The Mysterious Migrating Dead Pixel

July 4, 2010

The first thing I thought when I saw the dead pixel on the far left hand edge of my MacBook Pro’s screen was…well I can’t really type it in this blog, I’m not Gary Pearce after all but believe me when I say that I wasn’t thrilled.

This was late at night, so I resolved to get on the phone and have a chat with Apple as soon as I could but the next day was predictably hectic and it slipped my mind. That night the dead pixel was alive again. No glowing spot on the screen. “Hallelujah” I cried with a skeptical look on my face. Maybe it was intermittent, a one-off or perhaps I was hallucinating again. Either way, it was out of sight, so I put it out of mind.

So it was for a few days until one night, I popped a DVD into the drive and settled in for a movie. Lo and behold the dead pixel was back but it had crawled three inches or so up the side of the screen. What the heck? Since when do dead pixels move about? They’re bloody dead right? Anyway – once again this was late at night, resolved to yell at Apple soonest, hectic next day, mind full of holes, forgot…

I use an external monitor during the day which explains why I wasn’t reminded of the dead pixel. I didn’t use the Macbook screen for a few days but the dead pixel was still lurking in postion number two when I got back to it.

Imagine my utter horror when I cued up a DVD movie the following day and noticed a dead pixel, shining out against the black of the movie intro screen in the same location ON MY ALMOST BRAND NEW EXTERNAL MONITOR! Not even Gary Pearce and a team of stranded Russian sailors running out of Vodka could come up with the words I came up with then and there.

Even more disturbing is that the dead pixel comes and goes on the external monitor as well and it vanishes instantly if the Macbook’s DVI cable is unplugged. How the heck can the Mac’s graphics card be telling two different screens that a pixel is dead when the pixel seems to be as healthy as the day it was fabricated?

It’s driving me crazy, that I can tell you. I know that this is one of those scenarios where you take it back to the supplier and everything works perfectly, leaving you standing there muttering gibberish about how it really was dead, about things being haunted and going on about global conspiracies etc. etc.


  1. This better be an ongoing series. I mean, you’ve really left us waiting with baited breath for the next instalment.

  2. Sorry. I’m too terrified to investigate this matter further right now. A tiny bug was walking across the screen today (a really tiny critter) and I was briefly convinced that the pixels were literally moving around in front of me. Paranoid? Me? Anyone know of a good rest home?

  3. Update – It’s still doing it.
    The past two nights at the lower position on the LHS. Tonight it’s up at the top position on the LHS. An annoying, faintly disturbing ghostly presence…like an editor of some sort, always clamoring for attention at the corner of your eye.
    Nice video clip Paul…shades of things to come?

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