Released June 2009 / 2.66, 2.8, or 3.06 GHz Core 2 Duo Processor

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Pink lines suddenly appearing on display

My macbook's main display has mostly horizontal pink lines that flash within certain fields on the screen that are otherwise normally white (browser windows, text fields, etc.)

It happened spontaneously and without warning a week ago. The display was fine one minute, then suddenly the pink appeared.

My external display that runs out from the laptop is unaffected. Also, applying pressure to the underside of the laptop (pressing in between where the two fans are) stops the issue on the main display.

Would love suggestions on how to fix it? My laptop is a 2009, but I'd like to get a few more years out of it.

Only recent changes to it where the installation of mavericks about 6 months ago and a ram upgrade made at that same time.

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Pressing on the case does not make sense here given the fact you state the external monitor is AOK. Assuming the external monitor image is good all of the time I would focus on the internal monitor signal pathway from the GPU to the LCD its self.

Often I replace the complete lid assembly when I get these types of issues as the driver logic on the back of the LCD unit or the LDVS cable has become damaged. While it is possible to disassemble the lid to get to the LCD and/or the LDVS cable you do end up damaging a few parts in the process and can also break the cover glass if you are not careful.

Did you bang or drop your system as some point or did it get wet or sit in a puddle of liquid? You may just need to clean the logic board and/or LDVS connector & cable end on the logic board. Follow this IFIXIT guide MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Mid 2009 Logic Board Replacement from the start to step 6, then jump to step 20 and stop there.

Make sure you have an ESD mat & wrist strap and the proper tools. To clean the logic board (or any spots that need cleaning). Use a can of Can'ed air a soft painters brush to wipe the dust off, and use distilled water (not tap!) with some cotton swabs (Q-Tips) and lastly, some good quality Isopropyl alcohol 85% or better. Wipe the surfaces with the a slightly damp swab with water first (if needed a few times) then go over them again with the Isopropyl alcohol. The alcohol acts as a drier here pulling the water from underneath. In any case make sure things are fully dried before powering up.

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Thanks for responding, Dan. No, I've never dropped the computer and I don't believe I've gotten it wet. The laptop also doesn't do a lot of traveling, mostly has just sat on my desk. Pressing on the case may not make sense, but it works: applying pressure to the points in between the two fans does cause the screen to function. I have it sitting on top of a rolled up wad of duct tape at the moment and that is enough to keep the primary display pink-free, for now.

I should also mention that earlier, my trackpad went completely haywire -- but the problem ceased. Could it be a static/electric issue?

Thanks for the cleaning instructions. I'll give them a shot and report back.

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Looks similar to this problem:

Pink lines in white space, green lines in black space?

I also guess it has something to do with soldering issue on the logic board.

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Hue - Good catch! Yes, it's the same issue! In both cases the LVDS cable/connector at the logic board appear to be failing.

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I have this exact problem with my MacBook!! Has anyone managed to definitively solve it? If so, I'd love to hear what you did...

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Yes! @marsguit - Bad display, LVDS cable or the GPU.

Now you'll need to figure out which by using the diagnostic process I outlined above.

Does an external monitor look OK if so it's not the GPU. Then you have either the display or the LVDS cable. Since its a big job to replace the cable its just easier to replace the display assembly which comes with a new cable.

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