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Gateway W340ua Video Issue

Posted on 2010-09-19
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Last Modified: 2013-11-08
I have a Gateway W340ua laptop that i'm working on with an LCD video issue.   When it is powered on, the initial Gateway splashscreen may or may not be visible then goes away.  It continues to boot up and you get a very very dim display once its booted up (you can see it shining a flashlight on it) so I assumed it may be an inverter or backlight issue.  

However,  I also tried booting it connected to an external LCD.  With this, I see the Gateway splashscreen on the external and the external display stays on until the Windows splashscreen then its display goes off.   I still see the very dim display on the LCD.  I tried ALT-F4 to switch between the external monitor and the laptop but nothing comes back on the external monitor.    

With the external monitor I also did a restart and had it go into the BIOS setup.  The external monitor displays the BIOS setup ok and I left it on there for about 15 minutes and the display does not go away on the external as long as its left in the BIOS setup.  

In doing some research on this model (I seldom work on Gateways), I see it has had issues with the on-board NVidia video cards and heat issues.   Anyone have experience with these laptops and can point me in the right direction.   The laptop is probably worth doing a backlight or inverter replacement but if its the video card issue, I really don't think its worth that level of repair.   Any advice?
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Question by:Rich15857
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rindi earned 250 total points
ID: 33712479
If the external display goes off once your system is up, it is probably running at an unsupported resolution or with a refresh rate that isn't supported. Or the driver isn't setup to use the external monitor. Depending on the installed, you can press f5 before the OS starts, which gets you into the menu where you can select what mode you want to start into windows, like safe mode or VGA mode. Try both of these. In those modes you should then be able to change the settings,
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by:Grant1842
ID: 33712594
Rember to Toggle between internal and external monitors with the fn key when testing external monator.

When you press your power button on your laptop and the LCD screen just stays black.  What is the problem?

Possible problem can be the on-board video chip or Video Card.

Possible problem can be the power inverter.

Possible problem can be the back light of the LCD screen.

Memory

Bad LCD Cable Connections


On-board VIDEO CHIP or Video Card BAD

First let's look at the possibility that your video chip on your motherboard is bad.  You can also have a separate video card instead of on-board video chip.

If you press the power button on your laptop and you just get a blank screen, then you need to do a couple of checks to see just what the problem might be.

1) If the LED lights are on and you hear the fan in the laptop running and hard drive working but there is no video, that usually means the video chip on the motherboard has gone bad.  This can be repaired by re-flowing the video chip. You will have to find a good repair tech that knows what he is doing for this repair.  It might cost in the neighborhood of $150.00 for this repair.

2) Plug a external monitor to the laptop and see if you have any video. If you see video on your external monitor then your video is OK.
NOTE:
When your power inverter is bad or the back light is bad, you can usually see a faint image on the LCD screen.


Power Inverter / Backlight BAD

1) If your video displays on the external monitor then your LCD screen has a problem.  Either your power inverter is bad or your LCD backlight has gone bad.

2) Check that your power inverter plug it seated properly. Without a tester to hook to the inverter or back light (CCFL) there is a general guideline you can use:
If this happen all the sudden that your screen just went black it is most likely it is the inverter.
If your LCD screen has been geting light and dark or colors have been getting off for a while it is your back light (CCFL).

You can actually have the light replaced but it is a tedious process and it is probably better and cheaper to find a new LCD screen on eBay.

Memory
Sometimes memory modules can do this. If you have extra good memory you can swap out and see if it woks. If you have an extra laptop around that usees the same memory you can put the memory modules in question in the extra laptop and use memtest software to test it.
http://www.memtest86.com/

Cable Connections
I have seen loose cables and improperly seated cables do this as well.
Check the connections at the motherboard and back of lcd screen to make sure they are seated properly.

All so I had a laptop that would loose video and bluescreen  as soon as it tried to leave the windows splash screen and it was some setting in the BIOS (achc) or something then it would work after I change that setting.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Rich15857
ID: 33715688
Thanks Rindi.  I wasn't even thinking screen resolution issues with the exterrnal.  Tried it in safe mode and the external works fine.   I also managed in bright sunlight this morning to see the laptop lcd in regular Windows mode and get NVidia's clone mode turned on for the video card and it works as well on the external monitor there.   So i'm pretty sure that the video card on the motherboard is working fine and it's probably just the backlight.
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