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Whats wrong with my laptop screen?

Posted on 2006-06-19
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Last Modified: 2008-02-01
Hi all,

I have a problem with my Fujitsu-Siemens Amilo D 1840 screen.

It started last week, sometimes I can open the lid and its ok, other times and more ofter its like this:

(took the shot with a powerpoint presentation with a black background.

http://www.cloverleaf4.co.uk/images/uploads/1718.jpg

More shots to give an idea:

http://www.cloverleaf4.co.uk/images/uploads/1719.jpg
http://www.cloverleaf4.co.uk/images/uploads/1720.jpg

I have tried putting pressure points on various parts of the screen and base but it make no difference at all!

Any ideas?

Thanks
Jack
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Question by:JackHodson
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Assisted Solution

by:fredshovel
fredshovel earned 100 total points
ID: 16938227
This may not be the problem, but worth exploring since you're using powerpoint. Please disregard if you are already aware that: If you hit the function key and one of the F keys (the one that says CRT/LCD or what ever, with the square screen) you have some screen choices if you're projecting or connecting to another monitor -- like both screens on, both screens off -- LCD on -- LCD off etc.
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by:JackHodson
ID: 16938285
Hi fred, I am just using PP as an example, its like it for everything, even through the BIOS loading the screen is like it, I tried flicking between the display modes, with no change,

I connected it to an external LCD monitor and that looked fine
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by:JackHodson
ID: 16938309
Ah, I just tapped the screen with my knuckles and the lines went away and it now looks perfect, lol, should I expect to buy a new laptop anytime soon (had a thread about an IBM laptop recently, might have to follow up on it :( )
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LVL 22

Assisted Solution

by:rickhobbs
rickhobbs earned 100 total points
ID: 16938366
I think what you are going to find is a loose (or oxidised) cable> if you feel comfortable opening the unit, open the base and locate the screen connectors.  Unplug, spray with WD-40 or silicon spray and reconnect.  If there are any controls or connectors in the LCD housing, do the same. I have a Compaq Armada my wife uses to eBay and the like and I have had to open the base and spray the connector twice in the last 5 years or so.
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by:JackHodson
ID: 16938411
I will try that Rick, cheers,

the connection from base to screen appears to come through one or the other hinges, no noticable cable, but il take it to bits and have a look, its probbly a bit dusty in there anyway!
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Assisted Solution

by:Erik Bjers
Erik Bjers earned 50 total points
ID: 16938890
I agree with rickhobbs, loose or oxidised cable.  WD-40 fixes everything (that and duct tape).  If you can't fix it your self you may need a new laptop, it will cost more to replace/fix the screen than the laptop is worth.

eb
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Accepted Solution

by:
jhance earned 100 total points
ID: 16939310
Regardless of what else you do, please DO NOT spray WD-40 or similar solvent into any part of your laptop.  This will damage many of the plastic parts used in the until and may cause irreversable damage.

I think the problem is with the LCD module itself.  The LCD array is held to the connector with a frame that applies pressure to the glass.  Sometimes this loosens up or the contacts get misaligned due to being bumped.  It's virtually impossible to correct this yourself without making things worse.  There are, however, companies around that do fix LCD displays and do it quite inexpensively.

I assume you're in the UK so I can't recommend a shop there.
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Expert Comment

by:rickhobbs
ID: 16939341
I usually use a silicon spray.  I didn't realize WD-40 (Water Displacement test batch 40) had solvent properties.  Get an can of electronics silicon spray from Radio Shack or similar and you will be fine.
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Expert Comment

by:Erik Bjers
ID: 16939436
WD-40 is OK for cleaning electronic connectors (NOT CURCIT BOARDS) if you use WD-40 spray it on a clean rag and wipe the conector with that.  I spent 5 years as an arcade teck. and used WD-40 many times to clean conectors.  Electronics silicon spray is definetly the prefered method...
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Expert Comment

by:PCBONEZ
ID: 16939439
Cleaning the ribbon cable contacts.
Silicon Spray won't remove corrosion.
WD-40 is a solvent and leaves a conductive residue that may short things out.
Try Isopropyl Alcohol and a bit of rubbing with a cue tip.
( Find the 90-91% variety if you can. It's not hard to find and it does a better job than the typical 70%. )
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Expert Comment

by:rickhobbs
ID: 16939526
I have been using silicon spray on connectors since I started working on electronics around 1968 and most of the time just removing the connector, spraying it and reconnecting it worked perfectly.  On everything from AM/FM radios to car sterios, to television sets.  It is usually pretty tough to get inside of the connectors with a q-tip. (cue tip is found on a pool cue ;> )
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by:JackHodson
ID: 16940473
Thanks for all the advice.

I think jhance could be on to something (jhance wrote: I think the problem is with the LCD module itself.  The LCD array is held to the connector with a frame that applies pressure to the glass.)

because this would make sense because when I gave the middle of the screen a firm tap with my knuckles the screen came back to what it should be, i.e I did not go anywhere near the ribbon/cable.

A new laptop is about £500 for my needs, would getting this one repaired likely to be more than half way towards this cost?

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by:Erik Bjers
ID: 16941301
A screen replacment on a laptop usualy costs quit a bit and even if it's under 500 the new laptop is the better bet if you can afford it.
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Expert Comment

by:maUru
ID: 16947062
I find spraying WD-40 as a last resort works.

It works on everything.

Seriously, I fixed a dodgy electromagnetic clutch with wd-40, imagine spraying a lubricant on a clutch, madness right? well it worked!
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Expert Comment

by:fredshovel
ID: 16947164
This is getting exciting! I think that EE needs a new category completely dedicated to WD-40 -- or "Water Displacement test batch 40" -- as RickHobbs pointed out.
...now what else can you do with it, besides OD on the inhalent?
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by:maUru
ID: 16948992
i used WD-40 on my dead cat, and it came back to life.
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by:Erik Bjers
ID: 16950383
True story about WD-40 (I DO NOT RECOMEND THIS)

Back when I was in school my mom asked me to help an old lady from church fix her TV.  Being a good son I went over to the lady's house to look at her TV.  I get the back off, and start looking for the problem when the old lady looks at me and says "I know how to fix it, be right back".  Before I know what she's doing she's leaning ove me with a can of WD-40 and sprays it all over the inside of the TV, as she's spraying she says joyfuly, "W-2, it fixs everything."  Now I was going to inform her that she ruined her TV, but she insisted I plug it in and try it... IT WORKED and is still working to this day some 6 years later.

TRUE STORY
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Author Comment

by:JackHodson
ID: 16952269
Thanks for the answers everyone.

It seems ok at the moment (after I hit it) but il get saving for when it does eventually go!

As for WD40, it does wonders at preventing the brakes on push bikes from working! ;-)
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Expert Comment

by:fredshovel
ID: 16954847
..now you're in the spirit (even if WD-40 isn't spirit).
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by:PCBONEZ
ID: 16983945
Silicon spray, WD-40, and Isopropyl Alcohol.
I am Certified by the US Government through the Defence Department to work on electronics (component level repair), specifically electronic control systems for Nuclear Reactors.
What I told you is the only approved method (that you can get your hands on as a civilian.)
DO NOT use WD40.
Silicon spray is only a lubricant and if you get the wrong grade it's conductive as well.
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