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Toshiba Satellite Laptop Monitor Blackout

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by purebloom, Oct 15, 2007.

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  1. purebloom

    purebloom Thread Starter

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    I've done a little research and a little reading on my issue, but I've had real success with help on these forums before, so hopefully someone out there can give me some advice. I'll try and give you a brief synopsis.

    My brother purchased a Toshiba Satellite laptop probably two and half or three years ago. It's been used quite a bit, but taken care of very well. Just a couple weeks ago my mother went to turn it on and the screen didn't show anything - completely black. No flash, no flicker, nothing. There were no issues or "signs" that we noticed that may have indicted it was about to "burn out" prior to this incident.

    So, I took it to work on it. I plugged in an external monitor and got a picture. The laptop still works fine.

    So, basically I've learned it could be a couple things. An lcd inverter cable, the inverter itself, a burnt out backlight, or some other component/wiring in the laptop's monitor?

    I'm not really sure how to determine what it is, and I would like to spend as little as possible. So, does anyone have any suggestions in determining the issue before buying some inverter cable or inverter? I took the panel off and briefly looked at some of the wiring but have avoided prodding, poking, and touching as I know it is very sensitive and fragile.

    So, give me your thoughts and if you suggest I take it to be repaired, do you have an idea of what a fair cost would be for this? I'm confident I can repair it myself, I just need to determine what it is for sure first.

    Thanks!
     
  2. kiwiguy

    kiwiguy

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    It's going to be difficult to determine if it is the inverter or the backlight without doing some measurements with a meter and/or oscilloscope (which may require a full service manual, if you can get one).
     
  3. purebloom

    purebloom Thread Starter

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    I've heard some people say if it is the backlight that is out that you can still sometime faintly see the desktop with a flashlight? Is this true? Is there any light testing I could try first?

    Thanks for your input.
     
  4. kiwiguy

    kiwiguy

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    Yes, if the backlight or inverter has failed, a torch held close to the screen at the right angle should *just* make out the video content, but does not prove if it is a backlight or an inverter.
     
  5. purebloom

    purebloom Thread Starter

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    Well an inverter is like $40 and a backlight is like $10. Plus $10 or so for shipping (if I can buy both from the same place). That would put me back $60 and I would be relatively certain that the issue would be fixed. I could replace BOTH or replace one and see if it works and then just sell the other item on ebay.

    However, from personal experience does anyone know if it would it be significantly more money to take it to a shop and have them determine the exact cause of failure for a problem you can at least pinpoint down to a couple things?

    I know costs will vary from shop to shop, but in general.

    Thanks for your advice thus far - greatly appreciated!
     
  6. minoruhackerguy

    minoruhackerguy

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    Alright, just to be clear, did you shuffle through your monitor choices(vga out, A/V out, laptop panel) with [Fn]+[F5]? On most toshiba laptops, you can choose what monitor output you're using. This could be the cause. (It wouldn't be the first time I've seen someone have the same problem as you and fix with a hotkey combination. =D )

    As for the shop pricing thing, I can't help you there. I've always been pretty poor and have always fixed everything myself. ^-^;;
     
  7. Tanis

    Tanis Shane

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    If you could get any shop to repair it for less than the costs you would pay for the parts I would be very surprised (not just your situation, but in any given situation).

    The only real difference is that if they break something else in the process you would have some cause for them (the shop) to repair it again or replace it (possibly). If you do it yourself and break something else its going to be more money out of your pocket.
     
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