13 Replies Latest reply: Feb 21, 2012 7:49 AM by marcicasa
e154 Level 1 (0 points)

I have recently started having a strange problem with the display on my MacBook Pro screen (early 2008 model).


Out of the blue, my screen suddenly becomes very yellow with vertical lines along the whole width of the monitor. If you look closely at the screen it almost looks like every other vertical line of pixels has disappeared, where the whole line of pixels just looks like a yellowish colour. It's a bit difficult to describe so I hope the photos help. The first one just shows the overall yellow tinge to the monitor, the second photo shows some text and you can see that every other line of pixels doesn't seem to be showing properly.


photo 1b.jpg


photo 2b.jpg


The problem lasts for a variable period of time (minutes-hours), then suddenly the screen flashes back to normal. So far I've had a few of these episodes which come on without any reason and seem to disappear by themselves without me having to do anything.


When I've had one of the episodes, turning off, restarting, resetting the PRAM and turning off monitor (shift+control+eject) all seem to do nothing. The problem remains with the very yellow coloured screen and lines of pixels that seem to be missing. Then all of a sudden it just goes back to being normal.


Does anyone have any ideas about what might be causing this?


Thanks for your help.

MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.7.2)
  • OGELTHORPE Level 8 (42,670 points)

    Time for the Doctors at the Apple Store Genius Bar Hospital.  I have had issues with displays misbehaving (not exactly like yours) and they don't get better or self correct.  Make an appointment.



  • e154 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks for the reply. I was hoping it wouldn't come to that. At the moment I've just plugged in an external monitor which is working fine, while the laptop display is still looking horrible as I described.

  • marcicasa Level 1 (0 points)

    I had the same problem, but without the yellow colour of the other working pixel column... how did fix it?



  • e154 Level 1 (0 points)

    Unfortunately I never fixed the problem. My laptop is still connected to an external display and the laptop display is turned off. Since the laptop display is turned off I don't know how often the problems described occur - from the times when I haven't had the external display plugged in, the problem seems to be temperamental, sometimes the screen is fine, sometimes the vertical lines of missing pixels appear.


    I haven't taken my laptop into Apple so I don't know how easy the problem might be to fix. I have a feeling it might be an expensive repair and since my early 2008 model feels like it might be due for an upgrade soon, I've just been holding out and making do with an external monitor for now.


    Good luck with your problem. If you find a solution please do post back!

  • marcicasa Level 1 (0 points)

    hi... After 20 days of continuos problem, five days ago, after one unuseful swapping of the panel and lvds connector, i just tried to do the HARDWARE TEST  using the cd one that came with the macbook, press d after reboot... the first time, doing the fast one, i could barely read the videocontroller issue that has this nvidia graphic card... i tried to do the complete hardware test and after 20 minutes of it, the display turned fine. It's working flawlessly since then until now i'm writing... don't know if it was casual as i read that this defect goes away and reappears randomly, but for me was a constant issue... just try and tell me


    marcellio from italy

  • dominic23 Level 8 (36,370 points)

    You have to take it to the Apple store as soon as possible.



  • e154 Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi dominic23. Thanks very much for providing that link. I had been holding off going to the Apple Store because I was worried I would be faced with a huge bill and had been making do with an external display. But my laptop is an early 2008 model and is (just) less than 4 years old, so it would seem like according to that document Apple might fix these problems for me even outside of a warranty. Thanks again!

  • gavmain Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi e154,


    I think I have the exact same issue as you. I did take my MBP to the Apple Authorized Service Provider, but the test they ran said it wasn't a graphics problem and told me it would cost me to find out what the problem actually is. Did you end up taking yours back to Apple?





    Message was edited by: gavmain (Grammar fail)

  • e154 Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi Gavin,


    Yes I have taken my laptop to the Apple Store. Initially they thought that it might be a display issue and that there might have been a problem with where the screen connected to the laptop. They suggested replacing the screen which I would have had to pay for.


    But I then mentioned the nVidia graphics card issues, as mentioned in the support article linked above. The genius I was with didn't think that this was the problem since only my internal screen was affected and output to an external display was normal (which is apparently rare in the case of nVidia graphics card problems). Anyway, he said that he would check and took the laptop away to run some more tests.


    When he came back he said that the tests did indeed show a problem with the nVidia graphics card. So he suggested replacing the logic board (which would be a free replacement since my laptop was just under 4 years old) but he warned me there might be a separate issue with the display which might need replacing. They agreed to replace the logic board first and to see what happened.


    I had a phone call from them the other evening to say that they had replaced my logic board and this had appeared to fix the problems. They hadn't needed to replace the screen. I haven't yet had the chance to collect my laptop and see for myself, but hopefully now the problems are fixed. The original problem I had was intermittent and the display could switch between being affected and being normal, so I guess there is a chance my screen just happened to switch back to being normal to coincide with the new logic board, but I doubt it. Hopefully when I collect my laptop later this week everything will look good and will stay fixed permanently.


    So to answer your question, yes I did take it to Apple and yes the test they ran appeared to show a problem with the graphics card. The genius originally thought that there might be an issue with the screen (perhaps something coming loose with where it connects to the main body of the laptop) but replacing the logic board appears to have fixed my problems.


    Good luck, I hope you manage to get your laptop fixed!

  • marcicasa Level 1 (0 points)

    I changed the screen by myself and the problem was still there. I ordered the ldvs cable but i did not try yet because now the problem that the first time lasted for 3 week continuosly, now appears and goes away in minutes. I will take the pc to apple immediately when the defects is clear and persistent... i have two monthes before the four year warranty expires..

    good luck to all of us


  • gavmain Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks to you both for the quick responses. I think I am going to take a gamble and put it back to the AASP tomorrow, to see if the problem is with the graphics chip or not. If it turns out that it's not, then I've only lost $80 Sing Dollars. I've taken a photo of the screen to show what is wrong with mine. It might not be easy to see, but every alternate column of pixels are off, right across the screen. I'd be interested to find out from you both if this looks like the same issue you are having?






  • e154 Level 1 (0 points)

    Yes, that looks exactly like the problem I was having. My screenshot above is not so clear because initially every other line of pixels had this yellowish tinge to it. But more recently every other line of pixels was black, just like your photo. Hopefully they will be able to sort the problem out for you.

  • marcicasa Level 1 (0 points)

    check this thread... the guy had his macbook repaired for free




    I'll do the same, but i wait for the next time the problem appear again