MacBook Pro 2011 graphics (GPU) crashing – Possible Workaround

Update: Well there is a moot point Apple has quite literally overnight just released an update to fix this –> http://support.apple.com/kb/DL1368

Like many other users of the brand new MacBook Pro 2011 model I have been experiencing issues with the GPU crashing, graphics freezing up and other stability issues since I first took delivery of my new MBP.

I have also been lucky enough to have the issue that overnight when my computer locks itself for some reason this causes the GPU to crash also therefore when I try to log on in the morning I find that I have to do a hard boot (which interestingly has caused data corruption on an external volume twice now *sigh*).

I digress, I have figured out a bit of a work around when the GPU crashes which I have only tested twice but I would love to hear feedback (please leave a comment here) on if this has worked for you as well.

  1. When the GPU Crashes, ensure you can still turn your caps lock on and off (this will confirm it is a GPU crash and not a full system crash)
  2. If you can turn the caps lock on and off, press the power button once on your Mac Book Pro (do not hold it down, just press it once).
  3. Wait for the system to hibernate/sleep etc
  4. Once the system has powered off, press the power button again
  5. Wait for the system to start back up again
  6. Disconnect an external display if you have one now, or reconnect it if you do not, then the graphics should come back on

Why does this work???? NFI I am new to the Mac Platform so will not even try to explain it. I have only used this to reset the GPU after a crash overnight but I am guessing it will work if you have a GPU crash during normal work as well.

Let us all just hope that Apple Fixes this ASAP.

Stuart