2.26 or 2.4 GHz / White plastic unibody enclosure

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Screen fades but works when pressure applied on the back


My MacBook Unibody late 2009 (bought early 2010) has been a long string of problems.

The main issue had been with the screen, more than a year ago it started freezing at times and needed a little tilt or tap to "unlock" again. At first the issue was occasional. This problem has increased in intensity with it always being temporarily unfrozen by applying pressure on left back side of the screen and pushing it slightly away or angling it slightly towards me. At times it worked to put a stack of books behind it but recently the problem has gotten so bad that 99% of the time I need to hold the screen continuously with one hand to keep it unfrozen and I can only work with the other hand - it's tendency now is to be frozen as standard. When it freezes it simply freezes without any flickering, I can still see the desktop but it slowly fades out into a grey/white blur until it either goes all white or it goes on screensaver and it's all black. Sometimes it goes black with two white lines running through the screen. The thing is that tilting or applying pressure always immediately restores complete functionality (even if I need to hold the pressure on). I went to the MacStore yesterday and they want to replace my screen for a good 240euro, I had people sitting next to me with the same mac and exactly the same problem, is it a weak spot on this model?

I have read a little bit about it and I don't know if the problem is the actual screen or if it is the data cable that would need replacement. The interesting thing is that the technician at the MacStore took it to the back to open it up and have a look at it but he said he didn't see anything but strangely enough for the first time in months I am typing this message right now without holding the screen with one hand, so somehow in the screen being opened up it connects better now (but it still freezes).

I can only unfreeze it by applying pressure on the left, NOT on the right side.

The other thing is that after I had it for about 14-16 months the charger started getting really hot. It would get so hot that the charger head would burn my fingers if I touched it. Shortly after the charger died leaving the charger connection on the mac with light brown marks around the charger-connection-points (the golden dots). I had to buy a new charger and that one died as well, suddenly after a couple of days of on-and-off connecting it did not work anymore.

My computer also fried my projector cable but the connection on the mac still works. It seems like all the problems are in that left corner of my mac.

I am just trying to figure out if it is worth starting repairs and what I should repair or replace or if I will spend 100's of euro's seeing my mac eat itself up even more :)

Alright I am not a specialist when it comes to computers so I'm sorry for the creative descriptions here and there.

I hope to get some helpful answers,


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The left side is where the VGC(VGU) chip resides... along with it's circuitry so your thoughts make much sense. Generally if video problems are replicable on external monitors it points to damaged VGUs. In laptops that means logic board damage/replacementas there is no real DIY repair/replacment of laptop VGUs.

You might contact apples support site to ensure there is no "silent" recall/extended warranty of this model (There have been such extended warranties in the past - in December a 4 year recall of NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT chips ended).

Or, try shimming (applying more/constant pressure) to that side of the board (under the chip) with some chips of poster board or layers of cardboard. You could be experiencing a long "known issue" with these chips cold solder failure. There's a longstanding issue with these video chips developing cold fractures over time that cause problems unless shimming, or DIY reheating is applied.

I would not attempt reheating unless/until you have nothing to lose by it (there's no video image at all). Other than DIY shimming or reheating the "normal" repair would be logic board replacement. Only you can determine if that would be cost effective or if you'd be better off selling your unit for spare parts.

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It is not a GPU chip problem. The pressure apparently is put on the lcd lid. Its an bad screen PCB. Replace the LCD is doing the job.

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