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Apple Desktops Discussion of Apple's desktop machines including Mac Pro, iMac, Power Mac, and mini

Startup Chimes, Booting Normally, No Display (Black Screen)


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jocoons

 
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Help! I am pretty ignorant when it comes to Macs!

I'm running OS X 10.6.2 on Aluminum Imac from Early 2008

I'm not really sure to begin. I spent several hours yesterday trying to find a solution to my problem. The problem started when I was editing some images in Adobe Illustrator when the screen went black all of the sudden. The computer was still functioning as I could hear Pandora playing music in the background as if nothing had happened. I couldn't get the screen to come back on so I powered the machine off (holding the power button down). After waiting about 10 seconds, I powered it back up to find that the screen wouldn't turn back on. It chimed and hummed as if everything was starting up normally, just that the screen wouldn't turn on. Not feeling so good about the situation, I opened my macbook and starting trying to find solutions. After trying a few (I'm sorry I don't remember their actual names but the cmd-option-p-r and the unplug the Mac and hold the power button for 5 seconds then plug it back in ones) the display came back on but it hung in the grey screen for two hours, where I turned it off again. When I turned it back on the display wouldn't come back on again. I waited about 1.5 hours and turned the computer on again, and this time the display with the grey screen and chimes come on again.

I decided to try to boot it into safe mode (when I could get the screen on) and the Snow Leopard status bar came up up, filled up about 10% of the way, then disappeared. I left the computer on for another hour, and after getting frustrated turned it off. I then read about single user mode and typed the Disk Utility command and it came up with the error with an "Invalid Sibling Node" which related to trying to fix a b-tree issue. After reading some more, I discovered DiskWarrior v 4.2 and target disk mode, went and bought a firewire cable and downloaded diskwarrior. Diskwarrior somehow magically fixed the HD issue with the exception of overlapping problem which disk utility cleaned up after Diskwarrior fixed the directory issues.

After I ran both utilities, i turned off the Imac, and turned it back on, where the display lit up, chimed and loaded quickly. I worked on some more image editing for about 6 more hours, then decided to play the World of Warcraft. After being in WoW for about 5 minutes, the screen turned off again, but the computer was running normally. I had to turn off the computer that wrong way (holding power button) again. When I turned it back on after a few seconds, the screen wouldn't turn on again. I waited 20 mins, and the screen wouldn't turn on. I waited another 40, and the screen turned on and booted up normally. I removed all the games from my computer thinking that WoW must have been the issue. I resumed working in AI, when the screen went out again. I let the computer sit for about 5 minutes and then powered it off again. Since then I have waited several hours and have not been able to get the dislay to turn on again.

I once again used Target Disk Mode and rebuilt the drive again with diskwarrior and ran all the Disk Utility options I could. I did the pull out the plug and hold the power button for 5 seconds thing several times, and the cmd-control-p-r thing and the display wont light up. I tried to reboot and it chimed and appears to be booting up complete normal, but won't turn the display on. I'm assuming this is a hardware issue but I have no idea where to start, I have no warranty, and no idea how much it will cost to fix it.

Has anyone else ran into this hit and miss display problem before? Anything I can do to fix it? Please help! (sorry for the dissertation)
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directeuphorium

 
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hmmm, well i'm going to be honest this is REALLY close to what happened to the macbook pro i ended up getting for free.

when a display goes black it's usually one of three things.

#1. The inverter board is bad (the inverter is the board which sends power from the logic board to the LED/LCD backlight)

#2. The connection to the Inverter is loose.

#3. The backlight system is dying.

but it could also be a bad logic board


Can those imacs be hooked into an external monitor? If so can you hook it up to an external monitor and see if it can drive that. If it can, that rules out a bad logic board.
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jocoons

 
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Thanks for the response, they can be hooked to a monitor/projector, I'll try it as soon as I can. I've never cracked open an Imac before, would it be very difficult to see if the connection was loose without screwing up the system?

Thanks again
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directeuphorium

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jocoons View Post
Thanks for the response, they can be hooked to a monitor/projector, I'll try it as soon as I can. I've never cracked open an Imac before, would it be very difficult to see if the connection was loose without screwing up the system?

Thanks again
I'm not sure, i've never opened up an Imac either. but first see if it can power an external or a projector.. then we'll go from there.
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chscag

 
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To jocoons:

Is your iMac covered by warranty or Apple care? The reason I ask is because if it turns out to be a bad display, inverter, backlight, or even a logic board, the cost can be very expensive. Opening up an iMac is a task in and of itself, and replacing display components can be even worse. If it is under Apple care or warranty, let Apple deal with it instead.

