Vertical gray lines appear on my Macbook Pro screen

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by ccbchunks, Jul 25, 2009.

  1. ccbchunks macrumors newbie

    Jul 25, 2009
    2007 MBP, using a clear hard Speck case
    15 inch
    4mb RAM
    160gb HD, 650gb external HD

    I've had it sent into Apple once for the horizontal flashing lines, but these are new... it's like a gray vertically striped film covers the whole screen, and unlike the horizontal lines, shaking/hitting the screen does not help. Here's a photo:


    Any suggestions? It usually disappears within 5 minutes; it happened once last week.
  2. Eidorian macrumors Penryn


    Mar 23, 2005
    It might be time to have Apple take a look at it again. It doesn't sound like the display cable either.
  3. shrakner macrumors member

    Dec 28, 2006
    Visible in a screenshot?

    If you take a screenshot, is the interference visible in the image? That's the quick way to tell if it's a display cable or LCD problem vs. a motherboard/video card problem.
  4. i.shaun macrumors 6502a


    May 1, 2008
    Almost looks like half the pixels are missing. . .

    I was considering getting an MBP but seeing so many threads with problems with them, I don't think I want to now..
  5. ccbchunks thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 25, 2009
    Took a screenshot

    Screenshot looks normal. Def. a wiring problem. Taking it to apple store Tuesday.
  6. bmeutzner macrumors newbie

    Aug 3, 2009
    It may not be wiring...


    I have a mid-2008 MBP which just started having this exact same issue the beginning of last week. I took it into Apple Store on Weds of last week, and they sent it off to have wiring replaced (the Apple Genius actually said they would be replacing entire upper lid which included lcd), but alas, it came back with only the wiring swap.

    It only occurs intermittently, so there was really no way to know if it was or wasn't fixed when I picked it up this morning.

    I brought it home and everything was fine for a few hours, but the problem has started to occur again.

    So... if you haven't already taken it in, when you do, tell them that the wiring may not be the cause, and to check other suspect hardware components. I'll be taking mine back to Apple again tomorrow, and assume it'll be another 5 days before they get it back to me with something else swapped out. I'll update post when this happens, and would appreciate if you could reply with your experience as well.

  7. LiveForPhysics macrumors newbie

    Aug 27, 2004
    Santa Cruz
    Hi everyone,

    I'm experiencing the exact same problem as well. In mid-July, I took my Macbook Pro (2.2 GHz SR 2007 July) in to get the LCD replaced since it was exhibiting this strange 'ghosting' effect where the LCD panel wouldn't refresh at the correct intervals. Paid out of pocket over $300 dollars for the repair since the AppleCare warranty had already expired

    Got the laptop back, all was well until early September when I noticed the same vertical scanlines that the OP had posted earlier. However, I wasn't strictly just grey vertical lines, but often changed to different colors (red, green, etc.) The LCD would randomly do this, and fix itself after a while. Took it to the Apple Store again and they said they'd replace the entire LCD panel for free (since repairs performed by Apple have a 60-day warranty with them). Waited another week for the repair, and got my laptop back on the 22nd this month.

    Once I headed home, I decided to do a clean install of SL, and during the installation process, those damn grey vertical lines on the LCD showed up again. Yep, back to a genius bar appointment this Friday :(.

    Based on what I've seen, it seems like the problem is not just the LCD panel, but something else internally. They replaced my LCD panel twice for each repair, but it still hasn't fixed this problem. I initially suspected it might have been one of those faulty Nvidia 8600M cards, but when connecting to an external display while the vertical lines appeared on the laptop's screen didn't have any effect on what was shown on the display. Also, at both instances at the Genius Bar, they have their own diagnostics to verify a faulty Nvidia card, which turned out negative for both cases.

    Like the previous poster said, it might be more than a wiring problem and stuff. I attached comparison pictures (from my crappy BlackBerry camera) of my vertical line defect below, which is exactly like the one from OP. Anyways, hopefully this next repair will really fix it.


    Attached Files:

  8. totem71 macrumors newbie

    Feb 1, 2010
    any updates on vertical lines?

