Weird screen display overlay that looks like dead bugs

Discussion in 'iMac' started by lamirona, Dec 15, 2013.

  1. lamirona macrumors newbie

    Jun 7, 2011
    A friend just gifted me with an iMac that she could no longer use, and everything is working beautifully except that there is a display on the screen that looks like there are dead bugs on the screen. Can someone please, please tell me how to get rid of this?
  2. DeltaMac macrumors G3


    Jul 30, 2003
    Is it really dead bugs?
    I have heard of this, and seen pictures a couple of times.
    Can you tell exactly which iMac you have?
    Click on the Apple menu, then click on About This Mac, then click on the More Info button. What is the Model Identifier listed in that window?

    If you like, you could take a picture of the screen, with the bugs, and post that here...
  3. WilliamG macrumors G3

    Mar 29, 2008
    If they're dead bugs, does that mean the iMac you received is technically bug-free? :D

    Sorry, couldn't resist...

    Pictures would help!
  4. lamirona, Dec 20, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2013

    lamirona thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 7, 2011
    Dead bugs and dirt overlay

    Model Name: iMac
    Model Identifier: iMac10,1

    Well, the picture is sideways, but you get the idea.

    I'm getting desperate to figure out what this is and how to get rid of it. It looks like someone took off the screen and put it back with dirt and bugs squished onto it.

    Attached Files:

  5. DeltaMac macrumors G3


    Jul 30, 2003
    Looks like you have dead bugs on the screen (!)
    There's air space between the glass (which is the outside surface of your screen) and the actual LCD screen - room enough for bugs to crawl in and die. There are various places where they could crawl in.
    You can remove the front glass panel, and carefully clean the enclosed surfaces, which should get rid of those dead critters!
    Some instructions here:

    I use isopropyl alcohol to clean the inside glass surface, and a glass cleaner, such as Windex (with vinegar - not Ammonia (check the label)) to clean the real surface of the LCD panel.
    Check carefully for any smears/streaks before you place the outside glass back into place. I always caution folks who do this display glass to _not_ move around too much, so that dust does not stir onto the inside surfaces.
    And (as WilliamG already said) you should be bug-free!

    BTW - the suction cups don't have to be a lot of money, just something that will hang on to clean glass so you can lift the glass up and out. You can often find something that works at a kitchen accessory shop. I found suction cups that are sold to hold towels or pot holders that work for your purpose just fine.
    One final point - when the glass is removed, you'll see that it's very thin, and untempered, which makes it quite fragile - so handle carefully - don't get in a hurry when removing or replacing the glass. good luck!
    Let us know if that fixes it for you…

    And, one more - don't cover any holes to prevent future "entrance" as you could block needed cooling for your iMac!
  6. lamirona thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 7, 2011
    Holy Crow!!!! That stuff is real????!!!!

    First, thank you for shedding light on this, so to speak. I appreciate very much knowing what's going on.

    Second, eeeeeeeuuuuuuuwwwwww! You mean that stuff is REAL?

    I wonder how much it would cost to have a pro clean it; the idea of taking the screen off my computer is seriously giving me a panic attack.

  7. minimalism macrumors member

    Nov 28, 2013
    Removing the glass in front isn't rocket science but the problem would boil down to dust. Once you're done cleaning it, the LCD and glass will attract dusts, it is quite a challenge to keep it spanking clean.
  8. Pakaku macrumors 68000


    Aug 29, 2009
    I suggest covering the holes with a wire mesh or something else breathable ;)
  9. DeltaMac macrumors G3


    Jul 30, 2003
    Removing the glass panel is not difficult. It's simply a pane of glass that covers the front, and protects the LCD panel.
    It's held in place with magnets - there's no screws or other fasteners to remove. The suction cups are used just to grab the surface of the glass so you can safely lift the glass panel away from the magnets. The repair guide that I linked shows you how simple the process is. The glass is lifted up and off.
    Then you clean the glass, and the exposed surface of the LCD panel, too.
    As minimalism suggested - the inner surfaces easily attract stray dust, so your goal is to have the glass off in the shortest possible time - less exposure to dust, etc - just clean the surfaces, then place back in position. The magnets will pull the glass back into place - and (in theory :D ) you won't be able to tell that the glass was removed. Should take less than 5 minutes for a simple cleaning.

