View Full Version : Pink Horizontal Streaks

29th September 2006, 08:45 AM
I'm fair certain I saw a thread about this some time ago, and didn't read it, yet saw evidence of it first time yesterday on a 17 inch Powerbook G4 / 1.67 GHz.

Odd little horizontal lines appearing on its screen. On startup, the grey backgound with darker grey Apple logo and spinning mill - the screen is clear of all, yet upon full start, strings and clusters of strings, of horizontal pink lines appear all over the desktop - some go right across - most are an inch long and broken into miniscule segments.

When I changed the Desktop to a bland block colour, most would vanish leaving only two or three.

When I brought up a photo containing many colours and complex elements - boom! They suddenly proliferate into hundreds of short clusters and change from pink to a vibrant red.

As the Powerbook stays on (warms up) - they slowly begin to vanish, yet when they are all gone, the moment one brings up a colourful image, kuchung! They're back in their hundreds again. Certainly not dead pixels, as they come and go depending on the complexity and colours on the screen at the time.

Also, Powerbook G4 was running Panther, so I attempted to run Tech Tool Pro from my Panther Boot Disk, to see if it would pass the Video Test, yet each time, it rebooted on a panic kernal. When I attempted to boot it off it's own Mac OS X Panther Installer 1 Disc - same deal - panic kernal, so it refuses to boot from boot disc also.

All other functions operational.

Any insights?



29th September 2006, 08:52 AM
If it's failing the video test, it doesn't sound good - perhaps the Radeon's RAM is flaking out, causing corrupt graphics. This could also be due to overheating (or heat damage). You could try downclocking the graphics card by running ATIccelerator:


Clock both core and memory speeds down by ~ 20% or so and see if anything improves.

Have you tried the tried and true troubleshooting tests - remove RAM, reset power manager, PRAM?


29th September 2006, 10:02 AM
Hi Byrd,

I didn't have time unfortunately. It was one of those "do and check many many things - and do it quickly damn-it" jobs.

My first idea was that it might be a fault in the video connector ribbon - something the customer would need to return to Apple Repairs for - this guy opted for no APP - thus folks must learn the hard way.

I didn't get a chance to run the video test, as the PB G4 refused to boot off TechTool Pro - or any boot disc for that matter.

The customer will be going to the UK for around 3 months, in two weeks. I'll download ATIccelerator and attempt to convince him that the graphics problem may well detoriate to the pint of a screen of shimmering pink lines.



29th September 2006, 11:08 AM
Do you still have the notebook? Powerbooks are fairly easy to get into - with access to the video ribbon being more difficult, but do-able.

By all means though, I'd try downclocking the chip first, and if this fails it's dismantlin' time :)


29th September 2006, 11:24 AM
If its improving as it warms up, I would have thought thats an indication of the screen becoming flakey.

Usually if its the video it would get worse as it warms up.

I've seen it happen once before on a Powerbook.

29th September 2006, 11:35 AM
Unfortunately not - Byrd - he won't part with it - he's a businessman and it's the only computer he has.

I'll try to get him to get me back in, on the seriousness of the issue... "if" he listens.... ;)

29th September 2006, 12:21 PM
Round 2 - customer claims now that the pink lines were there the very moment he bought the PB G4 - and although he never reported it back to Apple (as he assumed it would go away by itself) - he now "demands" that it be repaired for free... and naturally that's either me or Apple Australia - minus an APP, which he turned down on purchase.

[It's rarely the computer that is the problem].

Return post once I find out more.


29th September 2006, 12:47 PM
I dont have a great deal of experience with macs, but I have come across a simmilar problem in a pc syste, orange lines at itermittent periods usally on digital images sometimes games. It was attributed to faulty graphics ram, so I agree with byrd in may be flaky ram...

29th September 2006, 01:33 PM
basically if he calls apple and gets a CS code then apple will repair it under warranty. he needs to convince apple to approve this though so its not up to you.

i would do a few things...... firstly i would connect an external monitor to the computer. if the symptoms show on the monitor to then you have a logic board issue (likey the graphics processor). if not (which i think will be the case) then it is something in the LCD monitor section (either LVD cable, inverter board or panel itself).


29th September 2006, 01:57 PM
yes Macmate - I came to the conclusion that it would be best if he takes it back to Apple Repairs, as the actions of testing it here (in my studio) - would require him to... well - not be here - and he's demanded to not be seperated from it.

