An open community 
of Macintosh users,
for Macintosh users.

FineTunedMac Dashboard widget now available! Download Here

Topic Options
#16655 - 07/22/11 11:36 AM Misbehaving MacBook
tacit Offline


Registered: 08/03/09
Loc: Portland, Oregon, USA
I have a white MacBook 2GHz (it's a Macbook 5,2) running 10.6.8. It's developed a problem recently where when it wakes from sleep, the built-in display doesn't always light up. Closing and opening the lid again usually coaxes it into lighting. When it doesn't light up, I can see (dimly) that the screen is on and working, it's just the backlight that's not working.

It will also sometimes spontaneously go dark for anywhere between half a second to a few seconds while I'm using it. It doesn't seem to be a typical florescent backlight failure (I'm not seeing dimming or unevenness in the light when it's on), it just blinks on and off, or sometimes fails to come on at all.

So, most likely culprit: bad cable? Bad backlight inverter? Something else?
_________________________
Photo gallery, all about me, and more: www.xeromag.com/franklin.html

Top
#16661 - 07/23/11 06:56 AM Re: Misbehaving MacBook [Re: tacit]
MacManiac Offline

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Paradise....on the central Ore...
Tacit,

I've got the same model (purchased shortly after you got yours, in fact) and despite the fact that it's been with me all over the world, so far it has only shown the typical physical wear and tear of that travel.....and Apple Care took care of the top cover deterioration where the little flange at the front of the right hand wrist rest started to separate.

If it were me, I would guess that you are seeing a cable issue....possibly a loose connecter. With Apple Care this would be simple, but without it's most likely going to need a disassembly by someone you trust and then a replacement cable.

FWIW, I sprang for the extra $$$$ to get the Apple Care on mine.....and it remains good until April of 2012.
_________________________
Freedom is never free....thank a Service member today.

Top
#16690 - 07/25/11 02:39 PM Re: Misbehaving MacBook [Re: tacit]
Virtual1 Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Iowa
I've seen that problem result from a dying inverter board on numerous occasions. the cable will usually make the backlight go in and out when the lid is adjusted.
_________________________
I work for the Department of Redundancy Department

Top
#16702 - 07/25/11 10:30 PM Re: Misbehaving MacBook [Re: tacit]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Your post recalls my current situation...

Last Sunday I woke my deuced Mac(hina) - exact same model as yours...purchased Feb 2009 - from sleep, and although the backlight kicked out almost immediately (my desktop was visible) I discovered after some experimentation that I could run at a maximum of 3 ticks of brightness.

When I woke my Mac from sleep on Monday the backlight wouldn't come on at any level of brightness..immediate trip to the Genius Bar where the diagnosis was a bad inverter and cable...3 to 5 days turn-around.

Five days later I was told that changing the inverter and cable had not helped...that my display was going to be replaced. (Any idea why the entire display, or is the backlight not replaceable on its own?)

I'll get the MacBook back later today and confirm that the display actually was replaced, but, for the moment, thank goodness for AppleCare.

Good luck.
_________________________
The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

In Memory Of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire

Top
#16705 - 07/26/11 02:02 PM Re: Misbehaving MacBook [Re: artie505]
tacit Offline


Registered: 08/03/09
Loc: Portland, Oregon, USA
Sadly, I no longer have AppleCare on this machine.

It makes sense that they replaced your entire display; I believe the backlight and LCD are a sealed unit, unable to be separated. (If I recall correctly, they're actually manufactured sandwiched together.)

Any idea what a fix would cost, seeing as I lack AppleCare?
_________________________
Photo gallery, all about me, and more: www.xeromag.com/franklin.html

Top
#16710 - 07/26/11 05:12 PM Re: Misbehaving MacBook [Re: tacit]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Originally Posted By: tacit
Sadly, I no longer have AppleCare on this machine.

It makes sense that they replaced your entire display; I believe the backlight and LCD are a sealed unit, unable to be separated. (If I recall correctly, they're actually manufactured sandwiched together.)

Any idea what a fix would cost, seeing as I lack AppleCare?

I hope your issue isn't as bad as mine was and you get away cheap. (Judging from Genius reaction, I'd guess that mine was quite unusual.)

Here's Apple's breakdown:

LCD Panel                  $226.14
Inverter Board                32.95
Inverter Cable                  6.82
Labor                             39.00 (Edit 1: Same $39 for Inverter Board & Cable only.)

Total                          $304.91

You're correct about the manufacture of the LCD Panel; the Genius I asked told me that the display and backlight are a single unit.

The thing I find most unusual about this incident is that I've now had an iBook G3, an iBook G4, and this MacBook, and, although the three have been handled most gently and have left my house a grand total of once other than to be repaired, each one has required under-warrantee repairs that exceeded what I paid for its insurance, while others travel the world with their Macs, treat them more or less roughly, and never need repairs. Go figure! confused

And, finally, I can't help but wonder whether this episode was the culmination of the series of events I first reported here despite the fact that Apple's having replaced my fan seemed to have put an end to those issues?

Edit 2: Is it possible that my new display is brighter than my old one? It certainly appears to be.


Edited by artie505 (07/27/11 02:36 AM)
_________________________
The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

In Memory Of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire

Top
#16774 - 08/01/11 08:18 AM Re: Misbehaving MacBook [Re: tacit]
Virtual1 Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Iowa
Originally Posted By: tacit
It makes sense that they replaced your entire display; I believe the backlight and LCD are a sealed unit, unable to be separated. (If I recall correctly, they're actually manufactured sandwiched together.)


yep, the backlight is tightly integrated in with the display panel. there's the CCT itself carefully centered within the reflector, dumping into the spreader and the polarizer. I've seen people replace just the CCT but it's quite a hack to do. And I'd imagine you can get really poor results if you screw up
_________________________
I work for the Department of Redundancy Department

Top
#16800 - 08/02/11 03:51 PM Re: Misbehaving MacBook [Re: Virtual1]
tacit Offline


Registered: 08/03/09
Loc: Portland, Oregon, USA
There may be a light at the end of the tunnel.

It appears my MacBook has a crack in the cable going to the screen. This is bad news, as it means the problem will surely get worse and worse as tine goes on.

However, a good friend of mine has an identical MacBook which someone spilled coffee on. The coffee damaged the SMC chip, but the top half of the Mac (screen and backlight) and all its cables are in good shape.

So I may disassemble my MacBook and replace the top half with his MacBook, which (fingers crossed) should solve the issue.
_________________________
Photo gallery, all about me, and more: www.xeromag.com/franklin.html

Top
#16810 - 08/03/11 09:57 PM Re: Misbehaving MacBook [Re: tacit]
MacManiac Offline

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Paradise....on the central Ore...
Let us know how things turn out.....sounds like a good plan.
_________________________
Freedom is never free....thank a Service member today.

Top
#16824 - 08/04/11 11:41 AM Re: Misbehaving MacBook [Re: tacit]
Virtual1 Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Iowa
as long as the connector is the same you should be ok. Be sure to plug the cable in right side up or you will fry the logic board. (depends on type, this refers to the flat edge plugins not the snapdowns) Swapping clams will be a lot easier than swapping cables.
_________________________
I work for the Department of Redundancy Department

Top

Moderator:  alternaut, dianne, MacManiac