MBP running fine, cannot see display

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by narika, Apr 19, 2013.

  1. narika, Apr 19, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2013

    narika macrumors newbie

    Apr 18, 2013
    After hours searching around on this site, I've not come across one thread that mentions similar symptoms to mine. One probably exists but I have perhaps not found it.
    This is a MBP 15" Core 2 Duo Model A1226, that's all the info I have on it so far as I cannot see the screen to get the rest of the info off it.
    A good friend of mine sold it to me cheaply as soon as the AC ran out about 16 months ago, so I'm guessing it is about 4.5 years old, perhaps the late 2008 Santa Rosa model. She mentioned that the motherboard had already been replaced by then.
    After about 7ish months in my possession, if I remember correctly, the lid was open but it seemed like it was asleep and I couldn't wake it using the space bar or track pad. According to her, she had not experienced this problem.
    The only way I could get the display back on was by closing the lid and after the sleep light came back on, lifting it back up. It seemed like a freak thing since it didn't happen again for another few months. It started to increase in frequency, every other month, then about once a month. At some point, I started powering it down after every use. Then at the end of December 2012, it refused to come on from startup a couple of times and then finally decided to quit altogether.
    This is when I noticed that I could actually see the faint outlines of what was on the display, which was a relief, and started looking into what could be the cause.
    Still to this day, it chimes on startup, the light on the keyboard comes on and off, can adjust the volume, can listen to iTunes but can't see my screen well enough to use it. I have also plugged an external monitor into it and although it treats the monitor like an extension of the desktop, I can move the mouse from the track pad around on the external screen.
    There is so much on the internet about what could be wrong and so much involved in doing the repairs myself, it has taken me this long to decide to reach out for support.

    I have since found out that it could be
    a) the inverter board, or
    b) the cord that connects the inverter to the logic board.
    Then I am reading that this model might not have an inverter...
    that it might be
    c)the LED board, which in any of the above cases I've read can be quite a headache
    and then it could be
    d)the actual LCD display, which if I'm not mistaken can be costly.

    So I've both taken it to my mac repair friend who gave me a pretty high estimate of diagnosis as well as repair as well as taken it to the apple service store. The guy at the store said that in all the time they have serviced MBPs he's never seen the LED/inverter boards needing to be replaced. He was sure that it was the LCD. The quote at that time was a flat rate fee of $400something to fix it along with whatever else it might have wrong with it. Since the motherboard had just been replaced, I hesitated on it. He mentioned that my model is 'vintage' and only had until Feb of this year when Apple would no longer even service this model, with or without AC. He then suggested that I just look around on ebay for a display and an online tutorial and do it myself.

    So here's where I'm at. I would like to know what suggestions are out there for my next steps. Does anyone perhaps know what part I need to replace? or should I go back to the MacNet store and pay to ship it to the mainland (from Hawaii) and have it fixed along with whatever else for $500ish?
    Apologies for such a long post, the guidelines did mention to be specific!
    Any suggestions would help.
  2. justperry macrumors G3


    Aug 10, 2007
    In the core of a black hole.
    You say:

    Now, you are not clear here, can you only move the mouse or is everything working normally on the external monitor, if everything is working on the external your GPU and/or logic board seems to be fine.

    Edit: It does not have an inverter board, it is LED backlit, LED backlit does not need an inverter, only electronics to control the brightness (Voltage).
  3. narika thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 18, 2013

    I hope this answers your question justperry...
    Here's my update:
    Just checked the computer again with my friend's external monitor and several things were different that I didn't notice before:
    No chime on start
    (discovered the sound is stuck on mute-sound card issue?)
    No airport card installed
    Keyboard stuck in num lock mode
    none of the f keys work
    scrolling over the battery icon tells me to 'service battery'
    and my custom desktop wallpaper is missing.

    All of these symptoms are new, they didn't show up the last time I opened it in February...

    Soooo.... Sounds to me that there is MUCH more than just the display needing to be replaced...
    Any ideas? Could it have a virus? (have I made a mistake thinking that Macs don't get viruses?) :confused:
  4. justperry macrumors G3


    Aug 10, 2007
    In the core of a black hole.
    Did you spill any liquid on it, seems similar to a spill.

    You still didn't answer my question, is the external display working, you have video, can open Apps and so on?
  5. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Macs are not immune to malware, but no true viruses exist in the wild that can run on Mac OS X, and there never have been any since it was released over 10 years ago. The only malware in the wild that can affect Mac OS X is a handful of trojans, which can be easily avoided by practicing safe computing (see below).

    Read the What security steps should I take? section of the Mac Virus/Malware FAQ for tips on practicing safe computing.
  6. narika thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 18, 2013
    No liquid spill, but I do live in Hawaii, could it be general humidity?
    Yes, the external display is working. I was able to shine a flashlight on the built-in display to find display preferences to mirror it and access my desktop, menu bar and launch pad. I have not tried to play video, but the galaxy image is shown as the wallpaper even though I didn't make that my wallpaper…
    I can still open finder windows, Firefox, iTunes etc…
    is this answering your question?
  7. mykem macrumors regular

    May 20, 2008
  8. narika thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 18, 2013
    Yes, I figured that somebody would say that, but my symptoms are different, it does boot up but doesn't chime because the sound isn't working, also I have video on an external display, and its not distorted, so the NVIDIA issue has been ruled out already...
  9. justperry macrumors G3


    Aug 10, 2007
    In the core of a black hole.
    Yes, this answered my question, GPU is OK otherwise you would not have any or distorted picture.
    The Display issue is clearly Hardware, the rest is hard to say.
    There is one thing you could do but a good outcome is not guaranteed.
    You could install a clean OS on an external disk, even a USB stick would do, minimum 8 GB, do this when connected to the external display, when finished startup from the external by holding the Option key and select the USB, what happens, did this change anything.
    You can also run Apple Hardware Test.

    Intel-based Macs: Using Apple Hardware Test

    You don't have a problem with the GPU, yes, ruled out.
  10. narika thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 18, 2013
    Thank you justperry,
    I will try to look into the test you mentioned.
    I know it is a hardware issue but the question is which hardware, the LCD or the LED board… anyone?
    I will keep posted the results of this test the next time I can bring it to an external monitor to see what I am doing…

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