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Dell Laptop with very dim screen

Posted on 2007-11-28
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Last Modified: 2013-11-17
Hello,

I have a Dell Inspiron 8600 laptop with a VERY dim screen.  If you look just right you can see some things.

For a test I hooked up an LCD to the VGA port on the back and it shows the desktop clearly.

I've tried adjusting the brightness to no avail.

Is this a motherboard issue or a screen?

I would like to come up with a solution as I stand to make some money for the Christmas season.

Thanks.
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Question by:ScottCha
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Expert Comment

by:cforant
ID: 20367771
The backlight is probably not working, or turned off.  Check your power settings just in case (Control Panel > Display > Screen Saver > Power Button).  

You can also reboot and during the DELL Splash screen hit F2 to get into the Dell Setup/Bios.  There you can check your settings for LCD in case your Windows install if flubbed up.

If your LCD Backlight is out, it may be a loose connection.  Remove the battery and power, then you need to remove the plastic piece between the keyboard and LCD (be careful not to snap anything)  Then check the connectors under it.

Good luck.
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cforant earned 250 total points
ID: 20367793
If you put in the Service Tag number from the bottom, you can get a parts break away view in the service manual online from DELL.com.  It will show you the exact location of the power connector for this model.
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Expert Comment

by:Mark
ID: 20368283
Did this happen suddenly, one day the laptop works and then it doesn't or did the screen show a gradual dimming going darker or changing color over a period of time.
If over time with color change, I would suspect the CCFL backlights.
If this occurred suddenly and has stayed the same since, then the inverter is probably the problem.
When the screen is showing a faint image, that means the video signal is present but the backlight system which is made up of the CCFL lights, the inverter and the lid switch, are not working properly.
First thing to try is the lid switch. This is the small pin above the keyboard which pushes down when the lid is closed(some laptops do not have this but use a magnetic switch which is hidden)
Next, the inverter(small board in the display) which supplies the high voltage for the CCFL lights, may be dead. This would have to be replaced.

In the case of CCFL lights going bad, this would be a job for a place that does this type of work as they are hard to get at and easy to break when doing it.
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Assisted Solution

by:Mark
Mark earned 250 total points
ID: 20368291
Here is the dell service manual for your laptop.
http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/ins8500/en/8600cr/sm/index.htm
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Author Closing Comment

by:ScottCha
ID: 31411492
My customer decided to hook a monitor to the laptop but the above suggestions will be very useful to me in the future.

Thanks!!!!
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Author Comment

by:ScottCha
ID: 20398162
My customer decided to hook a monitor to the laptop but the above suggestions will be very useful to me in the future.
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