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  1. #1


    Member Since
    Jul 19, 2010
    Posts
    7
    Specs:
    Macbook Unibody (Late 2008) 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 10.5.8
    Macbook Horizontal Lines On Display Screen
    For the past two months I've been having problems with horizontal lines distorting the picture on my screen. I can make the horizontal lines go away by physically moving my display back and forth, but lately it's been taking longer and longer to get rid of the lines by moving it. I've figured out from past posts that it's maybe a problem with a loose cable.

    I just wanted to know if anyone else has had this problem and what they did to fix it and how much it cost. My macbook is very important to my job/school, so it's kind of important that it doesn't break on me. Also, my warranty is up and I don't have Applecare. I have heard it is expensive to fix..and I don't have too much to spend.

    (No, I do not have the defective Nvidia card.)
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2

    chscag's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2008
    Location
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Posts
    48,229
    Specs:
    Late 2013 27" iMac, iPad 3, iPhone 6s+, iPhone 6+, 3 iPods, El Capitan
    Let's do a simple test to see if it's the display itself that's acting up, a loose cable, connector, or even the GPU.

    When the horizontal lines appear, take a screenshot. Then examine the screenshot (from a clear screen of course) to see if the lines are there or not.

    If the horizontal lines are missing, that will clear the GPU and any internal circuitry on the logic board. If the screenshot shows the lines, then it's possible the defect is being caused by the GPU which would mean a new logic board.

    If you would like to do repairs yourself or trouble shoot the machine by taking it apart, go to iFixit: The free repair manual and look up your model and the step by step take apart instructions. Before taking your machine apart, make sure you have all the necessary tools and most important, the skills to do it.

    Regards.

  3. #3


    Member Since
    Jul 19, 2010
    Posts
    7
    Specs:
    Macbook Unibody (Late 2008) 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 10.5.8
    Thank you! I just did the screenshot and the lines do not show up.

  4. #4

    chscag's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2008
    Location
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Posts
    48,229
    Specs:
    Late 2013 27" iMac, iPad 3, iPhone 6s+, iPhone 6+, 3 iPods, El Capitan
    OK. That tells us the internal circuitry on the logic board (GPU) is probably working right. That leaves the display and cables. I'm betting the display itself is also alright. Which leaves the cables. If you feel comfortable about taking your machine apart yourself, go to the web site I linked in my first reply and download their step by step instructions for changing out the display.

    The problem may be a connector, a loose video cable, or other power cable. If you don't think you can take the machine apart and get it back together and working, don't mess with it. Let an authorized Apple repair place do it for you.

    Regards.

  5. #5


    Member Since
    Nov 23, 2010
    Posts
    2
    Sorry to bump an old thread, but I have a very similar problem. When I take a screenshot, however, the jagged horizontal lines that move on my screen disappear for a few moments. Then return after the click of the screenshot. I then tried to record the screen using showmewhatswrong.com and the lines went away all together. The horizontal lines are not nearly as concentrated as the OP's

    Does anyone have any theory as to what may be wrong?

  6. #6

    sevenhelmet's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 12, 2005
    Location
    Ridgecrest, CA
    Posts
    555
    Specs:
    rMBP (Mid-2015), 2.8 Ghz i7, 16GB DDR3, AMD M370X Gfx, 1 TB SSD
    Your problem sounds different, but it may still be hardware related. I'd try Apple Hardware Test to see if anything comes up. If not, then your problem might be similar to the OP. If your machine is under warranty, take it to an Apple Store or other authorized tech place and they should be able to tell you what's wrong.
    "Luck favors the prepared"

  7. #7


    Member Since
    Jun 08, 2011
    Location
    Bar Harbor, Maine
    Posts
    9
    Specs:
    2008 Macbook, 2009 Macbook Pro. All pretty standard, nothing too fancy.
    Screen Distortion: Macbook
    Quote Originally Posted by chscag View Post
    OK. That tells us the internal circuitry on the logic board (GPU) is probably working right. That leaves the display and cables. I'm betting the display itself is also alright. Which leaves the cables. If you feel comfortable about taking your machine apart yourself, go to the web site I linked in my first reply and download their step by step instructions for changing out the display.

    The problem may be a connector, a loose video cable, or other power cable. If you don't think you can take the machine apart and get it back together and working, don't mess with it. Let an authorized Apple repair place do it for you.

    Regards.

    These posts have helped me diagnose my problem, but not completely. I'm hoping for some much needed advice:
    My MacBook Unibody Model A1278 (from Nov. 2008) has a vertical line distorting the image on my screen about 2 inches wide from top to bottom. I can remove the distortion by tilting the screen or lightly tapping on it. I did a screen shot and the vertical lines are missing, which is good, and I used the DIY repair link that was pasted above and I've begun to tear down my laptop and diagnose a little... The display and camera connections were both well-attached, so then I disconnected and reconnected both of them. The problem didn't go away. I isolated the problem to the display connection because I unplugged the camera connection and the problem still persisted. So therefore, I'm thinking the problem is somewhere between the display connection on the chassis/upper case, and where that wire actually connects inside the display itself.
    Any advice? Could I further diagnose this by dissecting the screen? Would that even be worth it? Or should I possibly purchase a new screen with connecting wires?
    Thanks!

  8. #8


    Member Since
    Sep 19, 2013
    Posts
    1
    tinkering
    I found this thread helping a friend who tells me she has a horizontal line on her display. The posts are quite helpful, and I will use them in troubleshooting.

    As to the tapping or moving fixes, it occurred to me to mention a general principle: If tapping or shaking a purely electronic device (no moving parts, like a computer display) helps, then the problem is very likely a loose connection somewhere. Giving a mechanical device a good whack, on the other hand, is intended to overcome stiction the tendency of metals to stick together.

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