LCD screen recently went dark

I have a Dell D810 laptop and the LCD recently went dark. When starting from cold, the boot screen comes up just fine (normal brightness) but as soon as it gets to the logon screen it goes dark. When taking it out of sleep mode the screen will also light up normally but only for about 2-5 seconds then it goes dark again.

You can see the desktop icons if you try the flashlight trick so I figure its either the inverter or backlight.

Before I order an inverter I thought I’d throw in what seems to be unusual with my problem:
If I keep the brightness at halfway or less I can get the screen to stay lit all the time. If I raise it above half, that triggers the screen to go dark. I adjusted my power settings to only have the LCD brightness at half all the time.

Also my power settings are set up to have the LCD screen turn off when the lid is closed, and if I close the lid (if the screen has gone dark and then reopen the lid the screen lights up again as normal, but only as long as I make sure to keep the brightness down.

BTW- I did notice my screen having a pinkish tone when it would wake up, before the screen actually started going dark. It still has that pinkish hue when starting up from cold and it seems that the pinkish tone goes away after it has been on for awhile (20-30min?).

Does this point more towards an inverter or backlight?

I have a Dell D810 laptop and the LCD recently went dark. When starting from cold, the boot screen comes up just fine (normal brightness) but as soon as it gets to the logon screen it goes dark. When taking it out of sleep mode the screen will also light up normally but only for about 2-5 seconds then it goes dark again.
This description fits both, bad inverter board and bad backlight lamp.

If I keep the brightness at halfway or less I can get the screen to stay lit all the time. If I raise it above half, that triggers the screen to go dark. I adjusted my power settings to only have the LCD brightness at half all the time.
Again, could be either bad inverter or backlight lamp but I lean more towards the lamp.

BTW- I did notice my screen having a pinkish tone when it would wake up, before the screen actually started going dark. It still has that pinkish hue when starting up from cold and it seems that the pinkish tone goes away after it has been on for awhile (20-30min?).
This time your description sounds more like backlight lamp related issue.

Does this point more towards an inverter or backlight?
For some reason, I think you have a faulty backlight lamp. That would be my guess.

33 Responses

  1. Just got done replacing the backlight. That was the problem, so you were right on!

    I had planned on replacing the inverter as well, but the one I ordered came broken. Since the problem seems to be fixed, I’ll assume the inverter was still good.

    BTW- that backlight replacement had to be the most difficult repair I can remember doing. Not for the faint of heart, for sure. I’m actually amazed the repair worked since it required soldering two tiny, tiny wires to the ends of the replacement backlight (which is about as thick and fragile as a piece of dry spaghetti). And taking apart the LCD to get at the backlight: again really tough.
    I guess time will tell if it holds.

  2. Laptop Freak

    Tim,

    BTW- that backlight replacement had to be the most difficult repair I can remember doing. Not for the faint of heart, for sure.

    Yes, it is. If someone has no laptop repair experience, I would suggest replacing the entire LCD screen.

  3. Alas, the problem came back. I’m going to try replacing the inverter next. The new backlight took care of the pinkish tinge to the screen but after only a couple hours use the screen went dark again.

    If the inverter doesnt do it, any final thoughts?

  4. Laptop Freak

    Tim,

    If the inverter doesnt do it, any final thoughts?

    I hope it will, but if not the next in the chain will be the motherboard.

  5. I’m having a similar problem with my HP zd7180us. When I turn on the computer, the light comes on for about 2 seconds, and the entire display flickers. Then the light goes out and the image on the screen stops flickering (I can still use it by flashlight). When I unplug the backlight wires from the inverter, the screen display does not flicker when it comes on (again, watching it by flashlight).

    The backlight is relatively new, and was installed back in November. I don’t know if this makes a difference, but when I installed it, I lost the little rubber endcaps that go over the soldered ends of the tube.

    It’s been working fine since I installed it until a couple of days ago, when the screen would flicker occasionally. Then later that night the light went out and I started having the problems I described at the beginning of this post. Any help would be appreciated. I’ve already poured so many hours of work into this machine, and I just need it to work for a few more months when we’ll have enough saved up to buy a new one.

  6. Gabriella

    Hi! I’ve read everything you’ve written (on other sites too) about backlight failure vs. inverter board failure. I’m so glad you mentioned that the PINK TONE to the screen (before total blackness) indicates backlight failure… and that’s what the repair fellow diagnosed.

