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2011 MacBook Pro checkerboard screen-related to YouTube?!


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bigcitrus

 
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Hi, all:

I have a 2011 MacBook Pro running OS 10.6.8. Recently, I've been experiencing a problem where graphics don't display correctly, often showing up as a checkerboard pattern:



I did a search for checkerboard screens, and saw some similar ones that were often connected with startup errors, kernel panic, etc.

Here's the weird thing about my issue--I think it might be related to YouTube. Most if not every time I've experienced the problem, it's been a result of clicking through several YouTube videos (no, that's not a euphemism for lots and lots of porn--it's ACTUAL YouTube). I can run other graphics-intensive programs (recently, I had an iPhoto slideshow running on a loop displayed on my TV for 4-5 hours at a party) with no issues. I even watched a couple of 30-minute YouTube shows (again, with the MBP hooked up to my TV) with no issues. The problem seems to occur if I click through several short videos in a row.

Once the weird pattern appears in YouTube (usually in Firefox), the problem "spreads" to other programs. So, if Firefox freaks out, then it'll do it in Safari too. It'll even cause jpg images opened with Preview to display in a checkerboard, entirely blank, etc. Changing the size of the window sometimes fixes the problem temporarily (smaller windows seem better). Restarting the machine seems to "reset" the problem until I visit YouTube again.

I initially thought this was a hardware (ie, graphics card) issue--I had a 2006 iMac that suffered graphics-card meltdown, but that problem occured whenever the graphics were taxed and everything heated up--in iPhoto, preview, iMovie, etc, etc. This problem seems to only appear after watching a bunch of YouTube, and then can be reset by rebooting the machine. That hints that it's not a heat/physical hardware problem--but maybe that's just wishful thinking.

The machine is totally "stock" with the exception of 2x4GB RAM sticks replacing the 2x2GB sticks it came with. It's been running that configuration for probably a year. This problem has surfaced within the last couple of weeks.

Thoughts?
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pigoo3

 
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Mac Specs: 13" MB 2.4ghz, 2gig ram, OS 10.7.5

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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigcitrus View Post
I did a search for checkerboard screens, and saw some similar ones that were often connected with startup errors, kernel panic, etc.

Here's the weird thing about my issue--I think it might be related to YouTube.
The problem is probably a failure of some sort with the graphics hardware.

Regarding You Tube. It's probably not related to You Tube directly...but what could be the issue is heat. When watching internet videos your computer is working harder (the video/grapics hardware)...which causes the computer to run hotter. This additional heat may be triggering something with the graphics hardware causing the checkerboard effect.

One question...do you ever hear the fan running on high rpms?

Before calling this computer a "doorstop"...I would open it up...and see if it needs a good cleaning. Clean it if necessary. If you are not hearing the fan...maybe the fan is bad.

If the computer is clean...and the fan is working...then we may be back to the graphics hardware issue...which is not something that can be easily ($$$) repaired.

Do you have Applecare remaining? If so...I would RUN not WALK to the nearest Apple Store & have it checked out.

HTH,

- Nick

- Computer slow, too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
- Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some speedup tips: Speedup
- Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
- Apple Battery Info. Battery
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bigcitrus

 
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Thanks, Nick:

A graphics hardware failure was my first thought. My iMac that suffered graphics meltdown was very predictable--anything that increased heat caused the machine to freak out.

The reason why I hoped that this MBP issue was different is that it doesn't seem to be directly heat related. The example I mentioned--running an iPhoto slideshow for 4-5 hours--definitely increased the heat, but the machine functioned normally throughout.

Secondly, once this problem occurs, if I reboot the machine it fixes the problem. If it were a heat issue, wouldn't the problem continue after the reboot?

The fans seem to be functioning normally--they come on when graphics-intensive things are happening. The fans were on for much of the time when the iPhoto slideshow was running.

If it does indeed turn out to be a graphics hardware failure, what's the best course of action? Just take it to the Apple Store? I don't have AppleCare, but it's a work machine so I'm not technically paying for it either....
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pigoo3

 
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That checkerboard graphics issue is not normal. I'm going to say in most cases it's a hardware issue. But there is a small possibility it could be software related (some sort of weird software conflict...usually due to some sort of installed 3rd party customization program).

- If the problem is hardware...then there is really nothing you can do.
- If the problem is software...I usually like to have an external hard drive with a fresh install of the Mac OS on it (just the Mac OS). Then boot the computer from the external HD. If the problem disappears...then it's software. If it remains...then it's hardware.

As far as heat. If the fan is working fine...I would still recommend opening up the computer...and checking for dirt/fuzz buildup.

As far as a repair. If the problem is hardware related...a new logic board is what will be needed. These usually cost at least $500.

Usually if it's an older computer (and not worth as much $$$)...this repair is too much vs. the computers used value. But since this is a 2011 computer...it may be worth it to have the logic board replaced (if it's hardware issue).

HTH,

- Nick

- Computer slow, too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
- Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some speedup tips: Speedup
- Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
- Apple Battery Info. Battery
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bigcitrus

 
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Thanks again, Nick.

Since I'm still running 10.6, maybe this is a good excuse to just move up to the latest OS to see if that fixes the problem?

And, if the logic board needs replacement, is the Apple Store my best bet?
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pigoo3

 
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Mac Specs: 13" MB 2.4ghz, 2gig ram, OS 10.7.5

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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigcitrus View Post
Since I'm still running 10.6, maybe this is a good excuse to just move up to the latest OS to see if that fixes the problem?
I think that it's an extreme long shot that the problem is directly an OS issue.

If you want to do some software related testing...do the external HD idea I mentioned above.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigcitrus View Post
And, if the logic board needs replacement, is the Apple Store my best bet?
Yes

- Nick

- Computer slow, too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
- Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some speedup tips: Speedup
- Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
- Apple Battery Info. Battery
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