Cant Boot 2011 MacBook Pro

I have Late 2011 17" Macbook Pro, it's all original configuration, running High Sierra.

So this morning I turned my Macbook on, once booted, I went to open Safari, and immediately encountered that "Blue Screen of Death". Thought that is a Windows phenomenon so should be ok. Turned it off, back on, but it got stuck in a boot loop.

Tried a few things, called Apple Support, they tried troubleshoot over the phone with me, no luck. Then took it to Apple Store for diagnosis. All that Apple "Genius" was able to tell me was, it looks like it may be hard drive issue, as it's not even letting me run diagnosis on SSD". Didn't get much confidence despite asking few times about what exactly is wrong. They didn't try anything else, just run their "diagnosis".

The situation now is that it tries to boot up, plays the boot chime, shows the Apple logo and progress bar but at 50% progress the screen goes blank/white, and nothing after that. Tries Command R to reset, tried use internet recovery, doesn't work.

My next option is replace SSD, but don't want to buy one unless I can at least have some confidence it will fix the issue.

Any one has any similar experience or suggestions?


  • +2 votes

    Try the following
    Press the Power button to turn on your Mac
    When you hear the startup chime, press and hold the Option key.

    Do you see an option to choose network plus it will let you boot from any drive that has a system on it.

    While your SSD system drive may be dead, at least this will tell you the Mac is good.

    The next is then get someone with a Mac to create a boot up drive on a usb stick and see how that goes. This should help you decide if replacing the SSd will solve the problem. Good luck hope this helps


    here are all the startup functions you can try (copied from Apple) See link for better format

    Mac startup key combinations
    Learn about the Mac features and tools that you can access by holding down one or more keys during startup.

    To use any of these key combinations, press and hold the keys immediately after pressing the power button to turn on your Mac, or immediately after your Mac begins to restart. Keep holding until the described behavior occurs.
    If your Mac is using a firmware password, all of these key combinations are disabled, except as noted below.

    Command (⌘)-R: Start up from the built-in macOS Recovery system. Or use Option-Command-R or Shift-Option-Command-R to start up from macOS Recovery over the Internet. macOS Recovery installs different versions of macOS, depending on the key combination you use while starting up. If your Mac is using a firmware password, you're asked to enter the password.
    Option (⌥): Start up to Startup Manager, which allows you to choose other startup disks or volumes, if available. If your Mac is using a firmware password, you're asked to enter the password.
    Option-Command-P-R: Reset NVRAM or PRAM. If your Mac is using a firmware password, it ignores this key combination or starts up from macOS Recovery.
    Shift (⇧): Start up in safe mode.
    D: Start up from the built-in Apple Hardware Test or Apple Diagnostics utility, depending on your Mac model. Or use Option-D to start up from this utility over the Internet.
    N: Start up from a NetBoot server, if your Mac supports network startup volumes. To use the default boot image on the server, hold down Option-N instead.
    Command-S: Start up in single-user mode. This key combination requires macOS High Sierra or earlier.
    T: Start up in target disk mode.
    Command-V: Start up in verbose mode.
    Eject (⏏) or F12 or mouse button or trackpad button: Eject removable media, such as an optical disc.


      Thanks, I will give it a go.

      • -1 vote

        The other thing is the SMC

        When Should You Reset SMC?

        SMC is responsible for so many functions in a Mac that it’s worth resetting whenever you find your computer’s hardware acting in unexpected ways. Here’s a list of the main symptoms that you need to reset the SMC:

        The battery or status lights behave strangely
        The keyboard backlight doesn’t work properly
        Your MacBook doesn’t turn on when you open it
        The power adapter light doesn’t reflect what it’s doing
        The fan is running at an abnormally high rate, especially under low load
        The trackpad doesn’t work
        Your computer won’t connect to Wi-Fi
        Target display mode switches on or off unexpectedly
        App icons bounce for an extended period of time when opening
        Your computer runs slowly, even under low CPU load
        Your computer shuts down slowly

        To do this

        To reset the SMC on an older MacBook with a removable battery (mostly pre-2015):

        Shut down your Mac.
        Remove the battery.
        Press and hold the power button for five seconds.
        Reconnect the battery and turn on your MacBook.



    How much did apple charge you for their inconclusive diagnosis?

    SSDs are cheap. Just install a new one. I'm 99% confident that will fix the issue.


    ssd would be the fastest, you could also use an old hard drive though. Even an external one. might want to try a pram/nv ram reset as above. but probably just common ssd failure, they do have a limit on writes.


    I have the exact same MacBook Pro which had the exact same issue.
    All 2011 MacBook Pro's will get this eventually and you're lucky it lasted this long.
    I would be fairly confident in saying your graphics card has finally failed.
    You can try the fix here:
    If the screen won't even work to get that far then it's still an easy fix. You just need to delete the AMD files in /System/Library/Extensions/
    You can do this by plugging the hard drive into another computer and manually deleting them.
    After that it should boot without issue (and the AMD graphics card) but still be fully usable as long as you don't want to do heavy video editing or play any games.


    I got an SSD to try and narrow down the fault. This SSD is from a Windows Desktop so doesn't have OS.
    Can I plus it in and try to boot from Internet and then install the OS that way?
    Shift + Ctrl + Option + R is the option I think..


    Alright guys, it was GPU issue. Followed and fixed using this link

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