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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > MB Screen goes black/dim periodically... data cable or inverter?

MB Screen goes black/dim periodically... data cable or inverter?
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Fresh-Faced Recruit
Join Date: Jan 2007
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Jan 9, 2012, 10:57 AM
This is on a black MacBook (13-inch Late 2006) 2.0 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo (Merom)

Sometimes the screen goes black/completely dim and the only way to resurrect it is to dim the screen all the way then bring it back up. Let's say the dimmer all the way down is 0 and brightest is 10. I usually have to go 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 with the dimmer keys before it actually works.

It doesn't seem to be related to tilting the screen, although sometimes tilting the screen will cause it. Sometimes just a slight bump to the screen/computer (like putting your hand on the screen TO tilt it) will make the screen go dark.

From my searching it seems like it could be a data cable or inverter but i'm not sure. Does anyone know for sure what it is? and from where do you recommend purchasing the part?

Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: San Jose, CA
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Jan 9, 2012, 03:15 PM
My guess would be crushed cable, but your symptoms could indicate either the cable or the inverter. I lean towards the cable because touching or moving the machine has an effect. Tapping up and down on the brightness does nothing other than cause the damaged cable to temporarily connect.

Check with iFixit to see if they have a replacement cable. This is quite a repair to do yourself, though, since you'll likely have to disassembly both the bottom and top case to thread the cable through the hinge to the panel.

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Posting Junkie
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: UK
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Jan 9, 2012, 05:13 PM
Changing the cables is a pain in the butt. The inverter can be done without taking the lid off if you are careful though. If you find a cheap one it might be worth trying just to save the hassle.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
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