    Would you (or anyone) happen to know if $175 is AT ALL a “reasonable” price for a backlight bulb for a Toshiba Satellite U205-S5022 OR if there might be a SUBSTITUTE part that’s cheaper?

    I’ve never opened a computer (let alone a laptop) but after reading your description of replacing your backlight bulb, I’d say I’ll FORGET even considering it! I’m just freaked out about the cost of the bulb and it sounds kind of crazy to me although I know there are expensive bulbs… coz I sell Allen Bradley Resistors and Pixie & Nixies but even THEY don’t come near this price! Thanks a lot for all your explanations!!! I’m an artist but it’s always great to learn!

  7. Laptop Freak

    Gabriella,

    Would you (or anyone) happen to know if $175 is AT ALL a “reasonable” price for a backlight bulb for a Toshiba Satellite
    U205-S5022 OR if there might be a SUBSTITUTE part that’s cheaper?

    The backlight lamp is a part of the LCD screen and when it’s fails, I would recommend replacing the whole LCD because it’s WAY easier than replacing just the backlight lamp.
    I assume that your repair fellow quoted you a new LCD screen. $175 is a really good price for a new LCD.

    A new backligtht bulb will cost you about $15 but it will be additional $175 in labor to replace it.

    Talk to your repair fellow and ask him if he quoted you the whole LCD. If he did, go for it. That’s a good price.

  8. Gabriella

    Thank you very much for the info.

    No, my repair guy quoted $175 for the backlight bulb and $75 for the labor for a total of $250 (plus and additional $50 to remove the VIRUS that may be (I think IS) on the computer, which is EXACTLY (about 1 week) when the screen died.

    Originally, he said the bulb would cost $75 but, after going back to the shop (his visit/diagnosis cost $40), he called to say that he was mistaken and the backlight would be $175… so, who knows, perhaps he realized that he’d have to replace the whole LCD. (At this point, I’m wondering if I should buy another new computer.) But, thanks, I WILL ask him about the LCD.

    Thanks so much for all your infor and for taking so much time to share it with so many of us!

    gabriella

  9. I have searched your site but I haven’t found anything matching the problem I’m having. This might be the closest topic … sorry if I’m asking in the wrong place.

    Now, my issue:

    I have a Compaq 3000z laptop. A few years ago, the LCD died … I could just barely make out the faint image of the graphic output on the screen. If I connected the laptop to an external monitor, the external monitor worked fine. [By the way, to my knowledge no physical damage caused this problem, it just stopped working one day.]

    I put the laptop away because I assumed it was a backlight problem, and that I would eventually get around to it. Well, I did some more research recently and it looked like it might not be the backlight but perhaps just the inverter. So, I ordered an inverter (only $20, much cheaper than a backlight), and it came today. I swapped it out … and it looked like it was going to fix it. However, it isn’t a complete fix.

    After replacing the inverter, I have working ‘text mode’ on the laptop, but no graphics modes. That is, I can boot linux on the computer and if I boot into text mode, everything appears to be working fine. I can even adjust brightness on the panel with the function keys. However, if I choose to go into ‘graphical mode’, I just get a blank screen. If I hook up an external monitor I can see the graphic mode image on it, but I can’t seem to get it going on my laptop LCD. Of course, I have this same issue with a blank screen if I boot into Windows.

    The panel is a 1680×1050 panel, and the video card is an nvidia GeForce4 440 Go (64M).

    Any thoughts on what might be the problem? I haven’t exhaustively examined it yet, perhaps you (or someone) has a suggestion?

    Thanks in advance …

    Ralphie

  10. Laptop Freak

    Ralphie,
    Maybe you have two different problems in the same laptop?

    the LCD died … I could just barely make out the faint image of the graphic output on the screen. If I connected the laptop to an external monitor, the external monitor worked fine.

    That part sounds like a problem with the inverter or backlight.
    So, you’ve replaced the inverter and now the screen lights up. Apparently you’ve fixed the backlight problem.

    After replacing the inverter, I have working ‘text mode’ on the laptop, but no graphics modes. That is, I can boot linux
    on the computer and if I boot into text mode, everything appears to be working fine.

