Laptop Display Problems


Laptop displays can fail for numerous reasons, some of which are easy to remedy and some of which may be too costly to justify. For example, a loose connection is easy to fix, but a failed video card may be too expensive.

Loose Connections

  • Check for loose connections that may be causing intermittent issues with video output. Remove the bezel from the laptop lid, then remove the screen to check for loose cables behind the LCD. With the bezel removed, check for a loose connection at the inverter at the bottom of the LCD screen. Also, check the main video connection on the motherboard, which should be easily accessible by removing the keyboard.

LCD Backlight

  • The fluorescent backlight on the bottom of the screen is a common point of failure. If the backlight has failed, you will be able to see the images on the screen, even though the LCD is dark, by shining a flashlight across the surface. If you can see the desktop background, purchase an inexpensive replacement backlight.

Damaged Screen

  • The LCD itself is fragile and easily broken. Extreme temperature changes, pressure on the laptop lid, or impact can cause the components to crack or fail. Replace the LCD itself if there are signs of damage such as cracks or lines on the screen, or if the screen lights up but stays white.

Video Card

  • Video card failure is not as common as other problems, and its repair may be too costly to justify. To diagnose this, connect an external monitor to the laptop; if the same issue is present on the external screen, the video card has failed. Some cards can be replaced separately, but most newer cards are integrated into the motherboard. In this case, the entire board must be replaced.

Power Problems

  • A poor power source can cause erratic behavior with laptops, and replacement power supplies are typically inexpensive. Try a different power source with your existing power supply, then try a different power supply altogether.

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