vertical lines bottom 1/3 of display

Apple MacBook Pro "Core Duo" 2.16 17" Specs

Identifiers: MacBook Pro 17-Inch - MA092LL/A - MacBookPro1,2 - A1151

I have read your similar posts and have pretty much concluded that the solution to my problem is either replacing the video cable or the entire display. There's a huge difference in price there, and my question is about the likelihood that it's the cheaper (cable replacement). I ask because I may not be willing to put as much money as a new display into a first generation 17" MacBook Pro, since the second monitor works fine.

Here are the other symptoms:

• Lines appear and flicker on their own throughout the day or with even the slightest movement of the MacBook Pro.

• After flickering between vertical lines and trying to show the bottom of my desktop, that area (bottom 1/3 of display) will go totally black.

• Lightly tapping the case (anywhere on the case) or the left side of the display or moving the display back and forth will eventually get the lines to flicker again and finally disappear to display the full desktop. But the next time someone sneezes it'll start all over again.

• The second monitor is fine and does not show the lines when mirroring.

• The Mac NEVER freezes, as some with with similar lines have reported.

• I recently replaced a fan in the MacBook and did my best to make certain the video cable was seated securely at that end. I had the problem both before and after the fan replacement - no difference there.

• The MacBook Pro has very seldom been used as a laptop or portable. That is, it's been stationary on the desktop for most of it's life and no rough play.

Since the slightest movement or gentlest tapping can bring on the problem and/or eliminate the problem, does that sound more like a cable replacement ($200+) or a display replacement ($600+) - or can you tell?

I'm just looking for odds here - no guarantee. For if the fix is more likely a $600 fix I might get an iPad instead, and use the MacBook with the external monitor.

..thanks for any odds you can give...

Answered! View the answer I have this problem too

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What model MacBook Pro do you have, aluminum (silver keys) or unibody (black keys, the one in the picture)?

If you've got a unibody, it's new enough that I'd try taking it to an Apple store in order to see if they'd take care of it.

If it's an aluminum, I agree with Mayer that the cable is the place to start, if only because it's the cheapest option. It should cost far less than $200 (more like $30) to get a replacement video cable.

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Since this occurs with movement, my best bet would be on the Display Data Cable. Here's how to replace it: MacBook Pro 17" Models A1151 A1212 A1229 and A1261 Display Data Cable Replacement

For the correct part we need to know EXACTLY which machine you have, please give is the last three letters of your serial number (located in the battery compartment). Thanks

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Hi - thanks to both for quick replies

It's a first generation 17" MacBookPro 1,2.

The serial number is W86221 JWTHY.

Assuming you have the cable, how bad is the install procedure? I looked at the always excellent instructions, and it's far more involved than replacing a fan (which I did easily). Just curious.

..thanks again

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Not knowing how this site works I accepted mayer's answer. But possible that p[ut an end to the dialog. I did not mean to do that. And I repled to him the the message below - but it occurs to me that he may not get it since I "accepted" the reply. That is, if accepting kills the dialog, that is not what I intended to do.

Here is the reply I sent to him, that he may or may not get - not sure how the system works.

....thanks in advance

Hi - thanks to both for quick replies It's a first generation 17" MacBookPro 1,2. The serial number is W86221 JWTHY. Assuming you have the cable, how bad is the install procedure? I looked at the always excellent instructions, and it's far more involved than replacing a fan (which I did easily). Just curious. ..thanks again

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Actually you accepted RDKL's answer not mine. With the serial number I've detected your correct machine and will change your post to reflect this. The first guide link I posted was the correct one.

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Although more involved and longer, if you can replace the fan and follow directions, you can do this. When I do one I use different containers for the screws, i.e. I keep all the screws from removal of the top case in one container, another container for any internal screws and another for the LCD. Just be rested and in a place where you will not be disturbed, phone off the hook, and allow enough time to do it in one sitting. I keep a digital camera next to me and shoot pictures of things that might give me a problem putting it back together (like the wire routes in the display). Go for it!

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I recently had a problem with the bottom half of the display showing lines but no picture. Pressure on the bezel would cause the display to correct itself but only momentarily. This Mac had been dropped and there was a small fracture in the bezel and the case would not close properly. Upon taking apart it was found that the screw posts on the back case had become detached and the display was not really attached to back case except by the pressure clips. A used back case was located and the unit reassembled. The problem was cured. I believe the display cables were being pinched or otherwise affected.

If you try this, I would suggest that you disassemble the unit and remove the display. Prop the display up and attach the display cables to the logic board. Attach the keyboard cable and charger then turn the unit on. If you still have the problem, maybe a new cable would work. If the the problem is gone it is probably a pinched wire and you can try and moving the cables around before reassembling.

As noted by other commentators restart after attaching the bezel and setting the back case on the computer power the unit up and see if the display still operates properly.

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Heat could cause this to happen too. Excessive heat from being on to long or in direct sunlight can cause metal to expand enough to pull the cables out. It can also oxidization of the plastic parts in the cables creating cracks(mostly this will effect film based ribbon cables). It can also be condensation corrosion in wet or damp environments. If you are handy enough to take it apart re-seat all cables clean connections if necessary using alcohol( 75% - 100% nothing less).

I don't think it is the lcd. If it were there would be other sections effected.

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