Also - call it gut instinct - I do not believe for one moment that he had pink lines appear the second he turned it on for the first time. The PG G4 in question is one of the Battery Exchange models - and he's refused to have the battery taken out (date modification errors and so forth) - yet he had put in a request some 5 weeks ago - and the two maybe linked - as Byrd mentioned: an over-heating problem, yet as it won't boot off boot discs, it looks like a combination of internal f*ck-ups - and very possibly - the logic board itself.

Thinks: Who would stand for multiple pink lines obstructing their vision after just buying a spanking new, and put up with it for time and time and time afterwards?

Doesn't make sense (to me at least). I thinks it began maybe a month or so ago - just after the first year had run out.

I'm getting him to take it to Apple Repairs today, and will then post back what they find - so we can all get a clear picture on the full nature of the problem.

Thanks peoples,


29th September 2006, 02:04 PM
Sounds similar to the problem I had except mine was more like purple snow,the advice I got on here was that it was most likely a logic board problem. I was preparing to take it in to be looked at when I knocked it off my coffee table and the problem disappeared and hasn't returned since (a few months) so I am thinking my problem was a loose connection of some sort and fingers crossed it will stay fixed.I don't know if this is of any use to you in your quest to find the problem but it might pay to check for anything loose (I wouldn't recommend my repair method though for obvious reasons).

29th September 2006, 03:16 PM
Thanks Tungsten - and obviously not the solution for all problems of this nature :P

Looks like logic board failure.

However - it is now less and less of a mechanical problem - and more and more of a customer problem.

Customer claims he bought it brand new from Apple in late December 2005 and thus it should have the 1 year of Apple Warranty on it.

Have looked into its history: It was a Apple ex-demo purchased from a clearance list in WA at a heavily marked down price with three months Apple warranty left on it. It was purchased on 14th March - 2005.

When he received it, he would have seen this information on the Invoice, he would have seen that both the box and the wrapping were open, and if pink lines had been there at the start, he would have seen those too - and in combination, had he believed it was a brand-new model, he would have questioned wherever he purchased it from - about all these things...

.... but he didn't - no - he carried on merrily for a year - and then when pink lines appeared on the screen - he demanded Apple warranty - simple as that.

This is a case of a Powerbook G4 that requires Apple Repair, and a customer trying to pull one off over Apple Warranty - yet naturally, Apple has the records of all this.

He'd been offered APP when he purchased it from the Clearance List, and had turned it down.

He must now pay full repair costs and thus, learn the hard way.

APP (AppleCare Protection Plan is a MUST).

PS: Customer excuse:

"The Invoice is sent as both a PDF Attachment to your e-mail, and it would have also been stuck to the side of the box in a tightly sealed plastic pocket."
"Then ... you're admitting you've thrown both invoices away, yes?"
"WELL... yes..."
"I see - then you really don't have any proof of anything, do you?"

May this serve as a warning to retailers who don't want boomerangs.



29th September 2006, 03:50 PM
Time to distance yourself (ie. with 10-foot pole) methinks, CW. His problem, not yours.

To be honest though, with Applecare costing as much as it does - I'd shy away from it too after forking out several grand for a Mac.


29th September 2006, 04:05 PM
Oh absolutely Byrd - yet after my first expience in "stuff going wrong" - back in the beige days - with every one of my five machines, APP was bought and re-bought, and in the last 8 years, has saved my arse 4 times now.

(That's 4 x $2,000)

One does attempt to make this clear to the customer, yet one eventually realizes that even if one had the articulation of a god, the customer must learn the "more" expensive way.

It's like any warranty. It's a risk. It's a bet. We pay on the bet it will go wrong, and Apple takes our money on the bet that it won't.

Bet's on the basis that it's just a machine - like any other machine, created by imperfect hands...


(who would buy a Jag, and then not pay any warranty on it?)

30th September 2006, 10:20 AM
This is happening to me right now and I fear I am being given the run around by Apple, even though I have Apple"Care".

It's been just under 3 weeks since I have taken my Powerbook into the service centre with 3 pixel lines.

They diagnosed it as an LCD problem and took one week for them to get back to me with Apple saying that they had run out of stock for the LCD. When I asked them to check with Apple for when the part will be available they said that Apple did not know. I asked them to check for an estimated time of delivery and the service repair centre has been hopeless. They haven't pressured Apple enough - it seems like all they do is send emails.

