Previous 1 2 Next 15 Replies Latest reply: Feb 15, 2010 3:02 PM by mikeysma11z
mikeysma11z Level 1 (0 points)
Hello everyone,

I was given a broken Macbook 1.83 C2D with no background information other than that it only worked with an external display (no mirroring or extended desktop), iSight says it's not connected but appears in system profiler, that the sleep light stays on during use and it had a failing hard drive.

I turned on the machine, it flashed the gray bootup screen and then goes black. I connected it to the external monitor and it powers up fine and gets to the login screen. After logging in, I unplugged the display adapater and the video shows up on the macbook display VERY BRIEFLY, like for about 3 seconds before it goes to sleep. I could see that even with the brightness turned up it was very dim.

I replaced the lcd inverter board and installed a new hard drive. I boot up the machine and same problem, it only works with the external display connected. The dim LCD issue was resolved, however. When I unplug the display cable, the video switches to the macbook for 3 seconds and then goes to sleep. Press a few keys to wake it up and it stays on for another 3 seconds before going to sleep. Then, after about 3 times of doing this, it just stays in sleep mode and doesn't wake up.

What could be causing this? I thought it was the PRAM battery so i zapped it to no avail. Replaced the PRAM battery and the symptoms persisted. Is it a dying LCD screen? Are the display cables failing (which could explain the non-working iSight)?

I've tried to do as much research as I possibly could but yielded no results. Any suggestions, people? Thanks in advance!

Mac OS X (10.6.2)
  • Graphite76 Level 1 (0 points)
    Hey there!

    Same problem here. *However I figured out that if I disconnect the topcase from the logic board while the system is running, then the screen comes back and stays.*

    I can use my macbook on external monitor.. and everything else works. Except the iSight. But if I disconnect the external monitor the computer goes to sleep immediately.

    One more thing.. external monitor method works only with external power. With battery only it stays in sleep mode. Even with fully charged battery.

    Hope some expert tells us the problem.
  • mikeysma11z Level 1 (0 points)
    I really do hope someone with more knowledge will stumble upon this and help us both.

    I've tried disconnecting the topcase while powered on, but my main display never turns on. I've even tried attaching a usb keyboard/mouse to see if that might coerce it out whatever mode it is in but that doesn't work either. I've tried both combinations of running off the battery and then with the adapter but neither yields a result.

    Let's keep our fingers crossed.
  • Berniesatx Level 1 (0 points)
    My Macbook 1,1 has the same problems you described. It only displays an image with an external monitor plugged in. When I remove the vga adapter, the Mac OS X desktop appears on the screen for 3-5 seconds and then the Macbook goes to sleep. When the machine is awake and connected to an external monitor, the sleep light is on constantly, but when I put it to sleep it pulses.

    I also noticed on my unit that the battery was no longer being charged and the Macbook was confused about whether it was being powered by the battery or AC adapter. I opened up the Macbook using an iFixit guide, removed the battery connector with sleep switch, and now the Macbook correctly recognizes that it is on AC power. Yay! Here's a link to the iFixit Guides

    BUT I find it strange that even on AC power, the sleep light remains on (solid white), the iSight doesn't work, and if I disconnect the vga adapter the LCD will cut on for 3-5 seconds before the Macbook goes to sleep.

    I have ordered a new battery cable with sleep switch to correct the battery problem. I will also order a new display cable, an inverter cable, and PRAM battery. If those 3 don't fix it, then my best guess is that it is the logic board. For now, I am absolutely convinced that the Macbook thinks it should be outputting only to an external display - you can do this on fully working Macbooks by attaching an external monitor, putting it to sleep by closing the lid, and with the lid closed wake it up with an external usb mouse. How to get it out of that mode is the question

    Thank you for your post. I will update this post as parts come in, please do the same. For me, this project is not only a learning experience but also a bit of nostalgia, a bit of environmentalism, and just being frugal.
  • mikeysma11z Level 1 (0 points)
    Hello Berniesatx!

    How to get it out of sleep mode IS the question, you summed up my whole problem lol. I agree that although this is troublesome, it is a fun project to undertake. And now, for some additional issues..

    I tried removing my battery connector and testing to see if it'll work right but that was a fail. I forgot to mention in my original post that my magsafe charger is very DIM. The green light is very faint. I've already replaced the magsafe board only to end up with the same dim light. Yes, I've tried a different charger as well.

