Macbook videocard broken?

Pooptacular

Member
Sep 3, 2005
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I'm taking a look at my gf's macbook and something is broken somewhere, be it a driver or the integrated card. I'm not familiar with macs too much so thought I'd ask here to see what you guys think. What happens is the macbook starts up fine but once its up on the desktop you see things moving around such as the dashbar thing at the bottom, it shows up all around the screen and after a minute or so lines show up all around the screen then it all just turns to white and I have to restart. So what do you guys think it is? My gf knows less about macs then me so I'm not sure if she updated to new drivers or if its seemless or what have you. Thanks in advance for any help I can get.
 

aphex

Moderator<br>All Things Apple
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Jul 19, 2001
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Weird, normally I would think its a broken LCD or damaged cable, but if it looks fine up until it gets to the desktop, it seems to be something else, some kind of graphics corruption. (I assume software related since it only starts going nuts once in OSX)

Have you tried booting from the system restore dvd? Pop the disc in and hold down option as soon as you hear the startup chime, it will bring up a boot selection menu and you can boot to the dvd. If everything looks ok in there (no corruption), its gotta be software related, you can reformat/reinstall right from within that program.

Also, how old is the macbook? You may still be covered under Apple Care if it does turn out to be hardware related. Macbooks include 1 year of Apple Care, but can be extended up to 3 years.
 

bearxor

Diamond Member
Jul 8, 2001
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You can also try resetting the PRAM, which clears settings in the "BIOS" that may be affecting you. Turn it on and immediately hold down Option+Apple+P+R. Wait until you hear it chime three times after you've held it down and then let it boot normally.

If you do boot from the restore DVD and attempt a reinstall, try the archive and install first. this will reinstall the operating system without touching your applications or user settings. You will have to update OS X after you've done it though.
 

Pooptacular

Member
Sep 3, 2005
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I cleared the PRAM and all was well for the 15min or so that I tested it. Now this morning it's doing the same thing again. I am out of warranty but am bringing it to a macstore. Are they able to replace the whole motherboard if it comes down to that? Also would you guys know offhand how much they charge for something like that?
 

bearxor

Diamond Member
Jul 8, 2001
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It's definitely something software related then. They would replace the board for you but I don't think that's the problem.

Reset the PRAM again and go into system preferences and create a new user. Log in to that user and see if it happens after a while. I've seen some settings in a users profile cause major problems. If that doesn't work, I would strongly suggest the archive and install that aphex suggested BEFORE taking it to an Apple store.