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With out any more information, ie make model, etc, I'll just guess it's a Panasonic. If that's true, then your inverter board is bad. Some models had free replacement boards as an "upgrade", along with a couple of other parts. Without that missing information I can't add more.
woow! stop right now!!!
its the door safty switches?? dont use it any more till you get it sorted out, if you get a blast of microwave energy hit you in the face it could well blind you,,,
now see why you should stop using it?
please play it safe,,, its realy not worth spending good money on an old microwave when they are so cheep to buy now,,if i was you i would just dump it and buy a new upgrade model
Both brands you mention are made by South Korean companies.
GE's are made by Samsung, and most Whirlpools are made by L.G., although I have seen some of each made by Daewoo, another Korean company.
I personally recommend L.G. and Samsung, but I'm a little leery of Samsungs or any brands that have any one-touch type capability. If the keypad shorts, they can start by themselves, and that's very dangerous when there's no one nearby.
Daewoo / E-wave / Magic Chef microwaves seems to have a lot of keypad failures, too.
Although I like Panasonic a lot, I wouldn't recommend their inverter-based models due to the complexity, which means an increased chance for failure.
Sharps are good if you have a recent one without display toruble (or let us repair & upgrade yours) and Sharp makes Dacor, Viking, and Wolf microwaves.
CONCERNING YOUR HANDLE PROBLEM
you have to separate the door panels (as shown in the attached photo)
and then you'll see the previously hidden screws you need to remove.
Or you can watch a YouTube video (not a video I made) that demonstrates how it's done.
You can usually find helpful exploded view diagrams and order parts by entering your full model number here.
We're happy to help you with free advice and we'd appreciate your thoughtful rating of our answer.
You better be carefull my friend or you will start glowing in the dark!! LOL Just kidding. But I wont kid about how dangerous that metal cylinder can be with the holes in the top. Thats the magnatron. It has very high voltage going to it and you should never ever touch any wires going to it even if its unplugged as theres a capacitor in there that holds a charge for a time. f the oven is over several years old, Im sure the magnatron will cost more then a new oven, after you add labor and such. It just migfht be time to upgrade to a new microwave?? Good Luck