Laptop Back Light gone?

  David4637 13:35 03 Jan 2005

My Gateway Solo 5150 screen went blank. Plugged in an external monitor and I can see everthing else is OK. Has anyone any info on replacing the light which is presumably in the lid - is it a DIY job, and where would I get a replacement as Gateway I think are not in the UK now ? Thanks David

  Forum Editor 13:56 03 Jan 2005

that this isn't a DIY job, but provided you are reasonably competent with a small set of screwdrivers and a soldering iron you can do it.

That bit about the soldering iron usually scares people off, and I definitely don't recommend that you try this repair unless you feel pretty confident using such a tool. The problem may not be the backlight by the way, it might be the inverter, but either way you can do it, and as your machine is probably fairly well-used you may consider it worth a try.

You'll need to identify the exact type of cold-cathode tube for your machine, and the best way to do this is by exposing the existing one. Then contact a backlight supplier - there are lots, but
click here is a very good one, and take it from there. The keyword involved in carrying out this repair is CARE - one false move with the screwdriver or soldering iron and you could be looking at a new screen instead of just a backlight/inverter.

  David4637 14:20 03 Jan 2005

Thanks for such a fast response, I have done much soldering to repair electronic things so this is not a problem.

1. Is the back light in the lid?

2. Does it work from an invertor on the MB producing high volts?

Thanks David

  Mr Mistoffelees 14:48 03 Jan 2005

I think it is very likely that the backlight is infact integrated within the lcd panel itself and you may find that it is not accessible. However it is most likely that backlight failure will have been caused by failure of the inverter and not the backlight itself. The inverter is usually a small circuit board contained within the lid together with the lcd panel and should be easy to replace if you can get the correct one.

  Forum Editor 15:16 03 Jan 2005

are accessible - at least in my experience they are. I've replaced a few in my time, and it's always worked. If the inverter is the problem you should be able to see it - it will be that the secondary winding is burnt out, and it's easy to spot.

The main problem with the cold cathode tubes is that they are very slim - less than the thickness of a pencil in some cases - and are easy to damage.

Before committing to a new tube, check that the data cable - the one that connects the display to the motherboard - isn't damaged, as that can result in the same symptoms.

  Forum Editor 15:17 03 Jan 2005

the tube will be in the lid.

  David4637 15:15 04 Jan 2005

Thanks for your replies, I will carefuuly try to get to the back of the LCD panel to see if I can repair. How would you know whether the tube had gone, presumably a meter to check the high volts on the end of the tube, if present one could asume its the tube. Thanks David

  Chris Webster 15:28 04 Jan 2005

My 5 year old Advent laptop screen went blank a month ago, it was traced to a faulty Inverter, new one fitted and now back up and running.

  SURVEY 16:39 04 Jan 2005

I have had the screen blanking on a Hi-grade laptop recently. Hi-grade suggetsed that I kight need a new motherboard!! I found that by carefully unscrewing the top of the laptop I gained acess to two connector plugs; one definitely leading to the screen. I pushed the connectors back home fully and checked that all cables to the connector were firmly fixed, switched back on and all was OK. As this has now happened a couple of times to me I think the connector is either worn or the cables need refixing but at present it is no real problem.

  Mr Mistoffelees 20:44 04 Jan 2005

My advice to David4637 was based on my experience of working a firm called Service Industries, based in Bristol, That serviced and repaired laptops for Dell. I was in the component screening department, testing parts that were presumed faulty. Admittedly this was a few years ago but at that time the lcd panels used by Dell all had the backlight integrated within the lcd panel with a separate inverter in the lid. There was no way of replacing the backlight without dismantling the panel. Backlights were very rarely faulty whilst inverters were very unreliable and burnt out frequently. Perhaps things have changed a little since I left.

  Graham ® 20:50 04 Jan 2005

If it helps, here's a picture:

click here

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