MacBook (White 2.16) display dead (?) - please help!

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by ChePibe, Nov 28, 2008.

  1. ChePibe macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2005
    #1
    ... and it's my wife's.

    Here's hoping I'm not screwed...

    Today, my wife asked me to fix her optical drive, as it would no longer accept discs. After ruining a few blank CD-Rs, I took the laptop apart to see what I could find. It turned out that the drive itself was perfectly fine, but the small bracket or whatever between the mouth of the drive and the frame was bent in a way that would not allow discs to be put in. I bent this back into its original shape, reassembled the laptop (no "spares" - everything went in fine, just as directed), and booted it up. And then the trouble began...

    On boot, the screen flickers briefly - so I know it's receiving power, at least at the beginning - and then promptly goes dark. At this point, the "sleep" light on the lower right-hand side of the case comes on and stays on until the laptop is turned off.

    I have now disassembled the laptop again and I'm not having any luck fixing the problem. I can feel the Hard Drive spin up, and the optical drive also works fine, but the display remains blank and the sleep light is on. The computer makes no "sad mac" chimes - in fact, it makes no sounds at all.

    I have since disassembled the laptop once again, and I cannot find any problems - all connections are solid, and I can't see any issues there. I have "zapped the PRAM" a few times, with no effect - it doesn't respond by rebooting or anything.

    Please, help save a "DIY" husband from himself... any ideas?
     
  2. Big-TDI-Guy macrumors 68030

    Big-TDI-Guy

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2007
    #2
    Re-seat the ram modules.

    I hope you used proper ESD precautions?
     
  3. ChePibe thread starter macrumors member

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    Jan 27, 2005
    #3
    Yes, no ESD problems at all. I'm very cautious about that.

    Will try to reseat RAM...
     
  4. ChePibe thread starter macrumors member

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    #4
    No luck reseating the RAM...

    Oh man, this is starting to feel expensive...
     
  5. Big-TDI-Guy macrumors 68030

    Big-TDI-Guy

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    Jan 11, 2007
    #5
    By any chance did you unplug the LCD inverter harness? There should be 2 going to the display - one of them is for the signal, the other for the backlight.

    Sounds like you unplugged something.
     
  6. ChePibe thread starter macrumors member

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    Jan 27, 2005
    #6
    First of all, thanks for your help on a Friday night

    I'm looking around for this inverter harness, but haven't had any luck thus far. Can you perhaps point me to a picture?
     
  7. Big-TDI-Guy macrumors 68030

    Big-TDI-Guy

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    Jan 11, 2007
    #7
    It's usually near the hinges of the display. If it's well hidden (some of them are), you likely didn't unplug it.

    Just, from the sound of things, a harness was unplugged, or pinched.

    I've had many laptops apart - but no Apples, so I can't clue you in with any exact locations.

    I'll search around online, if I can find a pic of one open, I can point out what to look for.
     
  8. ChePibe thread starter macrumors member

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    Jan 27, 2005
    #9
    That's the one.

    I've taken apart most of the latch and checked the cables. I still can't find anything loose.

    Thanks again.
     
  9. Big-TDI-Guy macrumors 68030

    Big-TDI-Guy

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    Jan 11, 2007
    #10
    By chance - is the "latch closed" switch stuck down or something? (the tiny switch that shuts off the display when you close the lid)
     
  10. ChePibe thread starter macrumors member

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  11. Big-TDI-Guy macrumors 68030

    Big-TDI-Guy

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    #12
    My roomate seems to think it's inside the display / pivot itself. (I wouldn't tear into that). (he replaced a broken LCD on his sisters white Macbook)

    So that being the case, it likely isn't the issue.

    Do you have an external display you could plug into this thing? See if you get any other response that way.

    I'd also probe around the area where you moved the metal obstruction - maybe you dislodged something else in the process.
     
  12. ChePibe thread starter macrumors member

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    Jan 27, 2005
    #13
    There aren't any electronic components directly attached to the area I was fiddling with, although I had to move the bundle of cabling leading to the monitor. I'm wondering if it got pinched somehow - although, if it did, that would make it incredibly sensitive for a laptop component.

    I don't have any cables to hook it up to an external monitor at this point, but I'll probably pick some up tomorrow.

    I'm going to throw in the towel for tonight and look at it with fresh eyes in the morning. I greatly appreciate all of your help - thanks again!
     