    Did it work with the same Linux distribution before? Can you set the screen resolution to something like 800×600 on startup?

    if I choose to go into ‘graphical mode’, I just get a blank screen. If I hook up an external monitor I can see the graphic mode image on it, but I can’t seem to get it going on my laptop LCD. Of course, I have this same issue with a blank screen if I boot into Windows.

    What if you boot the laptop from Windows installation CD? Will you see the Windows installation wizard?

  11. Thanks for the reply.

    I had some time last night to try a few more things; I first booted and went into the BIOS and poked around to see if there was anything that might affect the screen or video adapter. Nope, nothing there. Next, I booted into Windows … and this time the graphical screen showed up!?!

    I then rebooted into Linux, and this time it also successfully booted into Linux ‘graphical mode’.

    So … I don’t know what changed from the first time to now. I didn’t actually make any BIOS changes. I did plug the power brick into a different outlet, so maybe I have a marginal power supply, or battery, or power system within the laptop. Or maybe a marginal video card, who knows.

    I’m happy that things are working, but I don’t have a lot of confidence that things will stay this way. We’ll see.

    Anyway, thanks again for help, and especially for maintaining this great web site. I wish I would have found it two years ago when my LCD first went out.

    Ralphie

  12. Konstantin

    Hello!

    I have exactly the same problem on Toshiba M35X.
    The problem appeared without any warning, the screen started to go black, and inverter started to “sing” the very high tone.

    I’ve ordered and replaced inverter, and now the screen comes up normally after cold boot, but then, in 5-10 seconds it gets half bright. All the time the new inverter “sings”, the tone changes after the drop of the brightness. BTW, the old one started to “sing” also after the fault appeared.

    Also the inverter board gets warm, so I’ve decided to stop the experiments until I know a way to replace the bulb (which is bad I thnik).

    So could you please give a hint how to get to the bulb itself? I’ve successfully “separated” LCD matrix, but then I just don’t understand how to get to the bulb and not to break everything around.

    Thanks!

    Konstantin

  13. Laptop Freak

    Konstantin,

    Also the inverter board gets warm, so I’ve decided to stop the experiments until I know a way to replace the bulb (which is bad I thnik).

    So could you please give a hint how to get to the bulb itself? I’ve successfully “separated” LCD matrix, but then I just don’t understand how to get to the bulb and not to break everything around.

    The following instructions could be helpful if you decide to replace the backlight lamp yourself.
    How to replace laptop backlight lamp (CCFL)

  14. Hi,

    I’m having exactly the same problem that Tim had on his computer. First pink screen, then monitor gets totally dark, but still on. I just wanted to thank you guys for sharing the information. Now at least I know the reason why it doesn’t work, without paying mechanic just to look at it. Thanks again.

  15. I have the same laptop, Latitude D810 with the same issue. I’m trying to figure out where to buy a new backlight and inverter. Do you know of any reasonable stores to buy this at?

  16. Ralphie

    I was able to replace the inverter in my Compaq 3000z with a part I ordered from here:

    http://laptopparts.vivotechnology.net/

    I hadn’t used them before, but they were inexpensive, and prompt with the shipment, and the part I received was new, as advertised … so I’d recommend them.

  17. Thanks. It looks like they might have the inverter but not the lamp. It also seems like I need to take apart the laptop to get the part numbers before I can order replacements. Unless someone knows how to get the part numbers?

  18. I am having similar problems with my Toshiba Satellite M105-S3041. Reading the postings above regarding this dark screen problem, I am thinking if this may be a virus problem after all. Why all of a sudden everyone is having this LCD problem? I like to know how old are these problematic laptops are? Or what is the average life expectancy from a regular inverter or LCD lamp?

    Thank you for comments.

    Emin

  19. My acer aspire 5050 laptop screen cracked I ordered a new screen but the screen is still dark. What to do?

  20. Hey guys,
    I have a Toshiba Satellite A60 and my lcd screen backlight keeps turning off, it lights up again when pressing the keyboard buttons to control the screen brigthness (Fn+F6 or F7). I have changed the LF inverter. When hooked up to an external monitor works fine. Desesperate help needed!

    Thnaks

  21. Laptop Freak

    Pedro,

    I have a Toshiba Satellite A60 and my lcd screen backlight keeps turning off, it lights up again when pressing the keyboard buttons to control the screen brigthness (Fn+F6 or F7). I have changed the LF inverter. When hooked up to an external monitor works fine.

