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Apple Notebooks Apple's notebook computers including MacBook Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air, PowerBook, and iBook.

MacBook Pro - Backlight Went Out - Replaced Inverter Board


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brett123

 
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I have a 15" MBP - I was sitting down on my couch and I tilted the screen towards myself slightly, and the screen went dark. There was no flickering or any sounds or anything noticeable that happened. I noticed that I could still see my screen, however, it was just really dark. I immediately went online and read all the forums and posts I could regarding this problem. From what I gathered I have one of three problems.
1) Bad Inverter Board
2) Bad LCD
3) Bad Logic Board
I went with the cheapest route and ordered myself a new inverter board and replaced it myself. This was a little scary, but not quite as scary as taking my wife's keyboard apart and cleaning it. I crossed my fingers and turned my MBP back on... still dark.
Does anyone have any suggestions or helpful information?

Thanks!!
-Brett
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ADKhikerVW

 
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It sounds like the backlight in your LCD probably died. I don't think it is a logic board issue since you can still see everything on your desktop, it just isn't backlit. Unfortunately this means you will need to order a whole new screen for your MBP, since it isn't possible to replace only the backlight.
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chscag

 
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I agree with ADKhikerVW. Your MBP either has an LED backlight or an older style CCFL (depends on which model MBP you have). And although in theory it is possible to replace just the backlight, it's not worth the effort and possibly damaging the display in the process.

If you're handy, you can replace the display yourself and save quite a bit of $$ in the process. The folks at ifixit have the display and step by step instructions on DIY.

iFixit: iPod, iBook, & PowerBook Parts and Accessories

Regards.
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pandabearjohnso

 
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brett123 - Did you find a solution for you screen problem? I am in a similar situation with a 15" MB Pro. I just replaced my LCD screen, but still no image. I would be interested to know what you find in the end.
PBJ
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brett123

 
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I found a new screen on ebay for my mac for only $120, but it was the wrong one. Still waiting to get the correct one. Will keep you posted
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roozbeh_jolfa

 
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There is website with cheapest prices I've found so far:

to figure out your model number run this in a terminal:

Code:
$> ioreg -lw0 | grep IODisplayEDID | sed "/[^<]*</s///" | xxd -p -r | strings -6

N154C1-L01
Color LCD
There are ways to replace the backlight itself in the LCD i've found on Youtube, people have done that but its so tricky, you have to be a miniaturist to do that. If you are up for the challenge the backlight itself can be purchased here or google for prices, they guy on the youtube says its around 10 to 20$.

I have the same problem, and I do the same process:
first I go with the obvious one: inverter and I found the cheapest one here, if that did not worked out I have to decide, to repair the backlight or get a new LCD?
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brett123

 
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ok. so now I have replaced the inverter, and replaced the entire screen assembly with a brand new screen, same model number and all. I put it all back together, fired it up, and I STILL have a dark screen - I want to cry haha. I am beginning to think that since the screen went out when I adjusted its position, I must have pinched a wire or something. Any thoughts? I checked the wires at the board and they all seem fine. Then again im not really sure which wires i should be checking. Could anyone help me further? Maybe a picture would help. Thanks a bunch

OH.. i also forgot to mention that when I restarted the laptop, the right side did light up for a second, and it does every time I restart it. Any thoughts here?
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chscag

 
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First thing to do is eliminate any other defect. Attach an external monitor to your MBP.... does it work OK? If you can get a normal display on the external monitor, we can assume the graphics (Logic board, etc) are working OK.

Go back over the steps you performed when you replaced the screen. Go to the ifixit web site if necessary and follow their step by step instructions. You may be able to determine from those if any critical wires or wire assembly may have been damaged during the replacement.

It's also possible you may have received a defective display or it may have been damaged in shipment to you. Not likely, but it is a possibility.

Regards.
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sonic9t9

 
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At this point it would have been A LOT cheaper to just go to apple and have them diagnose it at the bare minimum.
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csegeek

 
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Not sure if it would have been cheaper to take it to apple ... if they cant figure it out in 10 min .. don't they say they have to send it in.. then it could be 500$ or more for them to fix it??? YIKES .

I would not suggest changing the LCD backlight ... I have done it on a PowerBook and that was less fun than replacing a hard drive in the old iBook G3's ... lots of tiny parts and pieces and got to be darn careful not to break the bulb.. (if its not LED's) Better off finding a Full Screen enclosure on ebay for as cheap as possible..

One last thing to make sure in System Profiler ... it does not show anywhere that the clamshell is closed... as this could cause a similar issue as well.. I know this is not easily done if you don't have the connections for an external display.

Ce's GeekBook PC guru wana Be turned Mac geek
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cdimase

 
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My 15" 2.16 GHz MacBook Pro has recently begun to experience the same symptoms. Dim screen, but the LCD is clearly working (I can easily make out images on the LCD when I shine a flashlight on the screen). An external display works fine when connected to the laptop, so it's not a graphics card problem. The far right side of the LCD screen flickers briefly with light immediately upon reboot or wake-up, but then goes dark. Replaced the inverter board, to no avail. Any luck diagnosing and/or fixing the problem? Was it a software issue, a bad inverter cable, a dead backlight, or something else? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.
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chscag

 
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That sounds like a backlight going out or has already gone out. Usually that symptom you described is attributed to backlight problems. I've seen very few inverters go out but since they're fairly easy to replace, that's usually what folks do first.

I suggest you strongly consider replacing the entire display. It's not only easier to do, but if you do decide to attempt replacing the backlight, there's always the chance that the display will get damaged in the process.

Go to the ifixit web site and price out a new display. They also have step by step instructions for replacing it.

Regards.
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