In this guide I will disassemble a laptop LCD screen in order to remove and replace the backlight lamp (CCFL).
Replacing the backlight lamp is not an easy task even for experienced technicians. If you do something wrong you will permanently damage the LCD screen and have to buy a new one. Proceed on your own risk and do not blame me. :)

Some recommendations before you start:
1. Work in a clean room. You don’t want dust and lint inside your LCD screen.
2. Make notes, so you know how to assemble your screen back.
3. Take pictures.
4. Before you remove something, take a closer look at the part and memorize how it is assembled.
5. When you are assembling the screen, remove dust and lint with compressed air. Do not use cloth.

The backlight lamp (CCFL) is located inside the LCD screen, so we are going to take it apart. In this article I’m not going to explain how to remove LCD from a laptop, it’s been covered before.

LCD screen with bad backlight lamp

Remove sticky tape and foil from the back of the screen and glue it somewhere so you can reuse it later, when you assemble the screen.

Remove tape

Removing tape from the backlight cables.

Release backlight lamp cables

On my screen the green circuit board was glued to the plastic frame with a double sided tape. Carefully unglue the circuit board. Be very careful, do not flex or bend the circuit board.

LCD circuit board

The circuit board has been unglued.

Remove circuit board

Place the LCD screen on the side and start removing the metal frame witch secures the LCD to the plastic frame. There will be many latches on all sides of the frame, you can unlock them with a small screwdriver.

Open latches

Continue separating the metal frame from the plastic base.

Separate LCD frame

On the following picture you can see that frame, LCD with the circuit board and screen base have been separated. Be careful, do not touch internal components with your fingers. Handle all internal components by the sides.

Remove LCD

Place the metal frame and LCD with the circuit board aside. You’ll need them only when you assemble everything back together.

LCD

There will be a few transparent layers inside. Carefully remove them from the screen base. Do not separate the layers, just put them aside together.

Transparent layers inside screen

Keep everything organized, so you have no trouble assembling the screen.

Set aside

Start removing the metal cover from the backlight lamp (CCFL).

Remove backlight cover

The backlight cover has been removed.

Backlight lamp cover

The backlight lamp (CCFL) cables are routed through small plastic hooks.

Backlight lamp cables

Unroute the backlight lamp cables.

Release backlight cables

Now probably the hardest part in this disassembly process – removing the backlight lamp and reflector. The backlight lamp is secured inside the reflector so you have to remove both and then separate them.
Before you remove the backlight lamp and reflector take a closer look how it’s assembled and mounted to the screen base. Fitting the backlight and reflector back in place could be a very challenging task.

Remove backlight lamp reflector

The reflector is glued to the screen base with a double sided tape.

Backlight reflector

After the reflector has been unattached from the screen base, you can start removing the backlight lamp. As you see on the picture, I marked the left side of the reflector with a red dot so I know where the red cable goes when I assemble everything back together.

Remove backlight lamp

The backlight lamp (CCFL) has been removed from the reflector.

Backlight CCFL lamp

In order to access the backlight lamp leads you’ll have to remove the rubber caps from both side of the lamp. I’m not sure if you can touch the backlight lamp with your fingers, so I would use rubber gloves.

Remove cover

Cabled on both sides of the backlight lamp are soldered to the backlight leads. In order to access the leads you’ll have to remove the black insulator on both side of the lamp.
Unsolder both cables from the old backlight lamp and solder them to a new one.

Cable soldered to backlight lamp

You can test the new backlight lamp (CCFL) before you install it back into the screen. Connect the backlight lamp into the inverter board and turn on the laptop. The backlight lamp should light up.
From my experience, on some laptops the backlight lamp will not light up until the video cable is connected to the LCD screen. In this case you’ll have to assemble the LCD screen and then test it.

Test backlight lamp

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270 Comments

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  1. 270
    velly plaatjies Says:

    my compaq presario cq61 also has no backlights,even when i connect the external monitor it remains the same. Can someone have the solution.

  2. 269
    cj2600 Says:

    @ Rog,

    Were you getting the backlight on the cracked screen before?

    I believe Compaq Presario cq71-317ea has a LED screen which doesn’t require the inverter.

    Check connecting between the video cable and LCD screen. Maybe it’s just a connection related issue.

  3. 268
    Rog Says:

    I have a compaq presario cq71317ea i replaced the screen on it because the original one was cracked. My problem now i am getting an image but no backlight with new screen and old one. It also stops on the logo screen. I have looked all around but i can not see the backlight inverter anywhere. Can anyone give me any suggestions?. Does this model not have an inverter?. Oh by the way the old screen was lighting up before the screen was replaced. In fact apart from the crack on the screen it was all running fine. Any help would be welcome. Thank you….

  4. 267
    rdr Says:

    Thanks very much for this tutorial. I was able to save my wife’s HP G60. Culprits were a bad inverter and CCFL bulb. I do have a question. After replacing the backlight, I noticed that the lower part of the screen is brighter than the rest of the screen. There’s almost like a glow coming from the bottom. Any idea what might cause this? Thanks.

  5. 266
    Kayla Says:

    I have an HPDV5000 that has a very dim monitor. I have tried replacing the inverter bar…but that didn’t help. I’m able to connect to external monitor so I can use it. I have found replacement screens…but when reading about the backlights I wonder if replacing the screen will take care of that problem too.

  6. 265
    Mandy Says:

    Don’t suppose you have any more pictures of how the lamp and the reflector go together? I looked for a post like this before I tore my Dell e1705 apart, but didn’t find it in time. I took mine apart upside down, and wasn’t even sure where the backlight was when I was pulling things apart. I managed to get everything back together again (after breaking my first backlight), but I know things aren’t right because I can see the bulb lit up when the screen is on, and only part of the screen is lit up. After tearing it apart a few more times, I still can’t get it just right, and I’m not sure where I’m off.

  7. 264
    dan@gmail.com Says:

    Hi,

    May i put a CCFL lamp of a screen with a low resolution on a screen with a higher resolution ?

    How can i be sure of the good size of the CCFL lamp?

    A smaller CCFL lamp can do the work on a bigger screen

    (a 14,1″ on a 15″) ?

    Thanks

  8. 263
    cj2600 Says:

    @ Auser,
    Have you check LCD screen brightness settings? Probably Fn+Home button.
    It might be a dumb response but you will not believe how many people don’t know about LCD brightness settings.

  9. 262
    Auser Says:

    Hello.
    I have an IBM T40 which has a dim screen. You can easily see and read but it`s not bright like it should be. I tried to connect it`s inverter to another IBM screen, it is dim too.
    The funny thing is they are both dim, from the beginning. Tried all combinations between the 2 computers Inv1+LCD2 Inv2+LCD1 and the original `1+`1, `2+`2 = all dim.
    Can that be that both inverters are bad. Can it be that both lamps are bad, or something else. And I repeat, you have a display which you can easily see, but not as bright as it should be, can`t read easily.
    * one of the inverters perhaps made a noise, but no longer. Although it might be something else that did the noise.

    Any help is most appreciated, Please.

  10. 261
    cj2600 Says:

    @ Ray,

    All screens are LCD but some of them LED backlit and others CCFL backlit and specs do not mention that.
    You can carefully separate the screen bezel from the screen on the bottom of the display and take a look inside. If you see the inverter board, it’s CCFL LCD screen.

    If you have a CCFL LCD in your laptop, most likely it’s either failing inverter or failing CCFL lamp. I would try replacing the inverter board first.

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