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Macbook Pro 15" has dots all over the screen

Last response: in Mac Os X
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December 27, 2012 6:42:15 PM

It looks like a cartoon graphic to imitate winter snow. NOT snow like a bad tv picture. Round dots random all over the screen. Probably 1 or 2 hundred. They aren't moving, they'e just there. I restarted and they're still there.

Wondering if this is some kind of computer problem, or if my wife let some fun holiday crap install itself and run in the background like an overlay. It was perfectly normal yesterday.
December 27, 2012 7:04:07 PM

Sounds similar to what my sister experienced with her 2008 Macbook Pro 13." She told me that she dropped her laptop 1ft from the carpet and this funky color scheme stayed and some dots. She had it for months until she bought the entire Big Bang Theory Series on DVD and watch for several hours. Then somehow the funky screen problems disappeared. I assume it is the LCD wires that rub on the hinge of the screen that somehow caused a problem.

Why not let your macbook be on for several hours while running several movies. Maybe having OnyX optimize your system first then watching movies will work, but i can't say for sure with confidence that it will work. But hey if it works, reply back.
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December 27, 2012 7:08:24 PM

If Its under warenty contact service center.
if its also in bios screen.it means dead pixel its manufacturer defect.dip cotton cloth in water clean the moniter.
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December 27, 2012 9:08:26 PM

Thanks for the replies!

We shut it down for a few hours and brought it back up just now. On closer examination I notice that in Safari browser, sometimes they move when I move the mouse, sometimes not. Other times they multiply when I scroll up or down. Minimize the browser and they're on the desktop and they don't move or multiply. Also they're not round, they're square and just a few pixels in size and in random colors, black, white, red, blueish.

We use this thing every night with a 42" LCD TV attached watching Netflix. So I think I got the "watching movies" thing covered. lol Just checked it with the 42" plugged into it and its on that screen too. and when a video is going, the dots are moving and almost look like rain.

I just restarted it and there are no dots on the gray apple screen with the spinning wheel. Perfect gray screen. But when the User Login screen comes up, there they are. Dots!

Maybe its a video controller or driver problem, seems like? We always have it propped up so it can get air circulation, but maybe temperature has gotten to it.

I will try some different screen resolutions...
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December 27, 2012 9:41:48 PM

lol! We watch ghost shows on Netflix a lot. Maybe we caught one!

Smaller resolution makes the dots bigger. They stay the same number of pixels.

Still there during screen saver.

When you move an icon on the desktop, the dots all move to different random spots.

When you drag a window, they start filling up that window till you can't read whats on it.

The dots move around inside any progress bars that are moving but stay still on the rest of the screen.

Seems like a virus. I thought Macs can't get a virus... right?
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December 27, 2012 10:17:39 PM

Ya, it could be a driver or GPU problem. Have you tried the application OnyX? It did wonders for me when i had my iBook G4 and it made my sisters Macbook faster. It is like Ccleaner for windows. It optimizes/updates your osX scripts, deletes conflicting directories and other stuff that are beneficial to your system. It will run as new and sometimes better than new. Remember to do a back-up before using it, cause if laptop shuts down mid-way, you might loose your information. After optimizing with OnyX and uninstall the gpu driver (if you can in a Mac). If not go gpu manufacture website and download the latest driver and install/reinstall it.



After installing it, use OnyX again and optimize it (it is my personal habit to use optimization tools regularly to maximize performance and reliability).

If this doesn't work, it could be hardware problem with the gpu...
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December 27, 2012 10:24:46 PM

jonbro said:
lol! We watch ghost shows on Netflix a lot. Maybe we caught one!

Smaller resolution makes the dots bigger. They stay the same number of pixels.

Still there during screen saver.

When you move an icon on the desktop, the dots all move to different random spots.

When you drag a window, they start filling up that window till you can't read whats on it.

The dots move around inside any progress bars that are moving but stay still on the rest of the screen.

Seems like a virus. I thought Macs can't get a virus... right?

