I was recently working on a MacBook Pro (2.5 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, with OSx 10.5.8) when the dreaded dark screen goblin paid a visit. I had actually left the machine to make a cup of coffee, and the screen was dark when I got back. Well not completely dark, as the faintest outline of the authenticate dialogue box was visible if you looked hard enough.
The unusual thing is, I could see that the machine was still running, as I had a second display plugged into the external graphics adaptor, and the screensaver had been showing there. Moving the mouse pointer to the second display stopped the screensaver, and I was able to successful log on, even though I could not see the main screen. This brought up the desktop on the external display, which showed that machine was still running.
After I Googled MacBook Pro Dark Screen, which showed lots of people have had the same problem, I concluded that there are a lot of expensive sounding fixes involving changing Screens, Inverters and Reed switches! I really want a simple, no cost, fix for the dark screen problem. I tried the recommended F5 keyboard backlit dim followed by F6 brighten sequence, but to no avail. I also tried a Command-Option-P-R sequence, as someone suggested that it might be a power management problem.
The idea that the MacBook Pro power management may have become confused gave me an idea. Yes I know that is anthropomorphism, but sometimes it helps to understand what is going at a higher level of abstraction, without bothering about details like facts. So having made that mental leap, I tried the following sequence:
- Repeatedly press F5 until the keyboard went dark
- Pull out the magnetic power connector.
- Close the lid as if putting the MacBook Pro away for the night.
- Open the lid and reinsert the power connector as if waking it up.
As if by magic, the machine sprang back to life and displayed the login box, and all was well. This was the first time I had experienced the dark screen without resorting to rebooting to fix it. Celebrations all round!
Now logic would suggest that pressing backlit buttons F5 and F6 could have no impact on the screen. Pulling out the magnetic power connector has never made a difference to the dreaded dark screen before, nor has closing the lid and reopening it. How about the sequence of steps, exactly as listed? Well I have never tried it before, in my recollection, so perhaps it is the sequence? We will see, next time the dark screen occurs.
In the meantime, if anybody actually knows what causes the dreaded MacBook Pro Dark Screen, or repeats my sequence and has it work for them, please let me know. You can click here to contact me via TechCo Support, or post a comment below.
Remember that all sufficiently advanced science is indistinguishable from magic! Have a Happy New Year!