What is the deal with my Macbook Pro display?
March 21, 2013 4:49 PM   Subscribe

Today, at work, my 2012 Macbook Pro (non-retina) started flickering while plugged into an external monitor. Unplugging and replugging the external monitor fixed it. However, when I got home, the Macbook started flickering again. I forced a reboot, which resulted in the screen flickering and going black. I have a Genius Bar appointment tomorrow, but I am curious what the Hive Mind thinks the problem might be.
posted by 4ster to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
are you using an Apple mini display port to DVI, HDMI or VGA monitor cable?

What brand is the external monitor?

video flickering is sometimes caused hardware: i.e. a loose internal video cable, a bent pin in the connection between your mini display port adapter and the monitor cable, or a short in the mini display port adapter cable.

sometimes a driver is bad or the video card is not getting enough power.


sometimes by software. The Mac OS in particular in pre Mountain Lion versions has untold video quirks when unplugging from projectors and second screens.

If you are using mini display port adapter, bring that with you to the "genius" bar as well, have them try connecting to a non-thunderbolt display to test for you.

Apple video adapters are expensive, but they are also pretty solid.

the 3rd party ones are cheap... but they fail faster.

I'd also check your monitor connector (look for all straight pins) and the cable itself which is easy to bend a short into.
posted by bobdow at 5:03 PM on March 21, 2013

Just to be clear, the external monitor worked great. It is the built-in display that does not work.
posted by 4ster at 5:06 PM on March 21, 2013


does the external display work fine when the Mac laptop screen is open?

are you mirroring (both screens the same) or spanning (double screening)?

does the built in display work when the external monitor is not connected?
posted by bobdow at 5:15 PM on March 21, 2013

Just to be clear, the external monitor worked great. It is the built-in display that does not work.

Worst case, the panel is going bad. Best case, a connector has gotten loose. Second best case, the inverter board is going bad.
posted by gjc at 7:15 PM on March 21, 2013 [1 favorite]

Thanks for the help everyone. One thing I noticed today is that I can make the flickering stop by turning down the brightness, so there is that.
posted by 4ster at 6:57 AM on March 22, 2013

I don't know if anyone is following this, but Apple sent my Macbook in for repair, and I just got a call that they replaced the Logic Board.
posted by 4ster at 1:03 PM on March 26, 2013

« Older Which toilet seat/bidet?   |   Quit my job, sha na na na na na? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.