A family member has a late 2007 15″ MacBook Pro which has been acting up of late. Every so often the display would become very pixalated, which caused the display to become near unreadable. See pictures below:
This would last anywhere between less then a minute to about an hour, and sometimes longer, before the screen would turn to normal again, see picture below:
Before doing a complete re-install of the OS, I have tried just about everything I could find: Resetting PRAM en VRAM, repairing disk permissions, booting up in safe-mode, tinkering with the display settings, removing the existing .plist files in the preferences folder, checked if third party software was to blame, etc. Nothing really worked. The only thing that, temporarily solved the problem (made the distorted screen turn back to normal) was booting up in Safe-Mode, after which the display would be like it always has been. After exiting Safe-Mode it would continue to work just fine, sometimes for a few days, but the problem always came back.
So the other day I did a complete (fresh) re-install of Mac OSX Snow Leopard, as a last resort, to see if that would fix the problem. After the fresh install (the hard drive was erased before installing the fresh OS) the problem hasn’t appeared, so far… I have to say, I am kind of worried it will just pop up again. If that will be the case, the only solution I know of is taking it in to the Apple Store, as the problem must surely be hardware related. If that were the case it could be the Logic board that causes the problem, or perhaps the graphics card (NVIDIA GeForce 8600GT, which Apple has acknowledged can be a problem), or the display itself. The interesting thing is any external monitor hooked up to the MacBook Pro does not display the same problems, even if (at the same time) the MacBook Pro’s monitor does.
So, for now (after the fresh install of OSX) the display seems fine again. Hope that will last now, but I am concerned the problem might come back. I guess I’ll find out before long.
So after 2 weeks of use, the display went bad again….. Only option left is to take it in to the Apple Store to have it checked.
The MacBook Pro was finally taken to the Apple store to have it repaired. As it turned out, it was very simple: The display connecter cable was only partly connected. It had gotten a bit loose over time, thus creating creating a bad signal to the display.