So then the suggested I put pressure on Apple myself and call customer service which I did who basically told me that the part is out of stock and they can't tell me when a new shipment will arrive. The person I spoke to told me that several other people are waiting for the part as well. The person at Apple said they would call me back yesterday afternoon to give me an ETA, and they never called back.

I am so pissed off right now - I definitely feel like something fishy is going on. I keep reading about this problem which seems have appeared all across the world in the last few months.

I'm also not happy with the service centre I have gone to (which was recommended by a colleague and I have gone out of my way to go to this particular one, when others are closer). Fortunately, I have Apple"Care" until 2008 but I am starting to wonder if it means anything anyway if this is the way I am being treated.

30th September 2006, 10:49 AM

Can truly sympathize with you on the whole "waiting" problem - myself - a three month wait on a certain critical part, yet - if that "part" is not in Australia - then yes, Apple must also wait for its arrival.

Recalls a similar situation with Fisher & Paykel washing machines. Fisher & Paykel don't keep their stock in Australia. It's in Europe somewhere and they have to order it in from Europe-somewhere, before they can replace the faulty part.

With Apple Australia, it also depends where you are - like if you're in Sydney or Melbourne - the parts can be replaced fairly quickly. Another factor is which franchise you're dealing with. Some Apple Service Centres are full of really helpful people (usually because they have a good Manager) - and others are abismal (usually because the Manager is a complete bastard).

Another factor which will slow down the process greatly, is if a customer loses their cool with an Apple Service person. Shouting at them - or demanding things doesn't go down too well, as one has to continually remind oneself - I'm not just dealing with a company - I'm dealing with a human being just like me.

By the way - what city are you in. I may be able to source the friendliest Apple Service Centre. ;)



30th September 2006, 11:05 AM
Thanks Clockwork,

I am in Sydney. I've started to lose my cool, having just put in a complaint with Apple this morning that the Apple person did not call me back yesterday when they said they would.

I haven't lost my cool with the Service Centre yet, but if they continue to be hopeless I am taking my Powerbook elsewhere.

I would think that since I am in Sydney it would be ok for them to find the part, even if it comes from overseas. It's been almost 3 weeks now.

All I need is an ETA. Why can't they find that? How hard is it to get? I could be waiting around for months for an ETA. I simply don't understand why it has taken almost 3 weeks for an ETA, which no-one can give.

I find this very sloppy service, and I haven't even pissed anyone off yet.

30th September 2006, 11:25 AM

Try calling Computers Now - in Crows Nest, North Sydney. They are really efficient and genuinely pleasant to deal with.


Computers Now
222 Pacific Highway
Crows Nest, 2065
t: 02 9951 7979 (press option 2)
[press option 1 for Saturdays]

(Location wise, they are on your left coming from the city, on the right of Harvey Norman's Lighting WareHouse and the Flagg Inn - black store front with a white Apple on the front - and a ramp going down under the store to a limited parking area).

They are open today (Saturdays) - between 9:00 am and 4:00 pm.

See how you fair.



30th September 2006, 11:40 AM
Thanks very much ClockWork,

I'll keep them in mind. I'll find out what's going on next week, and if the Service Centre I'm using continues to be hopeless then I'm getting my laptop off them and looking elsewhere.

6th October 2006, 01:33 PM
<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Byrd &#064; Sep 29 2006, 03&#58;50 PM) 219358</div>

Time to distance yourself (ie. with 10-foot pole) methinks, CW. His problem, not yours.

To be honest though, with Applecare costing as much as it does - I&#39;d shy away from it too after forking out several grand for a Mac.


It&#39;s been 7 days now - and the customer won&#39;t retract on this problem. I&#39;m still the meat in the sandwich. He has admitted the pink streaks weren&#39;t there when I first configured it. He&#39;s admitted that he has both invoices. He&#39;s admitted that he was given the option to pay APP and had refused.

The bad news: he&#39;s going to sue both Apple Australia and myself.


Well - it&#39;s an interesting point - which is why I chose to raise this thread again.

I connected him to a Clearance Sale - (not in Melbourne and I&#39;ll not say in which other State), for a PB G4 1.67 MHz going around &#036;850 under the RRP at the time.

