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Model A1286. Released February 2011 / 2.0, 2.2, or 2.3 GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7 Processor

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Dead Display, Unrecognized, but External Display Works


Bought this (a1286, 2.0GHz i7, 10.6) for cheap from someone who destroyed the display. Replaced the display as a unit with a Chinese remanufactured one. Worked fine for about a year, then display died. Internal display never even flashes and is not recognized by System Profiler. Reseating LVDS cable on motherboard didn't help, nor did resetting PRAM and SMC. Shining a flashlight on black screen doesn't reveal anything. However, an external display works just fine.

Any ideas?

Heard things about a tiny fuse or driver on the board, or even the DC-in being the culprit (but the battery charges).

My next step would be to get the glass off (what fun!) and see if the LVDS cable is properly seated within the display assembly. Maybe just replace the cable when I'm in there.

Thanks so much!

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It does have a backlight fuse, but start with what machead3 suggest first.


Thanks for your interest guys. One more data point - the Facetime camera works and is recognized (I'm watching my self on Photo Booth on the external display). If the LVDS cable was shot, wouldn't this be dead too?


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That the external display works confirms your VGU/VGC is ok - replacing, checking, reseating the LVDS cable would be the next place to go.

If changing the cable doesn't work it could be either your controller or the LED... See this thread for fuse/controller information. IMHO the LED would be easier to change. Actually changing the LED in a cover would be simplest - as soon as you had it connected (with care) you could power up the unit and see if that was the problem.

If it's not the cable or the LED you're looking at a logic board replacement OR component repair.

If this Answer is helpful please remember to return and mark it Accepted.

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Last questions - would it be possible to get the clutch cover off (where the LVDS cable feeds into the LCD) without removing the glass? If so, I suppose I still have to pull the display off of the rest of the computer to pull the clutch cover off?


Sorry - on further checking, it looks like the camera cable is separate from the LVDS and runs up the other side.

Now, to open up the display/lid to see about the LVDS cable. There are no instruction for Early 2011, but would the "Replacing MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Mid 2010 LCD" guide be the same?

Incidentally, if the LVDS isn't the problem, I will be back to ask more about the fuse - I have a EE brother who can do the micro soldering at this lab.

Thanks again!


Compared to its predecessor, this model has a very similar external enclosure, apart from a higher-resolution webcam and Thunderbolt port. The logic board has a significantly faster architecture, faster RAM, and graphics. So, yes, the 2010 Guide would be identical for many steps. GO SLOW study (not glance at or "read" it - KNOW-) the guide. Obtain the recommended tools (every job goes easier when you use the right tools). I've never done one of these myself so I have no opinion other than to follow the guide as I said getting the glass off without cracking/breaking it and gluing it back down is challenging.


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I had similar symptoms on my MBP 13 (mid-2010). Internal display went suddenly dead and external display worked ok. None of the software or startup tricks did not bring the life back to in-built screen.

Disconnecting and re-connecting the battery connector from the logic board fixed this problem.

Here is the instruction:

MacBook Pro 13" Unibody Mid 2010 Display Replacement

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