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screen flicker resolved?

42187 Views 162 Replies Latest reply: Dec 15, 2009 2:29 AM by saledan RSS
  • Graphsic Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jun 25, 2009 10:58 AM (in response to Jottle)
    I'm in holland. we don't have apple stores. only apple resellers and I doubt if they have a different model then I do.

    I think I bring this one back and order a new one. I'll take it from there and see what I do.
    Still, I'm curious if somebody experienced this problem and could fix it or the problem vanished itself...
    Macbook Pro, Mac OS X (10.5.7)
  • Graphsic Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jun 26, 2009 9:00 AM (in response to Graphsic)
    I have installed 10.5.6 from an original retail DVD. Now the flickering problem is gone! (at least it is not there yet)

    But, now my mbp doesn't have any sound anymore....

    Does this mean that it is a software problem?
    Macbook Pro, Mac OS X (10.5.6)
  • Aunty June Level 1 Level 1 (105 points)
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    Jun 26, 2009 10:56 AM (in response to Graphsic)
    you are talking about a different flicker than the original poster.

    The flicker we are talking about is the whole backlight flickering/strobing/pulsating at low brightness levels.
    MacBook Pro 5,2 17" 2.8Ghz, Mac OS X (10.5.7)
  • Graphsic Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jun 26, 2009 11:00 AM (in response to Aunty June)
    okay. but are both the problems software related?
    And is the flickering of the whole screen fixed?
    Macbook Pro, Mac OS X (10.5.7)
  • Aunty June Level 1 Level 1 (105 points)
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    Jun 26, 2009 11:23 AM (in response to Graphsic)
    yours may be software related but the other one is believed to be hardware.
    MacBook Pro 5,2 17" 2.8Ghz, Mac OS X (10.5.7)
  • Graphsic Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jun 26, 2009 11:24 AM (in response to Aunty June)
    that's a bummer!
    I hope mine is software related...
    Macbook Pro, Mac OS X (10.5.7)
  • Graphsic Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jun 27, 2009 10:39 AM (in response to playalistic)
    is this the flash/blicking or the strobing issue? or are we talking here about a new kind of problem?
    Please watch the youtube vid. It's a screen capture of my brand new macbook pro.

    I'm doubting whether I have the problem you guys discribe or not.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uQBDH9guhEs
    Macbook Pro, Mac OS X (10.5.7)
  • Aunty June Level 1 Level 1 (105 points)
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    Jun 27, 2009 5:00 PM (in response to Graphsic)
    the strobing/flickering at low brightness level looks like this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=20-NEgXUk5o
    MacBook Pro 5,2 17" 2.8Ghz, Mac OS X (10.5.7)
  • upriver Calculating status...
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    Jun 27, 2009 5:03 PM (in response to Jottle)
    I have the same problem (as the original post). I’m a Windows switcher (or I was a Windows switcher). I bought a late 2008/early 2009 15” 2.66GHz Macbook Pro a few weeks ago. As soon as I started using it I noticed the shimmering but figured that it was just because I was hypersensitive because it was a new machine, system, and had a glossy screen. I assumed that I would just get used to it.

    As soon as I started using the Mac (in the evenings – I use a Windows box at work) I started waking up feeling very strained, tired and heavy around the eyes. But I didn’t connect the new computer with the symptoms. After about a week, as I started to use the Macbook more, I realised that I was getting motion sickness/nausea like symptoms when using it.

    At this stage I started doing a bit of research (i.e. I googled ‘Macbook Pro flicker’ and similar terms) which brought me to threads like this one. I assumed at first that there had to be some way to resolve the problem by calibration, a setting change, or a software or firmware update. During this time I persisted with the Macbook because I loved pretty much everything else about it (particularly OS X and the trackpad). I also called Apple support. The support guy was very professional and polite but I don’t think he really understood the issue (could have been a cultural thing – I am in New Zealand, but I suspect he wasn’t). He suggested that I take it to the local distributor support centre and they could replace the screen. I called the local support centre and they suggested that I bring it in, but it would be 4-5 working days before they looked at it as they had a bit of a backlog.

    Based on what I had read I turned up the brightness to try to reduce the flicker/shimmer. I then started having intense headaches (situated right behind the eyes). When I finally quit using the Macbook the headache didn’t completely subside for 4 days and was so bad on the first day that I had to leave work halfway through the day (I work in software development so most of my day is spent gazing at a screen).

