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  1. #1
    MacBook Issue - Backlight Randomly Turns Off
    MacDude121's Avatar
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    MacBook Issue - Backlight Randomly Turns Off
    Hey guys, I'm having a very irritating issue with my MacBook. (Model A1181)

    For some strange reason, the backlight in my MacBook seems to turn off randomly. I know it's the backlight because if I take a flashlight to the screen, I can still see all of my icons and desktop. If I keep my screen set to the absolute lowest brightness setting, it seems to last for quite a while (it's been an hour and it hasn't turned off yet) but on higher brightness settings it lasts anywhere from 10 minutes to 5 seconds (depending on how bright you make the display) before it turns off again.

    I thought maybe a loose connection is at fault, but I've tried moving/banging/shaking the MacBook and nothing happens, so I doubt that's the case. I have also reset the SMC and PRAM, no change.

    Now I think it may be the inverter that is giving me the trouble, but I've come across another thread that shows other people replaced the inverter, screen, etc and this exact same problem persisted, making me wary that it may be the logic board that's going.

    That thread can be seen here: https://discussions.apple.com/thread...art=0&tstart=0

    Any ideas? I'm not in the market for a brand new laptop, nor am I going to put a new logic board in this thing. I might just have to squint and use it on minimum brightness.
    -Evan

  2. #2
    MacBook Issue - Backlight Randomly Turns Off
    chscag's Avatar
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    Yeah, you're probably spot on regarding a logic board fault. I ran thru a whole series of threads on the Apple Discussion Forums a while back trying to help someone else out with the same problem as yours. One of the guys who was real tech savvy said he found a bad component on his logic board that was causing the backlight to flicker or go on and off. I don't remember if it was a resistor or some other part. He allegedly repaired it by replacing the component. Maybe if you take your machine apart and do some poking around you can find out what's causing it. If I remember correctly, someone else said he repaired his by soldering a bad connection on the logic board.

  3. #3
    MacBook Issue - Backlight Randomly Turns Off
    MacDude121's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chscag View Post
    Yeah, you're probably spot on regarding a logic board fault. I ran thru a whole series of threads on the Apple Discussion Forums a while back trying to help someone else out with the same problem as yours. One of the guys who was real tech savvy said he found a bad component on his logic board that was causing the backlight to flicker or go on and off. I don't remember if it was a resistor or some other part. He allegedly repaired it by replacing the component. Maybe if you take your machine apart and do some poking around you can find out what's causing it. If I remember correctly, someone else said he repaired his by soldering a bad connection on the logic board.
    That's the answer I was hoping not to get, but I do believe you're right.

    I just did a restart and I had to literally mash the screen brightness buttons (full-off to minimum) for about two minutes before the screen would stay on. This is one of the weirdest problems I've experienced in a long while.

    If I hook it up to an external monitor in clamshell mode it should work correctly, right?
    -Evan

  4. #4
    MacBook Issue - Backlight Randomly Turns Off
    Stretch's Avatar
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    It should because the logic board won't control the brightness of an external screen. That's actually what I was going to suggest you do as it's cheaper than fixing the MacBook, and you may have one sitting around.
    Blog and Photo Gallery: http://philolin.me/

    Currently running OS X 10.10

  5. #5
    MacBook Issue - Backlight Randomly Turns Off
    chscag's Avatar
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    I agree with member Stretch. Unless you want to spend the time trying to trouble shoot the logic board, an external monitor would be your best bet. You can use your MacBook in either clamshell mode or with the lid open.

  6. #6
    MacBook Issue - Backlight Randomly Turns Off
    MacDude121's Avatar
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    Thanks guys, much appreciated.
    -Evan

  7. #7
    MacBook Issue - Backlight Randomly Turns Off
    pigoo3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacDude121 View Post
    Hey guys, I'm having a very irritating issue with my MacBook. (Model A1181)
    I remember when you got this MacBook! A big big upgrade over those iMac G3's you were messing with.

    Sorry to hear about the issue.

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  8. #8
    MacBook Issue - Backlight Randomly Turns Off
    MacDude121's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pigoo3 View Post
    I remember when you got this MacBook! A big big upgrade over those iMac G3's you were messing with.

    Sorry to hear about the issue.

    - Nick
    Thanks Nick, It's definitely served me well for over a year now, but I think it's days as a portable are numbered (it seems to be deteriorating, getting harder and harder to keep the backlight on)

    And no worries, I still mess with plenty of G3's and G4's in my spare time.
    -Evan

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