Model A1181: 1.83, 2, 2.1, 2.13, 2.16, 2.2, or 2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo processor

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Why is my screen blank?

My MacBook boots to a blank screen—I'm reasonably sure it is not a blank white screen, but actually the color of the apple boot screen prior to the grey logo appearing. However it doesn't stop booting, the screen just remains blank. While the MacBook gives no response to what its doing, it appears on the network (and I am able to log in and transfer files through the network), and I can even plug it into an external monitor and see the desktop. I've managed to set the external as the primary display and am able to fully use the computer, so I am pretty sure it is not a logic board failure (everything else is functioning properly). However, I just replaced the display data cable and the problem persists... what else could the problem be?

I have reset the PRAM and SMC, neither helped. I've also removed the battery and cord and held the power button for a while, which also didn't work.

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Looks like a faulty LCD panel since you replaced the LVDS cable and the GPU works on an external monitor. Do you trust the "new" LVDS cable ?

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Have you tried other booting options, just to make sure it's not a software issue? For example, starting up in target disk mode (CMD-T while booting, should show a firewire icon, which changes places now and then), or try verbose mode (CMD-V while booting)?

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Booting into verbose mode or target disk mode, or booting into windows via bootcamp, all show no effect on the screen. I just booted into safe mode as well, and still nothing.

Also, the computer just stopped charging (light on the magsafe barely comes on, battery indicator says "(Not Charging)"). The same magsafe adapter works properly with another MacBook. Suddenly it seems a lot more like a logic board issue...

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My girlfriend had a similar-sounding problem with her MacBook Pro Santa Rosa. Everything booted, there was just no display. Took it to the Mac store and it was a bad video card. That particular generation had bad video cards, so it was replaced at the cost of the manufacturer. I'm not sure if that would still let something show up on an external monitor, though.

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