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MacBook Pro 2011 owners complain of 'hard freeze' problems

Two threads have emerged on Apple's support forum which seem to suggest that some MacBook Pro 2011 units are overheating and locking up in a 'hard freeze.'

Two threads have emerged on Apple's support forum which seem to suggest that some MacBook Pro 2011 units are overheating and locking up in a 'hard freeze.'

In one of the threads, the first post from March 1st outlines the problems that some owners are facing:

Overheat? The fans revved and suddenly I could use nothing but the cursor. Had to hold down the power switch to kill all and then re-power & startup. I wasn't doing anything unusual, but I had 7 apps open and was amid an auto-backup to TimeMachine.

Just a little disillusioned and concerned, wondering if anyone else there has experienced a hard freeze like this.

Other complaints followed, such as this one:

I have had the same thing several times with my 15" 2011 2.2GHz model. Each time it was when the system was under load and the fans start running high and then there is a freeze.at first I thought it was connected to VMware running but I have now had it without VMware going at all. I will try to get a series of actions that can reliably reproduce the problem and the get the Apple Store to have a look. For me, at least, it seems pretty common and I hope it can be fixed because I didn't switch to Mac to keep rebooting 3 or 4 times a day.

And this one:

Great. I'm having the exact same issue. It happens when rendering video in Imovie. The fan comes on and everything freezes. I can do nothing but a hard reset. Now I'm wondering if I should return this $2000 item and wait until all the bugs are fixed.

Complaints that Apple notebooks run hot and noisy are quite commonplace, but the reports of crashes are a different matter. According to some on the support forum, Apple is telling those suffering from the 'hard freeze' that their system is faulty and they need a replacement. However, the downside is that some who claim to have received a replacement system are still suffering from problems.

Some claim that a temporary solution to this problem is to download a third-party utility called gfxCardStatus and switch to integrated graphics only until a replacement machine can be sought.

Are these issues down to Apple's sloppy application on thermal paste on the new machines?