This laptop came for repair because of the LCD screen backlight failure. My customer complained that the laptop LCD screen is black but the laptop works with an external monitor.
Here are my steps for troubleshooting this laptop with the backlight failure.
First of all, I tested this laptop with an external monitor connected to the VGA port and the external monitor worked absolutely fine. I was able to get crystal clear image on the external screen even though the internal screen didn’t light up. If the external screen works fine, then most likely there is nothing wrong with the video card.
After that I took a closer look at the laptop LCD and noticed that the screen is not completely black. The laptop screen still works but the image is very very dull, you barely can see it. It means that the screen still gets data signal from the video card, but for some reason the backlight lamp doesn’t work.
From my experience I know that this problem can be related the lid close switch, faulty inverter board or bad backlight lamp. I checked them one by one.
If you have a similar problem, make sure the lid close witch moves freely. The lid switch is a small button located close to the LCD screen. This button triggers the hibernation or sleep mode when the screen is closed. If the lid close switch is dirty, it might get stuck inside the laptop case and cut off the power from the inverter board. The inverter board works as a power supply for the backlight lamp and if there is no power coming to the inverter board, the backlight lamp will not light up either.
In my case the lid button worked properly, it didn’t stuck inside the case. When I was pressing on the button very fast, I was able to light up the screen but only for a fraction of a second. The image wasn’t bright and it had a pinkish tone. A pinkish tone usually indicates a problem with the backlight lamp, not the inverter board.
Even though I suspected the backlight failure, I decided to test this laptop with a new inverter board just in case. But it didn’t help. The screen didn’t light up even after I replace the inverter board. So, I was right, this problem is not related to the inverter board.
Finally, I disconnected the screen backlight lamp connector from the inverter board and connected my test backlight lamp (I removed it from another cracked screen). You can find a new backlight lamp on eBay. Try to find a backlight with the connector already attached to it, so you can plug it into the inverter board. Make sure the connector on the backlight lamp is similar to the connector on your LCD screen.
As soon as I turned on the laptop, my backlight lamp lighted up. Yep, that’s the problem. The laptop screen has a faulty backlight lamp.
Here’s another laptop with backlight failure
This laptop video fails in a little bit different way. In this case the backlight lamp hasn’t failed completely.
The laptop starts with video on the screen but the background has reddish tone, the screen flickers and it makes noticeable buzzing noise coming from the backlight and inverter area. After a few minutes the backlight turns off by itself and the buzzing noise stops. When the backlight is off, the image on the screen is still visible but it’s very dark.
I removed the screen bezel and connected my test backlight lamp.
My test backlight works absolutely fine. The lamp doesn’t flicker and there is no buzzing noise. So, this laptop needs a new backlight lamp.