6 Replies Latest reply: Oct 27, 2010 10:35 PM by Al_Peee
KilljoyInsanity Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
This evening, when I turned on my macbook, I noticed that the entire display was black. It was working perfectly fine, so I don't know what happened. I can still see screen, and my desktop, but the lighting seems to be turned down to the lowest possible setting. Could this be a backlight problem? When I jiggle the setting between the lowest setting on F1, and then press F2 once, the backlight flashes and I can briefly see the screen for a moment. Sometimes it stays lit for a a minute or two before it goes dark again. I don't know if this is a hardware issue, but please help me fix it!

Macbook, Mac OS X (10.5.8)
  • KilljoyInsanity Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Okay, I've managed to make it stay lit now. Except, it's on the second to lowest setting, but it works. However, every time I try to make it go to its brightest, it immediately goes dark again. What's wrong? I realllyy need to fix this.
  • Lyssa Level 6 Level 6 (17,555 points)
    Mostly likely a hardware issue. Take it in for service.

    ~Lyssa
  • KilljoyInsanity Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    How much would it cost at a local apple store?
  • Lyssa Level 6 Level 6 (17,555 points)
    That depends on what's wrong. Replacing the entire display is quite costly, but just replacing the backlight or a cable won't be as bad.

    They should be willing to diagnose your computer and give you an estimate for the repairs without charging you initially.

    ~Lyssa
  • btktwood Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Most likely not a hardware problem. I have the same problem with my macbook. It just started a week or two ago. If I close the lid then re-open it comes back. I can make the backlight go out by moving the screen back and forth then when it goes out bring it back by totally dimming the screen then slowly bringing it back up. Also by putting the display to sleep then bringing it out of sleep brings it back. If it were a hardware problem (ie. a cable) then simply moving the mouse or a keystroke wouldn't make any difference. I am calling apple tomorrow none the less for support. I will post my results.
  • Al_Peee Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I may have (had) this same problem ... until I got it fixed today. My "fix" may provide you with some insights if your case is similar to mine, i.e. screen suddenly goes dark while I'm using it (like 99% dark - you may still see some faint outline of what was on the screen before it got dark) ... and tilting the screen may (or may not) bring the screen back (to normal) ... and you know the program (or music) is still running (while the screen is black). For the past few months, I would tilt the screen at various angles hoping to get the screen (backlight) on again.

    I called Apple Support, and they wanted $49 before they start to diagnose the problem (over the phone) because my MacBook is out-of-warranty. (I bought it in June 2008). Anyways, I searched the web and figured out that the inverter board and/or cable (to the screen - on the left hinge of the screen panel) is the problem. It seems like a common problem with MacBooks. So, I brought it into an Apple store (Genius Bar) and got these parts replaced. It's a simple job ... and it did the trick.

    If you're a do-it-yourself person, you can get the parts (from Apple) and replace the components yourself. For some ideas of how to disassemble your MacBook (or other Apple computer), check out: http://www.powerbookmedic.com/mac-repair.php

    If you only need to replace the inverter board, the part costs $49. The cable costs $9. Labor may be extra, but it's something that can be done within an hour.