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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > Screen has vertical lines when starting up MacBook

Screen has vertical lines when starting up MacBook
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iChelle
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Jul 1, 2006, 12:50 AM
 
Hi all
This has happened twice in the past week. I hit the power button on the black MacBook. Instantly, instead of seeing the apple startup logo, my screen is filled with vertical lines and just sits there; it never reaches the desktop. I hold the powerkey down to turn the unit off. I turn it on again and zap the PRAM and all is well. However, I try to boot up again this evening and again I see the vertical lines. It's only after I zap the PRAM that those lines disappear. However, this makes me concerned that something is wrong. Has anyone else experienced this?
Thanks
M
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iChelle  (op)
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Jul 1, 2006, 01:43 PM
 
anyone?
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aristobrat
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Jul 1, 2006, 09:51 PM
 
I had the exact same thing happen.

It happens to my MB when I let it go to sleep while attached to an external DVI monitor. While sleeping, if I disconnect it, and then wake it up, and wakes up and the screen is exactly as you describe. I didn't know what to do, so I powered it off, and instead of seeing the gray boot screen, it was lines. I was pretty much freaking out until it finally finished booting and the screen went back to normal.
     
iChelle  (op)
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Jul 1, 2006, 10:50 PM
 
At least yours goes back to normal. Mine is stuck at that screen with lines. No matter how long I leave it. It just happened again. I took a picture of it...
http://images17.fotki.com/v323/photo...4/lines-vi.jpg
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brokenjago
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Jul 2, 2006, 04:22 AM
 
I imagine you're going to have to take it to Apple and let them have a looksee.
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iChelle  (op)
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Jul 3, 2006, 12:52 AM
 
won't i have to duplicate the problem? it seems like it happens randomly. however, before i did the 10.4.7 update, i never had this problem. could that be related?
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HouseSold
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Jul 3, 2006, 01:41 AM
 
Originally Posted by iChelle
won't i have to duplicate the problem? it seems like it happens randomly. however, before i did the 10.4.7 update, i never had this problem. could that be related?
This is most definitely a 10.4.7 update issue.

Command option P-R will allow you to boot, but invariably if you reboot or shut down, it happens again.

All the display models at the local Apple Store are at 10.4.6 still, probably for reliabilty reasons.
     
iChelle  (op)
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Jul 3, 2006, 02:33 AM
 
my thoughts exactly. so what should i do about this? anyone else having this annoying problem?
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Alki
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Jul 3, 2006, 09:09 AM
 
Exactly the same here.

It occurs after updating to Mac OS X 10.4.7 and QT 7.2.1 (both via Software Update).

Reseting the PRAM does fix my problem temporarily. Few hours later the same problem happens after restarting my MacBook.

Then I zapped the PRAM again. Now it is OK since 3 days.

I'm glad that I'm not alone with this ugly problem. It seems not to be a hardware defect.

I started a thread in Apple discussions:

http://discussions.apple.com/thread....sageID=2633951

Inside an german Mac forum I found one more user with this problem:

http://www.macuser.de/forum/showpost...1&postcount=34

Hope, a software update will fix our problem soon.
     
Guy Kuo
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Jul 3, 2006, 09:25 AM
 
Same here after 10.4.7 and QT 7.2.1.

Developed sudden shutdown twice several seconds post wake-up.

Restarting after resetting PMU resulted in the vertical lines. The screen starts out with some colored vertical lines and as time progresses, they become progressively darker and more numerous. Never reaches the desktop.

Zapping PRAM x six got the MacBook back to normal - for the time being.
( Last edited by Guy Kuo; Jul 3, 2006 at 10:59 AM. )
     
chadseld
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Jul 3, 2006, 11:14 AM
 
Same here. Happened after the 10.4.7 update, and again today. Zapping P-Ram lets me boot.
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Phil333
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Jul 3, 2006, 11:53 AM
 
Threads like this make me want to wait at least a month before buying my MB.
     
