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What are the chances that my lcd screen is not busted?????

Posted on 2002-03-08
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Last Modified: 2010-04-26
Hi I own a Sony VAIO notebook and recently the screen just refused to come on again.  When I turn it on, it glows a different shade of grey than when it is off but there are no images.  I hooked up the notebook to my desktop monitor and it works but I really dont know what happened to the lcd screen.

I am sure it is not the lcd/crt toggle switch.  

Most of the places I have called to find out about repair have standard rates irrespective of the problem.  The thing is if it is just a wire that needs sodered, I would not mine paying the fee but if the lcd is busted it probably does not make sense to repair it considering the price of lcds and the fact that the notebook is not the newest.

So from the symptoms I have described do you think that the lcd is gone and I should avoid taking it to repair or do you think it is something that can be fixed???


Thanks


Jasguild
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Question by:jasguild
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7 Comments
 
LVL 16

Expert Comment

by:Kyle Schroeder
ID: 6850491
Wow, there has been an absolute flood of Sony laptop problems around here lately...now I am definitely never going to buy one.

jasguild,
What has most likely happened is the signal cable that connects the video chip to the LCD has worked loose with opening/closing the laptop over time.  It sounds like the screen is getting power; and likely if you're not getting a very distorted screen with weird colors, etc then that signal cable is just loose.  Think of it like unplugging the cable to your monitor from the laptop; the CRT still comes on, probably shows "NO SIGNAL" but its illuminated.

So yes, its probably worth taking it in, should be a fairly quick fix to reconnect that ribbon cable (you could probably do it yourself if you're feeling brave and have tiny screwdrivers....)

-dog*
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LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:magarity
ID: 6851146
"you could probably do it yourself if you're feeling brave and have tiny screwdrivers"

Laptops are a major pain to reconstruct properly after being taken apart; I advise taking it to an overpriced repair shop.  Don't get me started on repair shops!  Anyway, dog's diagnosis is correct since the backlight is coming on, this is almost certainly a case of something wrong with the data cable.
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LVL 11

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RoadWarrior earned 300 total points
ID: 6852358
Usually takes me a week to work up the nerve to go inside a laptop, and that's having worked on a few. Maybe that should be "and that's with having worked on a few"  :-)

It's usually kinda like a cross between one of those chinese puzzles, microsurgery, pelmanism and a screwdriver collecting contest. First you have to outthink the designer and figure how to get the damn thing open, you have to have a real steady hand, you have to remember where everything was, and you need every size and half size of every screwdriver known to man on hand. Yes, I can strip a desktop to atoms in 10 minutes with a swiss army knife, but I've never known a laptop that will just use a couple of sizes of crosspoints outa the glovebox car repair kit and a pair of pliers.

A good thing to start with is a couple of egg cartons to line up the screws and small pieces as you take them out, and a couple of boxes of pencils from the dollar store. It helps a great deal if you break a pencil in half every now and then, or bite on one.

If you have a digital camera or webcam it might be advisable to take pictures at every stage to help you reassemble. This is particularly useful if you think you'll get it done in the 2 hours free time you have today which is your last for about 2 weeks.

regards,

Road Warrior
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Author Comment

by:jasguild
ID: 6853498
I think I will take it to compusa.  They charge a flat $125 to repair notebooks excluding parts.

What do you think?

jasguild
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LVL 5

Expert Comment

by:joe_aqs
ID: 6853938
Comp USA could be a horror story.

You said: "It glows a different shade of grey" Does it appear to you that the Backlight is indeed coming on?

If the data cable came loose on the backside of the LCD, what you can do is (with the laptop on) apply a little pressure on the top (back cover) of the LCD panel, see if that gets you something on the screen.

Usually, LCDs don't go "bad" in a sense of nothing being displayed. (I've never heard of it or seen it)I'm not saying it's impossible, anything could have happened.

Replacement LCD screens (if the shop does it's homework) should run from $150 - $450 for a 15" LCD.

You can cross reference most of the LCD's with several different makes and models.

Good luck.

Joe



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LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:billko
ID: 6858804
If you look really closely, do you see "shadows" of what's supposed to be displayed?  If so, then the backlight is dead (whether from it actually being dead, the board that controls the backlight is fried, or the cable just worked loose, much like the aforementioned video cable).  If it's completely black, here's a little something that no one has yet mentioned:

It could be that the little switch/pushbutton that tells the computer that the laptop lid is closed may be sticking.  The switch is usually close to a hinge.  Try playing with the switch, or lubricating it.  (Even a tiny dab of spit in the hole will make it work long enough for you to determine if that's what it is.)  The theory here is that the laptop thinks the lid is closed so it defaults to the CRT.  Toggling the LCD/CRT switch forces it to switch to the LCD screen.

Hope this helps,

Bill
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Author Comment

by:jasguild
ID: 7301971
Turns out my lcd was fried indeed.  Got a replacement off ebay and I am back in business.

Thanks for all of your help.  I did take a part the notebook and did the replacement by myself.

jasguild
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