MacBooks forum


MacBook screen goes Black

by Nate Abraham / June 2, 2011 3:18 PM PDT

I have a MacBook that appears to have a short in it. The screen will go dark, and I have to partially close it to get it to brighten up. Sometimes, in order to see the screen, I have to look at it at almost a 45 degree angle, instead of the 90 degree angle for normal use.

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All Answers

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Is your battery running low?
by 4serena / June 2, 2011 4:03 PM PDT

I found my MBP would do that from time to time if the battery was running really low... or, if you leave it for too long it kind of goes to sleep and takes a little while to wake up. That's just my experience - but it may be something entirely different.

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I've seen similar things
by Jimmy Greystone / June 2, 2011 11:35 PM PDT

I've seen similar things, where the screen fades to white instead of black, but it sounds like you're probably going to need a new display. So if it's not under warranty, might be time to start looking for a new laptop. Display panel alone will probably cost you in the $300US range, then there's labor, and by that point you're at about 50% of a brand new MacBook.

If it is under warranty, don't waste any more of yours or our time, take it somewhere to get looked at.

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MacBook screen goes dark
by Nate Abraham / June 3, 2011 12:52 AM PDT

It was purchased in 2008, so it is not under warranty. And the nearest Apple Store is 90-100 miles away.

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On those models
by Jimmy Greystone / June 3, 2011 11:46 AM PDT

On those models it can be any number of things. Those older MacBooks are a pain when you have issues like this. It could be the inverter, it could be the display, it could be the display cable. Everything except the display is pretty cheap. PITA to put in, but cheap.

From the sound of things, I'd put my money on a bad video cable. You can go to Apple's website and find where the nearest AASP is to you. You don't HAVE to take it to an actual Apple store. Other places may be able to offer a better rate anyway.

Worst case, Apple has a flat rate mail in repair program. So if you're sure the problem isn't the result of liquid damage or some kind of abuse on your part, you could get it fixed for ~$350US. That'll cover anything and everything wrong, and in my experience, the depot people tend to replace things like fans not so much because it's necessary, but because it's probably a good idea. They'll ship a box with a prepaid label right to you, you package your laptop and ship it off to them, and then they'll ship it back to you.

However, that is a good chunk of a new laptop, so you'll probably want to think about whether or not you want to use this as an excuse to buy a new laptop. You also have the option of attempting to buy the part off ebay or some such place, and doing it yourself, but when it comes to messing with the display assembly on non-unibody MacBooks... Unless you're a pretty seasoned hand at laptop repair, I wouldn't recommend it. Keeping track of all those screws alone is a PITA, but dealing with those little plastic clips that hold the display bezel on is a special hell unto itself. It's worth paying someone to do it, trust me.

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Sounds like a connection issue.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 3, 2011 4:08 AM PDT

Remember that some of us have been in the service trenches so this sounds like a failing cable or connection.

Since you didn't write about your prior repairs on other computers or such I fear this one is best taken to the shop.

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