I dropped my macbook air and the screen is like this since.

enter image description here

Does anyone know what exactly happened to it? Is it hardware or software?

  • 3
    The first thing to check is to connect it to an external monitor. If the screen on the external monitor works, then it is your computer (hardware). If it doesn't work on the external monitor, it's software. Aug 10, 2013 at 21:17
  • nice tip, i will let you know of the result
    – AliBZ
    Aug 10, 2013 at 21:19
  • How does a drop damage software?
    – zundi
    Jan 25, 2019 at 22:56

2 Answers 2


Diagnosing Hardware vs Software Problem

As stated in my comment, to diagnose if it is a software or hardware issue (most likely hardware), try connecting the Macbook to an external monitor. If the external monitor displays the screen, then your Macbook must have the problem (It's a hardware issue). If both the external monitor and the Macbook pro still won't display anything, it is a software issue.

The Problem

The display probably went bad. You can try pressing the screen at certain points and see if it gets restored (This won't fix anything).

Resetting the NVRAM/PRAM- Last Chance

One last thing to try is resetting the NVRAM/PRAM (I read this on a post once, I don't think it will work but it cannot hurt to try):

  1. Shut down your Mac.
  2. Locate the following keys on the keyboard: Command (⌘), Option, P, and R. You will need to hold these keys down simultaneously in step 4.
  3. Turn on the computer.
  4. Press and hold the Command (⌘)-Option-P-R keys before the gray screen appears.
  5. Hold the keys down until the computer restarts and you hear the startup sound for the second time.
  6. Release the keys.

Related Links

Apple Discussion

I have the same problem. Resetting PRAM is the only way to boot and it only works on that boot. If the system is off for more than maybe 5 minutes, I'm back to the vertical colored lines. Multiple reboots in a short amount of time are ok.

Does this happen for you too when you reset the PRAM?

Take it to the Genius Bar at the Apple Store (hopefully you have AppleCare or under 1 year limited warranty).

  • 1
    So I connected my laptop to an external monitor and it works on it. So I think as you said, it is a hardware problem. BTW reseting NVRAM/PRAM didn't work.
    – AliBZ
    Aug 12, 2013 at 16:41
  • I'm sorry about that. I think your last choice is to take it to the Genius Bar at the Apple Store to see what they can do about it. Aug 12, 2013 at 16:52

First step: Diagnosing Hardware vs Software Problem

See description in sameetandpotatoes's answer above https://apple.stackexchange.com/a/98572/112709

Disclaimer: doing any repair on your own will cancel any warranty you have with Apple. Do it only if you can't afford whatever price Apple quotes you for the repair (or any other good reason I guess).

If connection with external screen is fine

1. Consider “cleaning the screen” or “gently push the back of the screen”

This is to restore connections, see this tip on http://forums.macrumors.com/threads/vertical-1-1-2-stripe-on-macbook-air-screen.948389/

This worked on an iPad I had to fix, but did not work on a MacBook Air right now. It's "trial and error"

2. It may be the logic board

As explained on this thread: "Remember that the problem can be on the logic board and not the screen-- meaning you can have a logic board that works with external monitor and not the internal screen-- but to no fault of the screen. So inspect the logic board LVDS connector carefully with a loupe to see if it has any signs of visible damage like liquid shorting out or melting plastic connectors."

A friend managed to rescue his MacBook Pro by spending hours cleaning the logic board. Although his problem had nothing specifically related to the display.

3. If it's not the logic board, then what is it?

The display data cable is "the main communication cable between the MacBook's logic board and LCD".

So... either the LCD or the display data cable has an issue.

How do I know if the display or the data cable is damaged? That's the million dollar question, I did not find anything about this. Please post a comment if you do!

3.a If the data cable is damaged

i.e. you spilt a tiny bit of liquid on the screen & it sneaked down to the cable.

You can buy a new display & try to replace it yourself as describe on https://www.ifixit.com/Guide/MacBook+Core+Duo+Display+Data+Cable+Replacement/4765

It does not seem like an easy thing to do though, see more on https://www.ifixit.com/Answers/View/9994/Damaged+Display+Data+(LVDS)+Connector+-+What+to+do+now

3.b If the display itself is damaged

i.e. you dropped the computer.

You can buy a new one & try to replace it yourself as describe on "LCD Replacement", see "LCD Replacement step-by-step" on https://www.ifixit.com/Guide/MacBook+Pro+13-Inch+Unibody+Mid+2010+LCD+Replacement/4311

Go to Apple or other specialist

If that's an option for you: go to the Apple store and get a definitive diagnosis and discuss what your options are.

At least give them a phone call.

If you can't go to Apple for whatever reason: getting a third party advice might be a good idea, i.e. from another repair shop.

See also

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