The green line of death

by Suw on December 23, 2004

I was gutted earlier this evening when a bright green line appeared on my PowerBook's screen, about a fifth of the way over from the left, top to bottom, one pixel wide. I've done a number of restarts, advised by the Mac types in #joiito to hold down certain keys whilst doing so, but no dice. The line remains when I move the screen back and forth, but if I push on it just so, on the top left of the screen downwards towards the hinge, it vanishes temporarily, which makes me believe that the problem may actually be in the left-hand hinge. (This model, a G4 TiBook, has two hinges on either side, each with two screws in the back.)
Does anyone have any advice? Can anyone recommend a good Mac place in London that could look at this and won't charge me a small fortune to do so or take my Mac away for days? My life is on this Mac. I can't work without it, (not metaphorically but literally), and I can't afford not to be working right now. Because this Mac is both pretty old and second-hand – I was given it by a friend and have added a new battery, memory and an Airport card – I don't have AppleCare, so there's no chance of getting this fixed for free.
I am so sad, so disappointed. I mean, the thing's usable, but I can't really afford to get it mended, and I can't afford to buy a new one. If everyone who visited Chocolate and Vodka donated a single pound, then I could get a new PowerBook, but people don't. Someone once told me that it's easier to get one person to give you a million pounds than to get a million people to give you one pound. Scale that right back to two grand, and the principle is the same. A big thanks to those who have given me money for this, but if you have any spare right now, please give it to the Asian quake relief efforts instead.
I suppose I will get used to the line in due course and filter it out, but it's not nice and I worry that it'll just get worse and then the whole screen will go.
UPDATE: I plugged the laptop into my desktop monitor this morning to see if the green line is still there, and it's not. I presume this means that the problem lies between the video card and the screen and not with the video card itself, which may or may not be a good thing. I still think it's a connector. I just need to find someone to look at it and tell me for sure.

Anonymous December 24, 2004 at 12:52 am

Happened to me in 2002. Two, then 4, then 12 lines. Had to bring it back to Apple, and have the screen changed.
I could just be a loose connector, but in any case, a trip to the shop is definitely required…

Anonymous December 24, 2004 at 12:40 pm

Yes, this is what I'm worried about. I have talked to various friends about it now, and the general concensus is that the screen is on its way out, one way or another. It may turn out to be prohibitively expensive to replace it, or it may not be possible at all, considering this is such an old model. I have emailed a couple of places in London that do Mac repairs, and shall see what they say.

Anonymous December 25, 2004 at 10:16 pm

It sounds to me as if a small connection from the ribbon cable to the screen has been detached. Rather than going to an Apple shop, you might want to try and computer, TV specialist or anywhere that deals with microtechnology, such as mobile phones or digital cameras.

Anonymous December 25, 2004 at 10:31 pm

When something like this happened to our IBM Thinkpad we bought another screen on e-Bay for cheaps. I don't ever recommend Apple computers – they are always breaking down.

Anonymous January 4, 2005 at 7:36 pm

Pity you aren't here I would have fixed it for you. Apple service is my name fixing notebooks is my game!

Anonymous January 4, 2005 at 7:56 pm

Aw, bum. Do you think it is fixable? I have a friend who is an Apple service bod, so I am hope he can help me fix it.

Anonymous May 10, 2005 at 1:54 pm

I have the exact same problem in what sounds to be the exact same place but on my dell tft monitor. It's annoying, but its a risk that comes with tft monitors unfortunately.
Most manufacturers have a policy about them too, and its usually not a very customer friendly policy.

Anonymous August 7, 2005 at 7:35 am

I have just noticed a problem similar to yours on the TFT monitor on my desktop, but mine comes in at about 20 pixels from the right, and is only about 15 pixels high, from the bottom, it doesnt go right the way up. This means it convientley sits over the clock on the taskbar, but it is annoying and the main problem is i cant try and check with the manufacturer about its warranty because I shouldn't have it. Let Me Explain.
The backlight in my first TFT monitor went, and I was issued a replacement, but there was a delay with stock arriving and I was becoming impaitent. So they sent me out whatever they had (was a better spec too, but had european plug, i soon changed that), but a few weeks later the original replacement turned up. So I went out a bought another P.C to use with the new monitor.
So I think I'd rather put up with the line than risk losing both monitors!!!

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