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MBP 3,1 video issue

edited July 2015 in Business
About a week or so ago my MBP began to freeze up. It seemed to happen when I'd stepped away for a while and the screen saver was running.
A month ago I replaced the internal HD with a 1TB kit from OWC and added one of those cooling fan platforms under the laptop, along with a stand to keep it cool because I'd noticed the laptop running quite hot. It's pretty much stationed at my desk these days. It replaced a stolen MBP from a few years ago.
Anyhow -- the screens (two) get funky pinkish pixels, accompanied by sluggish response or no response then I have to force a shut down. After multiple attempts this afternoon to reboot I got it to run stable enough to get through a little audio editing project before I shut it down.
Early in the edit session, the screens became distorted but to my surprise I was able to save the project and power down and restart.
Does this sound like a Nividia issue or something else? Should I question my install of the new HD?

Answers

  • Thanks for the post!

    Yes, it does sound like the Nvidia issue unfortunately. Distortion of the screen is a classic sign -- usually lines, or a checkerboard pattern. In the beginning stages, the screen will distort, but the laptop can still be usable. As the problem gets worse, the laptop will start to freeze, and ultimately it won't power on at all, and will only have a black screen with a glowing sleep light.

    I would flex the screen hinge when you see distortion, and see if the image changes, just on the off chance you have a bad screen, or bad video cable, but it's a 99% the Nvidia issue. You can also try connecting an external monitor -- if you get no external video, or the external video is distorted, that points toward the Nvidia issue, whereas if the external video is perfect while you see distortion on the screen, that could point to a cable or screen hardware issue. But again, it's very unlikely external video will reveal a perfect image, because what you describe is very symptomatic of the issue.

    Just to make sure, what year and processor speed Pro do you have? It's mostly the 2008 2.2-2.6GHZ Core 2 Duo.

    I would probably focus on backing up your data, because as the problem gets worse you probably will no longer have access, and then will have to remove the hard drive.

    As for the new hard drive, there's really nothing you could do with a drive that would cause random video defects, so I wouldn't suspect that.

    The old Pros are only worth $200-$300 these days, and only then in pristine condition, so rather then stay with that laptop, it's probably time to upgrade. Just make sure to avoid the 15" 2011, because it has similar problems and is currently under an Apple recall.

    Thanks and good luck!

    John
  • I think that mine is a 2007 model, but it def has the NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT 256MB graphics processor. I am using it now for this comment. Going to see if it makes it through the day and then pull the HD for the next machine. Yeah, I'll steer clear of the newer defective models. Can you recommend something in the 2010 vintage that has a good track record and may be user-upgradable? I'm using an Air as my notebook of choice, and since this MBP is essentially a desktop machine now, I'd be happy with an iMac...
  • I don't have a specific machine in mind, but I'd be sure to get an i5 or i7 processor, since you're not going to get a significant performance increase if you get another Core 2 Duo. If at all possible, the 2012s are generally good to go with because most of them have a faster bus (1600MHZ). But definitely, if you never travel then an iMac would get you a lot more power -- we're all so laptop-based these days that it's easy to forget that laptops have limitations, and desktops often provide a better experience.
  • Thanks-a-mil for the answers and advice! I found my way here from your YouTube vid about the NVIDIA issue. I try to not be tied down to lugging a bag of tech around with me if I can help it, so I have no genuine need for another notebook. Plus, desktops are so much easier to work on, AND stay cooler.
    I've tried to click the ACCEPT gadget but am getting an error page. Not sure if you knew about that issue or if it is one.
  • It's amazing to hear that the video is still getting watched...I made it 5 years ago...ah, the wonders of the Internet. :-)

    Thanks for the heads up on the Accept button, and I'll let my "web guy" know.

    Good luck!

    John
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