Dim Screen on Laptop

One of my friends complained that something’s wrong with her laptop, so I offered to help. The laptop screen was totally dark and I could barely see anything. It looked bad at first, but there was hope, because if you see something, this means you probably don’t have to replace the whole screen. I suspected a faulty inverter or backlight. But how do you know which one to replace?

The first thing I did was to connect the laptop to an external monitor. If the picture is normal, you can eliminate any graphic card issues. As expected, the picture was there, bright and shiny. This meant that the problem was definitely in the laptop screen.

As mentioned above, most likely a failed inverter or a faulty back light caused this problem. Both are in the screen, but the inverter is much easier to remove and replace. Luckily, this is the more common cause. Back light tube can also fail, but this happens rarely. I already repaired another laptop with the same problem by replacing the inverter, and this time I suspected the same thing happened. And I was right…

You can find a cheap replacement inverter on eBay (see photo on the left). I found one in Hong Kong for $6, and few others in USA for less than $20 (plus shipment). I ordered it from the US, because I don’t care about a $10 difference when I can get it in a couple of days, whereas delivery from Hong Kong can take several weeks.

All you have to do is take out a few screws from the screen and remove the frame (front part of the screen) to reach the inverter. It is usually situated at the bottom of the screen and it’s held by just one screw. Take out the screw and unplug the cables on each end. Install the new inverter, connect the cables and put all the screws back in. That’s it – you’re ready to turn on the laptop and test the screen.

Hopefully this will solve your problem. If not, you’ll have to change the back light. This is a bit trickier so you may have to get professional help. It involves removing the screen completely to reach the back light and maybe even some soldering. For more information, please refer to http://www.laptoprepair101.com/.

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