Carpe Diem: 4 March, 2024

MacBook (2006) Repair After a Fall

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Long time no see.  It’s been busy here and not enough time for computer projects.  Luckily, I’ll have a few coming up in the near future.

Recently, a friend came looking for advice on what to do with a MacBook that was dropped and had the LCD screen go out.  I was happy to take a look at it to see what could be done.  This is a situation where it could be a very simple fix or a very expensive one (replacing LCD screen). Luckily, this was an easy fix.  The culprit was a loose connection on the display inverter.

MacBook Guts. Click for larger picture.

I decided to write a post on this specific issue because it seems to happen quite often in laptops.  The display power inverter is used to transform DC to AC and power the back light in the LCD display.  Without it, the LCD image can still be seen, but it is very faint and almost unreadable.  I have found that often one of the connections from the inverter to the motherboard or to the screen becomes loose and unconnected (see picture below).  The inverter sits in the hinge of the laptop body and screen, so there is a lot of movement whenever the laptop is opened or closed. On some laptop models it is a simple fix, others a little more difficult.  As seen above, I had to open up the whole machine.

MacBook Inverter and Connections.

The next time the screen doesn’t power up, be sure to check the inverter out before buying a new screen.  In the case where the inverter is broken, they are replaced much cheaper than the screen itself.  This post applies to other brands of laptops as well, not just MacBooks.

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