Dead LCD screen needs your help!
September 26, 2005 9:16 AM   Subscribe

My LCD screen on my laptop (Dell Inspiron, 3 1/2 years old) crapped out on me. Though I know it's probably dead for good, and I plan on computer shopping soon, I SWEAR I saw something on AskMe (though it may have been on the blue) about a test page that cycles through different colors (??) and can possibly renew dead screens. I can't find it. Can you help me?

(I know. I can't believe I don't know how to properly search AskMe, either. But in my defense, I might be making up this entire memory of a post in my head.)
posted by bibbit to Computers & Internet (12 answers total)
Best answer: The colour cycling thing can fix stuck pixels, but not revive dead screens. It's probably dead.

The original probably referred to something like this.
posted by GuyZero at 9:20 AM on September 26, 2005

It was for stuck pixels, not dead screens.
posted by I Love Tacos at 9:20 AM on September 26, 2005

Here's the post. The video can be downloaded here. Sounds like your problem is too serious for this, though.

on preview, yeah, what guyzero said.
posted by TonyRobots at 9:24 AM on September 26, 2005

Either the fluorescent tube or the inverter for your LCD has blown, most likely. This is about a $200-$300 repair, which may or may not be worth it to you.

In the meantime you can probably hook up an external monitor to get your data off, at least.
posted by jellicle at 9:26 AM on September 26, 2005

Is it just a dead backlight? Lots of people want LCDs with dead backlights for various moding projects...
posted by Chuckles at 9:26 AM on September 26, 2005

Response by poster: I have no idea what the problem is - when I booted the poor thing up yesterday, it was fine for a bit, then went black with a few tiny lines of screen across it. And then this light kind of started to glow on one spot on the screen, and then the light spread until the whole screen turned a light, bright gray (if that makes sense - it was mottled coloring).

Now everytime I turn it on (hoping!), it just starts with that light on one side, until the whole screen glows that gray.

Actually, it's quite...poetic.

That said, I have hooked it up to an external monitor as a patch until I get a new computer. Must read up on the Mac vs. PC debates, I guess.
posted by bibbit at 9:56 AM on September 26, 2005

Best answer: That sounds like the TFT losing its connection to the motherboard. It could be a lose or damaged cable, or it could be a blown controller chip at one end or the other. Expensive to track down and fix.
posted by cillit bang at 10:03 AM on September 26, 2005

I think your symptoms are adequately explained by cillit bang - since you're at the verge of writing the thing off anyway, why not crack the laptop open (after you've grounded youself) and play around the the connector (it should be a really thin but wide ribbon running to your screen from the mobo).

You can also do a google search for the repair documentation for your laptop to figure out exactly where the connector is if you don't feel like just poking about.
posted by PurplePorpoise at 12:25 PM on September 26, 2005

I second the re-seat the connector motion. This solved a similar problem with my old latitude cp. The instructions for replacing the LCD can be used; they should be available on Dell's website.
posted by TuffAustin at 3:11 PM on September 26, 2005

Response by poster: Thanks, all - the post GuyZero referred to is the one I was thinking of. And it must be a lose cable, since the screen is working fine right now (but I have a feeling it'll not work the NEXT time I boot it up).
posted by bibbit at 9:11 PM on September 26, 2005

loose loose
posted by strawberryviagra at 4:41 AM on September 27, 2005

Response by poster: HAH! And me an English major. Yes, strawberryviagra, I so meant "loose."
posted by bibbit at 6:57 AM on September 27, 2005

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