Computers & Electronics

Laptop screen problem (inverter or backlight)?

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  • Dec 28th, 2009 8:07 pm
[OP]
Sr. Member
Jul 22, 2009
642 posts
66 upvotes

Laptop screen problem (inverter or backlight)?

I've got a Dell XPS gen2 laptop here which is a few years old.
It started having an intermittent problem with it's display.

When it is first turned on I can clearly see the DELL logo and POST screen. But a few moments later the screen may flicker and gets black. Sometimes can get into BIOS but the screen may flicker a lot or will just turn black. Also if I let it boot into windows past POST screen sometimes the screen just goes black, other times it will boot into windows just fine but some time later will go black again. At times I'm able to barely see stuff on the desktop (like as if its very dim) but brightness controls have no effect.

So after some Google-ing I found that it can be either the inverter board or the CCFL bulb(backlight).

I ruled out the video card as I can connect an external display and everything works wonderfully.

1. Which is it, the inverter board or the backlight?
2. Which one is more likely and why?
3. Is there an easy test to rule one or the other out?

Thank you.
1 reply
Deal Addict
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Nov 18, 2007
3528 posts
633 upvotes
Corktown
I had the exact same problem with a Inspiron 6000 and had the display replaced under extended warranty.

On the Inspiron the LCD board includes the inverter and backlight. I doubt that these will be separable on the XPS.

Before replacing, I found that the lower right corner of the display frame was burning hot, but this may have been a second issue, as I had lived with the display-going-dark issue for several months. The heat actually caused a dark spot on the display, even when the display was functioning "normally".

I would sometimes have to reboot the laptop several times to get the display to not go dark and would leave it on 24/7 to avoid the problem. (I use my laptop at home.)

As a backup, I configured the laptop to use an external monitor, enabled remote desktop and shared my "C:" drive. I didn't want to get into a situation where the display outright failed and had no way to access the laptop.

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