Unibody Macbook Screen Flicker of outofwarranty condemnation?
January 8, 2010 4:01 PM   Subscribe

Unibody Macbook Screen Flicker of outofwarranty condemnation? Out of nowhere my unibody Macbook (2008) started displaying a crazy flickering stripe (showing an inverted image of my screen + crazy lines) in the middle 1/6th of the screen.

This image shows the stripe, the rest of the monitor is white (which is the PhotoBooth flash), imagine the rest of the screen normal and the stripe flickering with zillions of small white horizontal lines while showing an inverted image of the usual background and you get the idea.

The problem went away for a few minutes through bending the board and/or screen though I couldn’t trace the healing powers to bending one of the two.

Recently the upper case was replaced due to a trackpad failure. Here’s what I think:

Theory 1) The LCD is broken and twisting it put a little life back into it.

Theory 2) The connection between LCD and board was not properly returned during the repair (—> but can this only affect one portion of the screen?).

Theory 3) The board output is broken

What can I do to self diagnose this/repair this? The mighty book just ran out of warranty. I have a set of small screwdrivers available, but no crazy torx.

Is there any kind of recall out on these screens or did anybody have luck in convincing apple they should look at this for free before I should have a go at it myself (opening it up)? And what could I replace?

I am in France if that makes a difference. At least I can drink good wine to ease the pain.
posted by mathiu to Computers & Internet (2 answers total)
First, stop twisting your computer. Then take it to an Apple Store or call AppleCare. Inform them of the recent repair and see what they say.
posted by secret about box at 3:13 AM on January 9, 2010

[I posted something similar to this before but it got lost in the server hiccup]

How did you buy the laptop? Many credit and charge cards will extend the manufacturer's warranty. American Express will extend it for a year, for example.

Theory 2 is plausible. The screen is connected to the logic board by a thin ribbon cable with several wires. If some of those wires weren't seated properly, it could cause the problems you describe. It's possible the ribbon cable was messed up by whoever replaced the upper case. I would take it back to them and ask them to check (for free), as you suspect they caused the problem.

If the screen itself has gone bad, replacing it is not cheap. The part is about $189. There are instructions on the internet on how to replace it, or you can have it replaced for another couple hundred dollars in labor.

In the meanwhile, if you don't need the portability of a laptop, you could buy a cheap, small external monitor.
posted by jedicus at 9:08 AM on January 9, 2010

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