Half of Macbook Screen Black, LCD or Inverter Damage?


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 13, 2006
My Macbook 13.3 inch (Early 2006 Intel Core Duo model) recently had the right hand side of the screen turn black, approximately 60%. It is still backlit and the left hand of the screen works fine. Occasionally some vertical colored lines appear on part of the black screen.

FYI this was likely due to water damage that had seemed down the right side of the screen through the LCD bezel.

My question is whether this is likely due to damage to the LCD itself (cable) or to the inverter, or whether it is not possible to tell. I need to know because I plan on replacing it myself. I can also provide a picture if that helps.

Thank you in advance.


macrumors 6502a
Dec 12, 2003
Almost certainly not the inverter. You would get no backlight, or a dim/flickering backlight.

Possibilities, these are my guesses

- graphics chip failure. Bad news, new logic board. Unlikely though. How to tell:- plug in an external monitor. Does that display OK?

- cable between logic board and LCD. Possible. But it's LVDS digital signalling so I'm not sure whether it would do exactly 60%. How to tell:- does the 60% change if you wiggle the hinge, or tap it, or open and close the lid a few times? Do the vertical coloured lines come and go when you do this kind of thing?

- LCD panel itself. Most likely if 60% has gone. There are zillions of tiny row/column lines and ribbon cables and stuff in there, you might have lost some of them. Possibly it might fix itself as it dries out - was the water damage a long time ago? You could leave it a few days in a warm place. If you squeeze the panel edges where it's black does it come back? Do the coloured lines come & go?

Hopefully it's just the panel, they are quite cheap but look like a pain in the *** to replace.


macrumors 6502
Oct 25, 2007
Definitely not an inverter issue.

With those symptoms, we'd replace the LCD and expect the problem to be fixed. In our experience, the LVDS cable very rarely is damaged or defective.

I'd also like to emphasize that this is not a do-it-yourself repair. LCD replacement is quite an ordeal, and there's a potential for damaging other components if you don't have proper equipment to keep circuit boards safe while the computer is disassembled.

Before deciding to do it yourself, I'd shop around with local Mac service providers and nationwide mail-in companies.