Mysterious laptop screen death after tinkering around inside.
December 11, 2006 11:03 PM   Subscribe

Is my laptop screen dead?

I decided to open up my laptop (Sony Vaio PCG-FRV37) to clean out some dust from the heatsinks. After removing quite a few screws and finally getting it, I put it all back together (with a couple screws left over) and when I power it on, my monitor doesn't display *anything*, but the system does start up. It goes through the Power On Self Test (I heard all the buzzing and beeps that I normally hear). I didn't remove any of the parts, just the keyboard. All of the connections to and from the screen are still fine. I didn't manhandle my screen in any way, it just bounced against the table a couple times, but not hard enough to break anything. I don't see a pool of liquid inside the screen indicate that it's broken.

Any thoughts?
posted by ThirstyEar2 to Computers & Internet (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
<it crowd>Have you tried taking it all apart and putting it back together again? </it crowd>

In all seriousness, try it. Reseating any and all connectors is probably your best bet.

If that doesn't work, try the next obvious thing: hook up the external VGA port to a monitor and learn what you can from that.
posted by IvyMike at 11:36 PM on December 11, 2006

Are you getting any change in the screen between off and on at all? Even if you had broken your LCD by bouncing it off the table then the light behind the LCD should still come on. If you aren't getting a backlight then I'd suspect that you've disconnected the power to it.

If you shine a bright light at the screen can you see any patterns on it - if the screen is OK but the backlight is not working then you might be able to see graphics on the screen if you look hard.

I'm not 100% sure about all laptops but the ones I've taken apart have often had separate inverters to power the backlight for the screen - allegedly these fail quite often and would lead to a totally dark screen - you could try to source a replacement and swap it out - which shouldn't be too tough.

Hopefully it's just a loose connection though.
posted by koshmar at 6:17 AM on December 12, 2006

What IvyMike said. Take it apart and put it back together again. At least that's what's alwas worked for me.

Are the screws still out? As a completely random guess something might not power up because it's not grounded correctly. Open it up, put the screws back where they need to be.

Check the major connections, make sure nothing is loose. Reseat anything that you feel confident in doing, especially the connection between the main board and the lid. Check the other screws you put in there to make sure they are seated correctly. Before covering anything up, give it a visual check to make sure you didn't accidentally pull any connections.

Make sure you don't over tighten the screws and everything is aligned properly before you start turning things.
posted by Ookseer at 8:08 AM on December 12, 2006

It might be the lid switch -- if the laptop thinks it's closed, it won't bother turning on the screen. Some units use mechanical switches, some use magnets, etc. I've had my toughbook m34 torn down to bare metal and I've still never figured out how it knows.
posted by Myself at 5:58 PM on December 12, 2006

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