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

Macbook screen display corrupting with tiny squares all over


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shavian78

 
Member Since: Sep 20, 2009
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Hello forum,

Please see the attached screenshot. The tiny squares keep shuffling around with windows and user activity. Their positions and numbers keeps on changing continuously.

Its an intel macbook core 2 duo 13 inch purchased in 2007.

I am not sure if this is a hardware or software problem.

When I connect the macbook to my 21 inch LG display, the problem happens on the LG display as well. So I am inclined to think its something to do with the display adaptor (?)

I have 2 RAM modules - one 512 MB (OEM) and one 2 GB (added later in 2008). I tried swapping their banks, and using only one of them at a time. No help.

I downloaded OnyX and verified the system with it. Its not showing any red flags.

I have downloaded and installed the latest software updates. That doesnt help either.

What else can/should I try, short of reinstalling the whole OS or taking it to the apple store ? Any pointers to diagnostic utlities/tricks greatly appreciated.
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File Type: png Screenshot_macbook.png (436.5 KB, 77 views)
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halo200

 
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How hot is the machine getting when it's plugged into the LG display? Is there any chance of trying it with another display? First thing I'd assume when I see something like that it would be a faulty or overheating graphics card but since the mb has integrated and it only happens when the display is plugged in it might just be the adapter, are the display pins all intact and not bent or missing at all?
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halo200

 
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Sorry read it wrong donut does happen on the book even while it's not plugged into the display, have you run the hardware test that comes with your machine? Stick the disk in and hold down the letter T and let it run through the diagnostics and see what comes up
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shavian78

 
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The disk that came with mb is the 10.4 tiger, I have since upgraded to leapord 10.6.4.

I guess the h/w diag utility should still work. I will try it out and report back. thanks.
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Looks like a defective graphics processor. Since it occurs both on the internal and external display, it almost has to be that. Check with Apple support as I believe there were some 2007 MBP machines which are covered under an extended warranty because of defective graphics adapters. When you contact Apple, have your year, model, and SN handy.
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shavian78

 
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I did the hardware test from the apple disks, that passed.

I called up Apple support. The person on the phone made me do:

- a shutdown
- boot up with command+option+R+P keys pressed - released after three bootup chimes
- noted that the distortion does not appear on the grey screen with apple logo but only after that when the login screen appears.

Next he made me boot with the apple install disk while pressing the option key and then selecting to boot from the disk rather than the HDD. When it came to the "Choose language" screen, there was no distortion on the lcd.

Thus he suspects the problem is not in the hardware but in the software. His recommendation is to try reinstall the OS.

Before I do that, should I try upgrading/patching the graphics processor (Intel GMA 950) drivers? I cant readily find any update/patches via google though.

Thanks.
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shavian78

 
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Well I thought I will go ahead and reinstall snow leapord.

My macbook had come with tiger, but I had upgraded to snow leapord.

When support had me try the video with the original install disk (10.4.8) above, there was no distortion in the video.

But now when I try to install the snow leapord from via my USB drive (which is how I had installed it earlier), the distortion shows up immediately on the first install screen (where you are asked to choose the language).

So apparently, the video has stopped liking snow leapord, even when I try to install it fresh, though it had been working just fine with snow leapord for the last 6-7 months! But it is ok with mac osx 10.4.8 that came with the macbook.

I tried this 2-3 times alternating the install OS, everytime the result is same.
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shavian78

 
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The macbook has come back from the apple store support. The support guy said that the only thing they can do is to replace the motherboard, something is wrong with the graphics processor in it. Asking for 600+ dollars!

I am wondering if there is any way to change just the graphics processor (Intel GMA 950) rather than replacing the whole motherboard. Or is this not at all possible for integrated chipsets?

Any other things I can try out at this point, short of spending 600$ ?!?
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Integrated GPU's are soldered onto the mobo. No way to change a GPU unless it is dedicated and even then it doesn't always work

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