9 Replies Latest reply: Oct 2, 2012 8:58 AM by diehard200904
Hajric Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

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 Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)

    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 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    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?

  • Hajric Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Well okay, I have few updates.


    I have narrowed the problem down.


    I found out through Apple Support that the Macbook I have was not the model which was effected by the problem which I have linked to in my first post, just so that you know.


    First of all I sent it in to Apple (here i Denmark) to see what they could do, and I was told that a display replacement was what they could offer, which would cost me arount 864$. I was shocked :O I refused the offer and started to investigate the problem further. Called one of my friend (old apple guy) and he told me to see if the the issue was provoked if i slightly moved the screen backward and forwards, and it was. He told me that he had seen the same issue and that it was the inverter cable running from the inverter, attached on to the motherboard. Now I have disassembled the MAC, followed a guide on the internet, and I have orderd a inverter cable (Be aware if you want to to the same, there are two types of cables), for 48$. I will replace the cable and if you want, I can post inhere what the result will bring


    Best Regards


  • AnotherMac Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    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)

    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.

  • Hajric Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Okay, I'm back. Sorry for the late reply, but I've been pretty busy, struggling with this backlight problem. Unfortunately, I have bad news, considering what I thought was the solution, or even was sure that it would light up the backlight. Well, as mentioned I ordered a new Inverter cable (From main board to the Inverter), and replaced it, and this didn't solve the backlight problem. Instead this made the screen permanent black. This means that I was not able to dim down the screen brightness and increase it to make the screen normal again which I was able to do before the Inverter cable replacement.


    Next I talked to my colleagues, and some said that it could be the WXGA Screen itself while others insisted that it was a dead Inverter board. So I orderd a new WXGA Screen and hoped for the best. The screen arrived, and I followed again a guide, how to replace such a screen. The replacement went well, and the issue wasn't resolved . Note! I still had the new inverter cable installed while I also replaced the screen.


    Next thing was the Inverter. I ordered an new Macbook A1181 inverter, tried to replace it, and for unlucky me this didn't solve the issue neither I really was sure that this was the issue, but it wasn't. Note! Before I replaced the inverter, I also replaced the new screen (took it out) so that the old screen was installed with the new inverter, since it wasn't defect (stated before) and I left the new installed Inverter cable.


    Now my question is, what to do guys?


    I really feel that I've tried everything in order to fix this problem, but no luck either. I'm wondering if the new Inverter cable I started ordering could be "defect" from the beginning?


    What's your opinion, and do you have any wise advices, answers, knowledge or usefull information about this issue?


    .. I mean, it CAN'T be truth that an 2 years old Macbook (Model A1181) Core 2 Duo just kills the backlight and from now I'ts just not possible to use it anymore, caused by a "simple" backlight. It should be noted that it's hasen't been thrown around and "misused", on the contrary, there has been taken very good care of it.


    Thats all for now, and that's all the information I could gather in hope of that this issue can be solved as soon as possible.


    Please don't hesitate to ask if you have any questions in the above written text. I'm receptive for any advices. And I'm just as interessted in solving this issue as you guys


    Best Regards


  • diehard200904 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    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?

  • Hajric Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)



    Well, from a point of view the procedure is not nice, considering all the troubles and confuseness. I still haven't solved the issue, and now I'm standing with a new motherboard, which didn't solve the case neither. I'm considering the LCD cable, however this doesn't make any sense looking from a hardware-perspective way since the background-lightning isn't controlled through the LCD cable (correct me if I'm wrong).


    Your second question depends, while replacing what part do you exactly think of? I will try to answer it more generaly. Replacing parts like inverter, inverter cable, LCD, doesn't bring the motherboard out of the cabinet, but you have access to the motherboard since it is "open" if thats what you are thinking of. A replacement of the motherboard, yeaah.. you do the math

  • diehard200904 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    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.