Laptop screen not working after being shut down

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by *old-guy*, Mar 18, 2009.

  1. *old-guy* macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2007
    Location:
    Blackburn in North West England
    #1
    Hi guys and guyesses,
    Long story, sorry.
    I have sold a Pismo on eBay. I showed pictures from all angles with the date superimposed including the working screen. The buyer received it the day after it was collected from my house and it seems that the packaging was fine when it got there. The buyer took it out of the box, turned it on and was happy to see that the Pismo fired up as you would expect. He said that it still had 98% power left in the battery. (I'm just adding everything I can think of in case it makes a difference)
    The then shut the laptop down by moving the mouse pointer across to the little apple at top left of screen and choosing "Shut down" followed by clicking the "Are you sure" screen. He then closed the lid and took the laptop upstairs where there is access to the internet via a wired router and ethernet cable. There is no wireless access in the house.
    So when he got upstairs, he opened the lid and pressed the power button. He then waited .... and waited ..... and waited but the screen stayed blank. The only way to tell that the laptop was turned on was that the Capslock light reacted to the key being pressed.
    I have asked him to write me an e-mail listing everything he has tried to make it work. I'm not much use with Macs and all I could tell him was to try inserting the restore DVD, shutting down by holding down the power button for a few seconds and then holding down the "C" key at start-up....... Nada.

    Any clues appreciated.
    I'm going to mail him the URL of this place so he also can see any answers.
    Thanks, guys.
     
  2. sawmaster macrumors regular

    #2
    This issue has nothing to do with the OS, i think. Tell him to get some bright light, and shine it on the screen and see if he can see it. It may be the backlights. This happened with my iBook. I can only use it if its kinda closed. Tell him to also try closing it a bit, even if its almost 100% closed. (dont close it that far, though). Tell us his results.
     
  3. madog macrumors 65816

    madog

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2004
    Location:
    Korova Milkbar
    #3
    Especially on those older laptops, if you shut the screen before the computer actually powers down it can cause that weird purgatory state of half on/half off. As when you select the shut down option, I believe it states, "Are you sure? Computer will shut down automatically in 60 seconds." So basically he put the computer to sleep by closing the lid while it was going to shut down, and the machine is "stuck" in limbo.

    I'm guessing that the light on the computer is on, but the screen is off.

    I suggest opening it up and holding down the power button to force it to turn off, and then reboot it a few seconds later.

    Otherwise, he may have to remove the battery with the thing unplugged to force it off, wait a few seconds and then plug it back to power it back on. I've seen it sometimes needing to be unplugged for like 5-10 minutes if the light stays on even though the battery is removed to kill off any trickle charge that may be still be going through it; which is just plain odd, but has happened to me before.
     
  4. *old-guy* thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2007
    Location:
    Blackburn in North West England
    #4
    Thanks for the replies, guys. I'll make sure he gets that info.
    I told him that I would be asking questions on this forum and asked him to e-mail me a list of all that he had tried and here's his reply .....

    Step by step:
    1. took pismo out of box
    2. turned it on by pressing power button for about 1 second
    3.All ok screen working
    4. shut it down via drop down menu from apple symbol(top left)
    5. took it upstairs to plug in ethernet cable to surf the net
    6.pressed the power button.. all the usual apple"chime" sound and
    wurring drive etc... BUT NO THING AT ALL ON SCREEN!
    7.put in power cable just in case a battery fault? (even though showing
    3 lights)
    8.NOTHING AT ALL ON SCREEN!
    9. Didn't have the option to shut down properly now as nothing on
    screen... so pressed power button for a few seconds till i heard a
    peep... now no power to pismo
    10. pressed the power button.. all the usual apple"chime" sound and
    wurring drive etc... BUT NO THING AT ALL ON SCREEN!
    Have repeated this at least 10 times!
    11. Didn't have the option to shut down properly now as nothing on
    screen... so pressed power button for a few seconds till i heard a
    peep... now no power to pismo
    12.pressed the power button.. all the usual apple"chime" sound and
    wurring drive etc... BUT NO THING AT ALL ON SCREEN!
    13. put in start up disc 10.4
    14. powered down the mac as above
    15. held C button whilst pressing the power button... Still the same
    result
    16. powered down the mac as above
    17. pressed the reset button at back of mac... waited 10 seconds
    18.powered down the mac as above
    19.Still nothing on screen even though it all sounds as the computer
    itself is working
    20. spoke to my Bro... his advice was to poer down and then hold
    apple,alt, P & R when powering
    21. Still the same
    22. Can a screen that was working fine 5 mins ago just break that
    quickly???

