8 Replies Latest reply: Mar 12, 2011 7:45 PM by hexdiy
David J. Peterson Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
This morning my wife was on our MacBook Pro, and suddenly a diagonal checkerboard pattern appeared on the screen and the computer shut down. When we tried to start up, the same pattern appeared, and it wouldn't start up. The same thing has happened every time we've tried to start up since then. Each time, the apple start up screen appears, but there's a checkerboard pattern over the whole screen (the lats time a progress bar at the bottom began to load but never finished before the computer shut down). Once it went to a gray screen (no checkerboard pattern) and stayed there for twenty minutes before we shut down. Another time it went to a gray screen and then a blue screen, as if it were going to start up, but then it went to a black screen with the checkerboard pattern still visible, and it stayed there until we've shut it down.

I've uploaded an image of the screen here:

http://dedalvs.com/images/random/checkerboard.jpg

The MacBook Pro was purchased in 2007, and it's running at least 10.6.5 (can't remember if we installed the most recent update). Any help would be appreciated (even the information that our MBP is kaput ).

iMac Intel Core 2 Duo, Mac OS X (10.6.6)
  • Adrian Lim Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
    I have also seen similar lines on my screen, though only in a small corner. As of now, my MBP is still running.

    I have just been talking with my brother who also has a MBP from early 2007 and he has reported seeing the same lines across his entire screen and now his MBP will not startup beyond the grey Apple screen (similar to your attached photo).

    Any help out there?!
  • Allan Jones Level 7 Level 7 (32,840 points)
    "Kaput" could apply to the video chipset if you have the NVIDEA 8600M GT. See:

    http://support.apple.com/kb/TS2377

    If System Profiler identifies your computer as a "MacBookPro3,1" or "MacBookPro4,1" AND the computer fails a special test at an Apple Store or AASP, Apple with replace the logic board for up to four years from date of purchase.

    Things to check:

    1) If the defects repeat on an external monitor, the chipset has probably failed.
    2) In System Profiler, click "Graphics/Displays" in the left-hand "Contents" pane. In the main pane, find the line that starts with "PCIe Lane Width:" If that value is anything other than "x16" the chipset has probably failed.

    If the number in the model identifier is less than 3,1 the computer does not qualify for the free fix (which is a new logic board). Older MBPs with ATI Mobility X1600 chipsets have failed, but you are on your own.
  • David J. Peterson Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    I'm not able to start the computer up at all, so I can't check the system profiler, but I did check my receipt, and I purchased my MBP in April of 2007—which, thankfully, is still in the four year window for a couple months. I'm going to take it to the Apple store, and hopefully the problem is fixable. I'll report back when I know for sure. Thanks SO much for your help!
  • David J. Peterson Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    Okay, I got the MBP started up (zapped the PRAM; seemed to stabilize it). It was purchased within four years (April 2007). Regarding the specific things you mentioned:

    -The PCIe Lane Width value is x16.

    -The chipset is ATI Radeon x1600.

    -The Model Identifier is MacBookPro2,2.

    And that's less than 3,1. Does this mean I'm out of luck, and it's not even worth taking into an Apple store?
  • Allan Jones Level 7 Level 7 (32,840 points)
    Does this mean I'm out of luck, and it's not even worth taking into an Apple store?


    Out of luck for the LB replacement. The X1600 is not covered.

    You can however, request a "Depot Repair." Instead of fixing the computer in the store, they send it to a central refurbishing facility and, assuming the case and display are not physically damaged (no beer stains, hair balls, or tire tracks), they rebuild it for a flat fee of about US$315 (shipping and tax may apply.

    Everyone whose has taken this option (and reported back here) were pleased with the outcome. Turnaround is about a week.
  • Adrian Lim Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
    The Mac Genius told that to my brother. Looks like it's the logic board after all. Thanks for the help Allan and good luck David.
  • David J. Peterson Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    I wanted to report back to everyone on this issue. I'm actually typing this message up on my MacBook Pro as we speak. I had a Genius Bar appointment on Thursday of last week, sent my MacBook Pro off for the flat rate repair (which is, as was stated, about $315), and they replaced the motherboard (which turned out to be the problem). My MBP came back this morning, and it's running even faster than it was before! Given that my options were doing this, doing nothing or buying a new laptop, I'm quite pleased with the results. Thanks so much for suggesting it, Allan!
  • hexdiy Level 1 Level 1 (60 points)
    Well, good for you David, but I still think you have paid too much. The problem with your MBP was most probably a heat related desoldering problem of the ATI X 1600 GPU, an issue Apple knows about and still doesn't seem to want to acknowledge.
    Nvidia took the responsability for their delaminating Geforce 8600 M GTs in (a.o.) the MBP Core 2 DUOs, so the extended warranty program probably didn't cost Apple a cent. And the program has recently been extended from 3 to 4 years from date of purchase, just to show you!
    ATI X 1600s are fine, but Apple seems to have used a faulty thermal design for them with the MBP Core Duos, even underclocking them because they probably knew someting was fishy in the first place. Just stick to your release dates, even if you know you have a major problem! What is more, in this first MBP model, many cases of too thickly and unevenIy applied thermal paste eventually going brittle have been documented. In which case instating a recall program would cost them big time. So they are simply in denial this time!
    This defect actually calls for class action, but unfortunately the MBP in question is by now obsolete, so who cares? Probably I'll go the DIY way and reflow the bugger myself. Shame on you, Apple!
    Want to know more? See this thread:http://discussions.apple.com/message.jspa?messageID=13204334#13204334 .

    Message was edited by: hexdiy