What happened to my 13" MBA screen?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by danox574, Oct 11, 2014.

  1. danox574 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2010
    #1
    I took a video of booting up here on a screen failure. It appears to have shifted the top 1/3 of the screen or so to the bottom, the top 2/3s are permanent glitch, and the bottom 1/3, even when it gets to the log in icons in OSX, still reverts back to the apple symbol seen during boot. It sort of jumps back and forth between current and old image.

    I'm hoping to diagnose from this if it's a screen failure, logic board failure, video ram failure, loose cable, etc. so I can price out my self repair options and decide what to do. I have looked at many photos and stories of screen failures and solves, but I have not managed to locate any failure that looks like this one. I can't find anything similar.

    I know it isn't the OS because the problem exists even before the OS has booted. I have cleared parameter RAM.

    The laptop has been on the shelf for about a month - I put it away working, but it came out like this. No drops or impacts, it was in a case.

    Banging on/twisting the laptop does not change the display in any way, so I don't think it's as simple as a loose or grungy connection.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K84-NjVBCec

    Any ideas are appreciated on what part of the system could cause something like this.
     
  2. yukyuklee macrumors 6502

    yukyuklee

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2011
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #2
    Seems like its the gpu thats failing do you still have any kind of warranty left?
     
  3. danox574 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2010
    #3
    Nah, that's why I'm trying to determine the subsystem that's failing - so I can determine the smartest option. Once I can figure out what's gone sideways here, I'll look at part prices and either fix or dump as is on someone who wants the repair it.

    Any reference to similar GPU failures so I can determine if that's actually it?
     
  4. Brian Y macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2012
    #4
    Looks more like an LCD failure to me (duff LVDS cable).

    Easy way to tell - plug in an external monitor. If the monitor looks fine, it's the LCD. If the monitor is screwy too, it's the graphics card.
     
  5. danox574 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2010
    #5
    Brilliant suggestion, I didn't even think of it. External video is no problem at all on a 23" Cinema display. This means I'm tidy and either have a bad screen or a bad cable -- you mentioned the LVDS cable - if I can just swap that and get it back to normal, I'll be thrilled. Sounds like a easy attempt. Any suggestions? I have already reviewed the iFixit teardown and they don't see to be very specific about where the cable attaches but I'm sure once I start disassembling I could figure it out.
     
  6. Brian Y macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2012
    #6
    You can't replace the cable separately on the MBA (not without disecting the LCD housing anyway). It's probably worth reseating the LVDS connection on the MLB though. It could very well be a loose connection.

    The good news is that you can normally find MBA LCDs pretty cheap on eBay depending on which year it is.

    Apple's pricing will be around £300 - but it's an easy enough repair to do yourself though. Just make sure you have a small phillips, a T6/T8 (can never remember which on the MBAs) and the pentalobe screwdriver for the bottom.
     
  7. MacModMachine macrumors 68020

    MacModMachine

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2009
    Location:
    Canada
    #7
    http://www.screencountry.com/index....466 (MID 2013)&brand=Apple&series=MACBOOK AIR

    you can buy the LCD itself or the whole top half.

    i would do the top half and sell the old one to someone to refurbish.
     
  8. Brian Y macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2012
    #8
    Replacing the top case on a MBA is an easy job (can do it in around 15 minutes). Replacing just the LCD is incredibly difficult, and there's almost 0 chance of you getting it done nicely.
     
  9. MacModMachine macrumors 68020

    MacModMachine

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2009
    Location:
    Canada
    #9
    i guess thats the reason i recommended that route.
     

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