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View Full Version : Ahh! Powerbook screen flickers then gone!!!


killuminati
Sep 13, 2005, 03:44 PM
This morning I went and woke up my powerbook. Everything was fine for about 5 seconds and then the backlight started flickering and then shut off.

The actualy screen is fine, like if I shine a light on it I can see the dark shapes of the pizels and what should be on the screen.

If i use the screen brightess adjustment and turn off the backlight and then turn it on again, it flickers for about 3 seconds then shuts off. So it somehow still slightly works. But it's basically unusable.

What the hell do i do? Will this cost me a lot of money :( ??

macOSX-tastic
Sep 13, 2005, 03:56 PM
is it till under apple care? if so, call apple pronto!!

if it's not, then it may cost a lot of money, as the processes involved in replacing the backlight (which is obviously the problem) i imagine can be very complex.

your screen seems to be unaffected, but im not sure that a broken backlight automatically = a whole screen replacement. what model and revision of powerbook is it?


tastic

Dagless
Sep 13, 2005, 04:04 PM
my laptop does that. the screen is perfect, no flaws. its just the connectors i think. the power cable to the LCD light is my guess. i find that moving the monitor backwards and forwards fixes the problem, well its no fix. rather a temporary solution.

JupiterTwo
Sep 13, 2005, 05:16 PM
This problem affected some of the older iBooks (and can be resolved by fitting a new version of this cable (http://www.smalldog.com/product/43417) ) The cables connecting the screen to the motherboard pass through the hinge, and can get worn/trapped during use. I thought this design problem had been resolved, but obiviously not. :(

My iBook does it and I had it apart this morning to see if I could see the damage (and to see if I could do the surgery to make it worth shipping the part). I'm typing on it now, so I managed to put everything back ok :p

I've seen people be quoted $300 to have it fixed, so hopefully your powerbook is in warranty/applecare.

There are guides like this (http://www.powerbooktech.com/knowledge,name-Display-Cabling,type-6.htm) about for disassembling your 'book. Have a scan through that iBook one to get an idea of the thing you'll need to do if you have a crack at it yourself.

killuminati
Sep 13, 2005, 06:15 PM
No, its not under warranty :(

It doesnt seem to fix it by moving the monitor back and forth either. Once its had its 3 second flicker after opening, its gone forever until I close and reopen it again.

And also if I have the backlight on when I close it. Then open is again, it won't flicker. After re-opening I have to turn off the backlight, then turn it on again, and then it will flicker for a couple seconds.

This is really worrying me.

Oh yea, It's a Rev B 1.25ghz 15" powerbook.

killuminati
Sep 13, 2005, 06:53 PM
It must just be a loose wire. Because now its not nearly as bad as it was even 20 minutes ago. Now I can actually wiggle it in a way to keep it on. But it is very sensitive. It will even start to flicker rapidly just if the hard drive or fans spin up.

So I guess I won't have to replace my whole screen them. I'm sure this can be fixed pretty easily. Hopefully it won't cost me more than a hundred bucks

madmaxmedia
Sep 13, 2005, 06:59 PM
It must just be a loose wire. Because now its not nearly as bad as it was even 20 minutes ago. Now I can actually wiggle it in a way to keep it on. But it is very sensitive. It will even start to flicker rapidly just if the hard drive or fans spin up.

So I guess I won't have to replace my whole screen them. I'm sure this can be fixed pretty easily. Hopefully it won't cost me more than a hundred bucks

It is a loose wire. Backlights usually don't just go out, they dim out over time. Plus I am pretty sure there are 2, so they're not failiing in the same exact way at the same time. The other possibility would be the power inverter, but if the power inverter failed then the backlight would never return.

If you have some experience with electronics, you could repair this yourself. www.pbfixit.com has complete instructions available for all the PowerBook models. The only hard part is getting the top face off, and that's only because of the latches that are hard to undo.

Or perhaps you have an experienced friend or relative, that would be a good choice. It is unlikely that an experienced amateur would break something.

Of course if you don't feel comfortable at all about DIY, then you should have a professional look at it. You may want to email PBFixit.com (no affiliation), if you explain the problem they will be able to diagnose and quote you. If no new parts are required (outside maybe a cable), the price should be reasonable.

Sucks, but better than having to buy a new screen or something like that-

Good luck!

PS- Maybe 2Pac is trying to communicate with you via Morse code from beyond...okay bad joke ;)

JupiterTwo
Sep 14, 2005, 10:04 AM
I had another go with my iBook today, and I managed to identify the part that had gone wrong. The backlight cable had got worn, and once I got it seperated from the screen, two of the miniscule wires gave way and completely snapped, and a third was very worn. A little repair job there and everythings working dandy now - no flickering or loss when I move the screen. How long my repair will last I'm not sure, but enough time to get a replacement set of wires I hope. The flickering was the fragile wires making a good and bad connection.

So, if you fancy having a play, take your powerbook apart and you'll should be able to see if the wires are broken/worn or not. There are two cables - one for the display and one for the backlight, so you can play with the backlight one without affecting the main display cable.

killuminati
Sep 14, 2005, 06:09 PM
yeaaa, thats alright. I don't think I'll be opening up my powebook. I think I'll just take it in somewhere and have them look at it.

I know that if I try and open it up, I will create 5 more problems.

JupiterTwo
Sep 15, 2005, 05:57 AM
yeaaa, thats alright. I don't think I'll be opening up my powebook. I think I'll just take it in somewhere and have them look at it.

I know that if I try and open it up, I will create 5 more problems.

heh - no worries. I only felt I could do it to my iBook as it's done its service and it's just a web machine now :)
(however, having seen all it's innards, I feel a bit closer to it :p)

fash
Sep 15, 2005, 06:03 AM
i get the same problem too >.<

i sent it back to get it fixed 3 times and it still aint fixed, THE BASTARDS!!!! :mad:

i must say apple after service is the worst and slowest service ever :mad: