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Flickering laptop screen to now just darkness


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#1 OFFLINE   Davebob

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Posted 28 July 2017 - 09:01 PM

I have a 8 years old laptop that has this problem with the display.
I first noticed it quite long time ago when i used my laptop with only the battery, i usually use it plugged to mains, as the power adapter had just stopped working.
I noticed that the display brightness would flicker like between 100% and 80%
As i dont use it on battery only that much i dismissed it for the time being.
Time went by and i started to notice that display brightness would flicker on start up when plugged to mains too, for 5 or so minutes and would then go to normal.
This would continue with the flickering time getting longer and the differences between the brightnes levels would get bigger.
It got to a point where the flickering wouldn't go away at all.
Adjusting the brightness would make it stop, but after some days it would be back, adjusting it again would help, untill it didn't have a affect anymore.

And now we get to the current state which is total darkness.
The display would try to turn on blinking between darkness and the background.
The darkness would win most of the times.
The blinking sound of a one of thouse "fluorescent tube lights" when they turn on, could be heard too.
The computer would work, cause i could hear the logging in sound to my windows account.

So I'd like to know, what could have caused this to happen and can it be fixed, which part do i need to replace if possible as it is a laptop.

#2 OFFLINE   Peachy

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Posted 28 July 2017 - 11:41 PM

Hi Davebob,

Welcome aboard.

Oy. You have a situation there. Eight year-old laptop with display issues. I suspect your display may be kaput. These things are very hard to fix and your chances of finding the exact replacement is probably nil unless you can find the exact same model from someone and can swap it out. Does the laptop have an external video output? You could try plugging it into a monitor and hitting the key that switches to the external display for a start.

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#3 OFFLINE   goretsky

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Posted 29 July 2017 - 05:21 AM

Hello,

It sounds like the CCFL (cold cathode fluorescent lamp) tube which provides light from behind the LCD matrix so you can see what's on the screen has died.

You may be able to get it repaired; it depends on the brand and model of the notebook computer.

Regards,

Aryeh Goretsky
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#4 OFFLINE   Digerati

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Posted 29 July 2017 - 10:36 AM

Quote

And now we get to the current state which is total darkness.
It is most likely the CCFL as goretsky noted, the inverter, or both. If you shine a flashlight into the screen and look very closely, do you see your Windows desktop? If so, it is definitely the CCFL that has failed (the bulb itself, or inverter powering it). We traditionally just replaced both at the same time. Any reputable shop can do this as it is a common repair. Most shops charge a flat rate, plus parts. If you are handy with your hands and have the tools, there are many tutorials on the web showing how to replace the CCFL and inverters. Depending on the exact model, parts typically cost from $100 to $150 (sometimes a little less, sometimes more).

But with this being 8 years old, the parts may be hard to find so not sure it is worth it. Beware of "too good to be true" prices.

For sure, before spending any money, I recommend connecting an external monitor and see what happens. If you see a display there, you know the computer itself is fine and it is just the notebook's monitor. If no display on the external monitor after toggling the applicable Fn + F-key combination (Fn + F5 on my Toshiba) then the problem is in the graphics solution of the notebook and odds are that it is integrated with the motherboard. In that case, I would be shopping for a new notebook.
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#5 OFFLINE   V.T. Eric Layton

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Posted 29 July 2017 - 01:19 PM

Those displays and back-lighting components are all still available for many, many older DELL laptops. If you have a Dell, by any chance, there is a possibility of repair. However, unless you are moderately-to-highly skilled in such work replacing the display and/or the CCFL components would be beyond your ability. Hence, cost of repair at a professional shop would most likely exceed the value of the unit.

I have the same issue with my old Dell Inspiron 1521. I can run it with a separate monitor because it has a VGA jack on the back. If you don't have that option, your laptop is probably kaput.

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#6 OFFLINE   Digerati

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Posted 29 July 2017 - 01:26 PM

For the record, I have never seen any notebook that did not support an external monitor. This is because notebooks by design have the primary purpose of supporting the business traveler who takes his or her notebook to use for presentations and such. Even projectors use a standard VGA or HDMI port (which many notebooks support too).

If you don't have a spare monitor, most TVs built in recent years support computer input too.
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#7 OFFLINE   Davebob

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Posted 30 July 2017 - 10:07 PM

The laptop in question is a HP Pavilion dv5-1050en
I have spare monitor, but it is one of thouse big box ones.
The fact that i could see the screen through the darkness happened ones when i transported the laptop from a room to another, it would flicker and go black but i could barely see what was on the screen, don't know about it now have to check at some point.

As for my computer hardware skills go, i have opened a laptop once to dust it.

#8 OFFLINE   Digerati

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Posted 31 July 2017 - 10:56 AM

Quote

but i could barely see what was on the screen
That's a pretty conclusive indication the problem is with the backlighting and not the display panel itself, the main computer section or the graphics solution.

Quote

I have spare monitor, but it is one of thouse big box ones.
Assuming you mean a CRT (picture "tube" type) monitor, those are analog so your notebook would have to have a standard VGA D-sub video connector.

See HP Pavilion dv5-1050en replace ccfl inverter. If you feel you are capable, go for it. Or just buy an inexpensive monitor at Walmart and use this as a desktop system. In any event, with this computer already being 8 years old, I sure would not invest too much into it. There's a good chance this failure is the beginning of the end.

In the meantime, I would connect that spare monitor, or connect this notebook to TV and quickly copy off any data you don't want to lose. 8 years for a hard drive is already a good life.
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#9 OFFLINE   Davebob

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Posted 02 August 2017 - 08:56 PM

So this laptop has been un used for half a year and since the "darkness", and i tried it today to check the other monitor.
It started right up with the screen working, it is back to the slight flickering effect.
On the other monitor i can not see that flickering.

I'm not sure but the flickering seems to be more in the left side of the screen.

Edited by Davebob, 02 August 2017 - 09:34 PM.


#10 OFFLINE   Digerati

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Posted 03 August 2017 - 01:17 PM

Well, again, if me I would not put any significant money into an 8-year old notebook. If you don't need portability, I recommend getting a nice 22-24" monitor and make a desktop out of it.
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