Guy Kuo
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Jul 3, 2006, 12:01 PM
 
Just reapplied the 10.4.7 combo update. The machine immediately went back to colored vertical lines when it restarted after applying the update. Zapping PRAM got it to boot again.

The machine was very solid and reliable under 10.4.6. Might have to revert until this is sorted.
     
aristobrat
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Jul 3, 2006, 12:31 PM
 
Originally Posted by Phil333
Threads like this make me want to wait at least a month before buying my MB.
That won't guarantee that Apple will put out a goofy OS update in the future that causes the exact same issues.
     
iChelle  (op)
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Jul 3, 2006, 02:14 PM
 
How do we revert back to 10.4.6?
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monkeybrain
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Jul 3, 2006, 02:33 PM
 
Just out of interest, did those of you who are experiencing this problem update via the Software Update App, i,e, normal update, or did you download the Combo Update off the Apple site?

A Combo Update is invariably the safest option, and that is what I always do. But I won't be putting 10.4.7 on my new Macbook.

To revert back to 10.4.6 you will have to reinstall whatever os came with your Macbook (probably 10.4.6. actually) using the Archive and Install mode. Don't worry, you won't lose any data. See here for info about archive and install: http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=107120
     
mmike70
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Jul 3, 2006, 05:20 PM
 
I have two macbooks, one that is having the problem and one which isn't. Both were updated to 10.4.7 using the combo updater. Here's a post I made at apple discussions which seemed to have worked for me:

My theory is that 10.4.7 somehow broke how the pram gets updated/saved with respect to a default boot device. I ran nvram -p in a terminal on the problem macbook and it came back only with a value pertaining to speakervolme. I checked my functioning macbook and the same command returned a couple of extra boot parameters. I tried to set the startup volume disk from the preference panel but it didn't help, I could still reproduce the problem it at will. What did seem to help is setting the startup volume/disk from the OSX Boot/Install DVD (10.4.6). I've succesfully rebooted at least 25 times now and the problem hasn't reoccured. nvram -p now still shows the boot values set. I would ususally only be able to boot by resetting the PRAM first.

I'd be interested if someone else can try this out who is having the problem, or at least see what nvram -p shows.
     
iChelle  (op)
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Jul 3, 2006, 11:43 PM
 
Originally Posted by monkeybrain
Just out of interest, did those of you who are experiencing this problem update via the Software Update App, i,e, normal update, or did you download the Combo Update off the Apple site?
I installed via Apple logo > Software Update.
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chadseld
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Jul 4, 2006, 12:08 AM
 
build 8J2135a
If your computer stops responding for a long time, turn it off and then back on. - Microsoft
     
Lucky8
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Jul 5, 2006, 12:05 AM
 
Mine was fine for 2 days after .4.7 up until today.
     
Guy Kuo
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Jul 5, 2006, 03:01 AM
 
Mine did another sudden shutdown and white screen with vertical lines. This is after reapplying the 10.4.7 combo update earlier today. I've now reverted back to 1.4.6 to see if this become stable again.
     
Guy Kuo
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Jul 5, 2006, 10:48 AM
 
10.4.6 didn't fix the sudden shutdowns, but at least I don't see the vertical lines problem when it restarts.

Looks like my MacBook also has a separate hardware problem that is causing the sudden shutdowns.
     
Dave Merten
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Jul 5, 2006, 12:10 PM
 
Originally Posted by mmike70

My theory is that 10.4.7 somehow broke how the pram gets updated/saved with respect to a default boot device. I ran nvram -p in a terminal on the problem macbook and it came back only with a value pertaining to speakervolme. I checked my functioning macbook and the same command returned a couple of extra boot parameters. I tried to set the startup volume disk from the preference panel but it didn't help, I could still reproduce the problem it at will. What did seem to help is setting the startup volume/disk from the OSX Boot/Install DVD (10.4.6). I've succesfully rebooted at least 25 times now and the problem hasn't reoccured. nvram -p now still shows the boot values set. I would ususally only be able to boot by resetting the PRAM first.

