Colored vertical and horizontal lines across whole screen, can't see anything else

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by baryon, Dec 8, 2012.

  1. baryon macrumors 68040


    Oct 3, 2009
    Late 2008 Unibody 15 inch MacBook Pro, 2.53 GHz, 8 GB RAM

    Yesterday it happened once and then stopped, and now it happened again for a much longer period of time: Colored horizontal lines appear on the screen, like the attached image.


    I took a screenshot with Cmd + Shift + 3, but the lines don't show up on it, so I'm guessing it's not a GPU related issue, but rather a screen issue, though I have had many GPU issues in the past (related to crashing and kernel panics mostly, but only when using the discreet GPU, never when using the integrated one). For this reason I'm only ever using the integrated card and everything has been fine for years.

    When I move the screen, it sometimes solves the issue, so it seems that it's a connector problem in the screen.

    Does anyone know anything more about this, such as what else it could be? If it's just a broken cable, is it really expensive to get fixed? I have no warranty or AppleCare.

  2. Raunien macrumors 6502

    Aug 3, 2011
    If it is indeed a screen issue (which it seems like it is), then the next step would be to open up the back of the MBP and try to adjust the connector for the screen.

    I'm not really sure where this is located but a google search should help you find it
  3. baryon thread starter macrumors 68040


    Oct 3, 2009
    I tried that, to no avail... Now it seems that the screen always remains like this, no matter what. I have used VoiceOver to switch graphics cards but it didn't help.

    Before the issue became so permanent, my screen always worked after waking from a longer sleep, and after a few minutes it would fill up with lines again. The time for this to happen became shorter and shorter over the period of 2 days, and now it's always like this.

    It doesn't seem like it's a loose connection, since it gradually got worse and didnt change when I wiggled the screen or the cables inside the machine.

    If it was a graphics card issue, it would probably only happen on one of the GPUs, not both. If it was a screen issue, it would not be possible for it to go from a perfect image to a completely unusable screen after a few minutes of usage, all of a sudden. It doesn't make much sense to me, but it's definitely a hardware problem: it shows up right from when I press the power button, I can't even see the Apple logo.

    Any more tips, ideas? How expensive could this be to fix, at least?
  4. baryon thread starter macrumors 68040


    Oct 3, 2009
    Ok, so I plugged in an old VGA monitor with an adapter, and it works! This means the GPU is fine, so what could be the problem? The screen, surely, but are there certain parts of the screen (cable, microcontrollers, etc…) that would fail in such a way, resulting in these lines?
  5. Dieleal macrumors newbie


    Sep 23, 2016
    I'm having the same issue on my iMac, when I connect it to another monitor it works fine.. I see your message is from 2012 so I wanted to ask if you could fixed it and what did you have to do.

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4 December 8, 2012