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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LCD with Grey Screen, 3 Horizontal Grey bars, but TV output works

My black 2.2 Macbook Core 2 Duo A1181, 4Gb Ram 10.7.4

is working perfectly except the video display shows 3 bars of equal height shades of gray.

The external monitor works perfectly and shows all functions of the comptuer are fine.

Thoughts please?

History: Computer was working perfectly until it had problems recognizing and not charging the battery.

Pulling the magsafe would put the laptop to sleep.

Resetting the SMC and PRAM would only help temporarily. (SMC did the trick actually) Took to Apple.

They took it and then said they would charge me $755 because they found evidence of liquid Damage.

I declined and took the machine back.

When they gave it back, LCD screen was as above.

I told Apple that they should at the very least give me back the computer as they had recieved it. But they argued that the liquid damage was going to cause problems eventually anyway. I do not agree with them that the LCD was about to have problems. It always worked fine.

I did not check the external monitor at the time but hard drive was booting up (whirring and clicks)

Completely disassembled and cleaned computer and logic board (overnight soak and clean, 2 day dryout for board.)

Reassembled with care and thermal paste.

(not a technician but not really a novice either)

LCD screen still bad but battery problem completely gone :)

Read some info here and decided to test external monitor. It worked fine.

Because the backlight works, I am imagining that it is the data getting to the LCD that might be the problem.

Really appreciate any suggestions.



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You don't mention if there actually was a liquid spill - if so I agree that it could have shorted/corroded the display data cable or connector. You could try replacing the cable. The other part to try replacing would be the ribbon cable to the display. If the connector is bad I think a logic board swap would be required... replacing logic board components is not really a DIY job - it requires special tools, skills and solder.

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Hi machead3, thanks for your comments, makes a lot of sense.

Re the spill, possibly but not probably, meaning a spill occurred next to it, not on it, on a glass table, and the laptop was quickly picked up and wiped. So only the bottom was exposed and literally it was very little.

That might have explained the battery problem, which the clean up solved.

Looking at your last item first. I am thinking to discount the connecter because that is on the top of the logic board right? Liquid did not go there...unless the apple guy somehow 'broke' it?

Re your other items, you mention two cables? the 'display data cable' and the 'ribbon cable to the display'. They are two separate things?

Do you possibly have (or could direct me to) some pictures of the exact cables you mean and which connector it is?

Really appreciate your help.

I still think I will end up going back to Apple and doing my best to get them to help. After all they caused it.

Remember, even with said spill, the display never, ever had a problem till apple looked at it. It was not broken nor had any symptom of sickness.

The computer is now completely fine except for what they did.

Thanks again,



Hi Machead...

Going to replace the data cables one at a time...(No Joy from Apple)

So you suggest the inverter cable before the data cable based on my symptoms?

Can you tell me what the inverter cable does? Is this power?

ps, I'm really going blind, I'm sorry I could not see the 'add comment' link...


Hi Machead...

Going to replace the data cables one at a time...(No Joy from Apple)

So you suggest the inverter cable before the data cable based on my symptoms?

Can you tell me what the inverter cable does? Is this power?


For some reason, I could not see the 'add comment' link till after I posted the last response in 'add your answer'...


Someone said they see many more bad inverter boards than cables (makes sense the cable is pretty simple connector). As to symptoms and purpose of inverter see this or this.


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Machead, problem solved!

I took the laptop apart tonight, got the display apart and had a good look at everything...I thought the cable looked pretty good except for some coloration on the data display cable connector. Cleaned it.

jury rigged it for the laptop to work and it did! So bottom line, just some oxide or something on the connector. Theory about the inverter seems to have been correct, but only knew that because of you guiding me to those links so thanks again for that and being a great guide, sounding board and just some one to help me.

Put it all back happy camper at 4.00am

Thanks again and all the best.

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