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MacBook Air 11" Screen "Flicker" and Freeze

141958 Views 168 Replies Latest reply: Nov 12, 2013 8:56 AM by Knoxville1950 RSS
  • l.baum Calculating status...
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    Jan 12, 2011 11:01 AM (in response to cmh0001)
    Unfortunately, no solution in sight, yet. This Monday, I tested three different monitors in the office (two different EIZOs, one NEC; all DVI) -- all with the same problem. Interestingly, I found some corelation with the "complexity" of the overall picture on the screen: as long as there is a plain single-colored desktop background and no windows opened, the picture is pretty clear. With a nice ("complex") picture for the desktop background and a few windows opened, it gets worse and more and more pixel garbage comes up.

    I had another lengthy phone call with AppleCare. Special reset procedures didn't change the situation much. They gave me some special test programs to collect all sorts of data (video timings etc...), which I sent back to them. Result so far: the AppleCare guy doesn't have a clue and will check with engineering. He'll come back to me next week.

    For me it's pretty clear that this a hardware and/or firmware design issue... and from the other comments in the forum I doubt that a replacement MacBookAir will actually work any better
    MBA 11.6" (1.6GHz, 4GB, 128GB), MBP 17" (2.66GHz, 4GB, 320GB), MacPro (2x2.66GHz, 4GB, 2TB), Mac mini (2.4GHz, 4GB, 500GB)
  • MBSoft Calculating status...
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    Jan 13, 2011 12:05 AM (in response to l.baum)
    Same situation here in good old germany with my MBA 11". Having two longterm calls with AppleCare and they gave me also this two data collecting programs and promised to check the results with the engineers. Useless action. This is definitely a known issue with these models.
    So after trying all the suggested things (with no change) i find a solution which works for three days without any further problems. Try this:
    i work with an external Samsung SM 2333 which is 23" FullHD, connected via MDP to DVI Adapter. First issue: The MBA recognized the monitor as TV. So, you have to choose 1080HD. Waking up with the monitor sometimes the monitor was recognized as TFT and set to 1600x900, the highest solution possible with this TFT. I have to set it back manually to 1080HD. The internal monitors Info-Page stated 1920x1080 all the time

    Second and main problem: After waking up with monitor connected you only see a flickering screen. Sometimes the MAB freezes, having a blue screen on the external and a grey screen internal.
    Now i'm working with bluetooth keyboard and USB mouse, the lid is closed and the external is the only monitor. Same issues here. And here is the trick: Switch the monitor of BEFORE you wake up the Air with the keyboard or mouse and switch it on again. No flickering and no freeze since i'm doing it that way.
    Try it and post
    MBA 11"; iMac, Mac OS X (10.6.6)
  • aogata Calculating status...
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    Jan 17, 2011 7:22 AM (in response to DanRyb)
    Same problem here on a 11" mac air. Installed the updated, re-installed all software... no change.
    Currently my mac is at the apple store getting the logic board and video controller replaced.
    I was told that they ran several tests overnight, but that it passed them all.
    They still said they would replace the logic and video components.
    It is disappointing to see a brand new computer having these issues. I am considering asking for a replacement, a switch (for a mac pro) or a refund.
    We'll have to see what happens.
    Macbook air 11", Mac OS X (10.6.5)
  • l.baum Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jan 19, 2011 11:57 PM (in response to MBSoft)
    Unfortunately, the monitor switch-off/on "solution" doesn't work for me. In fact, that even makes the flickering worse (often up the point that the external monitor will complete stop displaying the garbage)... No matter how you slice or dice it: the external screen flickers and displays garbage.

    Come on, Apple, this is a major design / production problem with (all? at least: many of) your new MacBook Airs! And as long as Apple doesn't find the root cause, I don't put any high hopes on replacement offerings...
    MBA 11.6" (1.6GHz, 4GB, 128GB), MBP 17" (2.66GHz, 4GB, 320GB), MacPro (2x2.66GHz, 4GB, 2TB), Mac mini (2.4GHz, 4GB, 500GB)
  • aogata Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jan 23, 2011 9:28 AM (in response to DanRyb)
    Same problem as everyone else. Just got my mac from apple. They stated that it was a logic board problem and had it replaced.
    20 hrs after receiving it, I open the lid from my asleep laptop only to see a black, unresponsive screen. Had to do a hard shut down and restart.
    Will monitor for a few more days to see if it continues. If so I may request a full replacement or refund.
    Macbook air 11", Mac OS X (10.6.5), Back from AppleCare
  • aogata Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jan 24, 2011 8:35 AM (in response to DanRyb)
    I have the same issue and trying to track down a culprit...
    Do any of you run "Better touch tool", "dropbox" or "steam"?
    Macbook air 11", Mac OS X (10.6.5)
  • l.baum Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jan 24, 2011 11:25 AM (in response to aogata)
    hmm, running BetterTouchTool and Dropbox... do you really think, that has anything to do with the screen flicker?? =:-O
    MBA 11.6" (1.6GHz, 4GB, 128GB), MBP 17" (2.66GHz, 4GB, 320GB), MacPro (2x2.66GHz, 4GB, 2TB), Mac mini (2.4GHz, 4GB, 500GB)
  • dm33 Calculating status...
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    Jan 28, 2011 10:15 AM (in response to DanRyb)
    Not sure if its helpful at all, but I'll mention that I've owned 2 11.6" MBAs and a 13" MBA. All of them have been connected to an external 28" 1920x1200 monitor via HDMI or DVI. I have never experienced any issues with the external monitor nor the display on the MBA. I've always run the latest OSX version available and have installed the firmware updates as available.
    macbook, Mac OS X (10.6.6)
  • Mr Schnider Calculating status...
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    Jan 31, 2011 1:22 PM (in response to dm33)
    Anyone runs Win7 on their Macbook Air?

    Would be interesting to see if the problem occurs under Windows.
    This could tell us if this is a driver or firmware problem (in worst case hardware error)
    Mac OS X (10.6.5), Macbook Air 11" (1.6, 4GB, 128GB)
  • Georges Calculating status...
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    Feb 15, 2011 3:38 PM (in response to DanRyb)
    Same problem here. Connect AirBook 11 to 27 Mac screen via mini dvi. Pretty much once a day the screen freeze, with some sort of red specks and have to hard reboot the mac.

    Never happens when not connected to the external monitor. Definitely a problem with external monitor support.
    iMac, Mac OS X (10.6.6)
  • Beachu Calculating status...
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    Feb 23, 2011 5:53 PM (in response to DanRyb)
    Hi here from Madrid - Spain. Five days after my new MacBook Air 11" - 128 Gb - 4 Gb Ram - 1,6 Ghz begins suddenly to have issue screen : fine vertical line just crossing exactly from the middle of isight crossing symetric and just down. Right side slightly darker and flickering than left side. I have reinstall system , PRAM reinstalled , and freeze two times when I have tried to run hardware test. Istat Pro app tests that fans are exhausted. Run test hard disk appears numbers and numbers of permis wrong...
    I have see often of issues appears on equipments with special acomodation as 1,6 Ghz ´4 Gb Ram and 128 Gb HD... What happens? I have bought as refurbished on Apple Store web. Tomorrow I will phone Apple Care to ask for refund cause I have not confidence on new one so far as I have see on this thread usually replacements has same issue once and once again...I think is hardware logic board or similar. I am suspicious that perhaps Apple could be selling in refurbished store area all the bad hardware from replacements... Too much similar problems for same laptop, any case too expensive to have issues since months with out real solution
    MacBook Air 11" 1,6 Ghz 4Gb 128 Gb, Mac OS X (10.6.6), Buyed 5 days ago in apple web store refurbished area
  • lbaum Calculating status...
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    Feb 25, 2011 6:25 AM (in response to Georges)
    I've now gone through 2 months of working on that issue... several calls with AppleCare, software diagnostics tests, trying different monitors and cables, and lately: even a logic board replacement.

    After AppleCare gave up, they pointed me to a local certified service center (Gravis in Stuttgart). I brought the MBA there, they tested and -with a few monitors- could affirm the problem. They then replaced the logic board (on warranty), tested again and said "fine". (By the way: after replacing the logic board, they forgot to flash the original serial number... I fixed that myself with Apple's 'blank board serializer' tool...)

    Back to my workplace: tested the "new" MBA and still the same problems Not in any case better. Same flickering on external monitors. And now I tested analog output, too -- with similar problems. In comparison: my 17" Macbook Pro works like a charm on those external monitors.

    Ultimately this leads me to the following conclusion: it appears to be a general problem with all new Macbook Airs that the external video signal is pretty bad. Some monitors seem to be more "forgiving" and don't show any problems (in my tests, Samsung, Apple, and NEC worked pretty okay). If you have one of those, lucky you!

    Other monitors (in my tests particularly Eizo and Fujitsu) seem to be less forgiving and show intensive flickering. If you have one of those, bad luck! (Unfortunately, at my workplace we only have Eizos). A replacement Macbook Air will most likely not solve the issue for you!

    Pretty disappointing...
    MBA 11", 1.6GHz, 4GB, 128GB SSD, Mac OS X (10.6.6)
  • AGoTH Calculating status...
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    Feb 26, 2011 3:44 AM (in response to lbaum)

    Same problem here with a Samsung SyncMaster T240HD, via Analog Output... So I guess this is not a brand specific problem.
    MacBook Air late 2010, Mac OS X (10.6.6)
  • schallau Calculating status...
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    Feb 26, 2011 3:19 PM (in response to DanRyb)
    I am having the same issue but with a 13" MacBook Air, 2.16, 4gb 256GB SSD (Late 2010).

    Tried it with two HP ZR24w monitors using both DisplayPort and VGA cables. Both monitors and both input types exhibited issues. With display port the screen would randomly blank out or half of the screen would flicker. With VGA I would experience artifacts like ghosting of images after a few minutes. This behavior is consistent at any resolution above 1600x1200 (the monitor's native resolution is 1920x1200).

    I called AppleCare and got transferred to an L2 and they advised me to take it to a genius bar. The guy at the genius bar confirmed with with my MBA and ONE TAKEN FROM THE FLOOR!! He said that we could send it in, but that replacing the logic board wouldn't likely fix the issue. So, my question is: WHAT NOW? No resolution isn't acceptable.
    MacBook Air 13", 2.16GHz, 4gb, 256GB SSD, Mac OS X (10.6.6)
  • gryn Calculating status...
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    Feb 28, 2011 1:16 PM (in response to DanRyb)
    I actually have a bit different problem with my 11" MBA - and unfortunately I don't know how to fix that... -
    MacBook Air 11", Mac OS X (10.6.6)


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