Model A1502 / 2.4, 2.6, or 2.8 GHz dual-core Intel processor / Released October 2013

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Backlight works, but no display!

Okay, here's the rundown.

A1502, purchased in March 2014, has suddenly created a pretty nasty problem.

Went to boot one day and *chime!* but no screen. Apple logo on the back lit up, backlight was obviously working, but ZERO display workings.

Okay, so I plug in an external monitor. Nothing. "HDMI signal not detected." Okay, so I do the Googles, read the reddit, etc etc. Reset NVRAM/PRAM, reset SMC, no luck. Try booting Command+D Diag. mode, and output on external monitor! However, white progress boot bar hangs at 1/2way for 3.6 hours. So I Safe Boot (Power+Shift). Finally, I can use my external monitor! I can get into my mac and mirror displays, so that I can offload my data. Great.

I know the int. screen isn't working-- that's not the discussion.

Here's the question: When I boot normally in clamshell-closed mode, external monitor works perfectly. But the second I open the lid (i.e. use keyboard) EVERYTHING GOES BLACK AND TURNS OFF. Then, I must boot into safe mode to use the mac again! And the cycle repeats itself... What is the culprit here? Iris video card, Logic board, loose internal connector, or all of the above? Is the internal display issue and this issue related at all?

P.S. Congrats for getting this far. I know the writing is dense.

Thank ya much,

Nick Flint

Answer this question I have this problem too

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I have exactly the same issue with the same model (A1502). Are there any "soft" solutions for this problem? What about your macbook Nick? Did you fix it?


+1 same issue


same, anyone? motherboard problem?


Its the LVDS (display cable) problem, try reconnecting the cable again

worked for me but replace lvds if it dosent


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Had the exact same problem as you after my MBP had fallen off the bed.

Had a completely black screen - not even a backlight. Tried tapping on the casing near the display cable and pushing the black bar in at the back of the laptop but it did nothing. Tried resetting NVRAM/PRAM - nothing.

I realised that I could log in and suddenly the keyboard and Apple logo lit up and the backlight was working so I figured there was something wrong with the screen. Connected it to an external display and got nothing but then I tried booting it whilst pressing cmd + D and it worked on the external display, however it completely shut off as soon as I tried to log in.

Eventually realised I was going to have to open the case to see if the display cable was damaged. I've never done this before so was a bit nervous but I ordered a screwdriver set from Amazon and waited a couple of days. Followed the guide posted above to open the case and located the display cable. Tried wiggling it a little and screwed the case back together and frustratingly it did nothing. Almost gave up at that point and was resigned to the fact that I'd have to take it to get repaired.

However, I gave it one last go except this time I disconnected the battery and the display cable and plugged them back in. Put it all back together, turned it on and BOOM! Screen turns on, everything back to normal! So relieved that I've fixed it!

Thanks for all the advice in this thread, you're all lifesavers!


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Thanks for this answer. I currently have the same problem on my MBP. I cant see the entire thread here. Do you have a link for where the guide you used to troubleshoot the display connection can be found? Thanks.



I can't remember exactly which one it was but I think it was this one:

MacBook Pro 13" Retina Display Late 2013 Display Assembly Replacement

Just skip steps 7-10 as it's not necessary to remove the fan/antenna cables/iSight camera. Unplug the display cable and plug it back in and see if that works.

Hope it helps!



Thank you!I dropped mine today and it was working fine after, but a couple hours later the screen went black (back light still on). Tried setting pram, smc and got a a display on the external monitor, but was hanging on boot just like OP. Got it booted in safe mode, but still nothing on the primary display. Just for kicks I gave the corner of the laptop a good smack (while powered down) and shockingly it booted find after that, like nothing ever happened. Just to be safe I opened it up, disconnected the battery and display cables and reseated both. Took about 10 minutes (include 8 minutes to find the right screwdriver). Thanks again to Nick for writing up the problem so well and to Jay and Rob for answers that worked for me. I was moments away from driving to the Apple Store!


Thanks a lot Rob!!!

I owe u a beer or something. It worked. Wifey is happy too. :)

Dropped my macbook and no display. Booked a service to an authorized shop but saw this thread few hours before I go. I just had to get the correct screwdrivers at my local comp shop. And followed the steps on the comments below. I’m so surprised that I actually made it to work. :) Thanks again. Saved me time and money. Cheers



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This doesn't sound like a video card issue, it sounds like a short circuit somewhere (maybe a blown cap or resistor? no way to tell without inspecting). Shutting down when you open the lid would indicate to me a safety mechanism when the unit detects a short or power spike trying to engage the primary display, and one of the involved chipsets terminates the power to avoid permanent damage. I don't believe it's a loose connector, because that isn't normally so predictable a result.

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I know this is an older thread, but, I've been seeing this more often lately in the shop. I CAN say that (in this specific case, repeatable.) all the standard reset procedures & tricks are attempted. In SOME cases, it seems the PRAM (guess it's the SPI/:PC Reset.?? Whatever, Apple calls it the same thing still... CMD+OPT+R+P), causes a single screen flash, then nada... Hope to update tomorrow. ?? Good Luck All.


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I tried all of the soft reboot solutions and nothing worked.

I dug a little deeper and found information about the display cable and that it can become loose.

I simply tapped on the bottom of my MacBook a few times in the position of the cable and suddenly, there was life!

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Oh my goodness for the life of me I tried all the resets too. My symptons where that on startup the screen is black but with the blacklight on and the logo in the back would stay on even after closing my macbook pro 13 retina.

I simply did what you said, tapped the corner where the display cable is attached to the board ( left side next to power connection) a few times to release some frustration whilst still caring for thing, then I powered it on and everything was back to normal, yay! Now Im curious if it really is just loose, and how can I fix this or if I can get apple store to tighten the connection.

Thanks for the suggestion!


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First: try disabling any power save and sleep feature in the System Settings.

Second: initiate a First Aid scan on the hard drive.

Third: Download any available updates from Apple.

Fourth: While you are in Safe Mode close the lid and open it again and see if the problem replicates.

If the problem does not replicate in Safe Mode it might be good to perform a fresh install after you back up your data.

This will tell you whether you have an issue with hardware or with the software.

I would love to hear the results of the steps above.

Thank you,


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Nick Flint will be eternally grateful.
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