The Worst has Happened

I’ve had a proper ‘First World Problem’ this week. My Mac Book has broken ! Remember that TV advert for the first ever Macintosh ?




You never realise how much you rely on your technology until it lets you down. I once went for a group interview with Garmin electronics as a support rep. I asked how mobile Apps were competing with their dedicated products and got a bit of an ear full. They were telling us how their customers love and rely on their GPS gear to such an extent that they often consider it a life or death matter. People train for marathons with their wrist monitors and guide their boats at night etc etc.


Back at the Ranch

Any way thanks mainly, so it would seem, to some over zealous American lawyers and a class action law suit, I might just get a new mainboard !

I was some what relieved and suprised  to find  an Apple repair programme for a known issue with Mac Book Pro 2011 displays. The problem seems related to lead free solder used on the AMD GPU. Around 2011 was the time when they started using non leaded solder apparently and it’s not as good as the real stuff, at least for reliability so it would seem. I’ve also got a 2009 iMac that won’t run with out fan control software due to a graphics issue, not good really for ‘premium’ products.


Luckily I keep backups using Apples built in Time Machine, but I’ve never tested a restore so don’t want to rely on it really. The support rep. catagorically said that I should not remove the hard drive.  Basically I now have to sort out how to get a blank install of OSX into a machine that can not boot past the single user console.

They seriously expect me to send in my laptop with all my Emails for ten years, all my passwords and files to them as is ?



…consist mainly of trying various start up modes:

  1. Boot to console mode and move the ATI drivers to force use of the integrated Intel graphics  Does not work since can not modify files under /System due to new security features in OSX
  2. Boot to recovery and turn off security  machine will not boot to any thing other than hardware test or single user mode console ( I never even knew the latter even existed)
  3. Use firewire/thunderbolt  cable and target disk mode to backup / format I’d trust a disk image backup, however I don’t have either of these cables, they cost £30 ! ( old camcorder firewire is not the same, I managed to short out my Macbook trying it Yikes!) Also a MiniDisplay port is NOT a thunderbolt cable!
  4. install OSX on an old 120GB SATA laptop drive using a USB enclosure.  This seems to be a good way forward, I’m currently trying to download OSX install App on working machine and then can remove the ATI/AMD drivers and see if the laptop will  boot with it connected externally 🙂

Next I will put the 120Gb disk in and then I have to go to the Mac store in Southampton and plead my case ! They wouldn’t send me a postage paid box, maybe I was pushing my luck, although that is what the official page offers !  🙂