iMac Black Screen

The iMac’s screen went black today. I’m really, really hoping that it is just the inverter card in the display unit. That’s about $70 and pretty easy to replace. Otherwise it might be the motherboard and for the price of one of those, I might as well just get a new computer.

I really love my iMac. 20 inches of display, beautiful design. Sigh. Not a good day.

Update: I had to order the VGA video out adapter so I could verify it isn’t the logic board. It isn’t. Now off to find an inverter so I can get that big, beautiful display working again.

Update 2: I noticed that the one stuck pixel was lit up. So I unplugged the external display and rebooted and it is working again. I hate it when electronics do that. Just as well since I can’t find an inverter card right now.

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  • Looks like a job for . . .

  • Well darn. The pic didn’t work.
    (You’re SUPPOSED to be seeing one of the new 20″ iMacs at the end of that last comment.)

  • Awe, thanks Rae, but it just ain’t as purddy…

  • Tim,

    Did the screen go completely, absolutely black?
    Or just mostly black? (You can see a very faint outline of the screen or windows in the background when looking at the “black” screen from a slight angle.)
    I had the same thing happen on mine. If you can see a faint outline of things, then it is just the inverter. I replaced mine (purchased one cheap on eBay) and my iMac’s up and running again.
    Hope this helps. I may even still have the pdf’s on how to change that thingy.


  • Hey Kevin, I was hoping you’d pipe in! I can’t really see the screen but when I boot and stuff it kind of looks like something happens but it is black.

    I’ve had to order the VGA adapter from Apple so I can hook up an external monitor and see if the video is still good. Once I get that I’ll decide what to do next. Rae’s suggestion for a new 20″ iMac might be a good one. Yikes.

    If you have the PDF, please send it. I’m assuming the inverter is in the display unit and that looks easy to get to. Man, I hope is that and nothing else.

  • Thank you for your postings! My 17-inch flat panel Apple iMac which is just a few years old also had this happen in the last year.

    The machine chimes, keyboard lights come on, etc. My display shows a black screen but I can see the windows in the background.

    I was able to log on “in the dark” so to speak. When I did, the machine booted fine with all the usual virus scanning, etc. taking place in the background. I could even read “AntiVirus” and a few other large text things.

    When I clicked the mouse on the desktop after booting up, I was able to see an Acrobat Reader window come up. All is very faint, of course.

    This may well be a very widespread problem. I know there was a class action lawsuit recently settled that dealt with the high-cost repairs on the Apple Studio Display. It seems there was an inverter board problem there.

    Apparently, Apple knows more about the backlight and/or inverter board problems in these model iMacs. More research is warranted…

    Charlene Blake
    August 2007

  • Kevin, could you please post or forward the PDF with the instructions on the replacement of the inverter? Thank you!

    Charlene Blake

  • Charlene, I’m not sure if Apple is necessarily up to something here but it seems like there may be a lot of legacy inverters failing. I can’t find any on eBay or at spare part retailers!

  • I’m searching for those PDFs on changing the inverter. Sorry it took so long for me to notice. Hope they can still prove useful… if I find them!!

  • Well….just happened to me too! Woke up this morning ready to check email and screen is dark. I have had pretty much the same problem as Charlene. This is a PITA!!!

    But, I’m glad to see I’m not alone.

    If you find the pdf, that would be great!

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