Here are some tips and tricks for troubleshooting and fixing laptop video problems. Video issues are very common within portable computers and with the following tips you should be able to detect and eliminate basic laptop video problems.

Laptop LCD screen has a faint image.

Faint image on laptop screen

Look at the LCD screen very closely and check if you can see a faint image on the screen. It’s possible that the LCD lid close switch stuck in the “closed” position and the backlight stays off even when you open the LCD screen or turn on the laptop. The switch turns off the backlight when you close the LCD display to save the laptop battery power. Check the LCD lid close switch. Usually it is a small plastic pin located close to the LCD hinges. Try to tap on the switch a few times to turn on the backlight. If after tapping on the LCD lid close switch the backlight stays on, you fixed the problem.
It is also possible that after tapping on the LCD lid close switch the backlight works fine, you see a normal video on the screen for some time and then the backlight turns itself off again. In this case I would blame the FL inverter board. Try to reseat cables on both end of the FL inverter to make a better contact between the cables and the FL inverter board. If it doesn’t help I would try to replace the FL inverter board.

Laptop LCD screen is solid white color.

Screen is white

Most likely it is just a bad connection between the LCD display and the system board. I would try reseating the video cable connector on the back of the LCD screen first and check if it fixes the problem. After that I would try reseating the video cable connector on the system board. I would also try reseating cables if there is no video on the LCD screen at all.

The video on the LCD screen is garbled.

Bad image on laptop LCD screen

Try to connect the LCD screen to an external monitor. If the external video is fine, you have a problem with the LCD screen or the LCD video cable. You can try to fix the problem by reseating the video cable on the back of the LCD and on the system board.
If you see the same garbled video output on the external monitor most likely it is not the LCD screen problem. In this case the system board (with onboard video) is bad or the video card is bad.

I understand that these tips will not cover all video problems with portable computers. If you have a different problem, you are welcome to leave a comment and I will try to help you if I can. :)

Here’s a notebook display assembly diagram

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Related articles:

Fixing notebook LCD screen with water damage.
Screen inverter replacement. Fixing laptop backlight problem
Laptop has bad video on the LCD screen. What is wrong?
Laptop screen shows strange colors. What could be wrong?

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1,174 Comments

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  1. 14
    Lhybz Thahil Says:

    Hi cj600..

    I have checked the AC adapter and have tried using another AC adapter result is the same….

    Yes maybe your right I also think that its the board.. Do you know anybody here that might have a copy of a service manual of Mitsubishi Apricot AL?

  2. 13
    Dustin Says:

    I have a Toshiba Satellite 1200. Yesterday, with no prior problems, the display went black. My research landed me here. Thanks to your guides I was able to, maybe a little over cautiously, (or fearfully) reseat the inverter connections. Thank you very much for sharing you wealth of knowledge.

    After reassembling the display, I was delighted to find that everything booted normal once again. Sadly, I watched as my efforts vanished into a sea of darkness just after windows explorer started. :( It seems that the longer I wait between tests the longer I have a display. I can still , with a lot of effort, see the faint display in the blackness. If anything when the backlight is on I notice a slight pinkish hue on the darker transition screens.

    Before I order an inverter I want to be sure that the problem is not some sort of overheating issue or safety shut off for the backlight. I’m probably reading too much into the whole thing. Any insight (or reassurance :) you might offer would be greatly appreciated.

    Great site….thanks for helping out

  3. 12
    cj2600 Says:

    If you have no internal and external video, most likely it is not the LCD problem. I would check the AC adapter first. Also I would check the memory module. If you cannot boot your laptop with a known good AC adapter and memory, then it is possible that the system board or the video card (not sure if it’s a separate board in your laptop) is bad.

  4. 11
    Lhybz Thahil Says:

    Hi…
    Im trying to repair an Mitsubishi Apricot.. It does not give any display. Tried to reseat the connector but nothin happende, also tried to connect an external monitor the same thing no display…

    Is this an indicative of a bad onboard display or motherboard?

  5. 10
    Ross Says:

    I have a screen with no backlightt. However there seems to be no physical switch for the screen as there are on other laptops (mine is a dell inspiron 1150). Also there is now a high pitched buzzing sound.
    If there is no easy fix could it be possible to remove the monitor completely. I don’t particually want to do this as at the moment an external monitor will not work outside of windows. Any help would be greatly appreciated, especially with getting an external monitor to work in the BIOS etc.

  6. 9
    cj2600 Says:

    Hey Giovanni,
    I have never worked on Acer laptops, but I repair Toshiba laptops every day. I guess you have to do the same steps for replacing FL inverter on Acer laptops as for Toshiba laptop. I created a few guides for removing and replacing LCD screens and FL inverters for Toshiba laptops. Read through them and I think you will be able to replace the FL inverter board on your Acer notebook yourself. It should not be very difficult.

  7. 8
    Giovanni Says:

    Hey! Thanks for such a great website!.

    I’ve had my Acer 1710 Inverter broken TWICE, and both times i sent it to the repair center. I decided that I want to change the inverter myself next time. I have read in Internet that is a very common problem on this kind of laptops, so where can i found about changing an inverter? where it is located? how i screw out all the things to remove the broken inverter?

    Thank u very much in advance!

  8. 7
    cj2600 Says:

    Hey Tiger,
    I think the switch is fine and you have a bad FL inverter.
    When the FL inverter is failing, you can get the backlight for a moment when you tap on the lid close switch. Try to tap on the switch a few times and see if you can get a flashing backlight. If you get the backlight, replace the FL inverter.

  9. 6
    Damian Says:

    Many thanks – I discovered that if I disable the option “to shutdown when I close the lid” and turn off the speaker, the screen just tends to flicker – which like you say is either a loose inverter cable or the inverter itself.

    I discovered that I actually have a 7220 so it will be very nice to repair and upgrade the memory – hopefully it will give some extra life :-)

  10. 5
    Tiger Says:

    Hello again. I found and reseated the cables to the FL Inverter board in my Toshiba Satellite P35 to try and eleviate the faint image problem. This didn’t change anything.

    I did notice that the lid close switch, which is NOT stuck in the down position, can be wiggled back and forth. When I do this, there is a flicker of backlight from time to time. How do I repair this switch? Or can I repair this switch?

    Thanks again! ~Tiger~

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