Regards.
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jocoons

 
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Well I just took it to the an Apple authorized repair shop. It is going to be $700. Holy crap. The only problem is that the backlight on the display is broken. The repairman said if apple would let him just buy the actual backlight, instead on an entire new display, the repair would be a fraction of the cost, however, Apple is out to extort people so they force us to buy things we don't need. I will never buy from Apple ever again and I will actively make sure my friends and family NEVER deal with them. Its embarrassing that no one told me about this when I bought. Good luck to the rest of you.
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What he told you is absolute baloney! If you read my previous post closely, I specifically stated that replacing display components is worse than opening the iMac to work on it. Replacing a display backlight can certainly be accomplished but it's a difficult and tedious job. And.. even worse, replacing it can damage the display. That's why Apple recommends replacing the entire display unit which includes the backlight. I also recommend doing it that way.

Apple is in NO way extorting people to buy components from them. Their service is top notch and so is their support. If they recommend replacing the entire display unit for a bad backlight - they have a good reason. See above.

Regards.
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Like chscag said. Everyone must realize that at the end of the day, Macs are just computers and some of them are going to fail. The failure rate is low because the quality is high. But fail some of them will. That is exactly why buying Apple Care is a great idea. By my reckoning, your early 2008 unit would be covered 100% under Apple Care if you had it. A hardware failure is no reason to condemn Apple.
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BatCom

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VegasGeorge View Post
Like chscag said. Everyone must realize that at the end of the day, Macs are just computers and some of them are going to fail. The failure rate is low because the quality is high. But fail some of them will. That is exactly why buying Apple Care is a great idea. By my reckoning, your early 2008 unit would be covered 100% under Apple Care if you had it. A hardware failure is no reason to condemn Apple.
I have just had a customer drop off a Macbook with the same problem. If this was a Windows machine then I could buy whatever component I needed and install it easily. Apples laptops are getting harder to repair as they get smaller and are almost a throw away machine if they have a hardware problem now. You already pay a premium price for the device, expecting people to pay for Apple Care to make sure they can get a decent life out of a device is unacceptable.
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chscag

 
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I guess you haven't worked on any of the newer Windows notebook computers. Every one of them with few exceptions is built the same way - they even use the same components that Apple uses and for the most part are built in China. No difference. Sony, Dell, HP, Acer, to name a few, are smaller, more powerful, and expensive to repair. So please, don't tell us about how easy it is to repair Windows computers.
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BatCom

 
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I am working on a 10inch Sony Vaio at the moment, and I can get a complete screen assembly and install it for $200 (with good profit for me, unlike Apple parts), how much would it cost for a similar Mac? Don't you mean Apple are now using Microsoft hardware? It's not the other way around. Apples are good for certain situations and are great looking machines, but don't lead people to believe that they should have to pay for Apple Care on a machine that is already overpriced for the specs that they are getting.
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Your post is pure conjecture. Many of us work on both PCs and Macs - Apple parts are not any more expensive than that of Dell, Sony, HP, whatever. And Apple is using Microsoft hardware? Since when does Microsoft manufacture hardware? Oh, you mean their X-Box stuff they import from China? And since both Apple notebooks and PC notebooks use Intel chipsets and hardware, there is no difference.

Anyway, we're not here to argue with you over what's best. If you're having problems repairing a Mac, tell your customer to take it to an authorized Apple repair service center or Apple store where it will be repaired the right way.

Also, since this thread is obviously going nowhere it will be closed.
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I'm going to reopen it. I don't see any reason why we can't discuss differences in repairing Apple products versus generic Windows hardware.

Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BatCom View Post
I have just had a customer drop off a Macbook with the same problem. If this was a Windows machine then I could buy whatever component I needed and install it easily. Apples laptops are getting harder to repair as they get smaller and are almost a throw away machine if they have a hardware problem now. You already pay a premium price for the device, expecting people to pay for Apple Care to make sure they can get a decent life out of a device is unacceptable.
You have a valid point, particularly now that Apple is using copious amounts of glue, and now even epoxy to put together their machines. Parts can also be difficult or impossible to procure. The same can't be said of other manufacturers, though there are always exceptions to the rule.

Apple is clearly going down a path of building very expensive, disposable machines, as evidenced by the Retina MacBook Pro and the latest iMacs. I too have a side business of repairing machines and I can tell you that this wasn't always the case. The plastic MacBooks are very serviceable. You can certainly get an LCD for less than $100 on eBay and replace it with about an hour's worth of labor. The same can't be said of its modern equivalent - the MacBook Air.

This is a shame and will eventually lead to a lot of us old school geeks who moved over to the Mac around the time they switched to Intel hardware, defecting to greener pastures. I still like OS X, but it's getting harder and harder to like Apple hardware.

Just my $0.02...

Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!
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I'm thinking that a discussion of this sort may have been better begun with a new thread...rather than tagging onto a 3.5 year-old thread from 2009...where the OP was looking for help with a problem.

Some things may have changed since 2009...thus making the tagging onto an old thread less "current".

Of course this is basically a "Mac vs. Windows" thread...which almost never ends very pretty!

- Nick

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