Dim Laptop Screen

By sundance1947
Oct 14, 2008
  1. I have a Dell Inspiron 9400 notebook. I keep my laptop on all the time, and in the morning when I open the case, the screen is fine.

    After severaI minutes, the left 1/3 of the screen becomes just dim enough to be unable to read anything. If I open the case after closing it for an hour, it is fine again, but only for a few minutes. The display dims again.

    Any ideas?,
  2. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    I'd say the display orange data cable requires replacing
    Sadly Dell sell these $5 items for about $800 (because they include the screen and all)
    Actually if it's under hardware warranty it's free

    Otherwise you may need to pull it apart to find the data cable part number printed on it, and then search for one online (Google's a good start) They use two different screens (and therefore data cables) so there is no way of knowing what you have, unless you pull it apart (and unscrew it of course)
  3. sundance1947

    sundance1947 TS Rookie Topic Starter


    Thanks Kim,

    Are you talking about the inverter?

  4. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    The Inverter (problem) would do the entire screen dim
    I say the flat data cable, as most likely cause
  5. InsaneVr6

    InsaneVr6 TS Enthusiast Posts: 221

    Most likely it is the flat data cable that connects the motherboard and the monitor (like kimsland said). Or it might be your backlight going out depending upon how it is set up.
  6. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    I do agree it could actually be the screen :(
    But because you move the screen and it comes back ok, I think data cable
    About 70/30 70% being data cable
  7. sundance1947

    sundance1947 TS Rookie Topic Starter


    What I don't understand is that the screen is perfectly fine for the first several minutes after I have opened the case. Only then does the left 1/3 id the screen becomes dim.

  8. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    I believe it is to do with heat

    So did you end up
    removing the bezel and any grumets and screws
    and screws x 4 and lowering the screen
    and unplugging the Inverter cable
    and then viewing the data cable?

    There are two steps here

    1. Unplug, then replug the slim data cable (note it may have clips, and it goes in a long way)
    2. Reading the part number stamped on the cable (and for that matter the screen p/n and make

    I found a good example page h e r e in dismantling the screen
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