1.5 Core Solo, 1.66 or 1.83 Core Duo, or 1.83 or 2 GHz Core 2 Duo processor

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Strange video display behavior

The video output appears to be out of sync or not receiving a sync signal. Once the OS has booted, only ~1/8" of the desktop is visible (upon mouse over). It is as if there is a light grey wall placed over the rest of the desktop. I can see the tops of all the menu items, and I can see the correct desktop picture in the background, and I see the mouse cursor when it is at the top of the screen. In single user mode, I partially see the first line.

Upon start up, I see the light grey screen without a logo or loading icon, but the display appears to "switch" once it loads the desktop. If I disconnect the display, startup the machine, and re-connect it after the chime, I do get the loading screen, but it has a partially ghosted image to the right. Once the desktop loads, it "switches" and the only the top of the screen is visible (upon mouse over)

I have tried this with several displays, but the results are the same with either a DVI or VGA connection.

I have examined the board, but can see no visible signs of a poor connection.

What else can I check for? Are there any video diagnostic tools I can run (I do have ARD access, so I can see the desktop) ? Thanks for you help.

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Chosen Solution

From your description it sounds like a bad VGU (VGC). This is not a DIY repair project... what is a DIY repair (though advanced) is a logic board replacement. Only you can determine if the project would be cost effective.

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Are there any software diagnostic tools that I can use to test this? Could someone mucking around with the firmware cause these symptoms? I inherited this machine and know there was some mucking done.


You could try Apple Hardware Test (AHT) to see if it picks up anything. As to firmware you can also try applying a newer release if it needs it EFI & SMC firmware updates. Frankly, I doubt that will help here. You also may have a bad logic board (GPU) which is why the display is messed up.


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