Macbook screen goes black while active

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by alielizadubois, Mar 8, 2008.

  1. alielizadubois macrumors member

    Feb 25, 2007
    Brooklyn, NY
    This has been happening for the past 2 weeks or so. Periodically, while I am actively using the computer (browsing the web, typing in word, etc.). The screen goes black, as if it is sleeping, but I am in the middle of doing something, the computer is not idle. The only way to "wake it up" is to plug it in. Though, the last time it did this, it was plugged in, and I had to shut it down by holding down the power button, because it was otherwise unresponsive.

    The battery is not low, no warning has come up about using reserve power, or needing to plug in.

    It is very frustrating!

    What is happening, and how can I fix it?

    Should I just call applecare, or bring it in?
  2. RMo macrumors 65816


    Aug 7, 2007
    Iowa, USA
    I am having a similar issue. Mine starts OK (usually...), but if I happen to even jiggle it in the slightest way when it's un use (even typing on the keyboard), the screen goes black and it appears to be unresponsive, although it is still on as witnessed by the sounds coming from fans and whatnot inside.

    Did you get your issue resolved? Mine's gotten to the point that I can't really use the computer anymore (luckily, I have another), so I'll probably take it to an Apple Authorized Repair Center when I go home for sping break in a few days. (There aren't any anywhere near my school. Both home and school are in Iowa. :D)
  3. NAG macrumors 68030


    Aug 6, 2003
  4. bklyn40 macrumors newbie

    Apr 10, 2008
    macbook screen goes black

    i have an original black macbook. Lately the screen goes black. I can barely see that the laptop is still running and has not crashed. Closing and opening the laptop usually works. Not sure why this is happening but I think resetting the pram might help.
  5. amel01 macrumors newbie

    Apr 3, 2009

    Hi, I just had to ressurect this thread. I have a 1-year old black macbook running 10.5.5, and just tonight I had the same exact problem - when running on battery power, if I move for a bit, the screen will go blank for a few seconds.... and magically turn itself back on again. I can tell my computer is still running and when the screen turns back on nothing seems to have changed. This does not happen a lot for the moment...

    Plugging into power resolves this - no blackouts. Still I am bugged and worried!

    Also, at that time, my bluetooth can't be activated. So I restarted and hold down command+option+P+R (?) as someone suggested and now my bluetooth is fine, but I still have this black screen problem.

    What should I do? Warranty expires soon.
  6. skintight macrumors newbie

    Jul 18, 2008

    did you ever find a solution to this? i have a friend with the exact same issue.

    did you ever solve this?
  7. Holli81 macrumors newbie

    Sep 9, 2009
    Any solutions to this problem yet? My MacBook just did this tonight for the first time. The screen was active, and then it just went black. I tried to move the mouse and hit some buttons, but the computer didn't do anything. I restarted a couple of times and the start-up screen would be on for about 2-5 seconds, then it would go black. The computer was unresponsive. I held down the power button (but not long enough for a manual shut-down), and then the login screen popped up, but my mouse would not function and then the screen turned black again.

    Prior to this, my computer has never turned black while active. Although, it has on many occasions stayed black after opening the lid. The only thing to do in those situations was to manually shut down and restart. During all of these problems and the new one tonight, the computer was running on AC power.

    Any advice would be much appreciated!
  8. mattspost macrumors newbie

    Oct 7, 2009
    erm.. don't like this black screen thing!!

    Having the same issue..

    My Macbook pro running Tiger 10.4.11 is now starting to do the black screen thing. I am running my macbook pro, plugged into the AC / Mains, with another monitor connected, when the macbookpro screen goes black the dual monitor stays up and running, I can even do the mirror screen from the actual macbook pro and run it on the dual monitor and its running perfectly (I hope this makes sense!).

    Its really odd and only started in the last few days.. it lasts about 30seconds at a time and is starting to worry me!

    Any answers to this??

    All the best,
  9. tzgordon macrumors newbie

    Nov 27, 2009
    Screen goes Blank - me too!

    I've got a macbook pro (2.6ghz) with Snow Leopard (3gb ram) and it's doing the same thing. I can have it plugged into external power or battery or external monitor or just the screen and it does the same thing. Randomly the screen goes blank for 3 to 5 seconds then comes back on. Everything else is fine. It happens VERY infrequently but it is still REALLY annoying. I have the ATY,RadeonX1600 chipset. There are no updated drivers other than what comes from Apple.
  10. Laurencia7 macrumors 6502

    Jun 3, 2009
    it sounds to me like all of you have an issue with the battery power reaching the monitor. There might be a disconnect between the battery and the LCD. A short. Or the OS can't handle what you are doing on battery power alone, and has to reserve energy from the biggest draw which is the LCD.

