pro, one that was manufactured last summer.

barryotoole

Wow. Same thing on my late 2010 MBA.

webjprgm

?ve seen the same thing on my 2008 Macbook

2008 MacBook is sufficiently different hardware that this is definitely not the same issue.  The 2010 MBP issue seems to be related to the integrated vs. external GPU, whereas a 2008 MacBook only has a single GPU.

(I have a MacBook that I got in 2008, but I think it’s the 2007 model. The black one. It’s still supported on Lion and still runs great, but actually writing down the date makes me realize its 4 yrs old, which usually means it’s close to upgrade time in a normal PC world.)

Meg C.

I get the black screen on wake with my 2011 13” MacBook Pro. Mostly happens when I’ve got the password on wake enabled. Usually I can just blindly type my password and hit enter, and the screen comes back on when the Mac unlocks, but very disconcerting.

Mike

FINALLY!

I have a mid-2010 i7 MB Pro that had exactly this issue and was able to get the logic board replaced under Applecare, which seems to have solved the issue. But this has been going on for months, with a TON of people having the same issue and only now Apple actually acknowledges the problem. The KB article dismisses the number of machines affected as “small”, but while that may be true statistically relative to the total number of MB Pros out there, the absolute number is surely high enough that it’s a bit insulting.

This 115-page thread presently shows over 1700 entries and over 135,000 views. That’s the “small” number of sufferers I guess. And it’s only one of several threads on the Apple site, plus many others on tech sites elsewhere…

Lion randomly crashes - black screen

Curiously, the KB article neglects to mention that the triggering event for virtually all of these black screens (including mine) was the installation of Lion. Hmmm.

Disappointing that it took so long. It certainly isn’t the Apple of old, for better or worse.

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