Sudden screen flicker issue on MBP 15"


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 31, 2007
I bought my 15" Santa Rosa Macbook Pro 2.4 Ghz, in August of this year, August 3rd to be exact, after months and months of working and saving money. Now, barely 3 months later, it has already gone bad. This past weekend, the screen out of the blue started flickering a bit when I booted the machine, but it always fixed itself before it finished booting.

Now, as of yesterday,the machine not only flickers on boot-up, but also after boot-up. Thick horizontal lines, mostly gray/white but with other thin horizontal/vertical lines of rainbow colors mixed in. Usually on the bottom half of the screen, rapid flickering. No, I do NOT have the ambient light sensor turned on, and it happens regardless of the brightness setting or whether or not I have it plugged in or running off the battery. I do not use an external display either. I can't use it like that. Restarting it and resetting the PRAM seems to fix it temporarily, but once I put the computer to sleep and come back to it after a couple of hours, it's flickering again (or else a large gray horizontal line is frozen on over 3/4 of the screen). Or if I shut it down for a few hours and turn it back on, it flickers so severely that it's unusable. I took screen shots with the Grab application, but none of the flickers even show up on those shots. Weird. When I get home I'll take a picture using my digital camera.

I have done nothing but treat this computer with absolute care, always keeping it in a case, keeping it clean and keeping objects off of it. I've never dropped it and have never handled it roughly.

It was working just fine up until now. Did they sell me a faulty machine or could it be a software/driver issue? The only thing I can think of is that I did install the latest automatic software updates (I'm on Tiger, 10.4.10) this past weekend, could that be the cause? I haven't installed anything else. I've backed everything up just in case.

This is my first Mac, and I'm very disappointed. I spent a good deal of hard earned money on this machine that is marketed toward professionals. I wanted this computer to be a long-term investment, people say macs "just work" and I had hoped that this computer would give me 5 or 6 solid years of productivity. In reality, it can't even go three months without malfunctioning. None of the PC's I've had in the past have ever had problems like this after only 3 months. Beginning to think I should have saved money and just bought a Dell or an Acer...not as pretty as a mac but at least they don't go krunk after a short amount of time.

I really wanted to join the Mac world, but I can't afford to not have a working computer (because I rely on it for my school work and freelance client web design work). I'm upset because a computer that costs as much as the MBP shouldn't be malfunctioning so soon...don't you think? Anyway, thanks in advance for any suggestions you may have, and I'm sorry if I sound mean in this post, I'm just really sad about this. :(


macrumors G5
Jun 27, 2007
Sorry to hear that. Seems to be an unusual problem. You definitely need to have it checked out.

Two ways.

1. Make appointment with genius bar close by, and bring it in.

2. Call 1-800-APL-CARE (1-800-275-2273)

I suggest that you back up your data before bringing it in or mailing it.


macrumors newbie
Nov 25, 2007
I'm starting to have the same problem

Did you find a way to solve it through software?
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