My MacBook Pro keeps crashing


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My MacBook Pro is circa 2011. It's running Mac OS X 10.6.8 with 2.2 GHz Intel Core i7. My finder window tells me that I still have 280.2 GB of space available.

Start of the problem: Randomly one night I was running Google Chrome, Skype, and I tried to play Half-Life 2 through the Steam app (normal processes for my mac). The mac froze and I couldn't power it off so I waited for it to die on its own. I charged it up and tried to reboot it but I was met with a blue screen or a white screen or it would boot up and then freeze into a dark gray screen and I would have to force power off. I tried running Disk Utility. Nothing was found at first but then it did find an issue and it said it fixed the issue. My mac still crashed or wouldn't start. Then I tried Safe Booting--it started and then crashed. Then I tried accessing Fsck. It found a problem and resolved it. Still wouldn't start. I tried resetting the NVRAM--didn't work. Then I tried reinstalling my OS. It still crashed and wouldn't update for the longest time. I finally got it updated and it would still crash occasionally. Then I tried Safe Boot again and it miraculously worked. I thought my problems were over, but after working for a week, it started the crashing/freezing again. The first time I try to restart my computer after these problems, it won't boot. Then I go into Safe Boot, which usually allows it to boot into safe mode. Then I restart and my computer usually works.

Continued problem: After the Safe Boot and then restart works, my computer works beautifully for about a week, and then it will crash, and I have to Safe Boot again and hope the restart will work. It usually does, but it's not something I'd like to be doing on a weekly basis. Sometimes the restart doesn't work on the first Safe Boot, so I have to try a couple of times.

My computer had been working for quite some time and then I tried to play another game through Steam and it crashed. Then it wouldn't boot for awhile and now I've got it working again. It doesn't always crash because of Steam, but I cannot run a Steam game without it crashing. Could that mean that something is wrong with my video card? Other times it will crash while I'm just running Google Chrome. At first I thought these crashed might be connected to the recent Adobe Flash hack/issue because that's when my computer first got the problem and as soon as the news was out about fixing the hack, my computer started working again (which was the first time it had worked after all the things I tried--so it seemed legit). But since then my computer continues to freeze onto a gray screen and crash and then I have trouble booting.

Does anyone have any idea what may be causing this? Is it the video card? Is it Flash? Should I update to Yosemite (I've heard people have had problems with Yosemite, which is why I haven't yet)?
 
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Cory Cooper

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Hello and welcome.

Your issue can be caused by all the things you mentioned. Since you have done a lot of the initial troubleshooting steps, my suggestion would be to take it in to have a full hardware diagnostic run on the unit.

-Does it happen more when gaming, web surfing, etc.?
-Have you tried turning off automatic graphics switching?
-Is it a standard hard drive or SSD?
-Do you have Apple or third-party RAM installed?

C
 
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None of the troubleshooting I tried worked and my mac only got worse and pretty much stopped restarting altogether. I finally had to take it into the mac genius bar or whatever they call it. Turns out the problem was my mac's date of birth. A bunch of MacBook Pros from 2011 were found to have issues with the video card and they replaced my entire motherboard.
 
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Cory Cooper

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Ahhh...that makes sense. Thanks for updating the thread here to let us know the resolution.

Hope it works normally for you and that you didn't lose any data.

C
 

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