LCD is Black


D

don

My Dell Inspiron 8600 laptop's screen is so black that it takes a bright
light to shine on it just so I can see the icons - what kind of repair job
is this..... Dell wants to sell me an entire new LCD screen for $450 but I
have no idea if that is truthfully what it needs or maybe it is just
something simple - please advise...... the laptop is about 3 years old
 
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D

Dave

don said:
My Dell Inspiron 8600 laptop's screen is so black that it takes a bright
light to shine on it just so I can see the icons - what kind of repair job
is this..... Dell wants to sell me an entire new LCD screen for $450 but I
have no idea if that is truthfully what it needs or maybe it is just
something simple - please advise...... the laptop is about 3 years old
No way to tell without taking it apart. It could be a loose connection.
Or, it could need a new backlight which means replacing the whole LCD
screeen. I'd suggest you find a good mom/pop type computer store that does
laptop repairs. Worst case scenario, it will cost you about $50 bucks to
learn that you need to spend another $450 to repair it. But then if it's
something simple, you might come out ahead. But nobody in this ng is going
to be able to give you a diagnosis on this thing unless they physically
touch the notebook, and tear it apart to examine it. -Dave
 
P

Paul

don said:
My Dell Inspiron 8600 laptop's screen is so black that it takes a bright
light to shine on it just so I can see the icons - what kind of repair job
is this..... Dell wants to sell me an entire new LCD screen for $450 but I
have no idea if that is truthfully what it needs or maybe it is just
something simple - please advise...... the laptop is about 3 years old
LCD screens typically use a CCFL (cold cathode fluorescent lamp) and
an inverter. The cold cathode lamp is supposed to have a life of
25000 hours or some such. If the LCD screen is still rendering an
image, and the image can be seen when either shining a light in
a transmissive or reflective mode, then chances are the problem
is with the backlight or inverter.

Most likely the backlight itself is OK. The inverter is a device that
makes high voltage (like 1000VAC) at a low current. It doesn't take
much to overload the inverter and stop its operation. Sometimes
you might see the screen light briefly and then stop. In some cases,
a user may find wiggling the connector to the inverter brings it
back (for a short time). If someone has had the lcd panel apart,
and has disturbed any foil around the components, sometimes a
short can develop between the foil and high voltage.

Sometimes, the inverter is sensitive to the intensity adjustment.
Turning down the intensity may allow the inverter to run again.
But that trick won't last forever, and is just telling you
eventually it will be totally "lights out".

There are sources of replacement parts on the Internet, for repair
jobs like this. But the thing is, you will seldom find an exact
replacement, and people with good intentions may repair the thing,
only to have another "lights out" failure in only a few months.

Your options are:

1) Fiddle with it yourself. Find a website with a "take apart" guide.
There are some web sites that detail how to do a disassembly.
Now, once you are in there, you may get lucky, and by playing
with the connector, get it to run again. If it still won't budge,
then you go to the Internet and try to find a replacement inverter
(and maybe backlight, if you were extremely unlucky).
2) Find a non-Dell person to repair it. They do the same disassembly
and fiddling. If this Dell model was prone to early failure,
maybe you get lucky, and someone has cooked up a replacement parts
plan that actually works well.
3) Pay the $450.

If you have another laptop, you have the luxury of considering all
the options. If this is your only computer, then it will be a tough
choice between $450 for another panel, and putting the $450 towards
a new laptop.

There are USB enclosures you can buy for laptop drives, in case
you need a means to transfer files from the old disk.

HTH,
Paul
 
D

Davy

Either the DC-DC inverter that steps the 12V DC up to around 1.8KV or
it's the backlight themselves , which is a form of a flourescent tube
known as CCFL (Cold Cathode Flourescent Lamp).

These are not too difficult to replace and neither is the inverter
which is a little modulel with a plug and socket arrangement.

Having said that it could easily be a loose connection it is not
unknown for this to happen with lap tops. I would expect if it went
all at once it will be the inverter, when the tubes go they usually
give some sign or other like flickering or the 'whites' appearing
tinted on the screen.

For more info see-:
http://www.dnd.utwente.nl/~grit/backlight/ccft.html

Davy
 
D

don

Thanks for that great information - since the lights did go out all at once
with no sign of oncoming failure I hope your right - so maybe I should just
buy an inverter and first try that myself
If I shine a bright light on the screen I can see the icons
 
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