Dead MacBook Pro Display

I woke up to an unpleasant surprise this morning when my MacBook Pro wouldn’t wake up properly. I noticed it was warm and the display wouldn’t turn on. After rebooting, the display was still black, and it also wouldn’t drive an external monitor.

However, the MacBook Pro still showed up on the network for screen sharing and SSH, and I was able to boot into Firewire Target mode and access the drive. Luckily I do full backups to a bootable external drive at least once a week, so I was able to quickly do an incremental backup.

I reset the SMC and zapped PRAM several times, but still no change. This seems to be a widespread problem, according to Apple’s discussion forums, but there seems to be no consensus on a solution.

I’m starting to suspect a motherboard problem or the graphics chip failing. The console log shows several errors which seem to indicate that it can’t find the display:

Jun 4 09:16:32 localhost kernel[0]: display: family specific matching fails
Jun 4 09:16:32: — last message repeated 1 time —
Jun 4 09:16:32 localhost kernel[0]: Matching service count = 1
Jun 4 09:16:32 localhost kernel[0]: Matching service count = 3
Jun 4 09:16:32: — last message repeated 4 times —
Jun 4 09:16:32 localhost kernel[0]: display: family specific matching fails
Jun 4 09:16:32 localhost kernel[0]: Previous Shutdown Cause: 0
Jun 4 09:16:32 localhost kernel[0]: display: family specific matching fails
Jun 4 09:16:32 localhost kernel[0]: IG: Invalid firmware max backlight setting

With the console log filtered on ‘display’:

Jun 4 08:54:25 localhost kernel[0]: display: family specific matching fails
Jun 4 08:54:25 localhost kernel[0]: display: family specific matching fails
Jun 4 08:54:49 Mcohen-MacBookPro kernel[0]: display: family specific matching fails
Jun 4 08:54:49 Mcohen-MacBookPro kernel[0]: display: match category IOFramebuffer exists
Jun 4 08:54:50 Mcohen-MacBookPro kernel[0]: display: match category IOFramebuffer exists
Jun 4 08:54:55 Mcohen-MacBookPro kernel[0]: display: Not usable
Jun 4 08:55:06 Mcohen-MacBookPro com.apple.loginwindow[34]: Wed Jun 4 08:55:06 Mcohen-MacBookPro.local loginwindow[34] : CGSDisplayServerShutdown: Detaching display subsystem from window server
Jun 4 08:55:06 Mcohen-MacBookPro loginwindow[34]: CGSDisplayServerShutdown: Detaching display subsystem from window server
Jun 4 09:16:32 localhost kernel[0]: display: family specific matching fails
Jun 4 09:16:32 localhost kernel[0]: display: family specific matching fails
Jun 4 09:16:32 localhost kernel[0]: display: family specific matching fails
Jun 4 09:16:48 Mcohen-MacBookPro kernel[0]: display: Not usable
Jun 4 09:28:16 localhost kernel[0]: display: family specific matching fails
Jun 4 09:28:16 localhost kernel[0]: display: family specific matching fails
Jun 4 09:28:26 Mcohen-MacBookPro kernel[0]: display: family specific matching fails
Jun 4 09:28:27 Mcohen-MacBookPro kernel[0]: display: family specific matching fails

Even more interesting, System Profiler now thinks the MacBook Pro has an Intel GMA X3100 instead of a GeForce 8600M.

GMA X3100
Uploaded with plasq‘s Skitch!

Unfortunately this comes at the worst possible time for me, just a few days before I leave for WWDC. I’ll probably be bringing it into the Apple Store later today or tomorrow.

5 responses to “Dead MacBook Pro Display

  1. Pingback: The Macbook Blog

  2. just happened to me too. as always right in the middle of a big project….doh

  3. Markus Schicker

    Strange thing! I had exactly the same problem. Deleted HDD (overwritten with zeros) of my MacBookPro to sent it for repair. Next boot the display was there again… very very strange! And its still working…

  4. Pingback: Does the Santa Rosa MacBook Pro contain a fatal flaw? - Appletell

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