    If a known good inverter doesn’t fix the problem, most likely there is a problem with the backlight lamp.

  22. Laptop Freak

    carol,

    My acer aspire 5050 laptop screen cracked I ordered a new screen but the screen is still dark. What to do?

    How about the old cracked screen? Did it light up after you cracked it?

  23. Laptop Freak

    Emin,

    Reading the postings above regarding this dark screen problem, I am thinking if this may be a virus problem after all. Why all of a sudden everyone is having this LCD problem?

    When you turn on the laptop and it fails to light up the screen, the problem is not related to a virus, it’s a hardware related issue.
    The screen fails even before Windows starts loading.
    Here’s what you can try to prove my point. Remove the hard drive and turn on the laptop. Does the backlight still fail? How could it be a software (virus) related problem if there is no hard drive installed?

  24. Anthony Decker

    how do i repair or replace the backlight of my hp 510 laptop

  25. Tom Monahan

    I have a problem similar to the Dell D810 described above except there is no pink tint before warmup. I’m working with a Dell Inspiron 600m. When cold after a few seconds the screen would go dark. Sometimes after 8-10 restarts the LCD lit up and stayed lit, but eventually wouldn’t light at all. I replaced the inverter with a used one off Ebay, and now the LCD still goes dark after a couple of seconds when cold, but after only 2 or 3 tries, the lamp noticeably flickers for several seconds then stays on and the display looks crisp and normal. Could this still be the backlight or should I try another inverter? Is the flat cable ever a problem?

  26. I have a gateway laptop. The screen started acting up when the screen saver is on by showing vading of the object all over the screen. Now screen flashes on and off. Gateway sold warranty to another company and that company went out of business. Does anyone have any ideas what is wrong with it.

  27. I have a dell inspiron 1520. along with my old pos e machines laptop that only works once in a while but my question is,

    Is it passable to connect the LCD from the old laptop to the new one somehow and run it as a second monitor or something like that? if not then thanks anyways

  28. I have also problem with LCD display; I have a dell latitude D531; mine laptop works well but I have no display, I need to use external monitor; I decided to make a diagnostic test of the problem; and I encountered an error code 0413 “LCD Cable niet detected”; any idea what is this ; can anyone helps me to solve my problem;

  29. Bruce Gove

    I had to replace the lcd screen on my Toshiba Tecra m2. I installed it and it worked fine for about 20 minutes then flickered and went dim. The inverter got way to hot! I replaced the inverter and the same thing happened. Maybe just a bad inverter, so I replaced it. Installed the second inverter and the same thing is about to happen, the inverter is getting very hot. What could it be? Could the new screen be causing this? Or am I just not lucky with inverter boards?

  30. A friend dropped a laptop into my proverbial laptop
    its an HP pavillion DV5000 with an Ultra Glossy finish LCD
    the LCD works fine in post, in bios etc, shows the XP logo
    then goes black before the Desktop appears, I have tried to boot into safe mode and the same thing happens.

    I hooked up an external monitor and it works fine, I changed the display settings to 800×600 lowest setting 60hz no change after a reboot, I removed the old drivers and used generic windows xp video drivers.. notta

    with the lcd working normally to the point of the windows xp logo, it would appear that high res graphics are whats putting it out? the GUI for XP as an example? with the external working fine, i would say the video adapter itself is functioning, so would replacing the LCD be the solution? or the inverter board by itself ?

  31. I recently had a problem with my Dell Inspiron 120 LCD going out after post 3-10 seconds LCD was lit then dark. The computer was booting into Windows with a dark screen. I Plugged up an external CRT monitor then booted up with windows operating and then reloaded the video driver from the control panel/system icon/Hardware tab/Device manager button/display adapter steps. It’s now working.

  32. Jon Joseba

    Hi! my problem is different; the laptop is a Toshiba M55, an at first the screen became black but i connected it to an external monitor and the problem dissapeared. However, a guy saw the laptop, but since he took up it, it doesn´t works in an external monitor, the wifi led doesn´t switch on, and the capital letter led too. The laptop runs, but i don´t know exactly what is running…i´m dissambling it to check it, and i think the problem is the motherboard. Any suggestion?

    Sorry for my English, I´m from Spain.

  33. A friend laptop battery is no working so its always connect to electricity but after unplugging the charger line the time resets back to 1980 and the date too resets. what could be the problem?

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