How to erase a Mac with a dead video card

Steve Mitchell has a sort of existential question about his Mac:

I have a MacBook Pro (early 2011), and want to erase the hard drive before selling it on eBay. It has a dead graphics card, so it is stuck in a grey-screen reboot loop. How do I erase the hard drive?

First, the bad news. Apple had an extended-warranty program for many MacBook Pro models release in 2011 through 2013 to replace faulty graphics cards. But the program ended for 2011 models in December 2016. Still, it’s worth contacting Apple to see if they would take care of it, and you should check with the consumer-protection division of your state’s attorney general’s office to see if your state offers additional protections for this kind of hardware failure.

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