Fix MacBook Pro 2010 Crashes, Kernel Panics, & Black Screens in OS X 10.7 Lion
A fair amount of MacBook Pro 2010 (and some 2011) users are reporting stability issues with their NVIDIA 330M equipped Macs and Mac OS X 10.7 Lion, with problems including kernel panics, random system crashes, blank or black screens, inability to wake from sleep, external displays not working, and assorted other headaches.
The Macs most affected by this seem to be the MacBook Pro 15″ and 17″ with Core i5 and Core i7 CPU’s and the switchable Intel HD 3000 and NVIDIA 330M GPU, with the majority of problems triggered once the NVIDIA GPU is activated. An attempted workaround has been to use gfxCardStatus to force Mac OS X to always use the Intel 3000 GPU, but that is not considered a consistently reliable solution.
The issues have been annoying enough for some users to downgrade back to 10.6 Snow Leopard until an official fix comes from Apple, but before you do that, try out this fix sent in by one of our readers.
Possible Fix for MacBook Pro 2010 Crashes & Blank Screens in OS X Lion: Deleting a Preference File
- From the Mac OS X desktop, hit Command+Shift+G and enter the following path:
- Delete all files that contain “windowserver” in the name (you may want to back these up just in case)
- Reboot the MacBook Pro
Greg came across this on an amended ArsTechnica article, and it has apparently worked for a lot of users. Note that ArsTechnica says if you use an external monitor frequently, you will probably have to continuously repeat the procedure. Apparently this technique comes from Apple Care support technicians, and with positive user feedback it looks like it’s a good temporary fix until an official update comes from Apple or NVIDIA.
Obviously not all MacBook Pro 2010 users are affected by this problem which makes it all the more puzzling, but let us know if this fix works for you.