    Let me know how it goes when you replace your display and inverter cable. That's the only step I still haven't tried. I hope that will fix all our problems lol.
  • Hyprhwk2448 Level 1 (55 points)
    Hi i know this is just a shot into the dark but i remember an old post about a person that whenever they started up there macbooks (it was an IT guy i think and he had 30 or more at one time) that whenever he tried to turn them on they would go to the sign in screen then go to sleep. he finally realized that his problem was that he had them all stacked up on top of each other and the magnets from the macbook underneath it made the top one think it was closed. maybe your problem is similar, not the macbooks stacked on top of each other (unless it is) but the fact that your macbook thinks it is closed and the external display works because it thinks it is in clamshell mode (allows you to use your macbook with it closed) maybe the sensors or whatever triggers the screen to shut off in the macbook (im not sure what it is) is malfunctioning. Hope i am helping Dean

    Message was edited by: Hyprhwk2448
  • Berniesatx Level 1 (0 points)
    Hello and thank you mikeysma11z and Hyprhwk2448! I received confirmation that the battery with sleep adapter is being shipped so I should receive it in the next day or two and will update here with the results.

    Hyprhwk2448, I remember reading about the Powerbooks and magnets being stacked and that's a good idea to check all the magnets. As I'm going to do a complete teardown of my Macbook, I'll see if I can get it out of clamshell mode with the magnet trick. I'm pretty sure that the power cable with sleep adapter that I am replacing is the sensor for the magnets, but I need to do some more research to find out if there are any other sensors on the Macbook.
  • mikeysma11z Level 1 (0 points)
    Hi Hyprhwk. Thanks for your input!

    The idea that the magnets were keeping the macbook in clamshell mode (or whatever it is) definitely crossed my mind. I thought maybe there was something affecting the sleep switch so I tried removing the magnets from the upper lid and testing the bottom by placing the magnets near its attraction point to see if it would convince it to come out of the mode but it did not work.

    Would anyone happen to know where the sensors are located? and if they can be replaced should they prove to be faulty? That's definitely a step to include on the "to fix/replace" list lol.

    Just remembered that the battery connector is also the sleep sensor. I already replaced mine with a known working part but that didn't help solve the problem.

    Message was edited by: mikeysma11z
  • Berniesatx Level 1 (0 points)
    I received the battery cable with sleep sensor and installed it. Before installing it, I cleaned the contacts under the sensor with some rubbing alcohol. After installing the sensor, I am pleased to report that my Macbook now displays an image on the internal LCD. It was initially still falling asleep on its own, so I went to System Preferences->Energy Saver->Schedule and selected "Start up or wake." I then closed System Preferences and reopened it to remove the automatic wakeup. Crossing my fingers but I haven't had a problem since.
  • Berniesatx Level 1 (0 points)
    Just to be completely clear... I cleaned the contacts on the logic board with rubbing alcohol. I then installed the battery cable with sleep switch. At that point, I booted up my Macbook and it no longer required me to have an external display plugged in nor did it think it was in clamshell mode anymore. It was still occasionally falling asleep on its own even though I had turned off sleep, so I went into the "Energy Saver" options in "System Preferences," selected a schedule, then removed the schedule (to reset the plist file that goes with energy saver preferences) and it has been working fine for 1+ days now.
  • mikeysma11z Level 1 (0 points)
    That's great news Bernie! Glad to hear that your machine is running again!

    Just a quick question, did you also replace the PRAM Battery? I already replaced mine but it seems that the one I used was also on its way out. Will be putting in orders for a new PRAM battery and Battery Connector today. The replacement battery connector I used was also faulty. How sad. Hopefully new working pieces will help close this thread.
  • Graphite76 Level 1 (0 points)
    Great news indeed!

    Did you check the iSight? Is it working now too?
  • Graphite76 Level 1 (0 points)
    Hey guys!

    My problem solved too. But in a slightly different way.

    Yesterday a "few good men" broke into my house and took the macbook too.

    Cheers from Hungary!
  • mikeysma11z Level 1 (0 points)
    So sorry to hear that Graphite! I wish bad fortune to befall upon their shoulders.

    On the other hand, when they go to investigate what's wrong with the macbook they'll wind up on this thread.

    I hope you are okay though. Things can be replaced.
  • Berniesatx Level 1 (0 points)
    No, I did not replace the PRAM battery. I forgot to mention...after installing the new battery cable with sleep switch, the Macbook wouldn't even boot the first couple of times and I thought it was completely dead. I reseated and cleaned the contacts on the motherboard a few times, left the Macbook plugged in for about 15 minutes, and finally the green light on the Magsafe AC adapter came on. It's been working great since, and yes, the isight which was not working at all is now working great!
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