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Musician Mac User
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I bought an Intel Mac Book Pro in October 2008, and the backlight burned out on it today. Apple says the only way they will fix it is to replace the whole display, which may cost over $800 and I need the computer for my DJ business.

The computer works on an external display, but you need to use a flashlight to see the display on the laptop. I tried resting SMC, PRAM, and NVRAM but no luck.

Anyone have any other ideas I could try before I take apart the computer and fix it or send it to be repaired? Is it very hard to take apart the computer and replace the backlight if you are skilled with desktop computer repairs?

Where is the best place in Canada that I can order a backlight for this model and how much should it cost me? If I was to send the computer for a repair in Ontario, where is a good place to send it? How much should I pay to have a new backlight installed?

Thanks for you help!

JD.
 

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Be wary that it may not be the backlight. I'm not sure the steps for this model, to fix the backlight, or if it is even possible. But often, a screen like that can mean the inverter died and not the backlight. It is an easier fix, but again, it may not work. Did apple confirm that it was the backlight?

On second look, I don't think the inverter can be replaced either. Sorry
 

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Not in Canada, but the easiest thing to do is buy a good, used screen from eBay.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Apple's Help

I went into the apple store at Rideau in Ottawa today, the guy at the genius bar did not seem all that knowledgeable, and only tried one troubleshooting step which was to hook up an external display.

He said that it would be better to see the computer as-is on ebay, because apple will only replace the screen for somkething like $800 and would not check to see if it was the backlight or inverter, they would just replace the whole screen.

I am self employed and this is a real burden as I need the computer to make money but I really do not want to invest in a new machine or an expensive repair if I can somehow fix this one inexpensively.

I always babied the computer and took great care of it but today I was cleaning it with an anti-static spray and I sprayed the keypad and quickly wiped it. The screen went dim shortly after that, so it's most likely my fault for not cleaning it properly.

I hope someone out there can provide me with accurate advice or a good repair center who does honest work and will not replace the whole screen if that is not necessary.
 

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I always found "the macgroup" in Ottawa to be very helpful, don't know if they are still around, not in the area anymore. Unfortunately this is not an easy fix and if it did happen as a result of that spray, I would wager there is a larger problem. Replacing the display or fixing the backlight requires a lot of specialized labour and will not be cheap anywhere. I cracked the glass on my MacBook unibody, and haven't fixed it because of the cost. The screen itself is finny and I often don't notice the cracks. Just look at this guide to see the difficulties

Installing MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Late 2008 and Early 2009 LCD - iFixit
 

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Probably a stupid thing to ask, but I assume you've tried changing some of the monitor and brightness settings. ie: actually change them.

But like the chicken and the egg - is the problem the inverter board, the cable or less likely the display itself???

I've read on other lists that some with even earlier models (2006) have had the backlight, screen or the display replaced by Apple at their service center this year at no charge. Sure worth a try!!!
 

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Hey, my ol' brain just engaged. ;-)

All 15" MBPs since mid-2007 now use LED-backlit displays standard - not the old CCFL which I believe that generation and a bit longer that the 17" MBP used.

Hence the high power of an inverter board is not required or used.

And considering the longevity of LEDs, it would seem that the "backlight" replacement being considered is a non-issue.

So the backlight problem must be something on or from the motherboard or the cable causing the problem, unless there's some circuitry inside the screen itself.

But I'm sure I read somewhere that the LEDs used in those screens are an integral assembled part and not replaceable.
 
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