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dale275 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

I own a brand new 2011 27inch iMac.  It's been working great over the last two months.  However, yesterday the monitor seemed to dim and now the left side has darkened noticably.  It's exactly like this Youtube video:


Any ideas before I call the Apple Help Desk?





iMac, Mac OS X (10.7.1)
  • Dave B. Level 4 Level 4 (2,075 points)

    If you can't take it in to a store or service provider (make an appm't), it would be good to be ready to send them that link while you're on the phone. But yes definitely something looks wrong and you are under warranty.

  • dale275 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I left the monitor on for a couple hours without the screen saver.  The area that is dark on the backside of the monitor is noticeably cooler than the backside of the brighter right half.  Disappointing that this may be a hardware issue (but still hoping for a software solution).

  • den.thed Level 7 Level 7 (25,180 points)

    I'm with Dave, contact Apple or your local AASP cause it sounds like the left side backlighting is out.


    Apple - Support - iMac - Service FAQ

  • JPDNYC Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I have a similar problem with my QUAD 27"iMac (Fall 2010 version)


    I'm not the first to have seen this issue but the left half bottom 2/3 of my screen is darker and remains at roughly half the over-all brightness of the screen.  This doesn't change regardless of duration of use or what is on the computer (movies etc. or static images)  From research it sounds like a backlight problem (Inverter board?)


    Unfortunately this occured weeks after the warranty expired and I need to know if this is worth getting repaired or not.  I could purchase a seperate monitor for a few hundred dollars that's of equivalent quality as the imac's built in if I can live with the imac assuming the position of my old powermac-on the floor.


    Does anyone know about getting a repair quote for something like this?  I live in NYC so getting a 27" imac to and from the store will not be cheap let alone the repair of the imac which I wish would have functioned better for more than the year I've had it.  I've never had problems with my previous apple laptops or powermac and all have functioned 4+ yrs in their own lifetimes.


    Is replacing an inverter board something that can be done on my own or is a hard task?


    If it's too expensive I'll probably just dust off my22" samsung monitor which has worked perfectly for years with only the flaw of being 22"

  • Dave B. Level 4 Level 4 (2,075 points)

    The inverter board runs the lamps, so it's one of the two. I think the lamps go horizontally all the way across the screen so I'm not sure what's up when you say "left half bottom." Bottom makes sense b/c there are a number of tubes, but half doesn't. Even if the board has partially failed I can't see how it would cause only half of a horizontal lamp to fail. Regardless, it's not something the average user can fix. You're going to have to take it in somewhere. Since your AppleCare is out, you're free to take anywhere that works on them. You could search for Authorized Service Providers on Apple's website and possibly find one closer to you.

  • JPDNYC Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)



    I decided since Amex extends warranty's for most electronics by the original time up to 1 year, I would have apple handle the repairs.  this is defenitely beyond my level of technical hand-on repairs.


    They confirmed anyhow that the left half of the screen was dim and that the LCD board would have to be replaced.  Too bad the imac can't carry itself

  • Dave B. Level 4 Level 4 (2,075 points)

    OK, hope you get it fixed, and free!

  • alicefrombayport Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Happened to me just over the last ten days.


    Flickering started, thought perhaps the outlet was fautly, so I blamed the house, then booted the machine the other day to find a dimmed left screen.


    I am the same as you, too, in that I bought the 27inch iMac in June. So it's brand new. (Under warranty + added Apple Care; so it's mostly the principle of it that I am complaining about.)


    In the middle of prep for finals, but will be getting help Authorized Apple help ASAP. Apple's got an engineering or manufacturing issue on their hands by the pattern emerging . . .

  • sotiris Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I got the exact same problem

    bought mine in July 2011

    27" ATI 1 GB

  • Dave B. Level 4 Level 4 (2,075 points)

    You're still within warranty so have it looked at soon. Since it is a desktop, I think you can ask they come to your home if you are within 50 miles of an authorized service center.

  • aka_srp Level 1 Level 1 (50 points)

    Same story here.


    27" 3.1 GHz i5 purchased July 2011.

    AMD Radeon HD 6970M 1024 MB graphics


    Periodic Flicker started a few weeks ago - became more frequent, finally all but constant - now left half of the screen is significantly dimmed.


    So, has Apple made an official statement regarding this defect? Those of you who have had the repair - please update this thread with your experience and what you have learned.


    We are not alone ;-)

  • JPDNYC Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I didn't hear any official statement but they did tell me that it was the LCD board that had to be replaced and that this was one of the most expensive parts of the computer.  Luckily you're still within a year of purchase so they should repair it free of charge. They never told me what they thought could be the cause but it's possible some LCD boards just made it through the original inspection as lemons with a short fuse.  Best of luck

  • aka_srp Level 1 Level 1 (50 points)

    Thanks JPDNYC.

    I'll start a ticket.

    Curious, did Apple end up taking care of you, as a courtesy, as you were just out of warranty and this is a known defect or did you end up using AMEX?

    And more importantly, any lingering problems or did swapping the LCD board do the trick?

    Appreciate your feedback!

  • JPDNYC Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Apple took care of me for good ol' cash, I think it was around 600 dollars for the LCD part with labor and NY tax. Amex covered the expense as part of their warranty program.  Swapping out the LCD board did the trick atleast to this point.  I made a personal note to not raise the brightness above 50% however (which is plenty) as my guess is that the LCD does have a limited lifetime based on use so maybe keeping the brightness too high causes a faster death


    Good luck again

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