    The cost for a shop to do that cleaning? You'd have to ask at a shop. The job _might_ be done while you wait (but that might be wishful thinking, you can ask!)
  10. lamirona thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 7, 2011
    A little hitch to the cleaning idea

    My son came to visit and we took the outer screen off my imac. The underside and the outer side of the LCD display were pristine. My son took out some screws and looked under the LCD and it was clean also. We turned it on and sure enough, it still looks like bugs, but *only* inside the LCD display. How is that possible? There were no dead bug bodies anywhere and he gently shook the computer and nothing came out-it was clean. How could bugs get into the apparently sealed LCD and nowhere else? Are you sure this isn't some kind of malware?
  11. SaSaSushi macrumors 68040


    Aug 8, 2007
    Takamatsu, Japan
    Do these bugs appear from the moment you power on the machine? Are they visible on the grey screen with the Apple logo?

    Are there any marks on the LCD panel itself? With the glass panel removed and the power off if you look at the surface of the panel do you see any physical marks? You could also try pointing a flashlight at the affected area.

    Are the marks in exactly the same pattern and location every time?
  12. bluechair1984 macrumors regular

    Jul 7, 2010
    Something is sketchy here.

    I could maybe understand small bugs (fruit flys, etc), but those are some very large bugs to be crawling into a display.

    Something tells me this is some software running, overlaying the bug image. You even say in your title it is a "display overlay", why did you say it that way?

    As the previous poster said, do you see this on the gray Apple boot screen?
  13. ickystay macrumors regular

    Sep 3, 2006
    One of the strangest threads I've ever seen here. Hell of a mystery.
  14. 2trout macrumors member

    Nov 2, 2013
    have you asked your friend if she also had these 'bugs' when she was using it?
  15. Johnf1285 macrumors 6502a


    Dec 25, 2010
    New Jersey
    This is the strangest thread yet. I'm not grossed out by bugs typically but these pics are creepy lol!

    If there's bugs sandwiched between the layers of the actual LCD display itself, then your best bet is to source a new/used replacement LCD display off eBay.

    Dismantling the layers of the LCD in the iMac is possible, but they're very, very delicate. I've done it once on a 2010 model to remove debris the size of a pixel. Not sure about bugs and bug guts...
  16. xraydoc macrumors demi-god


    Oct 9, 2005
    They can get in. The screen may be sealed, but it's not air tight. They'll find a way in. It's uncommon but it happens. If the machine is out of warranty, maybe you can find someone who can replace the screen on the cheap. But either way, you'll need a new display. The bugs are physically between the LCD panel and the backlight.
  17. Jonathanchasr macrumors newbie

    Nov 18, 2013
    That's not a program causing the bugs

    I don't think it's some software displaying the bugs, if they were images then they would also have pixels on their bodies and the rainbow rays would be on them too through the camera however they're there are no pixels or rainbow lines on them.
  18. lamirona thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 7, 2011
    Yes, they show up during the boot up. I'm puzzled since everything else inside the computer was absolutely clean.
  19. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    This thread has been going on for a while, with no apparent resolution in sight.

    If he/she really wants to "get the bugs out", it might be time for the owner of the problem computer to start looking for another Mac...
  20. BJonson macrumors 6502a


    Aug 26, 2010
    The bugs got into the actual LCD between the crystal and the back light. I just had the exact same problem only my issues was not bugs but dirt. You have to take the display apart. Its not easy. You have to cut the metal tape and remove the frame and the crystal comes right up, then you clean it, lay it back down and done, new screen. These things are supposed to be sealed but they really aren't around the corners and such. Good luck. Another solution is to just buy a new screen, ebay $200.

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