Early 2008 MacBook screen randomly turns off?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by Caturday Yet?, Dec 5, 2010.

  1. Caturday Yet? macrumors newbie

    Oct 13, 2010
    At least, it seemingly randomly turns off. I can be surfing the web or whatever like normal, but then after a period of time the monitor goes black. I can see that the computer hasn't shut off, but it's as though the computer is on its lowest brightness setting. It can be temporarily fixed some times if I lower the brightness all the way via F1, then put it back up, but if it goes up more than 3 or 4 boxes it goes black again.

    It also goes black if I were to move the monitor any time during this whole thing. Any fixes? I've heard things like an inverter cable and board, but I have no idea what's going to fix this. This is my only computer, I use it for all my school work, if it breaks permanently I'm screwed. :(
  2. Detrius macrumors 68000

    Sep 10, 2008
    Asheville, NC
    You said that moving the screen makes a difference which points to the inverter cable, but the fact that turning the brightness down and back up again makes a difference means it's not the cable.

    The four possibilities of backlight issues in order of frequency:

    1) Inverter Cable
    2) Inverter
    3) LCD
    4) Logic Board

    The cable tends to cause the screen to go in and out based on the angle between the screen and the body. Moving the screen back and forth will turn it off and on.

    LCDs and inverters tend to fail with the same possible symptoms, including what you first described, and the only way to tell which is to swap one of the parts. It's far more likely to be inverter, but that's not a given.

    The logic board tends to cause a complete failure of the backlight. This generally only happens in cases of spill damage.

    The only part not worth replacing is the logic board. Anything else is worth fixing. If you have AppleCare, you're likely covered.
  3. Caturday Yet? thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 13, 2010
    What exactly does the inverter cable do anyway?

    I've never spilled anything on my keyboard.

    I don't have AppleCare. However, I might be getting a refurbished MBP in 3 or 4 weeks. If the inverter cable seems most likely, how much would it cost to repair? Is it even worth getting the repair?
  4. Detrius macrumors 68000

    Sep 10, 2008
    Asheville, NC
    The inverter cable runs through the hinge from the logic board to the inverter. Just because it's most common in general doesn't mean it's likely in your case. ''cost would depend on markup and hourly rates, but it would be the least expensive of these possible repairs.

    Basically, if the *hinge* moving turns it on and off, it's the cable. Your symptoms explicitly sound like it's not the cable.

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