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I am currently unable to boot my Late 2013 MacBook Pro. When I attempt to boot, the backlight comes on, but there is no image on the screen.

When I try to boot into Safe Mode (by holding Shift), Recovery Mode (by holding Command + R), I see neither a backlight nor an image.

I have tried to use every resource available.

I have tried:

  1. Resetting SMC.

  2. Resetting NVRAM.

  3. Safe mode boot (no backlight, black screen).

  4. Recovery mode boot (no backlight, black screen).

  5. Verbose mode (backlight, but no image).

  6. Boot off alternative USB (backlight, but no image to choose device).

  7. Opened the laptop hardware and checked the display cable connection

I was using my laptop one day, closed the lid, and when I opened it, this was this issue.

I do tinker with Linux on an alternate partition, but I didn’t do anything in particular prior to this issue. I thought maybe the boot loader got messed up, but I can’t even boot into recovery mode on the macOS partition.

Can anyone make a conjecture as to the cause, and/or help provide me with some debugging tips?

  • Welcome to Ask Different :) It's likely that the graphic subsystem (possibly display) has some issues. If you have access to an external monitor, you can attempt to verify this. – Nimesh Neema Jan 10 at 4:00
  • @NimeshNeema this seems to be it. The external display boots up. Do you know what my options are here? Is this something I can update? – clo_jur Jan 10 at 4:22
  • Have you tried starting up your Mac with an external display connected? – dagaz Jan 10 at 4:40
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The fact that the back-light worked, but the display did not indicated the problem was with the display, not the logic board. Furthermore, the fact that I was able to project the display onto an external monitor validated that it was a connection issue between the board and the display.

I ordered a $10 USD LVDS cable, replaced it, and the computer now works :)

part in question: https://www.amazon.com/Display-Cable-MacBook-Unibody-A1278/dp/B01N2T3CFD

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From your query, it's apparent that the MacBook display has gone kaput. Your options are either to get the display serviced, or to use it with an external display.

Service/Screen replacement will be costly, as you are way past any warranty coverage/Apple Care. If you feel it's worth the money to get it inspected and fixed, that's the way to go.

Alternative, you can use it with an external display connected all the time (preferably in Clamshell mode).

  • Thank you for answering. This was actually not an issue which rendered the computer "kaput" as you put it. Easy fix with a $10 USD component. I appreciate you helping me diagnose it! – clo_jur Jan 15 at 6:09

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