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Apple Notebooks Apple's notebook computers including MacBook Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air, PowerBook, and iBook.

Macbook (Late 2008) Screen Problems - Please Help!


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maestro

 
Member Since: Jul 10, 2010
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Hi Everyone,

Yesterday I started having screen issues on my Macbook (Late 2008) model. I haven't dropped the computer, nor has it had any rough usage so I'm not sure what is happening. Can anyone shed any light for me? There is a 1.5" thick line straight down my screen from top to bottom that changes all the time, from black to white to grey and multi-coloured. I'm out of my country and no-where near a place to get it repaired for quite a while. I've attached some photos. I would be so incredibly grateful if anyone could help!! Sometimes the screen is fine, then even without moving it, it changes to one of the other photo examples.

Thanks so much,

Daniel.
Sydney, Australia
(currently in Aspen, USA)
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_2614.JPG (65.6 KB, 30 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_2615.JPG (63.7 KB, 21 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_2616.JPG (63.3 KB, 20 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_2617.JPG (67.1 KB, 19 views)
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TattooedMac

 
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Hello and welcome fellow antipodean ....
First things first is what .v OS are you running ?? did you upgrade to SL ??
The more info the better chance of getting a solution for you.
But if memory serves me, i think it can be fixed through a update.
No matter what OS you have, google the combo update and dl it directly from the  site.
So for me ill google "10.6.4 combo update Apple".
If you go through the OS software update and not directly from the  site, you might find problems and wont dl properly, as there has been problems in the past, hence recommending the direct link dl
Good luck and post back the outcome or post back for more questions

Cheers

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chscag

 
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Might also be caused by a defective graphics chipset. There are 6 Apple stores in the state of Colorado (assuming you're in Aspen, Colorado). Closest to you might be Denver - quite far.

The late 2008 MacBook uses a nVidia chipset 9400m (if it's the aluminum body model). If the GPU is bad, that would require a logic board replacement.

Regards.
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maestro

 
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Dear TattooedMac and chscag,

Thank you so much for your replies, I appreciate them very much!

Today, I downloaded the 10.6.4 combo update from apple and unfortunately it hasn't made a difference.

My current OS is Mac OS X Version 10.6.4 and I upgraded to SL several months ago.

Yep, I have the aluminium body model

Unfortunately I have no car so I can't get to Denver. I am here for a music festival in Aspen. It's a pain I know

Is there a way I can test myself if it is the chip? and would you know how much it might cost to get replaced? or if there is anything else I can do?

I'm completely puzzled as to what would cause this without any trauma to the computer itself. Very odd! It just appears at random and sometimes goes away by lightly tapping the screen, but then it returns again.

Thanks again so much for your help!! Please feel free to ask for any information you may need!

Dan
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chscag

 
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There are several ways to test your MacBook. Since you're away from home the easiest might be this:

Take a screenshot of your MacBook while it's exhibiting the symptoms. If the screenshot shows the same video distortion, then we can assume it has to do with the graphics processor. If the screenshot shows a clear picture and no distortion, it's something else that's causing it.

As I said in my first reply, if it turns out to be the GPU the entire logic board would have to be swapped out. The GPU is soldered (surface mounted) to the logic board. Not much you can do in that situation until you get home and take it on in to your local Apple store to have it serviced. Even if you were in Denver, it might take a while to get the board changed out. (Don't know how long you'll be at the music festival.)

Quote:
I'm completely puzzled as to what would cause this without any trauma to the computer itself. Very odd! It just appears at random and sometimes goes away by lightly tapping the screen, but then it returns again.
It could be a loose video cable as the tapping might make the connection temporarily. However, even at that, it would require opening up the machine. Probably best left to when you get back home.

Sorry we can't be of more help. Hope you're enjoying the music festival. And the wonderful scenery in Aspen, Colorado.

Regards.
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fchen11

 
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I am having the same problem with screen. (late 2008 aluminum macbook) The bar of flashing pixel i am having trouble with is in the same location as your screenshot. When I move the screen carefully it would disappear. I don't think its a video card problem, I tried uninstalling the video card and the bar is still in the same position.

I'm going to open the computer to see if there are any loose cables to the screen.

edit: I checked for any loose cables. There wasn't anything loose. touching the cable didn't make the bar change. I replugged the cable leading to the screen, didn't help.

the bar disappears if i physically twist the screen a little

Does anyone know a solution to this?
Do we have to change the screen?
How much would it cost?
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maestro

 
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Hi chscag and fchen11,

I took a screenshot when the symptoms were occurring and the shot is completely clean. No distortion on the screenshot.

I'm here at the music festival until mid-August.

The scenery here is Aspen is really incredible! Thank you for your wishes!

Looking forward to hearing any more advice

All my very best to you all reading this,

Daniel.
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chscag

 
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Well, that's interesting. A clean screenshot while the symptoms were occurring might indicate a loose or intermittent video cable or display cable. I don't think there's anything wrong with your display and I'm not sure a software glitch could cause it.

I'm not 100% positive about the video cable or display cable but there's a good chance that one of them may be the culprit. I would advise living with it for now until you get home. When at home take it on in to Apple and let them deal with it. I'm assuming your MacBook is under warranty or Apple care.

Regards.
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stuf10

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fchen11 View Post
I am having the same problem with screen. (late 2008 aluminum macbook) The bar of flashing pixel i am having trouble with is in the same location as your screenshot. When I move the screen carefully it would disappear. I don't think its a video card problem.

edit: I checked for any loose cables. There wasn't anything loose. touching the cable didn't make the bar change. I replugged the cable leading to the screen, didn't help.

the bar disappears if i physically twist the screen a little


How much would it cost?
We purchased a MAC book pro 16 months ago (17/03/09) and the LCD srceen has failed. It throws up lines across the screen. Apple are refusing to fix it as there is a small dent on the computer frame. This dent happened 11 months ago and the computer has been working perfectly until last week. The point here is that the LCD failed as it goes to black and white lines intermittently only after 13 months and apple are refusing to help with its repair. They have quoted $1100 to fix it. I feel they are using an insignificant little dent in the frame as an excuse to not fix this faulty product. We purchased an apple because we wanted a quality product and find our selves very disappointed by the product we purchased and with the Apple customer care. Any ideas on how I should get the screen fixed and how to get Apple to take some responsibility for this faulty product.
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chscag

 
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You could change out the display yourself and save money. Go to iFixit: The free repair manual and have your model number handy. Look for an exact replacement display. The ifixit site also has very good step by step instructions for changing the display. As long as you're confident that you can do the swap without any technical assistance from Apple, that's what I would do.

Regards.
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