Released October 2008 / 2.4, 2.53, 2.66, 2.8 or 2.93 GHz Core 2 Duo Processor

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Intermittent Display, possibly caused by overheating?

Macbook Pro 15" 2.53GHz

Need help diagnosing this workhorse's problem! The facts:

- The display screen will flash and often settle in to a magenta-striped mode. Legible, but not lovely.

- After being powered down for about 24 hrs and restarted, the display was ok for almost a minute.

- Display does not change when hinge is moved.

- Apple Genius ran diagnostics and concluded says the problem is LCD display itself (a pricey repair).

- Laptop has been getting quite hot for 3-4 months.

- Fans used to come on at high speed (particularly when playing video) but are no longer heard from.

- External monitor works fine.

The questions:

- What should I try replacing first: the display cable, fans, or screen itself?

- Could some other component be at fault?

I've done a fair amount of repair, Lombard through iBook, and iPhone3, including a display replacement. But this would be my first time tackling an aluminum unibody. Would love to know what the problem is before I go too deep.

Oh - one more thing: this display assembly was installed by Apple under warranty just over two years ago, due to an original manufacturing flaw involving hinge failures. I assume the display cable was part of that - but possibly not?

Thanks, ifixit - you're the best!

Answered! View the answer I have this problem too

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what are the last three digits of your serial number? This will enable us to properly identify your computer

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Thanks, Dan, & Old Turkey. The system serial # ends in "1GN" and the HD is an original Hitachi 320GB, I believe - the Serial ATA (NVidia) info says "negotiated link speed 1.5 Gigabit."

I like the idea of cleaning up first, and will definitely try! However, the external monitor display I used (HDMI) looks pretty good. The internal LCD is also flickering - like bad video sync, or something - but the effect is consistent across the whole screen (not like getting big vertical bars or dropouts).

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Wow - I just watched it go from psychedelic magenta flashing, to nice quiet totally sane display - and I've done nothing. This has got to be fixable.

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Jen Morris, does this look right

Intro Date: October 14, 2008 Disc Date: March 3, 2009

Order No: MB471LL/A Model No: A1286 (EMC 2255)

Subfamily: Late 2008 Model ID: MacBookPro5,1

Std RAM: 4 GB Std VRAM: 512 MB*

Std Storage: 320 GB (5400 RPM) Std Optical: 8X DL "SuperDrive"

Complete MacBook Pro "Core 2 Duo" 2.53 15" (Unibody) Specs

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Wait - I did do something. I've used an iSkin keyboard cover for the past couple of year (preventive medicine for a coffee drinker). And I took it off just before the display began to behave again. Could it be that this has been blocking proper ventilation? It's a backlit keyboard, and the iSkin also leave a kind of sticky film (silicone, I think) on the keys.

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4 Answers

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When your display goes in to magenta mode plug in an external display and see if the external has the same magenta coloring. If it does then the display and display cable are not the problem. Most likely the GPU is the problem.

Given the fact you have an over heating system I would do a thorough cleaning of the fans & heat sink fins of any dust buildup. If you don't have than much dust buildup I would clean off and redo the thermal paste on both the CPU & GPU's make sure to use a good quality paste.

Did you replace your HD? If you did you may want to check the EFI firmware and also check the SATA I/O data rate of the new drive. You may have a problem your system has a SATA II (3 Gb/s) interface and your drive maybe SATA III (6 Gb/s). What happens is the I/O fails to read or write causing the CPU to work harder which then over heats your system.

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and clean your logic board as well. Check on the LVDS connector/socket for signs of shorted components. Once you followed Dan's advice, reevaluate.

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Unibody 15" MBP 2009

I fixed this problem, it appears to be a loose surface mount chip on the mother board. This happened to me after I inadvertently snapped the lid shut quite heavily.

I noticed that gently squeezing the left hand side of the mbp made the stripes go away. I eventually tracked it down to the chip that is the only one set on the diagonal in this image (at the top of the image and cut off by the edge of the picture) also note the battery has been removed in this image.

https://d3nevzfk7ii3be.cloudfront.net/ig...

The chip has LFXP2-5E printed on it. -made by Lattice semiconductor - some kind of PFU with DSP among other things, thrown in.

I just gently gave the chip a push with my finger - there was a very slight click - the stripes have gone.

It seems that the chip might work its way loose with every bump that the mbp gets, I've had mine for 5 years. eventually the chip must get slightly dislodged then the stripes appear.

Hope that helps

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I'm going to go ahead with the cleaning solution - especially since the display has been stable for almost an hour, without a keyboard cover, and a small external fan running.

If the problem reappears, I'll let you know. It's been hot out here on the East Coast! Thanks to both, and good night.

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This solved all my problems on 2007 24 Imac with Nvidia Gforce Fan Control

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Jen Morris will be eternally grateful.
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