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Vertical line on screen (possibly stuck pixels?): likely causes?

My display suddenly developed a thin vertical line of permanently blue pixels. Looks to be one pixel wide.

The closest problem I can find here is at What causing vertical lines on the screen but my line does not grow or change colour (yet?) and what I've read elsewhere suggests the vertical line issue affecting 15/17" models is not meant to be a problem in 12" models.

The problem is not affected by moving the display. It persists when booted from CD. The extended hardware test shows no problems. Resetting the PRAM did not help.

I would be grateful for any insights but am especially keen to know whether the problem is likely to get worse; what the likely causes are; and whether it is possible to establish the cause for certain.

Thank you.

PowerBook Aluminium 12" 1.5 GHz

Mac OS X 10.4.11

[I tried to post this question earlier but the site just threw it away and I'm not sure if I have now left out anything crucial but hope not.]

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Please hook it up to an external monitor and tell us if the line is showing on that also, thank you.


OK. I cannot do this at home as I don't have a separate display but I should be able to try it on campus. Maybe with LCD projection if I can find an empty classroom. Will report back with results later. Thanks.


I hooked the laptop up to a PC monitor using the VGA adaptor. No blue line on the external. The problem is not (yet) any worse but it is obviously no better either.

I also reset the PMU. I didn't expect this to help and I was right. (I didn't expect it to create quite so many nasty side-effects either, else I wouldn't have done it!)

Am I right in thinking this means it is (1) hardware; (2) something other than VRAM?

Thanks for your help.


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You have done a very good job at communicating and defining your problem's symptoms. Since it doesn't show up on an external and has no fluctuation with moving the screen the problem is in your LCD. More than likely a transistor has been compromised on the LCD controller board attached to the LCD. You will need to replace your LCD. The removal and installation guide is here.

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+ I have a monitor just like that with a thin blue line, it's been like that for three years with no change. I rarely notice it.


Is it likely to get worse? I've seen the guide and can't see me managing it myself. A friend changed my hard drive last year but I worry that more and more things may be liable to failure. I can pull a hard drive and use it later, but not an LCD screen.

I really like this computer. Apart from not having the money, I don't even know what I want instead. Apple don't make (12") laptops any more! So it isn't that I want to give up on it. I just wonder if that might not be the most sensible and economical option. It is 5.5 years old, has had extensive use and that's quite a lot for a laptop. All it's had is a replacement (non-exploding) battery, a DVD drive check-up, RAM and a new HD. Is it worth repairing at what I imagine will be significant cost?

If you have any sense of whether it is likely to get worse, that would be very helpful. If it is likely to stay like this (as the commenter described), one blue line would not be especially burdensome!

Thanks very much for your diagnosis. Much appreciated.


Gee, take a valium and read my comment right above you. Chill


What if it has fluctuation with moving the screen?


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I just got a Pbook with the vertical lines and it was driving me nuts. It had a lot of other issues, power control, hard drive, etc. I had a spare 15" screen laying around so I hooked the cable from the back of the Mac screen into the back of the 15" Compaq cq61 screen and then plugged in the bulbs wires (pink and blue) to the inverter and Viola, of course I'm not going to leave it that way, but at least now I know that I only need to buy a 17" screen that is newer to be up and running.

Hope this helps.

*I didn't make it very clear, the screen I used and am using now to install leopard is from a Compaq cq61 laptop. This is not an external monitor. There are no lines or imperfections of any kind. Therefore, if you are feeling geeky, and you have a LG Philips screen that has the same genitalia, give it a go, you might be able to save that PowerBook yet.

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Use a pixeometer to determine the pixel line number on the screen. If you are using a 100-110VAC switch over to a input of 220-240V AC but keep the output voltage from the adaptor to the laptop the same. Try again and after 3 to 4 hours , the line may disappear. If not you may have to change the LCD. Best of luck..

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