    Madog ... I don't understand the bit where you write.... "I'm guessing that the light on the computer is on, but the screen is off." ... Which light is it that you are saying is "ON"?
    I always thought that the green flashing light that is near the hinge when the laptop is closed, and the only light I could see) was a SLEEP indicator. Was I wrong in thinking that's what it was or is trhere another light somewhere?

    Cheers,
    Steve
     
  5. madog macrumors 65816

    madog

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2004
    Location:
    Korova Milkbar
    #5
    Now that I understand all the steps he took, I may be wrong. What I was referring to is when you do close the lid during a shutdown process, but before it actually powers down, the power/sleep indicater is on/flashing but otherwise the computer won't properly turn on or wake up as it is half asleep/half off. So yeah, I was talking about the normal light that is on the front of the computer, the power/sleep indicator. Sorry if I confused you.

    What I would try, is unplugging the machine, removing the battery for at least a few minutes (lets just say 5), putting the battery back, plugging it into the wall (if it's not charged), and then boot up the computer while holding down comman-option-p-r ( resetting the PRAM, http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=89736, I was taught to hold it down until it reboots 3 times, the article states 2. Either is fine, but if you do it too many times it could potentially be bad. If you did it rpeviously and just held down cmd-opt-p-r for a second while booting it, that's not the prper method ).

    If that doesn't work, I would also try resetting the PMU (power management unit) as well just to try it. You can search for it at Apple's support docs as the method varies sometimes from laptop to laptop.


    It is possible that he blew out the inverter board as what sawmaster was referring to. If that's the case, if you shine a light onto the screen (or through the Apple logo on the front) after it's booted up you'll still be able to see images on the screen but the back light is dead. That CAN sometimes be a logic board issue but is more often than not just the inverter board, which is a relatively cheap part to replace (probably $20-75 online), but mainly depends on the cost of labor I suppose.

    If that is the case, the machine will still work while attached to an external display, and can make for a good headless server.
     
  6. *old-guy* thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2007
    Location:
    Blackburn in North West England
    #6
    Hi again,
    I passed the info on to the guy and also gave him the URL of this question but I don't know if he has actually been here or not.
    He says he has tried restarting with the buttons pressed to reset the PRAM but he says that didn't work. He doesn't mention trying other things so I have suggested trying an external monitor and a torch through the screen.

    I was actually very lucky here. I sold the laptop and sent it off to him well wrapped with bubblewrap and double boxed as well using cardboard blocks between the inner and outer box. I then got an e-mail from him saying it didn't work. I asked him to send me an e-mail listing everything he had done since getting the parcel and short of him saying he had dropped it or something, I was going to get him to return it and do a refund. But then, in the e-mail he sent me, he said that it had fired up just like it should do downstairs and only didn't work after he had done whatever he did to close it down.
    Now, knowing that it worked perfectly before I sold it (as shown in the pictures on the auction listing .....

    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&ssPageName=STRK:MESOX:IT&item=270356481629

    .... I'm not really sure that I should now bear any resposibiliy. Sure, I feel for the guy but I have no idea if he treats laptops gently in deference to their age or wether he throws them about like a pair of sneakers. All I know for sure is that he says it worked right out of the box .... He did something ..... It doesn't work.
    Oy Vey!!! ... Ebay will send me to an early grave, lol
    Any other ideas I can pass on to him?
     

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