MBP shows dark display with thin white stripe - what can be the cause?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by kris09, May 4, 2009.

  1. kris09 macrumors newbie

    May 4, 2009
    Recently, the display of my MacBook Pro (unfortunately, out of warranty) often is black/greyish after wake-up/start-up with a thin white stripe in the middle of the screen, and the computer (obviously) cannot be used in this mode (you can hear it start up, but since the screen is completely dark, I can't actually do anything - restarting doesn't help either).
    At first I thought it might be the graphic card (since there is a known problem with NVIDIA), but I've brought it in for repair where they have run multiple software-tests, and no error code was returned (when I brought it in it magically "fixed itself" and, once running, the problem can't be re-recreated), so nothing was fixed.

    It seems to me that the MacBook for some reason cannot find or communicate with the display because I just discovered that if I hook up an external monitor, it manages to find that, and, after disconnecting the external monitor again, also "reconnects" to its own display. It then generally runs fine until I physically move it (ie. put it in my backpack and carry it somewhere) - after being moved, it tends to have the same problem again (not always, but more and more often).

    Have you had any similar experience and/or any ideas of what might cause this and how it could be fixed? I'd like to avoid replacing the display or something of the sort until I know for sure what's going on.

    Thanks a lot!
  2. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    Sounds an awful lot like a bad internal display connector/cable, particularly since moving the laptop can cause it to reoccur. One test would be, when you have it working, to move the display hinge around, jostle the computer, and see if you can't shake whatever is causing the issue loose. If you can get it to happen while moving the machine, that might point to a point of failure that a shop would be able to fix (by replacing the cable), or at least tell you that it's something physical.

    I'm not entirely clear based on your description, but the other thing I can think of is a bad backlight, with maybe only one of the tubes lighting up to cause the stripe. I'd think this would be obvious, though, as you'd be able to make out what was on the screen even when dark if you look closely.

    I'm not seeing how either of these issues would be resolved by starting with an external monitor hooked up, though--I'd expect the external to work perfectly but have no effect one way or the other on the internal.

    I suppose if the bad cable was causing a detect failure, like you speculated, maybe...

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