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2011 Apple Macbook Pro Graphics GPU GFX Card Crash Failure

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Apple Macbook Pro 2011 Graphics Card Failure Pic
If you are reading this, there is a good chance it is because your 2011 Macbook Pro bit the dust big time, just like mine did. I paid over $3000 for it, and whilst it is 6 years old now I have grown incredibly fond of it, and I really wanted to revive it.

The problem stems from the Graphics Card. There are actually two graphics processors in these machines, the Discrete Card which is an ATI Radeon (This is the one that fails) and an Integrated one, which is an Intel Chip integrated into the motherboard. The reason Apple included two graphics processors is that the ATI Radeon is super fast, which is great for the gaming experience and video, and when you are working on spreadsheets or sending emails, the integrated Intel processor uses way less power and considerably increases battery life. The truth of the matter is, if you aren’t a gamer, the Integrated Intel Graphics Processor is just fine, and thankfully this chip is what allows you to get your machine up and running again.


This is not a guaranteed permanent fix – But it has been working for me, and hopefully you experience similar results.

My machine kept crashing not long after it would boot, which made it impossible to work on, until I found out that if you don’t have it plugged in to the power, it should boot using the integrated graphics. When its plugged in the power hungry faulty card is used, so disconnect from power.

Disconnect The Power

Once you get it booted go into system preferences and look for “Energy Options”


Open Energy Saver

Make sure the option for “Automatic Graphic Switching” is checked. This will allow your computer to use the integrated card so you can work on it some more.


Automatic Graphics Switching

Now, hopefully, your Macbook will be stable enough to allow you to do some work on it. Next, there is a nice little free program called GFX Card Status, that allows you to switch between the graphics cards. DON’T download the latest version as it wont work. You need to download Version 2.0.1

Download Version 2.0.1 HERE

Now that you have downloaded it, open it and run it. What you are looking for is a letter in your menu. It may be “D”, it may be “I”.


GFX Card Status Icon

If you see the letter, can click on it, and open up the program GREAT! If you see the letter appear, and it disappears once you put your mouse on it, or shortly after you open it, don’t worry, that happened to me as well. The way I got it to stay in the menu bar and not disappear was to actually download and run version 1.7. For some reason just attempting to run 1.7 opens 2.0.1 and makes it stick.

Download Version 1.7 HERE

Now that you have it going, you can delete 1.7, but you need to keep version 2.0.1 on your desktop forever now. Small price to pay to have your Macbook Pro back right! Now click on the letter to open up GFX Card Status.

GFXcardStatus Interface

GFXcardStatus Interface

Select “Integrated Only” like I have in the above picture. Once that is selected open up the preferences panel. Make sure you have “Integrated” selected for both battery and power options.


GFX Card Status Preferences

Now, hopefully, your Macbook Pro will work again and be reasonably stable. I have been using this fix for over a week now and it hasn’t skipped a beat. I had one start up where it looked like the screen had crashed but I let it go and it righted itself, and hasn’t done it again since.

Some Observations:

1 – Even though I have checked “Load gfxCardStatus at startup” in the preferences multiple times, the check mark always disappears, but the program still loads at startup every time – Awesome! Just leave it.

2 – Even though we have selected Integrated for everything, for some reason it shows a “d” in the menu bar (indicating dynamic or discrete). Don’t worry about it even though it appears wrong. If your computer works, thats the main thing.

3 – When you click the Apple icon in the top left and then select “About This Mac”, it will say “Intel HD Graphics”. All reference to the Radeon Card is gone.

4 – If you go back in to preferences, and then Energy Saver, the “Automatic Graphic Switching” option is now unchecked. DO NOT RECHECK IT. I think this is saying that switching is turned off and the Intel Card is now permanently selected. This is DEFINITELY what you want!

Auto Graphics Unchecked


I have found a few more solutions since writing this article:

1: SteveSchow has updated GFXcardstatus to work with OSX Sierra – You can view the App page on Github HERE, or download his 2.4.3i version directly HERE. I have installed it and am using it on my 2011 MBP now to write this update. So far so good.

2: There are some methods surfacing about how to disable the discrete card permanently. Steveschow writes:

Here is some interesting stuff that has come up recently. I’m afraid to try it, but it might be a way to force integrated mode all the time, completely and totally, absolutely no discrete, without using gfxCardStatus. Use at your own risk and let us know if it works



Like Steveschow says – Use at your own risk!

Did any of this work for you? Have you had a different experience? Please let me know about it in the comments – GOOD LUCK!

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Posted by Greg - June 22, 2017 at 7:43 pm

Categories: Gregs Rants, Hacking, Mac, Software Encounters   Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

How to fix a 2gb 4gb 8gb 16gb etc USB Flash Drive Key that only shows 200mb in size and space for FREE

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USB Flash Drive KeyHave you ever had a large USB drive that only shows 200mb when you plug it into your Windows computer? Frustrating isn’t it!

Fix USB 1And what makes it worse is that nothing you try in the “Format” utility will change it – it always says 200mb in the capacity drop down.

Fix USB 3The reason this happens is that in some stage in the USB Drive’s life it has been plugged into a Mac, and it has done “Mac Things” to the drive. Thankfully, there is an easy way to fix it.


Your savior program is called Rufus – Check it out and download it for FREE HERE. Rufus is a piece of software that looks pretty similar to the Format Utility in Windows, but adds a considerable amount more functionality. It is really great for creating boot drives as well. Once downloaded and installed, open it up and you will see that it recognizes your USB Drives full size!

USB Drive 4To get your USB Drive back, Select NTFS from the File System option, and be sure to Uncheck the “Create a bootable disk using ISO Image” option.

USB Drive 5Now press start, and you will be given a last chance to back out, which is advisable if there is data on the drive you want to keep. Remember, ALL data on your USB Drive will be destroyed if you proceed!

USB Drive 6Click OK to proceed, and Rufus will start its work.

USB Drive 7Once it has completed, it will simply say “READY” in the task/activity window. You can then close out of Rufus.

USB Drive 8You USB Drive has now been reset back to original size. You can now use it as normal.

Dont worry to much about the two files Rufus leaves on your USB Drive, it is just an icon image and the script to make the icon load. It is safe to leave them, or delete them if you prefer.

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Posted by Greg - May 3, 2017 at 10:49 am

Categories: General, Windows and PC   Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Easily Stop Folders Opening Automatically when Hovering Cursor Over Them on Mac

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I really hate how folders open automatically when you hover your mouse cursor over them on Mac. Sometimes I need to place a number of files into different folders, and having them open automatically when I just want to drop something in there is a real pain. It slows me down, and is just plain annoying. Thankfully, it is easy to stop this behavior. Open Preferences, and look for the accessibility option.

Preferences TabOnce you have the accessibility tab open, look for mouse & trackpad options in the left pane, and then click it to open.

accessibilityNow you will be able to see the source of the problem. Spring loaded folders.

Springy Folders

To slow down the time it takes for folders to pop open when you are hovering over them, slide the slider towards “long” delay. To stop folders from springing open automatically completely, uncheck the “spring-loading delay” option.

Springy DelayProblem Solved!

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Posted by Greg - March 8, 2017 at 9:03 am

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Telstra Gateway Max 2 Unboxing Features and Instructions

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I have just received Telstra’s Gateway Max 2 Unit, and my first impressions are overall good. It is aimed very squarely at beginners/novices, with not much for the pro’s to tweak in the back end. It is ultra light, with a somewhat flimsy feel. It has been rock solid so far, with an uninterupted uptime of four days. The unit does not come with instructions, just a simple but adequate Quick Start Card. The firmware does have some nice features such as Dynamic DNS options, Port Forwarding, Parental Controls etc…But not much for those of us that really like to dig in and do some hardcore configuring.

