Boot Camp Black Screen of Death

JeremyG1

Registered
My MBP 2010 (15") has been having a strange issue that I can't seem to solve.

First, the issue--
I believe it is related to the graphics card. It amounts to this--sometimes, mostly when gaming (though it has happened randomly otherwise) the display will go black, and the last 1/2 second of audio will stutter and loop (usually sounds like static). The computer stays on, thus requiring a hard reset every time this happens.

I have found that I can reproduce it fairly easily with high graphical intensity games, although it recently happened once with seemingly no cause.



Now, the catch is that this has only happened on my Windows partition. I've taken this to the Genius Bar at the Apple Store and they couldn't reproduce the problem on Mac, so they said they can't help.

However, this is still happening after a complete wipe, re-partition and a reinstall of windows.

Anyone have any ideas to help?
 

Giaguara

Chmod 760
Staff member
Mod
It does sound like graphics card based on the above...
Do you use Bootcamp Windows or do you virtualize it (with Fusion, Parallels etc)?
Is there ever anything left in the Windows logs after these problems?
 

JeremyG1

Registered
I'm running Boot Camp at the moment. I've considering trying out some virtualization to see if I can reproduce the problem mac side, but I'm a bit unsure on that because I've had the impression that gaming doesn't work very well in a VM and Parallels is a bit pricey for just troubleshooting.


How do I check the Windows logs? I'm not exactly a Windows expert (read: I'm bad at it). I'll force a crash tonight to see if I can get them.
 

DeltaMac

Tech
I think it might be good to monitor the temps inside the Mac during your gaming, and especially at the time that your display goes black. Could be a graphics chip that is getting really hot. I don't know what is available to do that under Windows.
 

JeremyG1

Registered
Still can't quite figure out how to get logs to display...

I ran a graphics card temperature monitor utility thingy and found that the whole rig ran pretty got (sitting between 80 and 85 C), but didn't spike at all while crashing.
 

JeremyG1

Registered
It appears that there is no information in the logs, other than the system recognizing an improper shut down after the crash.
 

Giaguara

Chmod 760
Staff member
Mod
Bummer. Windows logs suck even when in native Windows...

One more thing you could try would be with different RAM. If you have other RAM pieces around... or if it were RAM (or graphics card), you might be able to get an error message in Apple Hardware Test. http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1509
In looped mode it's more likely to report the issue http://www.thexlab.com/faqs/aht.html (so ideally run when you have a full evening to let it run without interruption, or even overnight - it'll run the extended tests until it finds an error or you unloop it).
 

JeremyG1

Registered
Thanks for that! I think that this may be better able to reproduce the error than they were at the apple store, so I will run this tonight and let you know how it goes.

As for the RAM, the 2010 is a unibody, so I can't exactly open it up and toss new RAM in. The computer is under warranty, and I feel like I'd be wasting money buying new things to try out, but at the same time, Apple is refusing to help me out. . .
 

DeltaMac

Tech
Actually, swapping out the RAM is a simple task. Just 8 or 9 screws on the bottom, and the bottom case comes off. The RAM just snaps out, then new go in.

Hopefully the hardware test will show something. There's two levels on the test, so run both the standard, and the extended test.
 

JeremyG1

Registered
Ran the hardware test to no avail--ran for 8 hours and about 13 passes.



Had the same issue and found this support note:

http://support.apple.com/kb/TS4088

They replaced the motherboard and no issue since.

I'd LOVE to do this, but the Apple Store claimed there was nothing wrong the last time I went in, since the issue is appearing Windows side only. It looks like the fixed some drivers Mac side and never bothered to fix the Boot Camp drivers?
 
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