Replacing a display inverter on a MacBook 8 (Santa Rosa)
My MacBook screen kept flickering and going out. Eventually it would rarely fire up at all. I realized it was the inverter. I bought a (purportedly) new inverter chip on-line and had it professionally installed but the screen kept flickering - this time accompanied by a high pitched buzzing. I decided to have a go myself.
The repair went very well.
These are a very comprehensive set of instructions and give a really good grand tour of the innards of a MacBook 8. They are also useful for replacing the hard drive or the optical drive.
Couple of hints:
1. Have on hand some canned compressed air - the inside of a laptop is generally quite full of dust and fluff.
2. Also have on hand some contact cleaner spray (do NOT use degreasers/lubricants/anti rust sprays such as RP 7 or WD 50). Contact cleaner sprays generally only contain isopropyl alchohol. It's good to give exposed contacts a bit of a clean - even grease from fingertips can affect conductivity and hence performance. (If possible, use powder free surgical gloves).
3. Use either an ice-cube tray or an egg carton to keep track of the various screws you'll undo at disassembly and replace at reassembly - there are a lot of them and each has its own purpose.
4. Make sure you have the right tools (don't skimp - buy the tools set from iFixit). Not using the right spudger on a plug could be the cause of irreparable damage to the circuit board.
5. When prying the bezel clips off the bezel (Step 40), shield the bezel clip with your hand. Sometimes the bezel clips can flick off without warning and if they're a bit loaded up they can travel across the workshop at speed (generally never to be seen again).
6. During reassembly, when replacing the screen (Step 35), prop the screen up with something (block of wood, nearby wall etc.) so that it is at right angles to the keyboard - it's much easier to fit.
7. Be meticulous about derouting and rerouting any wires and be careful not to pinch or snag anything - tracing a pinched wire after an unsuccessful repair can be a nightmare.
8. Sometimes the screen will still flicker and there'll be a high pitched buzzing on initial start up. This may be a bad contact in the hinge clutch assembly (which is where the mechanism is located that turns the display on when you open the laptop). Wiggling it back and forth a few times generally solves this. (Note: Debris such as spilt coffee tends to collect in this area - give it a good clean with contact cleaner while you have it in pieces).
Doing this sort of repair is good value - not many shops repair these macs anymore.