dead LED backlight on MBP, fixable by anything except mainboard replacement ?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by 2112, Sep 4, 2013.

  1. 2112 macrumors member

    May 31, 2002

    A friend of mine asked for help with his late 2011 13" MBP. The problem is that the LED backlight is dead. The computer will start, and if you use a flashlight to light the LCD panel, you can see the image and you can actually use the computer.

    Additionally, we had the computer tested with Apple's own service diagnostic tool (3S144, for this specific model), and it passed.

    At the local authorised repair service they told him that he they needed to replace the main logic board, -and- they suggested that he replaced both RAM modules because they where unmatched, from the current 4+2 to 4+4 (even though they tested them and they actually stated on the report that both where working fine. Plus, matched pairs are not required (IIRC) from the Santa Rosa chipset onwards).

    Now here's the thing. Back when the LCD's backlight was usually a fluorescent tube (PowerBooks and early MBP's), there where two circuits that controlled the backlighting. Both where rather failure-prone and cheap to replace (something like $30). The reed switch, and the inverter board. If you where in luck and one of those two failed, you could fix your Mac for very little money.

    My question is, is there any similar circuitry that controls the LED backlight ? A single part that can be replaced ?
    If there's no other way, then a new MLB will be required, but this smells a lot like a case of "just charge them the most expensive part you can ... plus two sticks of RAM".

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks !
  2. rabidz7 macrumors 65816


    Jun 24, 2012
    Knowing apple, if they can solder it, glue it, attach it, prioritize the connectors, they will.
    I don't think that that issue is fixable.
  3. kehlder macrumors newbie

    Sep 14, 2013

    The short answer is no, the long answer is with enough experience, it might be worth looking into fixing it yourself. Very small parts requiring precision soldering. If you haven't done electronic repair before, or don't want to take the chance of messing something else up, get the logic board replaced. Also, about the RAM, it's not necessary to upgrade that, but it might improve performance.

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