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Why does the screen freeze and show black 'barcodes'?

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My MacBook Pro screen freezes and shows black barcodes occasionally. Sometimes it happens with a scary roaring sound, causing me to push the power button immediately. It seems that without switching the power off, the laptop won’t restart itself. It happened the first time after replacing the original 2x2GB RAM with the new 2x4GB RAM and the original HDD with the SSD. See the picture above.

MacBook Pro 13" Unibody Late 2011

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Remove the ram stick from the lower slot and try the computer. This is a well documented ram issue with the MBP 13” 2012.

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Thanks a lot! I'll try that. Do you think changing RAM to 2x8GB might solve the problem? Or is it a socket/logic board issue?

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Yes logic board ram socket issue.

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I would double check the RAM to make sure it’s seated however in my past experience with a 2012 non retina pro, it had to do with the motherboard. After I dropped mine it constantly had issues like this where it would freeze up and become unresponsive.

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The 13" models use the main RAM for video RAM as such a bad SO-DIMM or socket can cause video issues like this try taking one module out to see if its stable and then try the other in the same socket slot. Then repeat in the other socket slot. If neither SO-DIMM made a difference in either socket then you have a deeper issue.

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Thanks, Jesse! Did you change the logic board to fix the problem? If yes, did you choose the same logic board or a one with better performance? I'm thinking of changing my i5 logic board for the one with i7. Here they say it fits the late 2011 MacBook Pro. However, I'm not sure if it can make a big difference.

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Thanks @danj I'll do that!

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@electric_forest at the time it was covered under warranty so they used the same board every time but I still went through two or three boards in the 8 months I had it.

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