Macbook screens broken


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 31, 2006

I am writing here in this forum because I think this is an important and severe issue, which should be known by apple’s clients. I ask those people that have the same problem to speak, because only this way will apple do something to solve it, in the same way than what happened with the discolored plastic.

Very well then, let’s start:

A week ago I bought a white macbook with the condition of it not being previous to week 27, to avoid the problem with the plastic. I got a macbook made in week 30. I was happy wit the computer but there was something about the screen that I did not like, I did not know what it was, my thought at the time was “this screen is not as good as they say”. After four days I thought “man, my eyes are really tired” (I spend an average of nine hours per day using the computer), I lay back in the chair, resting and I realise the screen is flickering!! I then start to move around and look at the screen from different angles to find out what is going on, and I find a good angle.

Explanation of how to spot the problem:

You position yourself in front of the computer. The screen should be tilted backwards to favour the angle of vision. You should lower your head until your chin is nearly aligned vertically with the keyboard, it does not have to actually be on the keyboard; i.e. you are sitting in the computer chair and you slouch a bit and lower your head. Therefore you will be looking at the screen in an upwards direction and you will see horizontal lines vertically scrolling from the top to the bottom of the screen, like if it were the refresh rate of a TV set from 50 years ago.

This translates itself in a constant flicker whilst working with the computer, which has the same consequences like a CRT monitor, possible headaches, tired eyes, etc.

Most people know that TFT monitors do not refresh the image like CRT monitors, as behind each pixel there is a transistor that is switched on or off, but the image is not scanned like with CRT monitors. Therefore it is impossible that the screen does this, it must be a problem that causes that same sensation.

I spoke with a friend that has a macbook from week 26. We put his macbook and mine side by side. Mine had those “scanlines” and his did not, the image was still. We then compared it with another macbook from another friend, also from week 26, and it also did not have those scanlines.

I thought it must be a problem with that particular computer, so I would return it and get another one in its place.

After some bad faces in the shop and them affirming that the computer was working fine, I managed to convince them to exchange it for another one, another macbook with a broken battery… which according to them was like that because they had changed it, etc, etc (1000 excuses), but always saying it was brand new. When I got home and switched the new macbook on a message appears saying “Jorge’s network”… who on earth is Jorge? Wasn’t this computer brand new? I don’t think so!

Either way, I thought “if the computer works I’ll keep it”, but the scanlines also appeared. This “brand new” computer was from week 29 and the one I had previously returned was from week 30.

After arguing with the salesman and being treated like a client should not be treated in a shop with such a reputation in my country, I said I did not want a replacement computer, but I wanted the money back… so I got it.

I went to another shop. Here they treated me much better and very kindly the salesman promised to give me my money back if the computer had the same problem with the scanlines. Very well, they had a white macbook in store, also from week 29. I took it home and… surprise!! It had the same problem. I returned it the next day and until Apple don’t solve this problem I am not going to buy another macbook, even though I need it for my work.

Conclusion: in my opinion, this is a manufacturing problem that Apple has (well the Asustek factory), that I am pretty sure is present in all macbooks from weeks 29 and 30, and most likely is also present in all macbooks made after that… to date.

I have been searching on the Internet and nobody has commented on this issue, until yesterday when I found another person that has reported it in a different forum.

Therefore, I ask everyone that has experienced this problem to report it, because if apple does not know about it, it is not going to solve the problem. With the problem of the plastic they took 10 weeks (from week 17 to 27)… imagine 10 weeks with laptops with bad screens, with which you can’t work because you go blind.

Thank you very much to those who read this message.


macrumors 68020
Aug 30, 2006
No problems here..

My macbook is a week 31, and I don't have this problem...maybe you've just been very unlucky? :confused:


macrumors 603
Dec 31, 2001
Mpls, MN
LCDs do too have refresh rates. It isn't exactly the same as a CRT scanning, but it can cause similar visible effects. What is your MB set at? My POS Dell LCD monitor I am staring at right now is set at 75MHz refresh, and I seldom see scanlines, but occasionally.


macrumors 65816
Aug 5, 2006
In the Depths of the SLC!
Mine has those lines too, but they aren't scan lines, that is natural of LCD monitors. If anyone has ever used a 19in widescreen AOC monitor, you know exactly wut I mean, it gives you a headache, except for the fact you don't have to look at odd angles, you just ahve to have a vast majority of a single colour on screen. But if you look at it from the right light, they all have this "scanline" which is really LCD's version of static. It's not Apple's fault, it is how LCDs are, but usually higher quality ones tend to not have this problem, mine doesn't but in the right light, it does, just depends on how "focused" you are on ur screen. As far as that problem is, I doubt anything will ever be done about it.


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 31, 2006
The first, i'm sorry but my english is very bad. (the original message was translated by a english person).


The serial number always begin for 4H6, you must look at the next two numbers. For example: 4H629DJ57H (I don't know how much numbers it has)

That computer was manufactured in week 29.

And now, the TFT Screens. Refresh in TFT and CRT screens isn't the same. We wouldn't perceive any improvement if we change the refresh rate of our TFT monitor. It is irrelevant in this tecnology.

Refresh in a TFT monitor is the response time of a pixel what is different.

Greetings and excuse my bad english.


macrumors newbie
Oct 5, 2006
Hi, I wanted to resurrect this thread as I'm having the exact same problem described in the first post. Now, note that the problem isn't really that visible on a high brightness-setting. Set your brightness to the lowest visible setting and look at a dark background on the desktop. The default background shows the problem well enough I think.

You clearly see scanlines as if they're travelling downwards on the screen. It's even more apparent if you look at the screen from an angle. The iBook I had previously did not exhibit this behavior at all. The problem seems to me like it could be some sort of backlight-problem.

If anyone else is having, or had this problem, please contact me in this thread or via email from the forums, I really want to know if people have solved the problem.

The apple technical support asked me to do a PRAM reset and another form of reset which involved pressing the powerbutton for five seconds while the battery and power-cord was removed. Nothing solved the problem.

I realize that apple support probably won't give any indication as to how common this problem is, but the local apple reseller I spoke with told me that macbooks experience problems all the time.

It would be a shame if the replacement apple's sending me suffered the same problem too. I really like the computer, but I can't accept the screen as it is, because it clearly is faulty.

Oh, my serial number starts with 4H63, if it matters.


macrumors 68000
Mar 10, 2006
Week 19 MacBook. No flicker stuff. Are you guys sure all pre week 27 MacBooks have staining. I sure as heel don't..:confused: