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Strange flickering lines across screen, opening Photobooth makes them go away?

6197 Views 10 Replies Latest reply: Feb 27, 2014 2:17 AM by markzoi RSS
Bassy Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Jun 16, 2013 4:24 PM

Hi everyone,


I've been having a very strange problem with my 2011 Macbook Pro 15" for quite a long time now. It's basically flickering lines across the screen, and the screen 'folds' in on itself, squashing the display vertically and stacking them on top of each other. Sometimes it's terrible, sometimes it's bearable. Sometimes the screen goes completely black. It's super weird. Here's a photo I took my phone, as I screenshotting shows nothing out of the ordinary: IMG_0001.JPG

The really really weird thing is that when I open Photobooth, as in the apple webcam program, the problem completely goes away (until I quit it). I had hoped this was a software issue, so I backed up and formatted my hard drive and then installed a fresh copy of OS X - and the exact same thing happens! I barely made it through the system setup!


I beg, someone help me!

MacBook Pro, OS X Mountain Lion, 2.0Ghz quad-core i7, 8GB ram
  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (107,850 points)

    Make a "Genius" appointment at an Apple Store.

    Back up all data on the internal drive(s) before you hand over your computer to anyone. If privacy is a concern, erase the data partition(s) with the option to write zeros* (do this only if you have at least two complete, independent backups, and you know how to restore to an empty drive from any of them.) Don’t erase the recovery partition, if present.

    Keeping your confidential data secure during hardware repair

    *An SSD doesn't need to be zeroed.

  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (107,850 points)

    Please read this whole message before doing anything.
    This procedure is a diagnostic test. It won’t solve your problem. Don’t be disappointed when you find that nothing has changed after you complete it.
    Third-party system modifications are a common cause of usability problems. By a “system modification,” I mean software that affects the operation of other software — potentially for the worse. The following procedure will help identify which such modifications you've installed. Don’t be alarmed by the complexity of these instructions — they’re easy to carry out and won’t change anything on your Mac.


    These steps are to be taken while booted in “normal” mode, not in safe mode. If you’re now running in safe mode, reboot as usual before continuing.


    Below are instructions to enter some UNIX shell commands. The commands are harmless, but they must be entered exactly as given in order to work. If you have doubts about the safety of the procedure suggested here, search this site for other discussions in which it’s been followed without any report of ill effects.


    Some of the commands will line-wrap or scroll in your browser, but each one is really just a single line, all of which must be selected. You can accomplish this easily by triple-clicking anywhere in the line. The whole line will highlight, and you can then copy it. The headings “Step 1” and so on are not part of the commands.


    Note: If you have more than one user account, Step 2 must be taken as an administrator. Ordinarily that would be the user created automatically when you booted the system for the first time. The other steps should be taken as the user who has the problem, if different. Most personal Macs have only one user, and in that case this paragraph doesn’t apply.


    Launch the Terminal application in any of the following ways:


    ☞ Enter the first few letters of its name into a Spotlight search. Select it in the results (it should be at the top.)


    ☞ In the Finder, select Go ▹ Utilities from the menu bar, or press the key combination shift-command-U. The application is in the folder that opens.


    ☞ Open LaunchPad. Click Utilities, then Terminal in the icon grid.


    When you launch Terminal, a text window will open with a line already in it, ending either in a dollar sign (“$”) or a percent sign (“%”). If you get the percent sign, enter “sh” and press return. You should then get a new line ending in a dollar sign.


    Step 1


    Triple-click the line of text below to select it:
    kextstat -kl | awk '!/com\.apple/{printf "%s %s\n", $6, $7}' | open -f -a TextEdit
    Copy the selected text to the Clipboard by pressing the key combination command-C. Then click anywhere in the Terminal window and paste (command-V). A TextEdit window will open. Post the contents of that window, if any — the text, please, not a screenshot. You can then close the TextEdit window. The title of the window doesn't matter, and you don't need to post that. No typing is involved in this step.
    Step 2


    Repeat with this line:
    { sudo launchctl list | sed 1d | awk '!/0x|com\.(apple|openssh|vix)|org\.(amav|apac|cups|isc|ntp|postf|x)/{print $3}'; sudo defaults read LoginHook; } | open -f -a TextEdit
    This time you'll be prompted for your login password, which you do have to type. Nothing will be displayed when you type it. Type it carefully and then press return. You may get a one-time warning to be careful. Heed that warning, but don't post it. If you see a message that your username "is not in the sudoers file," then you're not logged in as an administrator.


    Note: If you don’t have a login password, you’ll need to set one before taking this step. If that’s not possible, skip to the next step.


    Step 3
    launchctl list | sed 1d | awk '!/0x|com\.apple|org\.(x|openbsd)/{print $3}' | open -f -a TextEdit
    Step 4
    ls -1A /e*/mach* {,/}L*/{Ad,Compon,Ex,Fram,In,Keyb,La,Mail/Bu,P*P,Priv,Qu,Scripti,Servi,Spo,Sta}* L*/Fonts 2> /dev/null | open -f -a TextEdit
    Important: If you formerly synchronized with a MobileMe account, your email address may appear in the output of the above command. If so, anonymize it before posting.


    Step 5
    osascript -e 'tell application "System Events" to get name of every login item' | open -f -a TextEdit
    Remember, steps 1-5 are all copy-and-paste — no typing, except your password. Also remember to post the output.


    You can then quit Terminal.

  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (107,850 points)

    You haven't installed any software that could be causing the problem. Reinstall OS X if you like, but I wouldn't expect any improvement from that. Otherwise, you're dealing with a hardware fault or a bug.

  • EZ Jim Level 7 Level 7 (21,260 points)

    Until you can follow Linc's good advice, my best suggestion for a possible zero cost work-around would be to configure your Mac's  > System Preferences... > Energy Saver for better battery life:  Even though yours is not a Retina Display MBP, using the best battery life and/or automatic settings might help you when you launch and minimize Photo Booth while you use other apps. 


    The Apple kbase article on MacBook Pro: How to determine which graphics card is in use may help you decide whether your Mac's problem is due to a fault in one of its graphics cards.  However, when the time is right, your Linc's suggestion for Apple Service will provide the fastest and most-efficient diagnosis and repair.





    Message was edited by: EZ Jim



    Mac OSX 10.8.4

  • Jordan_A Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Step 1: opened a blank file named open_qmbqjxcy.txt


    Step 2: opened a file named open_QqOUlb2t.txt that read:



    Step 3: opened a file named open_yE8jcjvX.txt that read:



    Step 4: opened a file named open_06HbfbNx.txt that read
















    /Library/Input Methods:



    /Library/Internet Plug-Ins:

    Flash Player.plugin


    Quartz Composer.webplugin

    QuickTime Plugin.plugin








    /Library/Keyboard Layouts:











    Flash Player.prefPane




















    Microsoft Office.mdimporter

















    Library/Address Book Plug-Ins:








    Library/Input Methods:




    Library/Internet Plug-Ins:



    Library/Keyboard Layouts:



    Library/LaunchAgents: 60D3242B4.plist 127F7BF88.plist





    Step 5: opened a file named open_R60vHZK1.txt that read:

    iTunesHelper, Dropbox

  • wachome Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Hey guys,

    I am having a similar issue with my early 2013 Macbook Pro display, I have a strange flickered line across my right side of the display, I noticed it just now, seems like a display error which is crap...


    Does anybody got a similar experience with this?

  • markzoi Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I have the same Issue, since a month about on my macbook pro 2011 .. could depends on low memory? or bad

    ventilation? or firmware? I'm runnin Maverick on macbook pro 2.4 ghz core i5 4gb 1067 ddr3 ...


    Thanks Mark



    Schermata 2014-02-27 alle 09.11.55.png


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