The unit’s very basic interface is at

Gateway Max User Interface

Gateway Max User Interface

Telstra Gateway Max 2 Advanced Options

Telstra Gateway Max 2 Advanced Options

Telstra Gateway Max 2 Box Front

Telstra Gateway Max 2 Box Front

Telstra Gateway Max 2 Box Rear

Telstra Gateway Max 2 Box Rear

Telstra Gateway Max 2 Box Side

Telstra Gateway Max 2 Box Side

Telstra Gateway Max 2 Quick Start Card Front

Telstra Gateway Max 2 Quick Start Card Front

Telstra Gateway Max 2 Quick Start Card Rear

Telstra Gateway Max 2 Quick Start Card Rear

Telstra Gateway Max 2 Unit FrontTelstra Gateway Max 2 Unit Front

Telstra Gateway Max 2 Unit Front

Telstra Gateway Max 2 Unit TopTelstra Gateway Max 2 Unit Top

Telstra Gateway Max 2 Unit Top

Telstra Gateway Max 2 Unit BackTelstra Gateway Max 2 Unit Back

Telstra Gateway Max 2 Unit Back

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Posted by Greg - February 4, 2017 at 12:34 pm

Categories: General, Linux and Unix, Mac, Networking, Tech, Windows and PC   Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Normalize Audio Volume Levels in Video on Mac with Sound Normalizer

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Sound Normalizer IconDifferent volume levels in videos can be a real pain. I have a folder with dozens of music videos that I like to watch from time to time, and often one song will be very quiet and I need to raise the volume to hear it, then the next song will blow the speakers apart because it is so loud.

Sound Normailzer fixes all of that by adjusting the volume of each video to be the same – so you can set your volume once then sit back and enjoy your videos.

Sound Normalizer Default ScreenThe program seems to be built on, or at the very least modeled after MP3Gain Express For Mac, so for those of us who have normalized our music collection, the interface and simple usability will be very familiar.

Just drag and drop your video files into Sound Normalizer, and it will start analyzing the volume levels.

Sound Normalizer Analyzing Video FilesOnce analysis has finished, you will see the results listed. It shows you the current dB rating of the track, and the amount of gain it needs to apply or subtract to achieve the desired dB level. The desired level is set by default 89dB which is pretty much the standard most people will want. You can adjust this if you want to, but I advise leaving it alone.

Sound Normalizer Results

If you are happy to proceed and make the changes to your videos, press “Apply Gain” in the bottom right hand corner, and Sound Normalizer will start fixing up your videos.

The good thing is that it doesn’t actually adjust your original video, it adjusts a copy, and saves it to a new location which can be selected in the preferences. The new copy’s file name is appended with the normalization target dB, which in most cases will be 89dB.

Sound Normalizer OutputSound Normalizer works with all of the most popular Video AND Audio file types.
Video formats such as MP4, MKV, FLV, AVI, RMVB, WebM, 3GP, TS, M2TS, MTS, MOV, WMV, MPG, DivX, etc.
Audio formats such as MP3, WMA, AAC, AC3, AU, M4A, MMF, OGG, FLAC, WAV, MP2, etc.

File Types

Sound Normalizer is not free however, but it is well worth the $7.99 price tag. Grab your copy today in the app store, or find out more on Sound Normalizers Preview Page HERE.

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Posted by Greg - January 5, 2017 at 11:50 am

Categories: Mac, Software Encounters, Video   Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

More Fun With Adobe

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Lightroom LogoFollowing on from my last post HERE about Adobe Creative Cloud, I finally decided against going the cloud route, and opted to purchase Lightroom 6 outright.

After purchasing my copies of Photoshop CS6 and Premiere Pro CS6 here in Australia a few years ago, during installation I was forced to create an Adobe account for registration. So I created an Australian Account, for software that I purchased in Australia, with my Australian credit card, because I am, and always have been, an Australian Citizen.

However, upon attempting to purchase Lightroom, Adobe decided I am from Argentina, and I need to purchase Lightroom from Argentina, with an Argentinian credit card, and no, they cant fix their error and make my account Australian again.

No wonder they are going broke. Why do some companies make it so hard to do business with them? I have the money ready, I want to buy their product…


Adobe Chat 1Adobe Chat 3Adobe Chat 2

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Posted by Greg - June 14, 2016 at 11:48 am

Categories: Gregs Rants, Humour   Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

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