MacBook Screen Washed Out
September 27, 2011 2:26 PM   Subscribe

My MacBook's display suddenly faded to a very pale bluish white, and all the colors look very washed out. Closing the display and reopening it will sometimes fix the problem, but within an hour the screen suddenly fades again. Restarting has no effect.

I'm on a 2007 MacBook Pro, running OS X 10.6.8. I haven't updated any software recently, and this seemed to happen out of the blue (it was working fine one second, and the next the entire screen had faded.) Going to display preferences and changing or calibrating the display profile (I'm using the standard Color LCD profile) seems to have no effect.

Could this be a software problem, or might it be a hardware issue with the display connections?
posted by Yiggs to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Does the machine work when it's like that, or is the entire screen essentially "grayed out"?
posted by The Bellman at 2:27 PM on September 27, 2011

Everything works fine when it happens, including adjusting the brightness/display settings.
posted by Yiggs at 2:30 PM on September 27, 2011

Was it manufactured after May 2007? I have the Early 2008 MBP and it would do some weird display stuff over the years (it would get bright, it would black out, it would seem washed out and like you, closing it and waking it up often fixed it) until one morning a few weeks ago it wouldn't work at all.

I took it to the Genius Bar at the Apple Store and they said it was the bad GPU and the only way to fix it was to replace the logic board. Which they did for free even though it was way out of warranty. In my case things were made worse by when the display stopped working it wouldn't boot at all and my attempts to try and start it (safe mode, firewire, USB Lion recovery, etc) ended up corrupting the boot sectors of the drive.

The good news is when I got the computer back, I was able to wipe the drive and reinstall from the Time Machine backup I had that pretty much put me right back where I was the night before it crashed.

So I would suggest you back it up, make an appointment at the genius bar and have them take a look. Odds are they'll just replace the logic board (took me 5 days) for free. If it isn't that, they'll be able to give you an idea what the problem is.
posted by birdherder at 2:37 PM on September 27, 2011 [1 favorite]

Yes, it looks like it was manufactured in Sep 2007. I'll take it in tomorrow and see what they say.

Thanks a lot!
posted by Yiggs at 2:57 PM on September 27, 2011

I did some screen caps of the issues I was having when I took mine in, just in case it decided to perform perfectly a the store. They did the logic board replacement. You may want to reconfigure Time Machine when you're up and running again. I don't remember exactly why, but mine stopped doing backups after the repair and it was a couple of weeks before I noticed.
posted by bonobothegreat at 5:25 PM on September 27, 2011

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