2007 Macbook Pro - Screen goes black (sometimes)

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by sheena.lee, Nov 26, 2009.

  1. sheena.lee macrumors newbie

    Aug 12, 2009

    I'm having a really weird issue with my mid-2007 Macbook Pro. Last night, the screen randomly went black twice. I rebooted and the screen started working again, so I figured it was just a problem with the video game I was playing (Diablo 2, not a huge strain on the graphics card) and compatibility issues running Windows 7.

    Then, it happened again today, without the game. Normally the laptop is used with an external display, and the lid shut. I plugged in the external display and it still works when the screen is black, and I can use my computer normally. When I increase the brightness on the black display, the black gets brighter (as though the backlight works, but there's no picture...)

    I came across some known issues with the NVIDIA 8600M GT graphics card, but the symptoms described mention that an external monitor won't work, and that the screen is always blank. I simply restart my computer (sometimes I have to restart twice) and the laptop display will work, just randomly go black later.

    What could this be? I tried the hardware test using the start up CD and it seems to have detected nothing...

    I'm at a loss!
  2. John Doe 57 macrumors 65816

    John Doe 57

    Jan 26, 2008
    Los Angeles, CA
    This sounds like early signs of a failing Logic Board. This happened to my iMac during the summer. The screen would go black and then after a restart it would come back on, only to turn off a few minutes later. A couple months later, my MacBook Pro Logic Board failed; a combined cost of about $1,600. When I bought my MBP in, I brought up the NVIDIA problem, but that wasn't it. Maybe you'll get lucky as Logic Boards are very expensive.

    I would get that computer checked out by Apple or a certified Apple store that fixes computers.
  3. sheena.lee thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 12, 2009
    Ouch :(

    The odd thing is that it seems to only do it when using Windows 7. Once, the computer started up fine and when I chose to boot in Windows, the screen went black right away..

    I tried updating the video card drivers and that didn't help at all... I really don't want to spend $800 on a new logic board.
  4. Winobie macrumors newbie

    Dec 21, 2009
    Wilts UK
    I have this same issue on my 2007 17" MBP. I have a replacement LCD on order but now think I may as well cancel that. :(

    If an external display works then the GPU is ok.
    Fiddling with internal cables and connectors for the display made no difference so unlikely a worn display cable.
    Backlight still operational.

    Starting as no more than a flicker, the screen developed longer blackouts over time (3 wks) which seemed to be heat related rather than effected by user input or physical manipulation.

    So if it is a Logic Board fault, my only realistic option is to just use an external display or to try a DIY fix such as baking the Logic Board at 170c for 7 mins. :)

    Some very encouraging DIY "reflowing" vids on you tube.

    Or if thats too scary/risky, a professional repair using a reflowing bench can be had for a much more reasonable price than that quoted by Apple.
  5. Winobie macrumors newbie

    Dec 21, 2009
    Wilts UK
    Holy thread revival! I know.

    After many days of researching I have concluded that this is probably a thermal cycle fatigue failure of the (lead free) solder which attaches the GPU to the logic board. A problem which would seem directly related to the Nvidia issue which effects many brands of machine, also very alike the Xbox RROD.
    Modern GPU chips are powerful and as such get HOT and it seems that cooling system designs have not been sufficiently advanced along side.

    Since I am the one paying for it and Im technically confident, I have been looking for DIY repair guides and so forth.

    It seems my best option is to have the GPU re-balled for about £150
    There are DIY guides to do this but they are pretty scary.
    A reflow (remelting the solder) is DIY-able but apparently not a permanent fix.

    Anyway Im still not 100% sure my problem really is this, and my screen has been fine for the last 8 hrs. Just sucks that I cant trust it to work reliably anymore and I expect it will fail in the foreseeable future after randomly inconveniencing me some more. :apple:
  6. greggerhale macrumors newbie

    Feb 28, 2012
    BLack Screen

    I recently experienced my screen going black on my macbook pro running snow leopard. I found the problem to be due to using it on top of a macbook. Once i moved the "closed" macbook away from underneath my macbook pro the screen turned from black back to normal. Weird. Can't explain it not feeling geeky enough to look it up. If your screen goes black check that you are not using it within an inch or on top of another laptop.

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