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So this is not my computer, but my girlfriends. She was doing thesis work in the library when all of a sudden the screen to her Macbook began to malfunction. At the point it is at now, whenever it is booted up, it makes the normal booting sound yet the screen is completely black with gray bars in the center. The bars span the screen vertically, but are compacted into an almost solid gray bar horizontally.

The first repair shop nearby claimed that it was a broken screen that needed replacing, but I would like to see if anyone else has ideas before accepting that solution. Could it also possibly be issues with the integrated graphics card? Has anyone else had this issue?

And as a less technical issue, what would be required to use an external display with a Macbook Pro?

  • It's helpful if you can post a picture of what you are seeing. How did the repair shop determine if the screen was bad? Did they disassemble and plug in a known working display or did they just look and guess? If you want to plug in an external display, you just need an mDP to HDMI, an mDP to DVI, or an mDP to VGA adapter. OS X will automatically detect the display (if your graphics chip is working) – Allan Jun 22 '16 at 14:51
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There is a small possibility that the video cable is mis-seated and simply unplugging it and re-plugging it in might help. ifixit.com can help you with the take-apart. It is not difficult, just make sure you ground yourself and disconnect the battery before touching anything.

Has the machine been dropped? Has anything been spilled on it? Is the LCD panel physically broken?

To connect a Macbook Pro to an external display you simply need the proper video adapter. Either Mini-Misplayport to VGA or Mini-DisplayPort to DVI, depending on the monitor. Most monitors have many options, including both VGA and DVI.

If the laptop and monitor are new enough you can use an HDMI cable.

To further diagnose your girlfriend's broken laptop connect it to an external monitor. If the lines appear on the external monitor then the issue is the Logic Board. If it works fine then you have a LVDS cable or LCD Panel issue and will need a new display clamshell. iResQ.com does cheap display repairs. No, I don't work for them. :)

  • Thank you very much! The machine has not been physically harmed in any way (that I am aware of). This Macbook accepts HDMI cords, so I will attempt that. Thank you very much for the suggestions and we will look into iResQ.com, although we will have to check if it works internationally. She was quoted $750 at the first store and before I heard of it, so we certainly hope to bring it down from there haha. – AnxiouslyConfused Nov 21 '14 at 14:22
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Just wanted to add, don't forget that you have warranty on your device... If it is a retina display MBP I'm guessing it's not overly old, so may still be within the limited warranty period (even if it's not in warranty it's likely Apple will still help you) — especially seeing as you said that there is no accidental damage also (and yes, I do work for them...)

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  1. do an SMC reset
  2. see if it'll drive external display ok.

If it is good on external display, then it's likely the LCD or the LVDS cable (most likely).. it could also be the connection at the logic board (cheapest point to check first, but BE VERY CAREFUL - - easy connector to bend/break, and very expensive if you damage it).

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