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Laptop Screen

Friday, August 25th, 2006 by | Filed Under: Uncategorized
 
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Q:
I have a laptop and just in the past few days, my screen has become very dark. I can hardly use it right now because it’s so dark. Do you have any suggestions for this?

A:
This type of thing seems to happen all the time, unless you happen to be one of the lucky laptop owners who escapes it. Even if it hasn’t happened to you yet, your turn may be right around the corner. Either way, it won’t hurt you to take a look at this tip. Below are some possible reasons why your laptop screen is going dark and some things you can do to fix it.

In all reality, there are several small things that could cause an LCD screen (laptop monitor) to go bad. It may start out with a slight dim, then it might get a little darker and then it may eventually die on you. Hopefully you won’t let it go that far before getting it checked out, but it could also happen in a matter of minutes. You just never know.

Before you take your laptop to a repair shop to spend way too much money on a new screen, keep reading! Laptop screens use a mini fluorescent lamp to backlight the display on your computer. In many cases, this light goes out and that is why the screen goes dark so quickly. This can be caused by any number of things: dropping your case or even by extended use.

If any of that falls into your situation, the lamp can be replaced without you having to take it to a professional. The area where the lamp goes can be found on the front of your screen. It’s just a little hole that opens up for the bulb (check out the below screenshot).

You may be able to get a replacement lamp for under $20 depending on your laptop type. You’ll want to refer to your laptop manual to try and find the type of lamp you’ll need. If you can’t find it there, you may want to contact the manufacturer, because you need a reliable source for the type of lamp your laptop needs. You don’t want to insert the wrong one and cause even more problems. You can also try searching for your type online. Go to Google (or whatever your favorite search engine is) and type in something like “LCD Backlighting” or “Miniature Fluorescent Lamps.” You can probably just order a new lamp from the Internet if you can find the type you need.

If you still can’t find the information you’re looking for, please do consult a repairman. Also, if you don’t have the nerve to do it yourself, get some help! Do keep in mind though that if you do take it to a repair shop, most technicians will tell you they can’t replace the lamp. Instead, they will try to tell you that you need a whole new display screen, which can cost up to $1,000. So, if there is any way you can find out your lamp size, do that first, because it will save you time and money in the end.

To insert the new lamp, disassemble the display screen so you can have clear access to the back of your laptop. Do be careful of static electricity while doing this. Make sure everything is powered down and unplugged. Remove the old lamp (which is more than likely held in by a wire harness and a metal rail with end caps). Place the new lamp in and reassemble the display. Turn your laptop back on and your lighting problem should be cured.

Note: As I said earlier, the main cause of dark laptop screens is the lamp, but keep in mind that the light failure can also be caused by a problem with the connector for the DC-AC lamp inverter or trouble with the wire that connects the inverter to the lamp. These things can also be fixed, but you may want to refer to a repair shop for those. The directions can get a little tricky and it’s better to be safe than sorry.

~ Erin

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