    I tried the Macbook again for 15 minutes one night this last week and started feeling it immediately. And when I woke the next day I had the same strained, tired and heavy feel around the eyes.

    So now I think I’m just going to have to go and ask for (demand) my money back. I’m pretty disappointed. It took me a long time to finally decide to switch to Mac. I still can’t quite believe that Apple have released something so badly flawed. Obviously not everyone is susceptible to the flicker but I would have thought a significant percentage of the population must be. I find two things particularly disappointing….

    Firstly Apple would have done extensive testing of the product before releasing it. At least some of their engineers/testers would have had similar symptoms. There was no doubt some high-level discussion about the problem. “Do we ship the product knowing that for some people it’s going to be unusable?” And obviously they decided that the benefits (nice looking screen, lower battery consumption) outweighed the costs (completely unusable for some people). Personally I think that’s a pretty cynical decision.

    Secondly, despite the fact that there is a lot of discussion about this issue online, including in Apple’s own forums, there is no acknowledgement from Apple that this is a problem for some people. If the problem had only just been uncovered I could understand the lack of comment, but the problem seems to have existed for some time now (ever since they introduced LED backlighting). I appreciate that Apple’s secrecy adds some mystique and builds up anticipation prior to product launches, but post release it just seems like arrogance.

    So in summary - very disappointed.
    15" Macbook Pro Unibody, Mac OS X (10.5.6)
  • yaniv09 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jun 27, 2009 11:56 PM (in response to Jeff Storm)
    I am having the same problem on a 2.66ghz macbook pro. Was asked to take it in only to be told that I may have to pay for the test (still under warranty) if the problem is not replicated by a technician. The person in the mac store witnessed the flicker but said I still risk having to pay between $60-$120NZ if the technician doesn't witness the problem or if it is a software issue. He suggested I visit another Apple service provider and wait while they witness the problem. I have also called the Apple Care team 3 times, while waiting over 20 minutes another 2 times. Loosing my patience with this.
    Macbook Pro 2.66ghz, Mac OS X (10.5.6)
  • yaniv09 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jun 28, 2009 12:33 AM (in response to upriver)
    Sorry to hear it's making you ill, my symptoms are mostly frustration at the number of people I have spoken to and the amount of time I have spent trying to resolve this problem. I am also in NZ and took the machine into a service provider in Auckland. They said I may have to pay for technical help if they cannot replicate the problem or if it is software related. They also mentioned the backlog of work at the moment I have had the macbook pro for 2 weeks and it has had the problem from day 1. If Apple cannot come up with a suitable solution soon I will also be asking for a refund.

    I have noticed 4 flashes while writing this post! Let me know how you get along. Good Luck
    Macbook Pro 2.66ghz, Mac OS X (10.5.6)
  • Graphsic Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jun 28, 2009 1:24 AM (in response to Aunty June)
    Okay, that's not (yet?) the problem I experience.
    I've been to an apple reseller yesterday and th macs in the shop there had the same problem!
    Does that mean it is software related? It almost has to be right?
    Macbook Pro, Mac OS X (10.5.7)
  • v_l_s Calculating status...
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    Jun 29, 2009 3:58 AM (in response to chandral1m)
    I have the same split-second flicker problems (mostly at the top of the screen) and got my logic board already replaced... but the problem still occurs!
    MBP 2,4 late 2008, Mac OS X (10.5.5)
  • Graphsic Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jun 29, 2009 3:59 AM (in response to v_l_s)
    do you have a late 2008 MBP model or a mid 2009 model??
    Macbook Pro, Mac OS X (10.5.7)
  • king_m1k3 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jun 29, 2009 6:52 PM (in response to Jeff Storm)
    I caught my flicker on video too. Every time I try to record it does it the least, but I got it 3 times in 2 minutes. I noted the times in the description:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qODFFWbiGUI

    I will be taking this to the Apple Store at my soonest convenience and possibly trying my luck for a completely new MacBook Pro as this is already my second logic board and I'm convinced this laptop is jinxed. I never had problems with the previous non-unibody MacBook Pro
    Macbook Pro, Mac OS X (10.5.2)

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