How to troubleshoot and fix video problems

posted in: Screen, Troubleshooting | 1,177

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.

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?

1,177 Responses

  1. Thanks a lot.. tapping the lid close switch for a while my laptop got started :-) :-)

  2. @ Adib,
    This sounds like a problem with the screen.
    Just in case, test your laptop with an external monitor. If external video works fine and the problem appears only on the laptop screen, most likely the screen is bad and has to be replaced.
    I don’t think this is graphics card related failure.

  3. my laptop’s LCD screen has some sort of prob. half of the monitor is covered with black lines and sometimes two screen appear at the same time.

  4. @ Mark Chester Santiago

    Your question is not very clear. Are you talking about the battery light?
    If the battery blinks all the time it’s either there is a problem with the battery itself or possible motherboard failure. It’s hard to tell what is causing that without testing the laptop with another battery.

  5. Samsung i7 17nchs 2nd gen.
    there are instances wherein it blinks continuosly. once it starts, it wont stop anymore. it blinks 4 times per second. ive tried to adjust the settings of the definition but nothing happens. blinking though doesn’t happen frequently.

    oneday i was watching but then afterwards i closed the player. right after then, the backlight went dim and the blinking of the screen started.

    im sure it’s not just out of battery cause it still happens even if my laptop is fully charged. ive been using my laptop for four days now without battery and just connecting it to the charger and it hasn’t blinked even once. is there another way to fix it?.. or a part of my laptop got damage or should be change? if yes then what should that be?

    pls help me, i will really appreciate it <3 thanks guys God Bless

  6. @ Ione Couch,

    (I’ve replaced with new laptop)and there are Word documents, pix and software info I’d like to retrieve. What can I do? Thanks!

    You will have to remove the hard drive from the old system, install it into an external USB enclosure, connect to the new laptop and transfer needed files.
    Take a look at this post.

  7. Ione Couch

    My laptop flickered and slowly (within a week or so) lost picture. It is black but there is sound. I (didn’t see your info until today) thought that it may be the lcd inverter board and got one. Of course, this was not the solution. This laptop is a IBM ThinkPad R51 (I’ve replaced with new laptop)and there are Word documents, pix and software info I’d like to retrieve. What can I do? Thanks!

Leave a Reply