Macs do get virus. If optimizing with OnyX and reinstalling the gpu driver doesn't solve the problem then it could be some malicious code doing something to your system. If you been doing time machine back-ups you can go back to a point when you haven't experience the problem. Your personal files will still be saved.
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December 27, 2012 10:53:14 PM

Sounds like the graphics card is going bad or overheating and you are getting artifacts on the screen. Simple way to test. Burn the MacOS disc or run recovery or do whatever it is you Mac people do and see if it happens there. If so, it's the GPU. The Mac installer runs on the same OS as the OS itself, same drivers, etc so easy way to verify if it's your installation or your hardware.

I say overheating though, probably from watching it like crazy on Netflix. Laptops aren't really meant to be run all the time and you're probably doing 1080P hidef movies, pushing it further.

Spend $150 on a PS3 or 360 and use Netflix on there and save your $2000 laptop.
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May 1, 2013 8:11:21 AM

JonBro, Did you ever get a resolution or root cause for it? I have the same issue. No dots at the login screen , then several seconds after login & pw, the dots begin, they blink and shift purple, green, blue, red, whiteish, yellow, blink blink, blinkety blink. Seems to increase with Safari open and upon mouse movement. Help dudes!

jonbro said:
Thanks for the replies!

We shut it down for a few hours and brought it back up just now. On closer examination I notice that in Safari browser, sometimes they move when I move the mouse, sometimes not. Other times they multiply when I scroll up or down. Minimize the browser and they're on the desktop and they don't move or multiply. Also they're not round, they're square and just a few pixels in size and in random colors, black, white, red, blueish.

We use this thing every night with a 42" LCD TV attached watching Netflix. So I think I got the "watching movies" thing covered. lol Just checked it with the 42" plugged into it and its on that screen too. and when a video is going, the dots are moving and almost look like rain.

I just restarted it and there are no dots on the gray apple screen with the spinning wheel. Perfect gray screen. But when the User Login screen comes up, there they are. Dots!

Maybe its a video controller or driver problem, seems like? We always have it propped up so it can get air circulation, but maybe temperature has gotten to it.

I will try some different screen resolutions...


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June 29, 2013 4:11:53 AM

gnomadking said:
JonBro, Did you ever get a resolution or root cause for it? I have the same issue. No dots at the login screen , then several seconds after login & pw, the dots begin, they blink and shift purple, green, blue, red, whiteish, yellow, blink blink, blinkety blink. Seems to increase with Safari open and upon mouse movement. Help dudes!

jonbro said:
Thanks for the replies!

We shut it down for a few hours and brought it back up just now. On closer examination I notice that in Safari browser, sometimes they move when I move the mouse, sometimes not. Other times they multiply when I scroll up or down. Minimize the browser and they're on the desktop and they don't move or multiply. Also they're not round, they're square and just a few pixels in size and in random colors, black, white, red, blueish.

We use this thing every night with a 42" LCD TV attached watching Netflix. So I think I got the "watching movies" thing covered. lol Just checked it with the 42" plugged into it and its on that screen too. and when a video is going, the dots are moving and almost look like rain.

I just restarted it and there are no dots on the gray apple screen with the spinning wheel. Perfect gray screen. But when the User Login screen comes up, there they are. Dots!

Maybe its a video controller or driver problem, seems like? We always have it propped up so it can get air circulation, but maybe temperature has gotten to it.

I will try some different screen resolutions...




I have a similar problem on my late 2008 15'' mac book pro, since I let it fall, this week.
I tried opening it, and the screen went black, apaparently the screen cable got disconected, I reconnected it, but my inial problem remains.

Tried changing resolutions, onyX has not helped me either.

has anyone found a solution ?

Thanks in advance






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June 29, 2013 7:38:08 PM

jonbro said:
It looks like a cartoon graphic to imitate winter snow. NOT snow like a bad tv picture. Round dots random all over the screen. Probably 1 or 2 hundred. They aren't moving, they'e just there. I restarted and they're still there.

Wondering if this is some kind of computer problem, or if my wife let some fun holiday crap install itself and run in the background like an overlay. It was perfectly normal yesterday.
Maybe it has the measles.

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