I'd be interested if someone else can try this out who is having the problem, or at least see what nvram -p shows.
I have not had the lines on mine until today. I have had some quirky shutdown problems, so I went and reset my PMU. After rebooting from that, the lines started, As soon as I try to boot now -- even with the install DVD inserted or holding keys down to boot into single user mode etc, -- the lines start to appear. The bottom of the computer gets really HOT fast, so I wouldn't advise letting it run. If I reset my PRAM, it boots fine and video is normal. Even if I put the computer to sleep, video is fine when I wake it up.

BTW...I ran nvram -p in the Terminal and only get this: SystemAudioVolume w

Guy, how did you get your MB to boot from the install DVD? I can't because I get the lines right away no mater what I try
( Last edited by Dave Merten; Jul 5, 2006 at 03:36 PM. )
     
Guy Kuo
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Jul 5, 2006, 12:18 PM
 
I didn't do anything special. Once I had the PRAM zapped a few (six) times, the machine worked normally - for a while. The line are one thing. The sudden shutdowns seem a separate, but even worse work threatening problem.
     
Dave Merten
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Jul 5, 2006, 03:42 PM
 
OK, I got the computer to boot from my install DVD and did what Mike suggested by setting the startup volume/disk from the OSX Boot/Install DVD (10.4.6). So far it's working. I will let you know how it goes.
     
mmike70
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Jul 5, 2006, 05:35 PM
 
Originally Posted by Dave Merten
OK, I got the computer to boot from my install DVD and did what Mike suggested by setting the startup volume/disk from the OSX Boot/Install DVD (10.4.6). So far it's working. I will let you know how it goes.
That seems to be a common theme. Reseting PRAM after the 10.4.7 update and you may get this behavior. My macbook has been rebooting correctly since I set the startup disk via the 10.4.6 DVD.

Could you check what nvram -p shows now? You should have more boot related parameters.
     
Lucky8
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Jul 5, 2006, 06:10 PM
 
Originally Posted by mmike70
That seems to be a common theme. Reseting PRAM after the 10.4.7 update and you may get this behavior. My macbook has been rebooting correctly since I set the startup disk via the 10.4.6 DVD.
Are you saying that if I would've never reset PRAM after the 10.4.7 update, this vertical lines behaviour would've never happened?
     
mmike70
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Jul 5, 2006, 06:26 PM
 
Originally Posted by Lucky8
Are you saying that if I would've never reset PRAM after the 10.4.7 update, this vertical lines behaviour would've never happened?
I think that's what I'm saying. I personally have experience with 4 macbooks, two had the PRAM reset after the 10.4.7 update and both had the lines appear while the other two have been clean witout a reset. All had their PRAM reset before the 10.4.7 upgrade and they all worked fine afterwards.

Seems to be the same story from the message boards too.
     
Lucky8
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Jul 6, 2006, 12:49 AM
 
Originally Posted by mmike70
I think that's what I'm saying. I personally have experience with 4 macbooks, two had the PRAM reset after the 10.4.7 update and both had the lines appear while the other two have been clean witout a reset. All had their PRAM reset before the 10.4.7 upgrade and they all worked fine afterwards.

Seems to be the same story from the message boards too.
Yes, I did reset the PRAM after applying the 10.4.7 update before these horizontal lines appear.
Now that I have reverted it back to 10.4.6 seems fine for now.
Should I go with 10.4.7 update and make sure I never reset the PRAM ever or should I just stay on 10.4.6 update? I did notice Coreduo temp shows my MacBook runs 5-10 degrees cooler on 10.4.7 update.
Do you have third party RAM installed on your MacBooks?
     
muaddib420
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Jul 6, 2006, 02:36 PM
 
i've updated to 10.4.7 the day it came out via the control panel software update. haven't had any problems. i decided AGAINST updating my quicktime, which came out later (i never use quicktime anyway, except in webpages that require it). boy am i glad i did! hopefully this'll prevent me from getting this problem. it's enough to have the heat and orange discoloration.
     
