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Repair and disassembly information for the 2020 refresh of the MacBook Air model A2179 with an Intel processor that was released in March 2020.

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Boots with a very dim black screen with a white column on the left

I knowingly bought a faulty MacBook Air recently where there was an issue with the display. I was hoping it was just some weird issue that would be resolved with something as simple as resetting NVRAM/PRAM, SMC or booting into safe mode, but this does not seem to be the case.

I already had a MacBook Pro from 2015 with a broken LCD, very easy to spot that it is in fact a broken LCD with all the magic rainbowy lines, black ink migrating across the screen etc., but this new faulty display is not like that which did give me some hope.

After further inspection upon the MacBook Air arriving, I noticed some weird small speck that seems to be kind of embedded into the glass of the display, this does seem to be outside the "LCD"-zone, aka. on the black edge part at the top.

I also spotted that the black plastic strip at the bottom of the display, with the "MacBook Air" logo in the middle seems to be cracked on the left-side.

The white column that I suspect is an attempt at displaying an Apple logo. This also seems to be the brightest I can get the display to be, and the only thing I was able to see. Once actually started and being functional (on an external display) I could not see anything at all on the built-in display.

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The weird speck embedded in the glass at the top of the display, ~5cm from the left edge, around same distance as the camera from the top edge of the display

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The cracked plastic cover at the bottom of the display

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All feedback, suggestions and information is much appreciated! Judging from the very dim white line I suspect the backlight might be having some issues also maybe? I actually have no clue though. I am considering getting a replacement LCD-panel but thought I'd ask here first in case this is some other issue!

Update (06/02/23)

I might also add that the keyboard seems to be very dim as well, they both light up a little bit though, visible ex. when in a totally dark room, you can see both the screen and keyboard light up a little. Not much at all though.

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It looks like the display assembly is damaged. You'll probably need to replace the display assembly to repair it. Alternatively you might be able to use an external monitor. Good luck!

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Do you think a LCD panel only swap would fix it? (even though it is a complex and an advance repair)

An external monitor was working fine until I decided to try to reset the MacBook, now it doesn't allow me to mirror the displays so I have no clue where my cursor is haha

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@vortexnet52661 - Sadly the display is your issue here. Here’s the needed part MacBook Air 13" (Late 2018-Early 2020) Display Assembly and here’s the guide to replace it MacBook Air 13" Early 2020 Display Replacement

Basically you damaged a set of signal lines within the panel and/or the ribbon cable which connects to the T-CON logic which now sits as a loose part hanging from the Display unit in Step 13 in the guide.

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@danj Hey, thanks a lot for all of this info Dan! I haven't done anything to the display myself yet, only disconnected the cable to make it prioritize the external display (as the main display) which I had to do on my old MacBook Pro to get it to work nicely.

Hopefully next time I decide to buy a faulty secondhand device it wont be as "badly" damaged, I did order this in hopes of being able to attempt a LCD swap (not full assembly) just to learn from it (most likely fail horribly, but that would be fine since it is already broken), but now that I know I'd need a full assembly to fix it anyway I won't even try an LCD swap.

Thanks again! (also for your comment on Luke's answer)

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Try using an external display, and if that works then I would reccomend 2 things. 1: Check the display cable. The cable could be damaged or something like that. 2: If you have another MBA that looks like it has the same display, you might be able to check it.

If the monitor does not display a signal, you will probably have a faulty GPU. Try replacing the Thermal Paste on the CPU and make sure to cover the iGPU die, and if that doesn't work, then you might have to replace your Logic Board.

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I am able to get a signal to my external monitor! I'll try checking the display cable when I got time to do so, I have a feeling the display is broken though, don't have any MBAs I could use the displays from so I'll probably end up just ordering a new display.

Thanks for the suggestions!

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Your welcome! I’m glad that you got it working! Sorry to hear that the display might be broken… also try checking the Diaplay Power connector

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Based on the spec, the crack and the line/column, I would guess the previous owner attempted to replace the LCD and perhaps stopped when they realized that it requires soldering/a lot more effort if they didn’t purchase an entire display replacement. I would guess they tried to separate the LCD from the glass.

Previous answers have this right though, it will require a new display assembly or an external display if you’re okay with that set up. If my guess is correct, then the brightness you are getting out of the current display is as bright as it will ever be because the previous user severely damaged the backlight when trying to separate. I know eBay is generally a good place to find a display assembly at a moderate price.

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@princeunicorn - I do think more likely they left something on the keyboard and then they closed the lid. Which can explain both punched in areas. The lower one likely damaged the cable and the one within the screen damaged the metal oxide traces which power the given Pixels in that column.

Sadly, I’ve see this a few times.

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