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Thread: Dead display?

  1. #1


    Member Since
    Aug 27, 2006
    Posts
    20
    Dead display?
    Last night I opened my black Macbook 1,1 it loaded everything and a second latter it went black. No backlight, no visible display even under high front light. I have done all the basic rests (pram, NVram, Tried safe mode, no dice.) I was able to log into my computer using back to my mac and I can see that my computer is running like normal just no display. When I check the display info in system profiler it says no display is connected. The only odd thing that my macbook is doing is the power light dose not come on and when the lid is shut it dose not dim the power light. (Have no idea if that is related)

    So that being said I have 2 questions. 1) Can you think of any test I can run to confirm a dead display, or any resets I can try to get it back and 2) If I cant get the display back what do you think the best use of the laptop would be? Is there any easy way to run it with the lid closed?

    Im fairly confident in my ability to fix the display myself if I have to but was wondering if you guys knew any tips or suggestions.

    Thanks so much
    Brice
    My First Mac
    2.0 Black MacBook.
    80 Gig Hard Drive
    2 Gigs of RAM

  2. #2

    chscag's Avatar
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    Jan 23, 2008
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    Late 2013 27" iMac, iPad 3, iPhone 6s+, iPhone 6+, 3 iPods, El Capitan
    Try this test first and post back: Hook your MacBook up to an external display and see if it will work that way. If necessary, use "back to my Mac" to setup the external display thru System Preferences, Displays. If you don't have a spare monitor around or can borrow one, you can use a LCD TV as long as it has either a VGA or DVI input.

    That test should tell us for sure if the display has died or not. And, it may not be the LCD panel itself that's dead. It could be a power cable. The external test will also tell us if the GPU is OK.

  3. #3


    Member Since
    Jun 11, 2009
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    Specs:
    MacBook Pro 500GB hard drive 4GB ram PowerMac G5 Dual 2.2GHz Mirrored 500GB HDD, Mac Mini, and more
    I would have to agree with chscag.. but I have run in to similar issues with a 1st gen MacBook pro that is still sitting in parts and pieces ... the Video chip .. is toast .. and I was also not able to re-flow the chip... (BGA re-flow like on the HP DV series laptops) it works fine with Desktop sharing .. but will never show video on the screen or external monitors...
    the other thing I would check and I know this is no longer avialable Leopard and above but if you are running Tiger you might want to check the System Profiler under the Power Settings to see if it says the Clam Shell is closed or not. Good luck
    Ce's GeekBook PC guru wana Be turned Mac geek

  4. #4


    Member Since
    Aug 27, 2006
    Posts
    20
    I will try this as soon as my wife gets home with the display adapter.
    My First Mac
    2.0 Black MacBook.
    80 Gig Hard Drive
    2 Gigs of RAM

  5. #5


    Member Since
    Aug 27, 2006
    Posts
    20
    OK. Just tested it out and it works. I also noticed that the picture is being displayed on the screen (I guess I didn't have enough light last night to see it.) but with no backlight. However since I have hooked the display up whenever i restart the computer or wake it from sleep I get a flash of the right side of the screen and then it goes out. Im really thinking the florescent is dead in it. Any tips or tricks would be greatly appreciated.

    EDIT: Looking thew some of the post here it looks like I may have a bad inverter. How difficult is it to replace and could you recommend a place to get the replacement part cheep? Again thanks for your help.
    My First Mac
    2.0 Black MacBook.
    80 Gig Hard Drive
    2 Gigs of RAM

  6. #6


    Member Since
    Jun 11, 2009
    Posts
    186
    Specs:
    MacBook Pro 500GB hard drive 4GB ram PowerMac G5 Dual 2.2GHz Mirrored 500GB HDD, Mac Mini, and more
    Cool... atleast its not as bad as it could be ... I have not done a inverter or back light on the MacBook's. iBook and PowerBook inverters are easy... (Will never do a back light again though) will replace the screen first. I would assume you could find a relatively inexpencive inverter on E-Bay ... and some where some one has documented the procedure on the internet.. I definitely will when I have to do it.. just have not had the chance.

    Good Luck
    Ce's GeekBook PC guru wana Be turned Mac geek

  7. #7


    Member Since
    Aug 27, 2006
    Posts
    20
    Video

    Here is a video of my macbook. I figured out if I just dim the display to the lowest setting and then go one level up it will give some backlight for a second or two. I know this video is not that great as it is dark but it needed to be so that you could see the display light up.

    I know its hard to diagnose a bad inverter over a bad backlight but if you can look at the video and tell me what you think i would greatly appreciate it.

    Thanks again
    Brice
    My First Mac
    2.0 Black MacBook.
    80 Gig Hard Drive
    2 Gigs of RAM

  8. #8


    Member Since
    Sep 10, 2010
    Posts
    1
    Similar problem
    I'm having a similar problem incidentally. I tried several things last night--resetting the PRAM and all of that.

    It's a 2.16 GHz Intel Core Duo MacBook Pro with Snow Leopard.

    If I cold start the computer, it boots completely and works normally for about 5 minutes. Then the backlight flickers and goes out. Using lights, I can still see the screen, and everything works perfectly.

    It's 90 degrees Fahrenheit in my house, so I figured the heat had something to do with it. I booted up, and set two huge fans beside the computer to move any hot air away. Whether that is doing anything or not is undecided.

    More importantly, before the screen flickered and while the backlight was still lit normally, I lowered the display brightness to the minimum (which turns the backlight off). Every few minutes, I turn the brightness up, and the backlight comes back on. I just now left it on for a few minutes; the display went off, and now it won't come back on.

    So, my own diagnosis is that it's the inverter. If it were the video card, there would be a distorted picture or no picture. If it were the backlight, it wouldn't light up at all--since the backlight is just a florescent bulb. Wouldn't a defective bulb never work? Is this correct?

    (by the way, I would connect to an external monitor, but I lent my friend my DVI to VGA adapter. I'm certain that it would work, but will try external monitor as soon as I can.)

    Our problems appear to be the same.

    Mark

  9. #9

    chscag's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2008
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    Late 2013 27" iMac, iPad 3, iPhone 6s+, iPhone 6+, 3 iPods, El Capitan
    I know its hard to diagnose a bad inverter over a bad backlight but if you can look at the video and tell me what you think i would greatly appreciate it.
    Your video was just too dark for me to really discern anything. However, most techs would just go ahead and replace both if there were any doubt. Since replacing a backlight can be a daunting job, the recommendation is to replace the entire display. The inverter is easier to replace and not expensive, so you may want to do both at the same time.

  10. #10

    chscag's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2008
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    49,135
    Specs:
    Late 2013 27" iMac, iPad 3, iPhone 6s+, iPhone 6+, 3 iPods, El Capitan
    @macmarklemore

    Please do not hi-jack someone else's thread. If you can gather anything from the replies to the thread, that's OK.

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