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Ask Max: Trouble with 5300cs display might be my power connector?

Asked on 09/20/2006:

Recently bought a 5300cs PowerBook with a wobbly power connector. We think we fixed the connector and all was OK but now the machine has developed a problem with the screen. When we boot up the screen comes on but with no image on it. It's as if the brightness and contrast need adjusting - but that doesn't work. We can tell the computer itself is working because we can hear the sounds - eg when we press the power key to shut down we hear the sound we recorded.We're wondering if the problem is related to the fixing of the power connector or if is is something new.


It is certainly possible that poor or excessive power could have created your display problem. What you describe is symptomatic of a LCD backlight failure. It could be that the power adapter damaged the LCD's power inverter. A damaged inverter will prevent a backlight from turning on and make the screen constantly look dim. You may be able to reset the power manager and fix your problem. First zap you PRAM repeatedly. Do this by restarting the computer holding down the Apple, Option, P, an R keys. Let the computer chime four times. Next locate the reset button on the back of the computer near the connection ports. With the battery out and power unplugged, press the button. Plug the power cable back in and press the button one more time. Now press the power button and see if the video comes back. If not you are probably out of luck because there are no replacement parts for the 5300cs outside of perhaps eBay.

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