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Screen flicker upon unplugging peripherals, dissipated after a day

Updated 10/2/2014--SEE BELOW


OSX 10.9.5 (13F34)

Intel HD Graphics 4000

I attempted for the first time to use my MBA as a desktop replacement with triple monitors: 2 external and the exisiting MBA monitor. Upon unplugging all peripherals from my MBA (Thuderbolt monitor dongle, USB external video card dongle, USB IR mouse/keyboard, and external DVD-ROM), the MBA screen started to flicker, while the external monitors went to sleep/black (as normal I suppose). After multiple MBA resets/shutdowns, eventually the flicker started to dissipate, but is still slighly present--Genious Bar appointment tomorrow. After reading some relevant IFIXIT articles (listed below), is is possible to 'temporarily overwork' and/or possibly permanently damage the onboard Intel HD Graphics 4000 with my attempt at a triple monitor MBA setup? I've read on IFIXIT of other users who get screen flicker from water/humidity damage; however, I don't believe this applies to my MBA.

Some theories I'm entertaining:

0. Loose cables (I suppose it's possible since I travel with my MBA so much).

1. Non-official AAPL device and/or bad driver

Startechcom USB to DVI External Video Card Multi Monitor Adapter

I've already unistalled the external display driver and plan to return/never use this product again.

2. Non-official AAPL device (no driver)

Cable Matters Mini DisplayPort Thunderbolt to DVI Adapter

I wonder if this experience should teach me to only use official AAPL products (?)

What do you think the problem is? Is there something else I should consider?

Thanks IFIXIT community!

Some IFIXIT relevant articles:

screen flicker MacBook Air Mid 2012

Why is my screen flickering and backlight completely shutting off?


UPDATE 10/2/14

Under 'Quality Program E1', AAPL Genius proposed "replacing the main logic board and display" off-site free-of-charge. After using Time Machine to back up to Time Capsule (wow, non-AAPL external hard drives can be so unreliable), I will most likely do as he suggested, but can anybody in the IFIXIT community think of reason(s) not to?

Some possible ideas/questions:

1. I think the screen flicker is completely gone now (however, Genius mentioned that he did see a slight flicker). Possibly assume that some piece of hardware was overheated/damaged 'temporarily', but cooled down and better now. So logic is: don't-fix-what-ain't-broke?

2. Though my MBA has a SSD, does AAPL's "MacBook Air Flash Storage Drive Replacement Program" have anything to do with my screen flicker?

Thanks IFIXIT community!

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Your machine does not have an inverter (no CFL backlight) the Backlight is LED. IF the problem were the Video Card it would present in the external monitors. IF it does not then the problem most likely is with the internal display chain. You do have a controller chip/fuse that could be getting ready to fail.

Don't overdo resets - they are a diagnostic tool, not a normal operating procedure. Too many or too deep a reset can damage the EFI.

Your machine just meets the lower limit of the Cable Matters Mini DisplayPort Thunderbolt to DVI Adapter RAM requirements so it may be pushing (pulling?) the CPU/GPU pretty hard.

Personally I would run that many USB devices through a self powered USB hub- your no longer "portable" with all those displays and you could damage the USB bus pulling all that power.

I think it is smart to visit Apple and see what they can determine.

If this answer is acceptable please remember to return and mark it.

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Thx machead3!

Is there a website/method you use to determine the RAM/CPU/GPU power 'lower limits requirements' for peripherals through USB/Thunderbolt for the MBA? (I assume AAPL would obviously do these calculations for their official products, but I also assumed 3rd party companies would do the same!)


'You know the old saw about Assumptions? I have plugged many a peripheral into Mac USB slots and been informed by the OS "it's drawing too much power so the bus is off" (usually without permanent damage) you have to reboot with the peripheral out to get the port working again, (sometimes there's more than one port / bus). I like Every Mac. com for in-depth information about machines.


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