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Old Dec 7, 2012, 02:12 PM   #1
q3pointshooter
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Black Macbook A1181 - no internal display/DVD drive response!

I recently bought a black Macbook (Model: A1181) for pretty cheap. I was told it was partially water damaged. Everything on the laptop is fully functional except the internal display will not work and the dvd drive will not respond to media being put in it. The laptop works perfectly with an external monitor when put into clamshell mode (just upgraded to Lion). Everything else functions (USB, audio, battery, charging, etc) except for the LCD on the Macbook and the dvd drive. Also, every now and then it seems like I am able to get white screen or white flickering screen on the internal monitor. It seems to happen only when not connected to the external display. I have yet to open up the Macbook to inspect for any damage or to clean any connectors. I wanted to get any input or advice prior to doing so which may help me repair it successfully! Thanks
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Old Dec 8, 2012, 12:58 PM   #2
rampancy
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Some preliminary thoughts on your situation:

1. The screen itself likely needs replacing; either that or the power inverter for the display. At least you've proven to yourself that the motherboard isn't damaged, which is important; hopefully you asked about where the computer sustained water damage.

2. If you've got the money, you may want to consider just removing the faulty ODD and replace it with an optical bay internal hard drive case (the MCE OptiBay is the most well-known of these).
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Old Dec 8, 2012, 03:16 PM   #3
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Thanks for your response! How can I figure out if it either needs a screen replacement or just the power inverter? When I boot the MacBook up by itself it sometimes just has a white screen and will flicker on/off when u move the top lid up and down.
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Old Dec 8, 2012, 03:25 PM   #4
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When it is on, put a flashlight up to the screen. Do you faintly see a picture? It also works if you shine a flashlight into the Apple logo on the back.
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Old Dec 8, 2012, 03:37 PM   #5
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I don't see any sign of display on the screen or the apple logo when I hold a flashlight up. Could it be a video cable of some sort or even the LCD's connector on the motherboard? Thanks
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Old Dec 8, 2012, 03:47 PM   #6
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One or both of the cables going into the LCD screen may be bad.
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Old Dec 8, 2012, 03:56 PM   #7
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Hmm...so seems to be multiple possibilities. It's starting to sound like I should just take it to a professional repair shop to be fixed. I only bought the computer for $100 anyways so...any other recommendations or information?
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Old Dec 8, 2012, 05:53 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by q3pointshooter View Post
Hmm...so seems to be multiple possibilities. It's starting to sound like I should just take it to a professional repair shop to be fixed. I only bought the computer for $100 anyways so...any other recommendations or information?
I'd actually suggest going online to iFixit and looking over their guide for replacing the screen; to cover all of your bases, I'd recommend replacing both the screen and the connector cables. The procedure may seem daunting, but it's really not as bad as it seems; all you need to succeed is a steady hand, and a fair bit of patience.
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Old Dec 8, 2012, 06:53 PM   #9
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Exactly what cables would I need to buy? And are we sure it's not the power inverter then? What can I use to clean the motherboard if there is any residue?
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Old Dec 8, 2012, 09:53 PM   #10
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I just ordered up a brand new LCD cable and have bookmarked the ifixit guide to fix it. If it doesn't work, then I know for sure it needs a new LCD. Might as well go the cheap way first I am planning on cleaning all the connections during the replace; would I do this simply with isopropyl alcohol and q-tips? Thanks for all your guys' help!
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Old Dec 9, 2012, 08:59 AM   #11
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I just ordered up a brand new LCD cable and have bookmarked the ifixit guide to fix it. If it doesn't work, then I know for sure it needs a new LCD. Might as well go the cheap way first I am planning on cleaning all the connections during the replace; would I do this simply with isopropyl alcohol and q-tips? Thanks for all your guys' help!
Given that you have to disassemble the entire display assembly to change the LCD cable, you'd might as well change the LCD panel itself. Last I checked on eBay, they're not *that* expensive.
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Old Dec 9, 2012, 09:25 AM   #12
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Today I am actually going to open everything up as it is, clean connections, and make sure all cables are connected properly because I fear it's simply a loose or disconnected cable. Will let you know the results, thanks.
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Old Dec 9, 2012, 12:30 PM   #13
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Opened everything up and was left with a nice little surprise! Someone tried to splice together some wires leading from the LCD to the inverter. Going to go grab some solder and properly connect these cables to see if that does the trick. Did this person really think taping some wires together would work?!
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Old Dec 9, 2012, 05:00 PM   #14
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Opened everything up and was left with a nice little surprise! Someone tried to splice together some wires leading from the LCD to the inverter. Going to go grab some solder and properly connect these cables to see if that does the trick. Did this person really think taping some wires together would work?!
Good Lord. If that isn't an argument for doing your own out-of-warranty hardware repairs, I don't know what is.
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Old Dec 9, 2012, 05:57 PM   #15
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Well I did buy it used so who ever the prior owner was did it. After disassembling, I ultimately decided to order a brand new front screen assembly! I found it for a good deal ($130) and it will make reassembly much easier. This way I am replacing everything LCD related! I will post the fixed and finished product when the part comes
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