His point is - that as a lay-person, with no knowledge of computers, or computer sales, or Apple policy - he had no concept that a computer on a Clearance Sale fell into the catagory of New, Used, or Ex-demo, and on his invoice (which he has now found) - it actually doesn&#39;t say whether it&#39;s ex-demo or used.

All Apple&#39;s Invoice says is what it is, what it comes with, and how much it costs.

He also claims that both my over-the-phone and e-mail explanations that it was either an ex-demo - or used machine, meant absolutely nothing to him at the time, as he assumed that if Apple sells a customer something, it&#39;s new.

The problem is... he has a point.

If someone buys a car off a Clearance Sale, then one knows it&#39;s a car that was used as a display model, though it was never driven, yet couldn&#39;t be sold - due to the next latest model coming into stock, and is - in effect - still brand new.

In a Clearance List, it definitely tells one if a model is New, Ex-demo, or Used - and how much Warranty is left on it. However, he never read the original Clearance List when I told him that there was one available, and asked me to simply connect him with the CEO who had produced this list.

Everything else, bar the invoice, was a verbal.

And before you guys start telling me he won&#39;t take Apple to court, note that just about every new kitchen utensil you have in your kitchens, every toilet brush, every dish brush etc Australia and UK wide - came either directly or indirectly from his corporation.

Byrd - it&#39;s possible he even manufactured that 10 foot pole.

Who thinks I should hide under a rock... somewhere in Uzbekistan ?

CW (when the devil has farted down my collar once again)

6th October 2006, 02:15 PM
just try and be calm, and get on his side of the story, make it out to be apple&#39;s fault rather than your own (which it isn&#39;t). hopefully then he will not take legal action against you. :D

6th October 2006, 02:42 PM
I have been. I&#39;ve been utterly charming. I&#39;ve been one charming understanding bohemian. It&#39;s not going to work. He&#39;s a ruthless business man. More to the point, alot of what he&#39;s saying is legitimate, outside of Apple&#39;s policy.

6th October 2006, 04:03 PM
Whats the worst he can do?

6th October 2006, 05:31 PM
He can run round my area and tell everyone I&#39;m crap.

7th October 2006, 09:58 AM
Seriously though, it&#39;s not a clear cut right / wrong situation.

From Apple&#39;s point of view:

We sold this customer a second hand machine - a Used machine - used in someway, it was not, by definition: New.
This was verbally explained to the customer, plus we offered him the chance to purchase APP within 3 months, as the Powerbook in question was &#036;850 lower than its RRP, and was part of a Clearance List - so it did have a limited warranty.

12 months later, the logic board goes strange and the cost to repair is &#036;1,300. Apple Repairs won&#39;t fix it because the customer has already told them he has no intention to pay for it.

From the customer&#39;s point of view:

He bought a Powerbook because I told him that there was a Clearance Sale in Powerbooks going. He agreed to it, and asked me to act as middle-man. He didn&#39;t want to see the details of the clearance list, because they are typed up in such a way, that they make no sense to someone who knows nothing about computers.

He buys it and I configure it for him and everything works like a dream. I then try to convince him to purchase ApleCare Protection Plan, yet he declines on the basis : "I&#39;ve already spent &#036;2,000 - I trust Apple&#39;s technology, and I don&#39;t want to pay another &#036;512".

11 months later, the screen is filled with Pink Stripes. He wants it repaired free of charge as it still has 1 year of warranty left on it. It is at this unfortunate junction that I must advice him that it was a second hand machine with a three month warranty.

He now tells me he never realized it was a second hand machine with thee months warranty left on it. He thought it was a Clearance List of "New" machines.

(and yes, often one will see a "new" machine on a clearance list)

The invoice he received from Apple doesn&#39;t actually say it&#39;s a second hand machine. It just says that it&#39;s a 15" Powerbook G4 1.67 MHz with such and such RAM. Further, the emails sent to him by Apple also DO NOT state that it is a second hand machine with a 3 month warranty.

The only way he realized was by calling Apple and reading out the machine&#39;s Serial Number.

All other informing that it was second hand was purely verbal, from Apple speaking to him and from me speaking to him. In other words, nowhere is it written in hard copy, that it is a second hand machine, and thus from customer&#39;s point of view - he&#39;s been cheated by both myself and Apple, as their is nothing in print to state otherwise.

See what I mean?