Macbook blank screen.

2008 Aug 3 at 23:35 » Tagged as :macbook, video,

A few months earlier, my father's Macbook refused to boot up, it wouldn't produce anything except a blank screen. It wasn't something that could be fixed by the usual remedies such as resetting the PVRAM. It was a major hardware problem that was covered by the warranty but getting it fixed by the local dealer turned out be astonishingly difficult.

Now something similar has come up again. The screen had suddenly gone blank just as it would do when the machine goes to sleep. If you close the cover (LCD) , reopen it and hit any key the screen would light up momentarily and go black once again. Increasing the brightness didn't do any good either. The screen isn't completely gone. Apparently it's only the back light that's gone. You can dimly see an outline of what's on the desktop.

This too is a known issue, there are too possible causes. One is a buggy firmware the other buggy hardware. A week earlier Bluetooth on this same machine had been switched off all of a sudden. It had completely disappeared from the menubar at the top as well as system preferences. Fortunately that was cured by a simple restart. This time though restart doesn't get you anywhere.

The first thing to do is to make a backup. This machine get's it's IP using DHCP from the airport. Since it's nearly impossible to keep the screen live to open terminal , run ifconfig and see it's output. The IP could be easily determined by nmap. Then I SSHed into the box and started a backup on it (rsync). It's still running (22GB of data in the home folder). Not going to try anything till the backup is complete.

I could have had the backup completed in minutes by using the gigabit ethernet available here, but that would mean airport has to be turned off and for that you need the screen again. How I wish I had vncserver on it.