Lucky8
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Jul 7, 2006, 06:30 PM
 
Originally Posted by muaddib420
i've updated to 10.4.7 the day it came out via the control panel software update. haven't had any problems. i decided AGAINST updating my quicktime, which came out later (i never use quicktime anyway, except in webpages that require it). boy am i glad i did! hopefully this'll prevent me from getting this problem. it's enough to have the heat and orange discoloration.
Which update did you download?
Seems like there is a 10.4.7 update and a 10.4.7 Combo update.
Which one is the latest?
     
monkeybrain
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Jul 7, 2006, 06:43 PM
 
I believe Apple made a mistake with the first update they brought out, which could have caused some problems (this was both normal and combo I think), but they quickly replaced it with the correct version.

The difference between the normal and combo is that the normal update from Software Update will only update your current OS to 10.4.7. Whereas the combo update has the advantage that you download it normally, and can thus save it or transfer it to other machines, and it also lets you update anything from 10.4.0 - 10.4.6 to 10.4.7.

Combo is normally the better choice for reasons I don't really understand.
     
Elevin
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Jul 7, 2006, 10:37 PM
 
Hey all,
I'm having the same issue. Every time I shutdown or restart these lines show up. Is zapping the pram working for y'all really? It seems pretty random on mine. Usually when I startup it won't let me zap the pram, it just stays on the lines, not visibly restarting. When it does startup correctly, it will statup on its own, without the need for the zapping. Of course I can zap the pram at this point, but by then the problem has apparently fixed itself somehow. Very strange.
     
Lucky8
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Jul 7, 2006, 10:37 PM
 
Monkeybrain,
I downloaded the Combo update and it seems fine so far.
Hape it stays that way.
     
Lucky8
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Jul 7, 2006, 10:39 PM
 
Originally Posted by Elevin
Hey all,
I'm having the same issue. Every time I shutdown or restart these lines show up. Is zapping the pram working for y'all really? It seems pretty random on mine. Usually when I startup it won't let me zap the pram, it just stays on the lines, not visibly restarting. When it does startup correctly, it will statup on its own, without the need for the zapping. Of course I can zap the pram at this point, but by then the problem has apparently fixed itself somehow. Very strange.
Elevin,
Which update did you download? The normal or the combo?
     
chadseld
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Jul 8, 2006, 03:30 PM
 
Check out appleinsider's article on the education iMac. This machine has the same chip-set as the macbook.

http://www.appleinsider.com/article.php?id=1870

The last paragraph, listing outstanding issues with the production units:

"In one final note on the new educational iMac, sources warned that altering the computer's brightness setting in the Display Preferences without adjusting other video settings will corrupt the PRAM. This may cause the iMac to restart at a later date with a blank video screen. The solution is to simply reset the computer's PRAM.
"

Sounds like the same problem we have been seeing.
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macitech
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Jul 9, 2006, 01:39 PM
 
THE FIX!!!!
Do a ARCHIVAL reinstal of the OS. That will fix the problem.
Rick
     
iChelle  (op)
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Jul 10, 2006, 01:21 PM
 
hold on, sorry i don't mean to sound silly but downloading the combo update over the one installed via "software update" will fix the problem as well? if so, hell i'll do it. take me to your leader!!! (point me in that direction, pls.)...
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Dave Merten
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Jul 10, 2006, 04:15 PM
 
I done an Archive and Install and it fixed the problem. Then, I ran the updater from Software Update and it's back!
     
monkeybrain
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Jul 10, 2006, 05:03 PM
 
You can't install the Combo update over the top of the one from Software Update, since they do the same thing: install 10.4.7. If you have already installed 10.4.7 via Software Update, and have the problems, and want to either revert back to 10.4.6 or use the Combo Update, you must first do and Archive and Install from the install disks that came with your 'book.

Dave, try resetting your PRAM: command-option-p-r during startup (until you hear the second chime). Otherwise, you might want to revert back to 10.4.6 or go back to 10.4.6 and then install 10.4.7 via Combo Update and see if that helps.
     
iChelle  (op)
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Jul 10, 2006, 05:38 PM
 
if i do an archive and install, will that physically remove/uninstall 10.4.7 so that it will free up some hard disk memory or will 10.4.7 sit dormant somewhere...?
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monkeybrain
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Jul 10, 2006, 06:05 PM
 
See here: http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=107120 for all the info on archive and installs.
     
