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MacBook screen goes black while active

11136 Views 9 Replies Latest reply: Oct 2, 2012 8:58 AM by diehard200904 RSS
Hajric Calculating status...
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Jan 30, 2012 1:01 AM

Hi, this problem started to show up just about 7 days ago. Periodically, while I am actively using the computer (browsing the web, typing in word, etc.), the screen goes black, as if it is sleeping, but I am in the middle of doing something, the computer is not in idle mode. The only way to "wake it up" is to close the lid (screen) and reopen it, or to continue hitting the brightness button (low brightness) until it reaches this “calibration” point and the press the brightness (high brightness) until the screen becomes normal. The other thing is to turn it off by holding the On/Off button, remove the battery and replace it again. This problem is really annoying. I have been reading about this issue through the weekend and I have tried the following suggested statements which I have found on the Internet.

  • Reset PRAM and NVRAM
  • Reset the SMC
  • Reinstalling MAC OSX (10.5.8)

But nothing helps.

The battery is not low, no warning has come up about using reserve power, or needing to plug in. And I have checked the power options as well.

It is very frustrating!

I have read on Apples page (link below) that this is related to the Nvidias graphic processor released in 2008. But here they only state that the issue is on MacBook Pro. This MacBook is bought in 2009 and I’m facing exactly the same issues as in the description. What to do?

MacBook, Mac OS X (10.5.8)
  • Douglas Pressman Calculating status...
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    Feb 5, 2012 5:12 AM (in response to Hajric)

    I have the identical problem, with a white Macbook with 2.13 Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo, purchased in June 2009. Am running Snow Leopard.

  • AnotherMac Calculating status...
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    Feb 5, 2012 9:27 AM (in response to Hajric)

    I'm also having the same problem.  It started a little over a week ago.  I have a white MacBook 3.1, 2 Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo, bought in 2007 and upgraded to Snow Leopard last year.  Any easy solutions that I can manage?

  • AnotherMac Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 7, 2012 9:07 AM (in response to Hajric)

    Thank you Hajric, this sounds hopeful as the same happens to me.  When I move the screen the picture comes back, so I would be pleased to know how things went for you.


    Kind regards,


  • Douglas Pressman Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
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    Feb 8, 2012 1:24 AM (in response to Hajric)

    In my case, further painstaking troubleshooting indicated an identical cause of the problem: a burned out inverter. Tip: Using a powerful flashlight, aimed at the dead screen at an angle, I was able to see that the computer was running normally despite the screen having gone black. Like Hajric, I found videos showing steps how to replace the inverter, and it is clear that our white MacBooks have a major vulnerability, and that many users are experiencing screen failures that ought not to happen in just two or three years of careful usage. Fortunately, I still have five months of coverage via AppleCare, and I took the MacBook to a certified repair shop yesterday and they promise to perform the fix in a few days.

  • diehard200904 Calculating status...
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    Sep 30, 2012 6:06 PM (in response to Hajric)

    Hajric, how risky and invasive to the actual macbook would you describe this procedure?  Is a great deal of the macbook's motherboard open during the disassembly/repair?

  • diehard200904 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Oct 2, 2012 8:58 AM (in response to Hajric)

    Well, turns out, I actually did the math, and with the many hundreds of U.S. dollars in cost, and a little over four years of use on the macbook I owned, I might as well use a junky computer for the menial tasks while getting ready to purchase another one next year.  My final update is that not only is the LCD going dead, but the audio from the machine halts on a given program after 15 minutes.


    Regarding the part I was thinking of, which would have been the inverter, I am beginning to think about replacing the computer at this point, being day three of the problems, however, looking at the costs, in addition to the fact that I bought a 999.00 macbook, and 950.00 with the student rebate deal of the time (in USD), and considering the fact that I already had the swelling battery and wearing down power cable to replace, it might be time for me to simply get a new computer.  The service costs already mount to near 3/4 of the costs of the computer over it's lifetime, and while 4 years isn't fantastic for a laptop, it isn't terrible either.  Either way, given the progression of the issues with both the lcd, backlight, and now, after three days, the machines internal and external audio outputs, it's becoming far more likely a motherboard problem, which would be more costly, and yes, the math isn't pretty.  Either way, thanks for the discussion, and wish you the best on trying to resolve yours.




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