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I have a MacBook Black. For about the last six months I have had a strange screen flicker when I:

  • start my machine and
  • plug in the power cord of my machine

This morning when I woke up my computer the screen backlight did not turn on at all. When I held the computer in direct sunlight I could see the screen and I could tell that everything was working normally (other than the backlight).

Pressing the screen brightness controls (F2) brought up the brightness panel. The brightness panel informed me that the screen was at maximum brightness.

I did a bit of Searching and this is what I found:

  • This post describes how to buy and replace a macbook screen. Do you think that this would solve my problem?

Additional info:

  • I am running 10.6.4
  • I recently upgraded from 10.4. I experienced similar issues in 10.4. I am pretty sure that this is a hardware issue.
  • The problem does not occur when the screen is at a specific angle. It usually only happens at startup/wakeup or when the power is plugged/unplugged.
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Update: A year later I still have some screen flickering but I have not had another blackout. If you are also having this problem there is hope! – sixtyfootersdude Jan 13 '12 at 17:47

I've had this problem on my macbook. Tried all sorts to no avail. Then went to Energy Saver, System prefs, Preference panes and noticed there was an alert if 'put display to sleep' was less than 'put computer to sleep'.I set them both the same, (in my case 21 mins) and the problem has not recurred!

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I once had a similar problem with my Compaq machine (Windows). It was solved by replacing the inverter. Good luck.

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As @Xavierjazz suggests, the problem is most likely the inverter board.

iFixit sells display inverters for the MacBook.

The part is relatively inexpensive ( verify your exact model first ), but getting the inverter board back in without mangling the plastics on the MacBook is a challenge. The board itself is rather fragile as well.

iFixit does have excellent illustrated instructions to walk you through. Heed their warning of the level of difficulty as being "Very Difficult."

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Wow, that looks "very difficult". +1 for the link. Now I know that I don't want to replace the inverter that defiantly helps. – sixtyfootersdude Dec 1 '10 at 16:54

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