Question about Apple PowerBook G4 Mac Notebook

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Backlight Hi, Well last night I was starting up my mac, and right as the screen came on, it flickered a couple times and went off. You can still see everything, but its just very hard, and I'm on it right now. So if you can help me. I'd greatly appreciate it. Mike

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  • peachgroup Oct 07, 2008

    I had a similar problem. I connected to an external monitor and everything worked fine. I replaced the inverter and the lcd cables but still get a white screen. everything else works fine but still a white screen. After replacing things, I noticed too that now the power cable goes orange.

  • Paul Burrows
    Paul Burrows May 11, 2010

    Hi Mike
    First things first. Have you checked your screen brightness settings and energy saving settings? They sometimes drop down to zero. Like putting screen to sleep after 15 seconds ordim for ambient light. If you can see what you are doing take a look there first.

    If that does not help you'll need to plug in an external monitor to see if it;'s the macs LCD. If the external works we'll have to trouble shoot further.


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The problem is fairly common and while you could test the long-shot possibility that it's not the inverter but the actual CCFL "bulb" (a tube really) that produces the light and sits in the bottom of the LCD panel, the chances are that it's a circuitry problem on the logic board. I've never had luck replacing inverters in these computers (though it works like a charm in PCs).

With the symptoms you have though, it might make sense to try the $20 inverter rather than replace the logic board. It's really quite simple. Just follow the instructions on THIS PAGE and select Apple MacBook Pro (even though you have a PowerBook it's almost exactly the same.)

It will walk you through taking the back off and pulling the LCD, but just notice that on Diagram #2 it shows you where the inverter board is. Just take it out, remove the two cables going to it and replace it with a known good one from eBay. It will be a great $20 way to check a cheap solution. After that fails, replace the logic board.

Or, for more fun, find another person with another laptop who doesn't mind you pulling it apart. Almost all 12" laptops will use a similar CCFL, so you can plug your LCD panel into just the two prong CCFL plug (shown in step 3 of the walk through). If you find someone else with a powerbook or iBook I know for certain that your screen's CCFL plug will fit.

So you could do all this or you could find someone on Craigslist to do it for you for a pretty cheap cost. Good Luck.

to peachgroup: if you have a lighted White screen, it is something completely different.

Posted on Oct 14, 2008

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