  13. Big-TDI-Guy macrumors 68030

    Big-TDI-Guy

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    #14
    I'm less retarded than I come across, it's just hard for me to help you T/S a laptop I've never seen open in person.

    Good luck - and don't get too frustrated. (because that can cause more problems) It's fixable.

    When you do find the fix - kindly update this thread so others may be helped.
     
  14. ChePibe thread starter macrumors member

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    Jan 27, 2005
    #15
    Well, I decided to keep looking at it. I disassembled both monitor hinges and can find no problems in the portions of the connections that are visible. I see no pinched cables, no faulty connections, and no visible problems.

    I have swapped both RAM modules around with no effect - there was never any problem before with these RAM modules.

    I have reset the SMC (http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1411) with no effect.

    Finally, I tried to see if I could force the computer to make an error tone on startup (my wife thinks it was on mute before she shut it down) by disconnecting the HD before plugging in the keyboard and attempting to boot. Still the same - nothing. Just a quick flicker of power to the monitor, the "sleep" light turns on steady, and that's it. No tones, nothing.

    I fear that somehow, in spite of my caution, I've zapped the board.

    I'm testing by plugging the keyboard in and sliding it down a bit into the case to avoid any inadvertent contact with the interior. Does the MacBook, perhaps, have any sensors that require certain parts of the case to be installed for it to properly boot?

    Thanks again to all.
     
  15. ChePibe thread starter macrumors member

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    #16
    Computer will not eject disc in optical drive on boot when mouse is held down.

    When RAM is removed, sleep light flashes rather than sit at constant.

    Any ideas out there at all?
     
  16. ChePibe thread starter macrumors member

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    Jan 27, 2005
    #17
    Any chance this is the magsafe board? I'm thinking "no", because the machine does have enough juice to spin up the optical and hard drives
     
  17. Big-TDI-Guy macrumors 68030

    Big-TDI-Guy

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    #18
    Most machines won't power up HDDs or other devices until the motherboard / power supply / memory passes the self-test. (on power up) Being a laptop with a battery - I'd skip the power supply. I know you swapped the ram around already. The flashing light without the ram installed is what is supposed to happen. (even my iMac does that)

    Not trying to scare you here - but perhaps something did get a shock? Most humans won't even hear or feel an ESD arc below 3kv. (while that is more than enough to kill a ram module)

    Try removing one of the ram modules - perhaps one of them is bad? (swap one at a time)
     
  18. ChePibe thread starter macrumors member

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    Jan 27, 2005
    #19
    Thanks for sticking with me on this one!

    I'm beginning to think something on the logic board is toast... but some odd behaviors continue.

    I reset the SMU once again and now the light no longer comes on on the front - now, when turned on, the fan runs constantly, the monitor flickers once and then goes dark, and the machine still does not respond to holding down the button on the mouse to eject a CD.

    All of this oddness seems to indicate that something has gone quite wrong with the logic board to me.

    I'm going to dink around with this for another hour or so, and if I can't get it working, it's going to the shop to either a) fix the small, dumb thing I can't see or b) get a death certificate.
     
  19. Big-TDI-Guy macrumors 68030

    Big-TDI-Guy

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    #20
    Well, all is not lost. There are plenty of Macbooks with broken LCDs, ect. You could scoop one up on the cheap and swap the logic boards.

    I've seen many websites selling the logic board for that laptop, too. (found them while searching for pictures of it)

    So don't trash it if you can't find the fix!
     
  20. ChePibe thread starter macrumors member

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    Jan 27, 2005
    #21
    Bingo!!!

    Looks like a 1 GB module had gone bad... and I did this yesterday as well, same chips, no results... I hate having spent the extra time going through every other minor problem imaginable, but I'm glad to see it fixed - and that I'm out, at most, $30, not a few hundred!

    Thank you once again for all of your help - my wife and I are both in law school, and this is NOT the time of year to have a laptop go down!
     
  21. Big-TDI-Guy macrumors 68030

    Big-TDI-Guy

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  22. ChePibe thread starter macrumors member

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    Jan 27, 2005
    #23
    Yup!

    The thing is, I did this yesterday. I tried each RAM module individually to make sure that wasn't the issue. No luck. Then this morning, I tried it again - I took out one, no luck. I took out the other, and bingo - booted perfectly, no problems.

    Perhaps I reconnected something in all of that fiddling around? I'm not sure, but in any case, she's back up and running, and my wife is in a much better mood this morning than she was at 2 AM last night.

    Thanks once again.
     

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