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Ask Max: Problem with ibook G3 Monitor

Asked on 04/27/2007:

My iBook G3 monitor goes black when it is in certain positions or when someone walks into the room (when this happens it blinks black then comes back on). It comes back on when moved forward. What could be done to fix this problem?


Losing video when the laptop's lid is in a certain position, or when wiggled, is a definite cabling issue. Inside every laptop is a thin ribbon cable that works similarly to a full-sized monitor's data cable. In addition to the data ribbon cable, there is a thin power cable that powers the LCD backlights. Backlights are like mini florescent tubes at the side of each LCD panel. If any of those two cables are loose or damaged, your screen could black out. These cables are constantly being moved as you open and close the lid of your laptop because the cables are routed through the LCD hinges.

Whatever the cause, you will need a qualified Apple technician to open up your laptop. If it is just a loose connection, then it will be a simple fix. If however, the cables need to be replaced, then you may want to consider spending the money on a new computer.

You may just want to keep using your iBook until the display cables wear out but it will progressively get worse. If the display turns permanently dark, you can always connect the iBook to an external display with a VGA adapter

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