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Laptop inverter problem?

Posted on 2014-12-29
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Last Modified: 2016-11-23
I will try to include pictures
I have a laptop that I think the inverter is going out. I delt with one before but the thing was too small and I couldn't fix it

What I need help with is to identify the problem so I can get some prices for repair. It is a

Dell XPS 15 Z had it for almost 4 years
Thank you
Art
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Question by:artismobile
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24 Comments
 

Author Comment

by:artismobile
ID: 40522575
Here are the pictures
image.jpg
image.jpg
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Accepted Solution

by:
CSD-Tech earned 100 total points
ID: 40522597
I'm not seeing much of what the problem is. Usually an inverter issue you will see bars, discoloration, and/or nothing at all on the screen. Sometimes the Backlight will go out but if you hold a light up to the screen, you can see an image. If it is the brightness you are seeing, then that is part of the backlight, and yes that can be an issue as long as the Power Management software on these systems is not set to dim the display automatically.

If the problem is changing, maybe a short video would help because I'm not seeing where there is an issue in the pictures you sent.

Something I have seen with some of the Laptops that I have worked on is the connecting cables will come loose and need to be reseated, like RAM in a system, just unplug them and then back in should resolve the issue. Also, tape the wires in place once you are done so they won't come out again.
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Assisted Solution

by:Sean
Sean earned 100 total points
ID: 40522602
What is looks like is you have a backlight issue. i am guessing from the pictures? or it could be just the pictures. But if that is the cause (dark spots or completely black screen) then that is pretty much a new screen is needed. Those can normally be found on ebay for around 100 and are pretty simple to replace just need to take the screen out and hook up the new one.
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Assisted Solution

by:John Hurst
John Hurst earned 100 total points
ID: 40522608
The inverter is probably in the lid, so if you can get a complete lid on eBay for that machine, that may be the easiest repair (if not just cable seating noted above). I have done this successfully on a Lenovo ThinkPad.

The machine is 4 years old you say, and so may not really be worth fixing.
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LVL 36

Assisted Solution

by:Kimputer
Kimputer earned 100 total points
ID: 40522614
Inverter problems stem from the LCD era (causing half or mostly whole screen backlight outage). You probably have an LED edge-lit screen, with only one or 2 leds out. This never happened to me before, but I'm guessing the whole screen needs to be replaced (probably easier for the repair shop anyway) setting you back the usual 100 bucks (give or take a few tens), as most repair shops have general screens in stock. I can't imagine anyone really fidgeting with individual LEDS (because of color temperature differences).
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Author Comment

by:artismobile
ID: 40522618
From the pictures the bottom right corner is darker than the rest of the screen. If you tap the right side of the screen it will get darker sometimes
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Author Comment

by:artismobile
ID: 40522632
It's hard to see from the pictures I took with my iPad. I had a computer before that did the same thing and the experts here said it was a backlight issue or inverter. I bought an inverter, tried to replace it and broke it it.  This darn machine is just off the 4yr expensive full warranty I got because of the inverter problem in the last one!
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 40522641
If worth it to you, look for a complete lid on eBay.
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LVL 12

Assisted Solution

by:andreas
andreas earned 100 total points
ID: 40522647
Yes as noted above, your laptop has a LED backlight and thus no inverter at all. The interver is the "power supply" for the CCFL tubes that are in non LED-backlight TFTs. If inverters are defective you have flickering backlight or failure of one or both CCFLs resulting in either a dark screen or a half bright half dark screen.

Either its a problem with the backlight (defective LEDs (off or dimer) or the PCB where the leds are on. (Driver problem)). Assuming the LED drivers are in the screen/panel changing the entire screen/panel assembly would be nevessary to repair this.
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Author Comment

by:artismobile
ID: 40522653
Then it shouldn't be an inverter. My last computer was totally black but you could see the screen with a bright flashlight. So I broke the inverter trying to put it in.

$204.00 eBay for a complete lid is the cheapest! Killing me here. If I went with that a novice like me should be able to connect it right?
Thanks for the suggestions
Art
0
 
LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:CSD-Tech
ID: 40522654
If you touch the corner near the screen and it gets darker, or torque the housing and the lights flicker/change, then I would say you may need to reseat the LCD plugs and cables as they may be coming loose. Once you have tested and verify that the cables are causing the issue, tape them in place so they do not move again to resolve your issue.

If it is not the cables, then your best bet would be to go on e-bay and do a search for a new screen assembly for the unit.
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LVL 9

Expert Comment

by:Sean
ID: 40522667
Agreed you should make sure everything is sitting correctly. But to answer your question yes it really isn't hard to replace a screen, just need to find where all the screws are hiding and be careful when taking off the plastic but it isn't the hardest thing to do.
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Author Comment

by:artismobile
ID: 40522695
Looks like a row of the lights are out on the bottom and some times another row will light up but not making it completely bright....if that makes any sense.

I think my option is get a new complete lid. No need to take the 4 yr old thing in for repair and pay for a repair and new lid.

I see 15zl5112. 15.6 glossy. Is that what I need?
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LVL 9

Expert Comment

by:Sean
ID: 40522701
what is your model number for your laptop, that is what you need to go off of to find the correct lid.
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Author Comment

by:artismobile
ID: 40522714
just says Dell XPS 15Z
Model P12F001

eBay lid says 15ZL5112. 15.6 Glossy
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LVL 36

Expert Comment

by:Kimputer
ID: 40522721
You don't need the lid (it saves repair time). You only need the LED panel (cheaper, needs more disassembly and re-assembly time)
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Author Comment

by:artismobile
ID: 40522725
I might have to go with the lid itself cuz I broke the darn thing last time I tried to repair one...
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LVL 36

Expert Comment

by:Kimputer
ID: 40522739
In that case, the price you found already seems quite reasonable, I'm sad to say.
Usually if a lid isn't cracked at any stress points (hinges and stuff), i repair it with 2 component epoxy glue.
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Author Comment

by:artismobile
ID: 40522746
Yes, I just have to find out if it is the right part. Unfortunately these parts these days are too small for me!
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LVL 95

Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 40522773
The lid I purchased some time back was just under $100, so I found it reasonable. Somewhat over $200 for a 4 year old machine seems a bit high. You may wish to bite the bullet and consider a new machine.
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Author Comment

by:artismobile
ID: 40522790
Grrr!
Whatever happened to the Dell XPS being a bullet proof machine? I tell you, a month after the full replacement warranty expires!...
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LVL 95

Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 40522797
Screens and like can fail at any time (mean time between failure discussion). That said, to me, Dell was the antithesis of bulletproof.
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Author Comment

by:artismobile
ID: 40522845
It's tolerable until it stops altogether. I guess the solution is to buy a new one when this one fails. If I decide to buy the lid, I'll repost for questions.
Thanks for the responses.
Art
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LVL 95

Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 40522880
Art - Thanks for the update and I was happy to help you with this.
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