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

iMac - LCD Backlight is Out. Repair?


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spencerb

 
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I'm in the middle of a fiasco with my iMac. Basically I sent the computer off to CompUSA for repair of the power supply and got it back with a non-functioning LCD.

So it appears that the backlight is out. Using a flashlight at an angle, I can see the entire screen image (my desktop and all the icons). In normal light the screen looks black.

The question is, how do I repair it? I opened the computer and found nothing obvious wrong. The inverter board seemed like it had a loose connection on the white connector to the midplane board, but I'm not sure it was bad enough to cause a problem. I did not pull the guts completely out to access the LCD.

I would like to fix this myself if I can be sure of the problem. I live 100 miles away from an Apple service center, so I would have to UPS it to them. CompUSA, which did the power supply repair, said I would need a whole new LCD panel for $750. He actually said that he didn't know what was wrong with it, and he would have to start replacing parts at my expense until he found what worked. The LCD panel was to be the first try (after a free power supply and logic board from the repair extension program).

Do I need a new inverter or ??? What's the best way to diagnosing the problem? I hate to just throw money at parts, especially if it turns out to be an expensive part that isn't worth buying.
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surfwax95

 
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Ok, don't take this the wrong way, it's just sometimes the most complicated problems are caused by the simplest things.

Is the brightness turned up? (Use F14 to go down and F15 to go up)

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Alexis

 
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Why open up your computer if its come back from repair with a fault? If it is broken, it's a professional job, if it's repairable at all. And it's their fault.
CompUSA could well claim it was fine when it left them and it must have gone thanks to you opening the machine.
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spencerb

 
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CompUSA claims that when they received the machine the LCD was not functioning. They replaced the power supply (the reason I sent it to them in the first place), but wanted $750 to replace the LCD. The tech said he wasn't sure what is wrong with it, and he would have to replace parts at my expense until the problem is found (starting with the LCD panel).

I know that the screen worked when I sent it to CompUSA via UPS, but CompUSA says that it didn't work out of the box when they got it. I have contacted UPS about possibly filing a damage claim, although there is no physical damage to the box or computer.

I just don't know who to trust to repair the iMac. The nearest Apple store is a four hour drive (each way), and they do not accept shipments (you have to bring it in person). There is no one within 100 miles that services Apples, so I would have to ship it regardless.

I am technically able to do any repair as long as I have the proper information.
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spencerb

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by surfwax95 View Post
Ok, don't take this the wrong way, it's just sometimes the most complicated problems are caused by the simplest things.

Is the brightness turned up? (Use F14 to go down and F15 to go up)

Welcome to the Forums.
I just checked and I left the power cable at home (I'm at the office). I'll have to try tonight. If that works, I'll feel very relieved. And I'll feel ripped off that the CompUSA tech wanted a ton of money to "fix" the problem!

I will accept any and all suggestions. I don't care if it's a simple or stupid solution. That just means it will be a simple fix.
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It might be a burned backlight, but the symptoms you described also match the symptoms of simply having the backlight turned all the way down.

Here's hoping!

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From what your describing they may have not seated the 'Inverter board' or didn't connect everything when they replaced the MLB. One connector on the inverter that you cannot see is under the Optical Drive, I suggest taking the Optical drive out and see if they connected it properly. I'd also try reseating the Inverter itself.

If these steps don't work then the inverter is most likely bad and is cause for no backlight issues. I believe they range from $50-80 dollars. Hope this helps and g/l!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spencerb View Post
I'm in the middle of a fiasco with my iMac. Basically I sent the computer off to CompUSA for repair of the power supply and got it back with a non-functioning LCD
How long have you had the iMac? Why did you send it to CompUSA and not contact Apple from the start?.
Quote:
I live 100 miles away from an Apple service center, so I would have to UPS it to them. CompUSA, which did the power supply repair, said I would need a whole new LCD panel for $750. He actually said that he didn't know what was wrong with it, and he would have to start replacing parts at my expense until he found what worked. The LCD panel was to be the first try (after a free power supply and logic board from the repair extension program).
I understand that you live a long way from an Apple Center, but if you purchased a repair extension, then it should have been covered. What was the repair program you purchased? Was it AppleCare? If so, then it most certainly would have been covered and you would not be charged a dime.

Quote:
Originally Posted by spencerb View Post
CompUSA claims that when they received the machine the LCD was not functioning. They replaced the power supply (the reason I sent it to them in the first place), but wanted $750 to replace the LCD. The tech said he wasn't sure what is wrong with it, and he would have to replace parts at my expense until the problem is found (starting with the LCD panel).
Pardon my French, but that is complete bull.
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I just don't know who to trust to repair the iMac. The nearest Apple store is a four hour drive (each way), and they do not accept shipments (you have to bring it in person). There is no one within 100 miles that services Apples, so I would have to ship it regardless.

I am technically able to do any repair as long as I have the proper information.
Take it to Apple. Believe me, it would be worth your time and long drive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by spencerb View Post
I just checked and I left the power cable at home (I'm at the office). I'll have to try tonight. If that works, I'll feel very relieved. And I'll feel ripped off that the CompUSA tech wanted a ton of money to "fix" the problem!
I don't doubt this. CompUSA is taking you for a ride. Every computer from Apple comes with a one year warranty. No matter where you purchase it, Apple will cover it. Take it to them, not anyone else.

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spencerb

 
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Whew! A lot to comment on...

My iMac is about two years old. I did not purchase AppleCare. The power supply was covered under a free repair program from Apple because it is a common problem. The serial number of my machine fell into the range of affected computers. This repair program only covers power supply issues and not bad LCD screens. Apple covered the cost of the power supply repair.

I first called Apple about the problem. They told me to take it to any authorized Apple repair center, which all honor Apple warranties. CompUSA is the closest repair center (100 miles away), and they let me ship the computer to them. Apple stores would not allow me to ship the computer in for repair.

As far as the actual screen issue, I did try the brightness control to no avail. I feel like it's the inverter. All connections are fine and tight. I stumbled across a working pull on ebay and snagged it for $39 with shipping. Apple sells new ones for $96 assuming you send the old one back to them ($18 fee if you don't).
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SpindleX

 
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Ah, so they did not replace the MLB? Is your computer model the first iMac G5 or the ALS(Ambient Light Sensor) model? Sounds like a nice deal on eBay but you just never know...will it work and for how long.
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spencerb

 
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The inverter fixed the problem!

I also realized that I had purchased the computer on my American Express, which doubles the warranty of everything bought on the card. So I called them up and they said they would cover all costs of fixing the computer, so long as I take it to an Apple Store for repair. Due to "inconsistencies" they will not reimburse for repairs done outside of Apple Stores, even if they are Apple authorized service centers.

American Express said that if the inverter from ebay works, then they will pay me the cost of a new one in case I ever had problems with the used part. And I don't have to take it in to Apple for a repair quote.
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