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Late 2008 MacBook Pro "blackout" screen flickering - Revised

21951 Views 68 Replies Latest reply: Apr 7, 2010 2:54 PM by LukeD RSS
  • JohnnyDieselSweden Calculating status...
    Since a few days I can't start up my computer. I just get the prohibitory sign after the Apple logo on the white start screen. The only way to start up is an OS reinstall. Then howeve, I can't restart or shutdown because on every reboot the prohibitory sign appears. After reinstall it works fiine though - until restart.
    To make a long story short, my screen flickering is now a matter for the Apple service here in south Sweden. I hope that when they return my computer it will start up normally and the screen flickering will be gone.
    Btw, did an Apple Hardware test - extended - with no faults found and also replaced the RAM without success.
    MacBook Pro 15" late 2008, Mac OS X (10.6.2)
  • hrfat Calculating status...
    I apologize for spelling errors..

    My question, 10.6.3 update Do you have work for vibration in the screen?
    MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.2), MacBook Pro 15'' Late 2008 2.40 Ghz 2GB RAM 10.6.2 EN + Screen Flicker
  • Mike_Morgan Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    To chime in here, I purchased my late 2008 2.4 machine as a refurb through Apple in August of 2009. I jumped into Snow leopard and had this problem right off the bat. I lived with it for a long time until my fans suddenly started going nuts, so I took it to an Apple store for repair. They sent it to the repair depot, and eight days later I got it back with a new logic board and fans. Everything was great and I had no blinking on the 9400M card, running on it continually for almost two weeks.

    Until tonight that is. I loaded World of Warcraft for the first time since I got it back: I usually switch to the better card for WoW but I figured hey, this should be a good test. It was and it failed...ten minutes into playing the videocard started going bonkers like before. I quit the game, staying on the 9400M card, and the blinking stopped. I've been running mail and safari for about 45 minutes now and no blinking in the finder. What does this mean? I have no idea. Does the card only malfunction when under a heavy load? I made a genius bar appointment at the same store for this weekend, and fully intend to take it back and have the logic board replaced again and again until it's either fixed or they get me a new computer. My patience is running thin with this issue, it should have been fixed a long time ago. If it's software or driver related then great, just give us a fix, Apple. If they had addressed it half as aggressively as they did with the video problems on the new 27" iMacs it would have been solved ages ago. Enough is enough.
    Unibody 15" Macbook Pro (Late 2008) 2.4GHz, Mac OS X (10.6.2), 4GB RAM, 500 GB HDD
  • BocaBoy Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)
    I wanted to advise everyone to upgrade to 10.6.3, which was released yesterday. I have been beta testing this update to Snow Leopard for the last two months and can tell you that there is a dramatic improvement in the graphic drivers in this release. It doesn't completely eliminate the flicker, but it dramatically reduces it. This is a “must” upgrade if you're experiencing this problem.

    I still find that creating hot corner to put the screen to sleep for a few seconds is also very helpful when this problem starts to surface. I'm not sure what's actually going down, but somehow this seems to clear and reset the video RAM or the part of RAM that the GPU is using.

    Anyway, upgrade to 10.6.3. You'll be happy you did.
    Late 2008 MBP 15", 2009 iMac 24“, Mac OS X (10.6.3), Fusion 3 running Win 7
  • kawininja619 Calculating status...
    I found that upgrading to 10.6.3 actually increases the amount of flickering on my macbook pro screen. It also runs alot hotter than before.
    Late 2008 uMBP 2.5ghz, Mac OS X (10.6.2)
  • BocaBoy Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)
    I'm sorry to hear that 10.6.3 didn't help your screen flickering problem. I can only impart my experience with the new release, and I find it definitely better than 10.6.2. Do you think there may be a hardware issue with your MBP? If you can reproduce the flickering problem easily and live near an Apple Store, it might be a good idea to demonstrate it to a Genius and see what they recommend. One reason I haven't done that is that it takes awhile for my problem to develop so I can't reproduce it at will.

    I'd also suggest that you create a hot corner to put the screen (not the computer) to sleep. For reasons I suspect have something to do with the portion of RAM that is used by the 9400M, it stops the flickering, at least until the next time I put the computer to sleep.

    Hope some of this information helps. Good luck!
    Late 2008 MBP 15", 2009 iMac 24“, Mac OS X (10.6.3), Fusion 3 running Win 7
  • BocaBoy Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)
    That's great news, Luke. As I said a few days ago, 10.6.3 definitely improves the situation for me, but doesn't alleviate it completely.

    Thanks for starting this thread and bringing it to everyone's attention.
    Late 2008 MBP 15", 2009 iMac 24“, Mac OS X (10.6.3), Fusion 3 running Win 7
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