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Hi all,

Looking for some help with my wife's Macbook Pro that recently stopped working. I'm good at fixing pc's, Mac's i'm not as familiar with.

Specs:
15" 2011 MacBook Pro
Core i7 with 8 gb ram
480 GB SSD


What happened:
I saw the computer crash as my wife was using it. We were paying taxes online together then suddenly the computer went to a grey/white screen. The fans started to rev up really loud. We didn't touch the computer for probably 5-10 minutes as I didn't know if maybe there were some update happening and wanted to see if anything changed. It didn't so I held down the power button to turn it off. Waited a couple minutes and rebooted. Computer went to login screen fine. Entered password. After that stage it would go to grey/white screen again and freeze there.

At this point i figured some filed got corrupted somehow or there was and issue with system files messing up the boot process.

Troubleshooting steps:
1) tried to boot into safe mode. Loading bar would progress about half way then freeze there. After waiting for maybe 2 more minutes it would go to the white screen and freeze there again.

2) attempted to boot into recovery mode. Same as trying to boot into safe mode

3) attempted to boot into internet recovery mode. Computer was able to prompt me for wifi ID and password. I would enter this. It would go to the rotating globe with the progress bar. It would progress about 3/4 of the way then go to the white/grey screen

4) Target Disk Mode: grabbed my in-laws macbook to try and use disk utility. Was holding T went into disk mode. I was able to pull all vital files from computer thankfully. Ran disk utility with no errors.

5) attempted to reformat via osx snow leopard disk that came with her computer. Held option and was able to see options for booting. Selected the disk. It would again start to load with progress bar, advance 3/4 of the way, then go to gery screen and freeze again. Also tried to do this from in-law's computer that was in TDM to ensure the drive wasn't the problem. Same result.

6) reformat via usb and high sierra. Again could see boot option, selected usb and then it would do the same as with the disk, freeze on white screen.

7) swapped ram with in-law computer. Wife's computer would still not run. In-laws computer ran fine with ram from wife's computer. Decided RAM was not the issue.

8) Ran Apple Diagnostic tool. Held Option D. Loaded diagnostic tool successfully. Ran both short and long diagnostics. On short got no errors. On long got the HDD error that people were saying is a false positive.

9) tested HDD. Put new HDD in computer and tried to reformat drive again. Same results as above, would freeze on grey screen.

10) put old 480 SSD from wife's computer in in-law's computer to see if i could reformat there to high sierra via usb. I started to think I was just doing something wrong so wanted to try with her drive and the USB I created on the in-law's machine. This was a really easy and successful process. No errors.

11) at some point I tried to log into single user mode. I got the error "BuildError(): error building a user of type". Wasn't able to get in and do anything here.

**There were some instances where I did get a dark blue screen that froze as well, but couldn't remember where cause I've done so much to this computer over the past 24 hours. Those situations were much less common that the grey screen freeze.


Where I am now:
Totally baffled. I don't know why the computer won't boot into any of repair modes or reformat. I've never encountered this in a computer without there being a significant hardware failure. However, the apple diagnostic says the computer is fine, or that the only issue is the HDD, which works completely fine in another Mac.

So what's happening here? I feel like it must be a hardware error, but is it possible for the diagnostic tool to pass fine but there is an undetected problem?

I'm about to just buy a new laptop but wanted to know if anyone here had some ideas of how to fix this. Please let me know if anyone has other ideas.

Thanks
 
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