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Released October 2008 / 2.4, 2.53, 2.66, 2.8 or 2.93 GHz Core 2 Duo Processor

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Screen Backlight Not Working! Need Advice!

Macbook Pro 15 Inch A1286 October 2008

So, it appears as though my Macbook Pro 15 inch screen LCD/LED backlight has stopped working. I have done all the basic stuff, reset the Pram, SMC etc.. No changes. I can indeed see the screen working by using a flashlight, or shining a light through the Apple logo. After an extensive search online to possible solutions, I have come up with 3 that stand out so far.

1- The screens data cable from the motherboard to the screen has gone faulty. I have ordered this to try since it is the cheapest solution to start with.

2- The LED Backlight is actually fried in the LCD screen itself. Replacing the LCD is the next cheapest solution to try since ebay is crawling with these.

And finally, the one I'm having an issue with...

3- The inverter for the screen. From early 08 models (all aluminum) to late 08 (Unibody, which is mine) apple changed how the screens were powered. From what I can tell, they either did away with the inverter or put it somewhere else for the screen. Some people say there is one on the Motherboard, others say its not needed due to the LED backlight and how it works power wise. Maybe Im not hitting the right sites to find this info, but after 6 hours of looking, you get a little frustrated.

So my question is, is there an Inverter? And if there is, where did apple put it? And can it be changed out for a new one? Or does the entire motherboard need to be sent out? If it needs to be sent out can anyone recommend a reliable company here in the states I could send it to? I refuse to take it to apple as it will be nothing but costly through them. I have some repair experience with the older macbooks, but unfamiliar with the unibody's and taking them apart. So I am hunting for info before tearing into it.

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Hi Dan,

There is no inverter at all in the Unibody Macbook Pros. They use LED bars to light the display, instead of the older florescent tubes. Inverters "ramp up" the power from the circuit to provide higher voltages that are required for powering florescent tubes in CCFL LCD type displays. (

If you have worked on older MacBooks and feel comfortable soldering on the logic board, I would first look at this thread:

I know it is very long, but I used it to bring my mid 2009 pro back to life!!

The problem for me, and many others, was a blown fuse found in the display circuit. It is tiny (2mm X 4mm) and if blown will cause the backlight to not power on.

There are many companies on eBay that do the repairs, but at least test the fuse first!!

It might be scary to think about having to solder on the Logic Board, but read the thread, many of us have had major success!!

hope this helps!


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Appreciate the help, I will look into it and let you know whats up! Soldering doesnt phase me in the least, and as the saying goes, I know a guy if I cant get it done!

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My pleasure!! If you have any more questions about what I did to get mine going, please feel free to ask!! Either way let me know what happens. Wishing you the best!!


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So, It appears it was indeed the micro fuse. Took somewhat of a risk and decided to send it out to a company I found in brooklyn, NY. Gotta say, they were fast on the turnaround time. Sent it out on a monday, got it back the following monday. Price was decent in comparison to some others. 150 bucks, plus shipping which was only 11 dollars. Been using my Macbook Pro A1286 for a week straight and so far so good! If anybody would like the name of the company I used, you can find them here:

You will find it under their listing as "No Backlight Only Repair".

Yes, it was an ebay deal, and I know of the horror stories some people have had. But I recommend them based on their communication with me and turnaround time. No, they did not replace my logicboard with another one either. Checked the serial # myself. Thanks for all the help!

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I have the same problem? What should I do?

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Alex I have a question, would you be able to do it for me? I would appreciate it a lot. I don't feel like paying $100-$200 for this service, (especially if you're a broke college student!!)

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hello, I don’t speak english very well.

I have resolved the same problem by make one bridge on the backlight fuse (macbook pro late 2008). It’s easy !

I have test the fuse by an multimeter before make the bridge.

Have you search on google with “macbook pro 2008 fuse”

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I have not seen those forums. Thank you for the tip and the information! I will check it out and see if your solutions helps!

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