    I would check the battery life, since some are older models, and take them in for advice at a Genius Bar.
  11. cyberbills macrumors newbie

    Mar 5, 2010
  12. Objectivist-C macrumors 6502

    Jul 1, 2006
    More likely a cable or backlight/inverter issue
  13. tedlegrand macrumors newbie

    Apr 8, 2010
    Having the same issue here with the Black Macbook2,1

    Starting as of this week, screen goes black within a couple of seconds after power up. The macbook seems unresponsive as well since the num light or caps lock light won't go on, I have to hold power and restart. It can do that 3 or 4 times in a row, then it would stay up in running as long as I whish.
    The link shown above do not apply to my older macbook, and cannot find any more info apart from this thread.
    I am running the latest leopard 10.5.8
    It also happened while it was plugged in.

    this link :
    actually shows the same problem, but there is no valid answer.
  14. loganu macrumors newbie

    Apr 7, 2010
    Hey guys, I had the sae problem about 8 months back. It would go black randomly, for a few seconds or minutes. After a few weeks of that, it went black and would never return to normal. took it to a mac-authorized repair shop and they fixed it free of charge.
    apparently it's a known video-card issue - not big enough for a recall, but they will fix it outside of warranty for free. mine was 1.5 years outside of warranty, had it back, fixed, in 3 days free of charge.
  15. tedlegrand macrumors newbie

    Apr 8, 2010
    What macbook generation do you have?

    When I reboot from the blackout, my FAT32 partition takes time to mount (about 30seconds after the reboot), might be related to the hard drive, but it shows as healthy.
  16. valekohan macrumors newbie

    Apr 11, 2010
    MAC Screen goes black

    I am having the same issue. I have an iBook G4, have never had any problems what-so-ever and recently the screen is going black when i am in the middle of doing something. Weird part of all is that this does not happen while i am using it with the battery power. Only happens when i am plugged to the electricity. Anybody knows why this could be happening? I ckecked, just in case, the energy settings and it is not related to that.

    Thanks in advance for any useful tip.
  17. awood511 macrumors newbie

    Apr 21, 2010
    I have been having the same problem. It happened two months ago and it happened when I moved my screen. THen within the last three to two weeks it would go black with working on it. It actually happened this morning but now my macbook is working fine. I have the aluminum macbook and got it last May. I don't know what to do, I am scared I have a virus.

    When the macbook goes black I normally hit the power key and it will come back on and then it will go black and I Will do the same thing but then after about 5 times, it will go black and not turn back on. I shut it down by holding the power button and let it sit for an hour or so then it will work fine. Any ideas as to what it could be. Help!!
  18. newbiewithmac macrumors newbie

    Jun 17, 2010
    Quick solution for black screen on MacBook

    So yesterday I was doing some research online, when all of a sudden my Macbook's screen went dark! Too dark that it was impossible to see what was on the screen. The next day I turned it on and it was still too dark, useless!
    My solution: while it was on, I pressed the power bottom for 10 seconds to turn it off completely, then unplugged the cable, removed the battery, and waited 5 mins. Then I put back the battery and turned it on, and IT WORKED fine again!

    Hope this can help some of you!
  19. user7789 macrumors newbie

    Jun 21, 2010
    unplug power

    Thank you for this suggestion. I was trying to repair my daughter's machine and the screen kept going black. I could see the windows barely but couldn't find the mouse. Taking out the battery and unplugging it seems to have worked, at least for the moment.
  20. newbiewithmac macrumors newbie

    Jun 17, 2010
    I'm glad it worked for you!
    Good luck to all!
  21. kristoffer4 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 17, 2006
    I have the same problem and it did not fix the problem here. :(
    I am on os 10.6.4
  22. yerwhack macrumors newbie

    Aug 20, 2010
    thanks for the help

    i will be taking my 2007 macbook pro to the mac store tomorrow
    for the black/blank screen issue
    the rep read back this article to me:

    i will update again tomorrow!
  23. thiemehennis macrumors newbie

    Aug 24, 2010
    F2 F2 F2

    I had the same problem, and while looking at this post on my secondary display, I figured out how to get my primary screen back: F2.

    You have to re-illuminate your screen. That's what solved it for me.
  24. tonym911 macrumors newbie

    Nov 10, 2010
    My brand new MacBook Pro 13 (10.6.3, bought last week) is showing the exact same symptoms of going momentarily black for no apparent reason. My previous Pro 15 did the same thing right up until its logic board blew up last week. Clearly, Apple hasn't fixed the basic problem, whatever it is. I'll be taking my new machine into the shop later this week. I've been using Macs since the SE model so am a total believer but this sort of thing (and the £900 quoted for a new logic board!) erodes my brand confidence somewhat. :(
  25. laptophire macrumors newbie

    Nov 16, 2010
    Dim the Screen

    A quick solution until you have time to bring it in for repairs (I don't know if it works on iBooks with the same problem, but it certainly does on MacBooks):

    1. After the screen goes black, use the F1 key (or whichever it is on your model) to dim the screen. Bring it all the way down to nothing, or just hold it for about 4 or 5 seconds.
    2. Use the F2 key (or whichever it is for you) to Brighten the screen. That should get it back on.
    3. Try and keep it on the dim side, as the brighter it is, the more likely it will go dark again.

    I'll reiterate: No need to shut the computer down (in most cases), at least try this first. Good luck!

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