by Bill Catambay (Jan 25, 2005)
There is now a settlement to a class action suit with Apple regarding studio displays that go out due to the problem discussed on this page! If you paid to have someone repair your display, or repaired it yourself, you may qualify for a refund!
Details of the class action suit can be found at http://www.apple17inchlcddisplay.com/.
For those who have had their display repaired within three years of the purchase date, you can receive a refund (or partial refund) from Apple. Click here for full details.
Thanks to Michael Wyszomierski for sharing this news with me.
Anyone can do it! I've received countless "Thank you" emails from all kinds of people who were successful making the fix themselves. For example, on 5/4/06:
Before my display suffered the
problem, I never even heard of a backlight inverter. Understanding the symptoms is
the first step in deciding whether you have any need to learn what a backlight inverter
is (let alone how to replace one).
The first symptom of a backlight inverter going out is that the power light on your Mac starts blinking. Different types of blinking indicates different issues, but the specific blinking that indicates a backlight issue is two short pulses followed by one long pulse.
This is an animated GIF showing the blinking power light
(courtesy of Michael Wyszomierski)
Technical data related to the power
light blinking can be found on Apple's tech document 88366.
Other symptoms that you may notice are that the display gets dim overall, and the bottom half of the display gets even more dim than the top half.
TOOLS THAT I USED:
- Philips Screwdriver
- 5/64" Hex Wrench (equivalent metric size probably fits more precise)
- Small flashlight to illuminate the innards of the display
ITEMS THAT NEED TO BE REMOVED:
- Base stand (aka, 3rd leg) and small cover stand attaches to (and associated screws)
- Translucent and metal back covers (and associated screws)
- Two tape strips
- Metal circuitry cover (and associated screw)
- Old backlight inverter circuit board (and associated screws)
STEP 1: Unplug your display from your Mac. I actually forgot this step, and a little spark later on reminded me.
STEP 2: Use the hex wrench to remove the four screws on the back of the display.
Remove the four screws on the back of the display
STEP 3: Use the hex wrench to remove the three hex screws at the base of the display stand.
Remove the three screws attaching the stand
STEP 4: Pull off the stand, then pull off the small cover the stand was attached to.
STEP 5: Remove the translucent back cover, and then remove the metal cover underneath it.
Remove the stand (aka, base), the small cover, and the two back covers
STEP 6: Carefully peel off the two tape strips at the bottom of the back of the display. Keep these in a clean place, as you'll want to re-apply them later.
STEP 7: Use the Phillips screwdriver to remove the screw at the top of the metal plate that covers the internal electronics.
STEP 8: Slide the metal cover down and remove.
Remove tape strips and metal circuitry cover
STEP 9: Locate the Backlight Inverter and note the screws and plugs that are attached to it.
The existing Backlight Inverter should have 5 plugs and 3 screws
STEP 10: Remove the plugs (4 connectors on one side, and the CN1 connector on the other side). Keep them situated such that you can plug them back into the proper connectors when installing the new inverter.
STEP 11: Use the Phillips screwdriver to remove the 3 screws attaching the inverter, and remove the inverter.
Remove the plugs, the screws, and lift out the old inverter
STEP 12: Place the new inverter into place, and screw it in with the 3 phillips screws.
STEP 13: Re-attach the cables to the appropriate connectors.
STEP 14: Place metal cover onto back of display and slide up, then secure with Phillips screw.
STEP 15: Reapply the tape at the bottom.
STEP 16: Put metal back cover back on, then place translucent cover back on, and attach with 4 hex screws.
STEP 17: Place small base cover back on, then reattach base stand using 3 hex screws.
STEP 18: Stand the display back up, plug it into your Mac, and press the power button.
If all went well, your display should start up, and the problem of the blinking light and dim screen should be gone. I was ecstatic when I turned my G4 Quicksilver back on and the display lit up beautifullly. I had forgotten how bright it was supposed to be. It was great to not have that power light blinking any more as well. In fact, that is probably the worst part of the problem, and I strongly recommend that if you suffer these symptoms that you waste no time to fix it. This is due to the "burn-in" effect on your brain. I had watched, in agony, the power light pulsate for weeks, and even though the problem went away, occassionally when I glance down at the light I can still see it pulsate! It's like a bad nightmare that doesn't want to go away. I'm sure that in time this effect will wear off. I'm very happy to have my display back in good working order.
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