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Apple's line of MacBook Pro laptops was intended for the professional and power users. The MacBook Pro line includes the MacBook Pro 13" Unibody, MacBook Pro 15", MacBook Pro 15" Unibody, MacBook Pro 17", and the MacBook Pro 17" Unibody.

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Why does my LCD screen wash out without a torque applied?


So, my mid-2009 MBP has been running really hot since I installed 10.8 on it. The screen was replaced under AppleCare as the black plastic cover at the hinge was showing signs of heat damage and there was a dent in the top case.

One day the screen washed out and I thought it was a massive crash, so I shut it down, let it cool off, and everything was fine when I turned it back on. The next time it happened I moved the screen and saw the picture come back! Since then it's been progressively getting worse up until a couple days ago where I need to apply a twisting force on the screen in order to see anything at all (currently am typing this blindly).

Here's a video of what's going on:

I'm going to pop by a hardware store after work today and pick up some mini suction cups and try to get the glass off. I've already reseated the LVDS cable on the logic board end and I want to get a look inside the top assembly.

I do electronics work as a hobby and design electronic devices as part of my job (from breadboard to completed device). Just curious if anyone on here has run into this issue before. (I have a sneaking suspicion that it's a cable somewhere, however, I plan on inspecting any solder joints I can fine and reflow those which are visible)

Thought? Comments? Suggestions?



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This was a somewhat common issue with the first generation of unibody MacBooks (plastic models), where the screen would slowly fade to white and then return to normal when the display was moved. Replacing the display assembly would resolve it. At the time component level repairs in the display assembly wasn't "possible" so I never determined if it was the LCD panel (controller board on the back?) or the LVDS cable. Definitely post your findings, I've always been curious.


Alright! So, after heating up, pulling, spludging, and pulling some more... I cracked my glass. //

No biggie. //

Go inside, and pulled the LCD out. I reseated the LVDS cable a few times and powered it all up. It looked great! So I started poking around with a non-conductive tool to find that applying pressure to the driver board didn't produce the wash-out, however gently pulling up on it did (video here: ). //

It appears that there are two screws that thread into this driver board to fasten it to the internal frame of the display and my hypothesis is that these screws are pulling the driver board up and causing the issue I have. My proposed fix is to measure the gap (sans screws) between the drive board and the frame, and then build up a shim from electrical tape (or kapton tape, etc.) to hopefully 'push' or 'hold' down the drive board. Since I broke my glass I'll either have to order a new one or get a 0.020" piece of plastic and laser-cut it at work (I love my job).


ALRIGHT! So, while I was waiting for the previous video to upload and process, I went ahead and shimmed the driver board + reinstalled the LCD in the top case. I used 5~8 layers of electrical tape here and there (mostly around the screw holes) and needed to use the spludger tool to help get the now-taped drive board back into its slot. //

Violla! It works again. I tried twisting this way and that, and so far so good! I just need to get my hands on a new front glass and a cam cover (got a bit over-zealous with the head gun). //

Video here:


Awesome, glad you were able to fix it with a shim! Hopefully you can source some glass and a camera cover fairly cheap!


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Driver board on the bottom of the LCD panel is held to frame with screws--the screws pull the driver board into the top cover frame, causing a bending of the board. I applied a few layers of electrical tape to shim this gap up and prevent the pulling and all is well!

Shattered my protective glass in the process.

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Where exactly along the length of the board did you put the 5-8 layers of electrical tape. And was the tape shim on the same side of the board as the screw heads or the opposite side?

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Philip will be eternally grateful.
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