7 Replies Latest reply: Apr 7, 2010 10:54 AM by JP215
babyed Level 1 (0 points)
I picked up a 2006 Macbook Pro that was pretty beat up from a friend (probly dropped a few times.) The Macbook runs alright but I am having a few problems with the screen that I just can't seem to find an explanation for.

First, the screen is very dim. Not dark, as if the backlight was burned out, but dimmer than the lowest brightness setting on my newer Macbook. This is with the brightness set to the highest setting, it will get dimmer if I use keyboard key to adjust the brightness.

Also, the colors are inverted. Now I have triple checked the Universal Access settings and the colors are inverted when the setting is set for normal colors and the colors return to normal(although still dim) when the inverted colors option is selected.

As far as troubleshooting, I have hooked the computer up to an external monitor and it displays at the correct brightness and color settings. So, while the colors or normal on the external monitor they are inverted on the macbook.

I can provide pictures if needed, and can work my way around the inside of the macbook if need be. Any suggestions or ideas are greatly appreciated!

Message was edited by: babyed (Grammatical Errors)

Macbook Pro (2006), Mac OS X (10.5.1), 2.16GHz Dual Core, 2 GB Memory
  • iVmichael Level 6 (13,725 points)
    Curious, as you say if the backlighting had failed then it would be black not dim, and the inverted colours sound more like a cable fault ... I'd be tempted to take a peek inside and see if you can find anything loose or obviously shorting/mis-connected.

    Did you try doing a Parameter RAM reset - hold down command/option/p/r keys at start up and wait for three chimes before releasing the keys?

  • babyed Level 1 (0 points)
    Thanks for the response!

    I tried resetting the PRAM like you listed but that had no effect. I bought a new LCD inverter for my macbook pro to see if that could possibly fix the brightness problem, but the problem still persisted.

    The previous owner had mentioned something of a overheating problem. I noticed nothing melted/browned on the logic board and all the cables seemed to be fine. I reseated all the connections to the LCD screen and the computer still booted with the same problems. I have not noticed any excessive heat problems with the computer since I have had it.

    Also note, when the computer begins to boot and displays a white screen with an apple, it is just as dim as when the computer is running. Leading me to believe it is a hardware problem(I have also reinstalled the OS recently).

    Tilting the screen to different angles and putting pressure on different parts of the back of the LCD does not make any differences either.

    Thanks again for the input.
  • iVmichael Level 6 (13,725 points)
    +I bought a new LCD inverter for my macbook pro to see if that could possibly fix the brightness problem, but the problem still persisted+

    Wow that's surprising, I'd have expected that to resolve it ...

  • babyed Level 1 (0 points)
    Still having a problem with this. I appreciate the previous input.

    I got a new inverter cable and the problem still persists.

    Any further suggestion are greatly appreciated!
  • Rod Hagen Level 7 (31,985 points)
    I'd be wondering whether it is simply the fluorescent backlight (replaced by LED backlights in later models) deteriorating, babyed.

    This certainly used to be an issue on PowerBooks and Ibooks in the past - see HERE for example.

    I'm afraid I haven't come across any instructions for simply replacing the backlight, rather than the entire screen, on the early MBP models, though, and it doesn't provide an obvious explanation of the inverted colours. Mmm.

    Other thoughts...

    The inverter cable is another component worth considering, I guess.

    Does the computer have a "clean" OS installation on it, appropriate to the model? Is it the same when booted from an OS DVD? Is it equally dark when booted in target Disk Mode?

    Tried running the Apple Hardware test?


  • JoshPwK Level 1 (0 points)
    Hey there,

    Same kind of issue here. My 17" macbook pro display suddenly went dark, very dark. Using a flashlight I was able to navigate a little but ended up hooking up an external monitor (which works fine).

    1. Did PRAM and SMC reset, no change.
    2. I tried replacing the inverter board, no luck.
    3. I thought It might be the backlight form the display itself, so replaced the LCD screen. Still the SAME !
    43. I just ordered another inverted board, just because I have a feeling the first one might of been bad, and also ordered the LCD display cable and the isight/inverter cable...

    Current conclusion: if after changing all of those parts, the screen is still dark, it's the logic board

    Will keep you posted when I get the new parts
  • JP215 Level 1 (0 points)
    Hey I am having the same problem.
    With a friend who happen to find a black macbook.

    The screen is very dim and I can see it slightly.

    I tried to detect monitor and went to the display settings everything was ok.

    I am going to be opening it to try and tinker. If anything works I will repost.

    But after reading everything in the forum I doubt I'll be successful.


    The black macbook is having problems not always starting which is a completely probably worse problem. But I am just curious to try and at least figure out why it's doing this.

    It does look like it has taken a drop.