MacBook Air - built-in display does not work, external monitor displays normally


HRG

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Hello,

With my MacBook Air (model A1370, late 2010), the built-in display does not work. However, an external monitor attached by a "Mini DisplayPort to VGA adapter" displays 100% normally.

Over a period of weeks, the built-in display went though a series of death throes: first occasionally flickering, then occasionally showing line patterns, then occasionally showing light patterns, then becoming all whitish gray all the time, and finally becoming all black all the time. The built-in display is no longer detected by the computer. The built-in display now has no back-light, and shining a flashlight through the Apple logo on the lid suggests that either (1) no video signal is reaching the built-in display, or (2) the built-in display is not displaying the video signal.

Do the above observations provide a diagnosis that the problem is --
(a) not related to software, and
(b) not related to logic board components,
but rather is either --
(c) the LVDS cable, or
(d) the built-in display itself ?

Thanks!
 
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Cory Cooper

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Hello,

It shouldn't be a software issue, as everything works normally with an external display. The symptoms you listed point toward the LVDS cable/display assembly. It's not a user-serviceable part officially, and can be sort of tricky to replace, as the display assembly and the AirPort board can easily be damaged if you are not certified to perform the repair.

We would suggest taking it to an Apple Store or Apple Authorized Service Provider for diagnosis and/or repair.

C
 

HRG

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Cory, thanks for your reply.

Apple thinks the cause of the problem is the GPU or some related component being "loose" on the logic board. But because an external monitor displays normally, I question Apple's diagnosis.

You're certainly right about the LVDS cable/display assembly being tricky to replace!
 

Cory Cooper

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Apple could be correct in that the LVDS connection may be loose to the logic board. That would explain the issue with the internal display and why it works on the external. It will probably require replacement of either the display assembly or the logic board itself to rectify, if reseating the cable doesn't correct the issue. However, they should be able to determine that definitively.

C
 
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