Screen damaged on its own. Macbook Air (Late 2010)

wonny1o9

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 1, 2013
3
0
I rarely use my friend's Macbook Air 13', but today when I opened it for the first time in days, the left side of the screen showed some issues. The screen was slightly tearing and would flicker annoyingly whenever I scrolled. I left it alone and put the computer to sleep, only to find that the issue grew bigger as seen in the photo.

The machine was not physically harmed. I did not drop it, pour water on it, or applied pressure. Nothing. It was completely fine the last time I used it and this happened for no reason whatsoever. I did perform a SMC reset because the machine was being annoyingly loud with its fan as it always has. Anything I did with this machine was routine and should not have contributed to the monitor.

Could anyone give me a solution to this problem? Please don't tell me to go to the Apple Bar or send it for repairs. Repairs are unreasonably overpriced and my warranty is long expired. Google told me that this is potentially a GPU glitch and that Apple has yet to find a solution for it. Please let me know. Thank you.



EDIT: My bad, I totally forgot that I cleaned my Macbook Air with a damp paper towel with Windex, and some of it might have seeped through the keyboards. Thank you, calvol!
 
Last edited:

wadek

macrumors newbie
Oct 11, 2007
29
3
I had something similar the past few weeks where the right half of the screen was broken into equal vertical columns of black, snow, and vertical flashing lines. Looked pretty similar to your picture. I went to Genius Bar since it was still under AppleCare, and they did a screen replacement, and so far, so good (fingers crossed). Not sure if there's a simpler fix than that. Mine is a Late 2010 11".
 

calvol

macrumors 6502a
Feb 3, 2011
991
2
Something similar happend to me with a 2010 Air, but it resolved itself over a few days. What happened was, I cleaned the screen and keyboard with a damp paper towel, and I believe what happened was, it was too wet, and a little water seeped into the base of the screen at the bottom. The screen showed some anomalies in vertical segments similar to what your screen is showing, although not that severe. It appeared to be a shimmering effect, in those distinct vertical segments. I was worried it was a graphics issue, but it resolved itself after drying out. Perhaps you were cleaning your machine as well, and had too much fluid on the cloth?
 

Mrbobb

macrumors 601
Aug 27, 2012
4,989
194
Google told me that this is potentially a GPU glitch and that Apple has yet to find a solution for it.

If Apple officially owned up to this problem then they will make u whole. If you just heard this from the grapevine, that's all there is, hear-say.

I would disassemble the unit, vacuum, re-seat connectors, specially the mobo-to-LCD and pray. While am in there I may replace the fan if not too expensive and re-paste the cpu+gpu heatsinks.
 

tweaks

macrumors regular
Mar 11, 2008
110
0
seen them all the time when i worked the bar. Replace your video cable. You can probably find them on eBay.

Edit: It was quite sometime ago. If I remember correctly everything is integrated. That would be a LCD replacement.

I would do a flat rate depot repair.
 

wonny1o9

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 1, 2013
3
0
Something similar happend to me with a 2010 Air, but it resolved itself over a few days. What happened was, I cleaned the screen and keyboard with a damp paper towel, and I believe what happened was, it was too wet, and a little water seeped into the base of the screen at the bottom. The screen showed some anomalies in vertical segments similar to what your screen is showing, although not that severe. It appeared to be a shimmering effect, in those distinct vertical segments. I was worried it was a graphics issue, but it resolved itself after drying out. Perhaps you were cleaning your machine as well, and had too much fluid on the cloth?
Oh my god, you're totally right. I had no idea that a damp paper towel could have caused this (I'm used to spraying Windex directly on my Macbook Pro, and nothing like this ever happened).

Thank you so much, and now I don't have to explain to my friend why her Macbook Air is messed up. :D
 

justperry

macrumors G4
Aug 10, 2007
10,825
6,463
I'm a rolling stone.
Oh my god, you're totally right. I had no idea that a damp paper towel could have caused this (I'm used to spraying Windex directly on my Macbook Pro, and nothing like this ever happened).

Thank you so much, and now I don't have to explain to my friend why her Macbook Air is messed up. :D
Well, ay least you learned a valuable lesson today, do not ever spray fluids on Electronic Devices, especially friends.

Glad for you it is solved though, it would have costed you an arm and a leg to repair.
 

wonny1o9

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 1, 2013
3
0
Well, ay least you learned a valuable lesson today, do not ever spray fluids on Electronic Devices, especially friends.

Glad for you it is solved though, it would have costed you an arm and a leg to repair.
Haha yes for sure. I'm just shocked at how vulnerable Macbook Air's are. I got used to spraying Windex directly on my Macbook Pro (2009) and I've had no problems at all with it.
 

TC25

macrumors 68020
Mar 28, 2011
2,201
0
Haha yes for sure. I'm just shocked at how vulnerable Macbook Air's are. I got used to spraying Windex directly on my Macbook Pro (2009) and I've had no problems at all with it.
It has nothing to do with the MBA being 'vulnerable'. That's why they make wipes specifically for electronic devices. Paper towels can also scratch the screen, but if people insist on using them, they should be damp, not wet. Liquid should not drip from the towel when compressed.
 

calvol

macrumors 6502a
Feb 3, 2011
991
2
When this happened to my 2010 Air, I was using a water/soap mixture on a small 2x2" square paper towel, and evidently there was enough water to seep thru the bottom of the screen and affect the connector. Anyway, learned my lesson when using a damp paper towel, i.e. to wring out the excess water completely! Hopefully, yours will dry out soon Wonny!
 

TC25

macrumors 68020
Mar 28, 2011
2,201
0
Apple's cleaning instruction specifically tells you NOT to do that.
You would think not spraying liquid on a screen and letting it run down into the insides of the monitor/laptop would be common sense.

Maybe this could be included in the next Jackass movie. :D
 

TheRealDamager

macrumors 65816
Jan 5, 2011
1,043
11
This original post was amazingly interesting - "screen damaged on it's own", lots of text, a pic of the misbehaving screen, and then at the VERY bottom, an added note that it didn't go haywire on it's own. :)
 

StockDC2

macrumors regular
May 16, 2011
212
12
Oh my god, you're totally right. I had no idea that a damp paper towel could have caused this (I'm used to spraying Windex directly on my Macbook Pro, and nothing like this ever happened).

Thank you so much, and now I don't have to explain to my friend why her Macbook Air is messed up. :D
Looks like you'll just have to buy her a new one instead ;).
 

dzhusi

macrumors newbie
Jul 4, 2015
1
0
Today I had the same issue with my macbook air mid 2012. U guys gave me hope :) that I would be able to fix it myself. I took out the battery and dried my macbook for several hours with a hair dryer and I was successful. After I put back the battery and switched the macbook on the problem was fixed. So if anyone has the same problem with their macbook it is fixable in home environment :). Thank god.
 
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