    My MBP (3.1, 15", late 2006) has begun to do the exact same thing.

    Do any of the previous posters on this thread have updates on a solution (or lack thereof)?
  9. m1kebt macrumors newbie

    Feb 4, 2010
    Same here

    I also have the same vertical lines. I find I can log out and log back in and it is gone, sometimes it appears then disappears almost instantly, but it is certainly random as to when it happens. Such a bummer.

    MBP 2.2 core 2, stock with 10.6.2.
  10. totem71 macrumors newbie

    Feb 1, 2010
    SMC reset, perhaps

    I wasn't expecting it to make a difference, but to be thorough, I performed an SMC reset. This was more than a week ago, and I have not seen the problem since.

    Will be curious to hear if this works for anyone else...anyway, it's a simple process, so definitely worth a try.
  11. codeshepherd macrumors newbie

    Oct 3, 2010
    SMC reset

    I have the same problem. I performed SMC reset. The problem again appeared after couple of hours and disappeared in few minutes. I put my laptop in shutdown state for a night and next day before booting up in the morning I performed SMC reset again. It has been holding up for the last 4 hours now. I will post updates if the issue occurs again.

    It would be great if other people who had the issue report how they got it fixed.
  12. Crimsonibis macrumors newbie

    Jan 16, 2008
    Ridiculous Price Tag

    The same thing happened to my 2.5Ghz 15" MBP. Last week, the LED flickered to the grey lines for 5 mins, then 12 hours and now permanently. I thought it was the faulty NVIDIA card but when I took it to the Genius he used an external LCD to diagnose that it wasn't the graphics card. Since it wasn't under warranty or Apple Care, he quoted me $600 to repair/replace the lcd or, $630 to fix the entire computer to factory specs. This is really frustrating, I just need my MBP back to normal and that price is ridiculous.
  13. Mal macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2002
    Actually, trust me, that price is far from ridiculous. The parts to repair that machine would cost more than that from many shops. They're giving you a rather reasonable repair cost, but I'll add one caveat. If there's no damage to the machine, they should be willing to repair it as a Flat-Rate Repair, which, IIRC, is closer to $350 generally ($329 plus taxes). I'd call Apple and ask them to send you a box and mail it in (as long as there's no physical damage at all).

  14. bregard macrumors newbie

    Mar 13, 2011

    Any News on this? Do I just get a replacement of ebay and do it myself?
  15. loungelizard macrumors newbie

    Mar 29, 2010
    Software not hardware

    Hi all, very late in the day, but I figure this might help someone.

    My GF has this problem with her 15" MBP type A1260; it has/is driving me crazy.

    I have been toying with the software idea s opposed to changing ribbon cables and screens as it is not consistent with a hardware failure, unless it is something on the mobo.

    I noticed that sometimes after an SMC reset and starting up (sometimes twice), in safe mode (shift at startup), the defect disappears, so after that worked for a while then came back I started noticing that it was doing it with Safari. I tried upgrading from SL to Lion and that worked for a while.

    the problem came back and I decided to do a clean install of everything.

    Today I noticed that for the whole installation it was fine but the very second I updated and started Safari, the defect appeared.

    I don't think it is a coincidence at all, I have uninstalled safari using app zapper to get rid of any stray files then searched using find any file to clean the rest.

    hoping that this does the trick, if not then I will be airing on the mobo side. :(

    anyway, I hope this helps someone.
  16. loungelizard macrumors newbie

    Mar 29, 2010
    OK, figured it must be a RAM thing as it only happens when I load big apps.

    I took a 2gig bar out and seems to be working ok on 1gig. safari and iPhoto simultaneously. fingers crossed. the 2gig bar must be bad as I can't even boot with it.
  17. AppleNewton macrumors 68000


    Apr 3, 2007
    1 Finite Place
    id even recommend reapplying new thermal paste to the CPU and GPU, give that a try.

    those boards in the 2007/2008 MacBook Pros graphics wise were hit or miss.
  18. chrfr macrumors 604

    Jul 11, 2009
    It's most likely the graphics processor failing, not the RAM. Apple extended the warranty on this for a long time but no longer services these computers.

Share This Page