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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Distinguishing between inverter problem and LCD cable problem

I have the typical display problem where the back light comes on at a certain position of the lid.

How can I distinguish between an inverter or inverter cable problem and an LCD cable problem.

It must be backlight because I can see that the screen is working when an external light shines on it.

I am prepared to fix this myself but do not want to replace LCD cable when it's an inverter or inverter cable problem and of course vice versa.

Curiously sometimes I can open up the lid to upright after sleep and the display is normal but then it cuts out and I have to find the smaller angle of opening to keep the backlight on.

Answered! View the answer I have this problem too

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Hi Andrew, welcome to iFixit Answers.

The difference between the video cable (LVDS cable) and the inverter cable :

The LVDS cable brings the video to your LCD display from the graphic card located on your logic board. The cable and the LVDS socket are located at the right side of the logic board.

The inverter cable brings the electrical power from the logic board (upper left side) to the inverter board in the display assembly and this board powers up the backlight bulb so you can see the video onscreen.

Your problem is a lightning one and the inverter cable is often the culprit in this kind of failure. From the symptoms described in your question it seems that the inverter cable is cut out somewhere in the hinge and only makes contact when the display is open at a certain angle or the cable is not well seated in the inverted board socket losing/getting contact when you're moving the display.

You'll have to carefully verify your inverter cable connections and visually check the cable for any damage where it goes inside the hinge.

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Hi,

Thanks for your answers. I will replace inverter cable first and hope that's the problem. BTW anyone know whether a screwdriver with a magnetised tip is a real danger to the circuit board?

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No problem to work with a magnetised screwdriver on electronic boards. I use them all the time cause working with tiny screws will be very problematic without the use of magnetic screwdriver. I also use a magnetised bowl where I store all my metallic screwdrivers to keep them magnetised. Don't be afraid to damage your hard drive, a very powerful magnet is needed to damage a hard drive. A little big of magnetism from a screwdriver isn't going to hurt it.

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Sounds to me like the cable gets pinched and shorts out at certain angles. I would replace the cable before the inverter in this situation. If the inverter is bad, then the backlight usually stays out no matter what angle the display is at.

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Thanks for the answer. It sounds like the inverter cable rather than anything else. Seems strange to me that this part of the internal arrangement of the Macbook was sacrificed to external design. Ho hum

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Thanks for that. I was vaguely concerned about the risk.

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For anyone out there, I found a supplier on eBay who is the front man for a Hong Kong parts supplier from whom I got my inverter cable for $18 (US suppliers take note, none of that $105 crap from you please.) Very important that you get the right cable for your MacBook.

When you come to take your machine apart, one thing that is not mentioned in the guides is that the hinge bar of the screen rests in a plastic seating that's in two parts. The top part is a very small shaped plastic piece that sprung out of the seating as I manipulated the screen and disappeared for quite some time before I found it.

Screws to the hinge are not the same on either side so make sure you have a system of matching screw to place when you come to put it together again.

This system must be foolproof in case you are interrupted - as I was - and you are away from the project for enough time to forget where everything goes.

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you can add your hints and tips to the guide you followed for the repair..just go back to that guide and add it as a note for that particular step. I think it would be seen by more people and be more useful in that place (not all people will be having the same question you had, so won't see this helpful answer!) Jen

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Please click on my icon and email the url of this supplier!

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== Update ==

I didn't think about adding to the guide. Will do. For everyone out there the ebay supplier of my cable was finestart88. When the package came there was no contact information about the company who made it so the trail stops there.

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Andrew Kennedy will be eternally grateful.
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