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Is my display or video cable busted, or is it something else?

The display on my 2008 non-unibody MacBook Pro has been having some problems. I initially misdiagnosed it as a video problem (since this machine had the known faulty GeForce 8600M which has already been replaced once by Apple), but when I took it back to the Apple store the tech couldn't get it to throw a GPU error on his diagnostic tool.

I'm getting "scrambled" looking video. Currently, the screen looks like this. I can get it to go away by smacking the back of the display, but it comes back when I flex the hinge on the display. My "hope" is that it's the video cable, but I'm afraid it could be a problem with the display itself. How could I more accurately diagnose this? Or should I just resign myself to buying a new video cable to test, and cracking it open?

I'm feeling extra burned by this because it didn't do this before I sent the machine back to Apple, so it seems possible that maybe a tech knocked something loose when they were replacing the failed logic board. Unfortunately it's been several months since they did that and the machine doesn't have any AppleCare, so it seems unlikely that they'd help me out on this.

Anyway, advice would be much appreciated. Thanks!

Answered! View the answer I have this problem too

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if the problem cannot be reproduced on an external monitor then you're right about the possibility of a bad LVDS cable but the issue could also be caused by a faulty electronic board on the LCD panel. I'd begin to verify the LVDS cable connections to the logic board and to the LCD panel then replace the LVDS cable if the connections are OK.

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If movement of the LCD panel on its hinges affects the problem, it's likely to be the video display cable.

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I agree with you Bernie but sometimes the issue is produced by a false contact in the LCD electronic board so moving the lid up and down while applying pressure to it with the fingers can create the same symptoms than a faulty (or loose) LVDS cable.

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I had a similar problem (although it was only about a third of the screen). I took everything apart and replaced the LVDS cable, and no dice. After some testing, with the old cable back in, I decided to put a thick piece of paper between the logic board and the aluminum casing, so that it constantly applies pressure to the logic board. It completely solved the problem. Hope this helps.

[Edit]

The fix turned out to be only temporary. The problem slowly returned over the course of the next few months. I wish I knew what causes it. I'm guessing it's related to heat.

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kbar will be eternally grateful.
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