Need help! MBP screen or video card death??

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by GTOMac, Dec 9, 2011.

  1. GTOMac macrumors newbie

    Dec 9, 2011
    MacBook Pro 15 2009 2.8 Ghz, 8 GB with Nvidia GeForce 9400 M 256 MB video

    Was running fine until this morning when after waking from sleep mode, the screen would not come on. I could hear the click from certain keys and the caps lock light came on/off so the system was running, just not the screen. Turned off and on, got the "dahhhhh" boot up noise and again, nothing on the screen but could hear things when certain buttons pressed. I turned it back off and let it sit for about 30 min.

    Turned it back on and this time the screen finally displayed but with horrible distortion. Red flickering lines made a checkerboard pattern across the screen and the hues were all off. The screen flickering made the screen unreadable, so I turned it back off and waited an hour.

    During this time, I did some research and came across a site where it mentioned that resetting PRAM could do the trick. So I made the appropriate key presses and when it rebooted, much of the distortion was gone, but the red flickering was still evident and the colors were still way off - the white sections of pages was a horrible shade of teal and text left large areas of white space around them - sort of like a bad gif image when you attempt to make it into a transparent image - very bad distortion around the edges.

    It's been about 3 hours now and the last time I booted it up (30 min ago) it was still the same. Any advice?
  2. sfoalex macrumors 6502

    Aug 11, 2001
    Show it to a Apple genius while the issue can be shown reliably. Under warranty or AppleCare?
  3. GTOMac thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 9, 2011
    Unfortunately, neither. I've scheduled an appt. for the "Genius" Bar for tomorrow. My confidence in them is lacking to say the least; other issues I've had in the past (other products/issues) yielded ZERO satisfactory outcomes.
  4. GTOMac thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 9, 2011
    Now it's getting weird (like it hasn't already). Just turned it back on and the display is MUCH better - gone are the bad images and ugly distorted text. But in place of the red flickering lines, it's been replaced by GREEN flickering lines (????). I know I've got a date with Apple tomorrow but has anyone run into this?
  5. Freyqq macrumors 601

    Dec 13, 2004
    plug it into an external monitor. if it works, it was the screen. If not, it was the video card.
  6. GTOMac thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 9, 2011
    As soon as I can get my hands on a DVI/VGA adapter, that's that plan. In case of a card failure, any idea on how much that can run? AND - is it something I could fix myself?
  7. castillo4141 macrumors member

    Sep 4, 2011
    If it is the display, it can be completely replaced and the problem will be gone, it's expensive but not as much as the motherboard, depending on your needs and resources it can be the perfect excuse to buy a new MBP. I've the same model you have, and you can switch between the two graphic cards the system has. So, if one of them is failing, you can use the other, 9600m (more power) or 9400m (less battery usage) depending in wich one is failing you.
  8. GTOMac thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 9, 2011
    Well, after tinkering around a bit, it looks like something got knocked around in there, almost like the LCD crystal is outta whack - but the mac never got bumped or dropped this morning. It no longer handles gradients with dark colors anymore - now all I get is green lines, like static in the image.

    I've attached images so you can see the progression of how it's gone - from absolutely horrible to just really bad. As a graphics designer though, this does me absolutely no good :mad:




    Thanks - how do you switch?
  9. castillo4141 macrumors member

    Sep 4, 2011
    From the manual:

    Using the MacBook Pro Battery
    [...] Your MacBook Pro comes with two graphics processors, one for better battery life and the other for higher performance. To switch between processors, open System Preferences, click Energy Saver, select “Better battery life” or “Higher performance,” and then follow the onscreen instructions. Select “Better battery life” when you can’t use your MagSafe power adapter or you’re not using graphics-intensive applications. Select “Higher performance” when you’re using graphics-intensive applications, such as video editing software and games. Changing graphics settings requires you to log out for the settings to take effect.[...]

    Switch from one to another and check if the image improve.
  10. GTOMac thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 9, 2011

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