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Random Black screen, Help please

I just got a iMac 20" 2.1GHz (2006) at first it ran well no problems, but now the screen randomly goes black, system still runs just black screen, if left alone it will go to sleep and can be awaken just fine as if nothing happened but later its black again. any advise would be Appreciated

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Thanks for the replies,

I tried them all but the problem persists. I found a few other sites where others have the same issue, I’m finding a common theme the hardware seems to be ok but it looks like the drivers from apple for this specific ATI video card, in one thread they found that removing the divers help solve the problem but limited the video abilities of the system (not good).

By following your advice I did notice that when the screen comes on it’s really bright (during boot and wake from sleep) and then it dims to normal settings, that’s when the blackout happens, if it goes to normal setting it runs fine, otherwise it will black out right at the time it goes to normal settings. So I’m wondering if it’s hardware and a new mother board is needed.

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Well I think I solved the issue, tell me if I’m on the right track.

I followed every thread on this site dealing with screen issues, and learned about a thing called an Inverter, it controls the backlight for this type of screen, I also found a couple of simple tests to diagnose problem.

1. Connect a second monitor if it stays on when the onboard screen goes out, it’s not the video card.

2. When the screen goes out hold a flashlight up to the screen on a slight angle and look real hard, if you can see the desktop (in the dark) then it’s your screens backlight.

I performed these tests, secondary monitor worked when primary went out, and the flashlight test fail the first time because I was looking at a blank background so I opened some windows and there they were.

I found and ordered the part, I have the removal/installation guide, and I have the tools, as soon as the part arrives I’m going in, wish me luck.

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I recently suffered from an imac screen that went black and the system would not respond correctly in safe mode. my girlfriend was able to override the problem by typing in her password whle on the black screen and pressing enter.

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Thanks for the tip Luke. In my case the issue was also solved by simply entering the password on the black screen and then pressing enter.

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The problem with flickering screens in older iMac's isn't a problem but a safety feature. After upgrading the new features are draining the processor making the mac overheat. After disabling dashboard my processor clock dropped 20% = cooling down my mac. https://www.howtogeek.com/tips/how-to-di...

You can check out your own energy-consuming applications that run and that you don't use with this app: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/miniusag...

I also installed a new HD that doesn't have a heat sensor build in so that means the cooling fans on the HDD and processor aren't automatic anymore. I keep the temperature of my mac under control manually (I try to keep it at 35-37°) with: https://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/47386/...

The upgrades Apple offers aren't for everyone: the bigger the update the bigger the computer you need to run it. If you have an old system, they run harder so they run hotter and start flickering screens to cool down.

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She lives,, I replaced the inverter and the power supply, not that hard of a job (I've done worst). I picked up the parts on a famous auction site both for well under $100 and with the Guides found on ifixit i brought new life to this Imac, after replacing the parts the screen seams brighter and stronger. I got this mac for the wife and now I think she'll love me long time (LOL).

Thanks ifixit, your my heroes,

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what auction site? I have the same thing going on... But I would add that lowering the brightness allowed the screen to stay on...

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have you tried resetting PRAM?:

Shut down the computer.

Turn on the computer.

Press and hold the Command-Option-P-R keys. You must press this key combination before the gray screen appears.

Hold the keys down until the computer restarts and you hear the startup sound for the second time (I usually let it do this till it chimes 3 times).

Release the keys.

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I have the issue with 'Black Screen' on my late 2010 27-inch iMac. Boots up fine, but then randomly goes black. The iMac is still alive as I can still hear things playing. Someone suggested I try putting the iMac to sleep using the cmd/alt/eject key commends. Well I tried this, and after doing the key commends then touching any key afterwards the iMac came back. Screen came back on. It did however go off again after a couple of minutes, but used the same tactics again and it worked again. Still a pain, but a solution.

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If you decrease the brightness this may also help

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Hi Gerald, my advice is try replacing the keyboard.

I had this problem and have spent weeks trying to fix it, using every suggested fix on every forum I could find. I did endless PRAM and SMC resets, installed smc fancontrol, uninstalled and reinstalled Yosemite. Every fix failed. In fact it just got worse.

My 2008 imac had become virtually unusable. As soon as it powered up the screen went black, and it sometimes got stuck in a loop of trying to restart and would only stop if I unplugged the machine from the wall.

Then I read that someone had fixed this by replacing the keyboard. I had nothing left to try, so tried it.

It worked. Everything is back to normal. No screen glitches at all. It's like a miracle cure.

I hope it works for you too :)

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Was your keyboard wireless ?

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Woo hoo! I ended up buying a new iMac a couple of years ago because I couldn't fix it. Tried a new keyboard today on the old one (Apple had also replaced the backlight board) and now the kids have their own for homework. Thank you!!

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This issue has driven me to distraction as it progressively worsened this past two weeks. Inspired by the comment to replace the keyboard, I changed the batteries in both keyboard and mouse. Not very high-tech, but it seems to have sorted itself out - for now at least. It has now run a couple of hours without blacking out.

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Thanks so much. I have been battling this for years. Dropped at least 400$ in cash, and all this time i only needed to change my wireless keyboard batteries. Insane!! Thanks so much

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After having the screen go black every few seconds, and trying every kind of reset and solution I could find without dismantling my iMac, I unplugged my keyboard. It has now remained on for at least 20 min. I'm going to see what happens. If the screen doesn't go black, I'm ordering another keyboard. Thanks. This is the only post I've seen on any forum that recommends this, though I haven't visited every one.

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Double check your System Pref > Desktop & Screen Saver settings.

Try changing the screen saver to something else and also check your Hot Corner settings. You could also have "Put Display Asleep" set for a corner.

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Ahhhh! Thank you - completely forgot I'd changed these. I'd changed all the corners!

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In the left top corner of the screen is a flat wire . Make sure it is properly seated.

It can come lose when the hard drive is replaced, and maybe you did not properly seat it back. The mac starts up, but as soon as the kernel loads it dims the screen, and then turns the screen off.

Interestingly, when I try to reboot the mac by holding the power button pressed, it would flash the screen. Apparently the power button briefly over ride the kernel control of the screen.

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hold Shift + D simultaneously while holding the power key (to turn on the mac) for 10 or 15 seconds. Seems to work anytime it's necessary, which for me has been only after system updates in el capitan.

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Thanks Dawn, worked.

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I had the black screen appear after installing office for mac - reinstalling OSX fixed the problem.

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I reinstalled OSX and iMac works fine now. Simples.

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How did you reinstall OSX whilst having a black screen?

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What works for me perfectly since almost one year is simply to set the brightness of the screen to maximum and disable the automatic brightness control (I don’t know how it’s exactly called in english, I’m translating directly from german. However it’s the checkbox below the slider for brightness).

I have an iMac Mid 2011 and the problem of the screen randomly going black occured a year ago. It went black but the iMac was still working, like when I had music on it still played. I couldn’t awake the screen with my keyboard or mouse, only by pressing the power button for short and then the iMac went into silent mode and then pressing the power button again the screen came back, but very often only for a few minutes before it got black again.

I was doing a very hard research over two days and tried everything recommended. Finally the above described solution by setting the brightness to maximum worked for me (I’ve also read that for some dimming the brightness works). Since then the screen doesn’t go black anymore. I sometimes got anxious when I accidently touched the dimming key on my apple keyboard, like when I removed dust from the keyboard and the screen went black again. Fortunately I understood what has happened and set the brightness to maximum again. I can’t explain what exactly is causing this issue, if it’s a software bug or some dust covering a sensor inside the Mac. I guess there are also different reasons for the screen randomly going black and it might not work on every Mac, but give it a try.

What I’ve recently read and makes sense to me, is that some sensors (like for temperature) are covered with dust, don’t work properly and are causing the screen to go black. Try to clean the inside of your Mac with compressed air, before you hand your Mac to the Apple store for reparations.

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This worked for me (just setting brightness to max) - thanks!

Interestingly it also fixed the same issue in my Bootcamped Windows 7

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This worked for me on my 2011 iMac 27” High Sierra:

https://mac-how-to.gadgethacks.com/how-t...

If you’re afraid to click the link just type in “Mac caffeinate” and this page should pop up as one of the first ones. It worked great for me. And believe me I’ve spent hours trying to figure it out and tried everything. So far, mine’s still going without any problem at full brightness after cancelling the caffeinate program, putting the Mac to sleep and waking it up several hours later. HOOAH!!!

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I had the same problem and the fix was easy. Download and install the SMC fan control program and bump up the speed on the HD fan. In my case the HD was too hot. I haven't had the issue since.

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Not a good solution! Best to fix the real issue Vs masking it with this App.

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I recently ran into the same problem with my iMac (27-inch, Mid 2010) 2.8 GHz Intel Core i5 ATI Radeon HD 5750 1024 MB computer w/ 16 GB of ram. The screen started flickering than blacking out all together shortly after updating from El Capitan to Sierra. I tried Resetting Vram, Pram, using a different keyboard, booting in safe mode, etc. Nothing worked. In the end resetting the computer back to El Capitan was the solution. No issues experienced since reverting! They do not offer hardware support for this iMac any longer, so I was glad to get back to having a monitor that functioned normally.

A couple of years ago I had the power supply replaced, but have had few other issues with it since. Hope to get a few more years out of this computer, as it is more than powerful enough for the work I do here at the office. Best of luck to those experiencing the same issue.

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How did you reset back to el capitan? I can’t see anything to do it

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Using time machine as per : https://support.apple.com/kb/PH25593?loc....

I still ended up having the same issue occuring even after reverting to El Capitan. This issue seems to be almost entirely heat related based on further research. I ended up replacing the LCD V-Sync Cable and I operate the fans at higher speeds using "SMC Fan Control" Ive had no issues over the past month, albeit the computer is quite noisy due to the fans running at higher speeds. Best of luck!

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Same issue on a 2011 iMac 27, random black screen. Tried resetting Pram, holding shift D on startup, SMC fan control. Continued researching and came across this most basic, basic of advice – check the vents on top and bottom of computer body for dust built up enough to clog the airflow. Lo and behold, bottom vents were packed with a thick carpet of dust! Just vacuumed them 5x, as well as top vent. Can easily see how this would create a thermal problem. So far, so good... can't hurt, gotta help.

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cleared the “hot corner” setting to nothing Fine now

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I did have the same issue , and found it may also be caused by a low (but still sufficient to connect&work) wireless keyboard battery

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Gerald Thomas さん、ありがとうございました!
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