Dave Merten
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Jul 10, 2006, 06:20 PM
 
Ok, I went and done another A&I, Everything was fine after that. I went and updated with the combo installer. Rebooted a few times, all OK. Then, I reset my PRAM to test it, and lines came back!! So then I went and rebooted from my system install disc and set/selected my hard drive with the Startup Disk utility. Rebooted and everything was fine. Rebooted a few more times. Everything OK. Then I went and reset PRAM again. Rebooted and this time NO lines. Rebooted a few more times and no lines. Then I went in my Startup Disk preference panel and set my HD in there (was unselected from resetting PRAM) and rebooted a few more times. So far, it's working.
     
Dave Merten
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Jul 11, 2006, 02:26 AM
 
Well, the lines came back again. I called Apple and they want me to do an erase, fresh install and then update. So, I did tonight and guess what? It's still doing it! I'm hoping engineering will want this one back and I can get a different one.
     
monkeybrain
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Jul 11, 2006, 06:51 PM
 
I just had the lines appear on my install of 10.4.7 as well. I've reverted back to 10.4.6 for the moment and probably won't bother trying to get 10.4.7 going again (since I don't think it actually brought any advantages).

I also have a problem with my num lock and caps lock keys randomly reversing their behaviour after a restart (quite a few people on the Apple forums have this problem too). 10.4.7 didn't fix that either.

All these things seem to related to the PRAM/PMU. I hope they put out a firmware update soon.
     
HarriganC
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Jul 12, 2006, 08:51 AM
 
I have had my blacbook since the last week in May with absolutely no problems. Yesterday I updated to 10.4.7 all was fine, and had no problems. Randomly while I was surfing, the fans started to spin full blast (really loud) which made no sense to me-- the computer was hardly working, and a few minutes later it just shutdown on it is own. When I went to restart it, halfway through booting it shut down again. On my second restart the machine fully loaded, however, after 4 minutes of use it randomly shut down a third time. Next I tried to run apple hardware test, but the computer shutdown before finishing multiple times. My last resort were to resest the pram/and pmu, and now the machine powers on however only shows the colored vertical lines.

WTF!!!!!! Going to bring it to an AASP today.
     
Guy Kuo
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Jul 12, 2006, 10:46 AM
 
That sounds so much like what happened to my MacBook. Ended up with new logic board and seems to be working fine now. It would be horrible if 10.4.7 ends up as something that can brick a machine. Hopefully, it is only a coincidental hardware failure.
     
HarriganC
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Jul 12, 2006, 12:45 PM
 
Originally Posted by Guy Kuo
That sounds so much like what happened to my MacBook. Ended up with new logic board and seems to be working fine now. It would be horrible if 10.4.7 ends up as something that can brick a machine. Hopefully, it is only a coincidental hardware failure.
I dropped my book off at the AASP, going to be a couple days before I hear something. I hope that this isn't going to be a common phenomena, seeing that all the people are having this issue at the same time. Mine is a week 20 book, and had worked flawlessy until yesterday... I don't want to relive the ibook logic board saga.
     
Dillon-K
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Jul 12, 2006, 02:58 PM
 
So... what would be your advice to someone who'll be buying a MacBook in late august...? . and also, what way would you guys recommend I keep track of this subject so I know if it's ever fixed?

-A new switcher.
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Dave Merten
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Jul 12, 2006, 05:33 PM
 
I spoke with Apple today and was given new instructions on a fix for the "colored vertical lines at startup" issue.

1. Shut the computer off.

2. Restart holding the Option-Command-R-P keys down, wait for three "bongs" and release keys. MacBook should boot normal with no lines.

3. Next, open your System Preferences control panel and open "Displays" in there. Now change your current resolution setting to some other resolution and then switch it back to your current setting. Close preferences and reboot to test. It should keep rebooting normal without the lines.
     
 
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