Black Screen, Dead HD, Bad SuperDrive My MacLemon experience!

This is going to be me reviving my 6 year old problem child. I will no doubt hit bumps in the road and this forum has revived my desire to not let this one beat me.. So here is the beginning of my effort to solve all its problems. It has the black screen weird problem where you can get the screen to flash with quick pushes of the power button. Runaway Fan, Dead Hard Drive and SuperDrive that only makes coasters..

I am in the process of troubleshooting a EMC 2803 that has pretty much been the flakiest Macintosh I have ever owned. I purchased it in June of 2010 for full retail of $1499.00.

First odd thing I noticed after about a year was the screen would flicker every now and then. During 2012 the Optical drive started making coasters. Flicker got worse and more frequent. By Aug of 2013 I noticed the internal hard was showing signs of impending failure so as a fail safe I purchased a Toshiba 2tb external and used Carbon Copy Cloner to mirror my internal to it. Flicker was more pronounced on reboots or startup. Coming out of sleep became a game of pushing the power button over and over to get the backlighting up. September of 2013 internal hard drive died. I used the external to boot from until finally in December of 2013 it went black screen. You could restart the computer and once it was booted quick press the power button to put it asleep and then get a flash of video when you pressed any key or clicked the mouse. At this point I shoved it into the corner of my desk bought a iPad mini and after 25 years as a Macintosh consultant walked away from my computeroom.

Needless to say i had been researching these issues as they happened but there was very little info around back then. It only took let's see a little over 2.5 years to get over the level of !#^&@@ off I'd gotten at trying to resolve the issues, oh I forgot to mention the constant unmounting of external hard drives that was going on. I've noticed now there sure are a lot of users with black screens, failed hard drives and such. At the time mine failed the Apple recall only covered the 27 inch.

So I'm Back! Ordered LCD inverter board today and a SuperDrive. I'll post what happens as I wrestle the beast..

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You forgot t mention your run away fan issue or do you have it?

What are the diagnostic LEDS to the right of the RAM slots telling you?

UPDATE 8/11/16

If if were in my shop the first thing I would do is a reflow of the GPU.

This has been a major problem with this machine.

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Not to that point yet. I stopped the take apart once I realized that there was no point to go in any further until I had the Super Drive and inverter in hand. I really am documenting this from the very first. I knew the DVD was bad, I knew the HD was bad.. I strongly suspect the LCD Backlight card. When I found one for $7.99 on Ebay from a seller that said it was tested good and had like 14k sales 99% positive. I decided to wait. Parts are on the way. Hooked up another monitor just now to start the process of getting El Capital installed on 2TB Toshiba HD that will go inside. System went completely dark during that install and I had to restart the system after a long wait. It picked back up at the 5 minutes to go point at which it went dark for a hour.


Yes the fans are running wide open most of the time. With nothing being changed inside it yet.


I used a app called RemoterVNC app on my iPad to access the totally black primary screen and to go into Display control panel to switch the menu bar to the 2nd monitor and turn on mirroring. That had me stumped for a few minutes. I know there is something I've forgotten as a different way to deal with that.


I'm also very familiar with Other World Computing products. Used to order things from them to use with my former clients. Great stuff, great people. It was actually looking at their products again that really spurred me to get back in the game.


Had to look it up,

Upgrade seems to be taking a lot longer than it should. Screen has now got a nice vista of mountains and valley with no menu bar or ability via port 5900 vnc to log in. Cmd F-1 has no effect either, will give it awhile longer drive access light is flickering at a fast rate. Could just be I'm impatient.


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Bill Wilson will be eternally grateful.
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