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LCD panel on Thinkpad went dark

By El Viejo
Apr 18, 2006
  1. Got a problem with my display/LCD panel on my IBM Thinkpad A31, approx. 3+ years old, running Windows XP. It's a 1024x768 TFT LCD panel. It started to dim intermittently, almost a flicker, similar to when you're working on-and-off the battery, then it went dark. I checked the power and it was ok. I hit the Fn key and F7 twice and recovered the screen. It became more frequent and the recovery time gradually shortened until it went dark altogether. In case it makes a difference, when I boot up, the screen lights up for a short period of time before it goes dark. And if I repeat the Fn/F7 cycle, the light comes on only for a second or two. I hooked up an external monitor and have been using that until I get a proper fix.

    Does anyone have an idea what's going on? If yes, what do you suggest?

    Thanks in advance, El Viejo
     
  2. howard_hopkinso

    howard_hopkinso TS Rookie Posts: 24,177   +19

    Maybe it`s time for a new screen, but they aint cheap. Look HERE.

    Regards Howard :)
     
  3. Vigilante

    Vigilante TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,666

    I have an A31 and my backlight went out as well. Had it replaced under warranty though.

    Tell me, when the screen goes dark, can you still make out the image on the screen? Perhaps in the right lighting condition you should still be able to see what's going on, even tell where you moue is etc...
    If the image is still there, then your backlight, or possibly some inverter board or power supply, is going bad.

    I've had this exact same problem on another laptop, where a full screen refresh, such as you do, brings it back for a bit. Something in there was bad. You will likely have to send it in to a repair shop.

    I suggest these guys:
    http://www.laptop-doctor.com/

    I believe you get a free diagnostic to tell you how much it will cost to fix. We've sent probably 50 laptops to them, good work.

    Anyway, hope you get it fixed, but I don't think there is much you can do yourself. If it's one of those parts.
     
  4. El Viejo

    El Viejo TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks!

    Thanks for your reply!

    Yes, I can make out the image, given the right lighting conditions.

    When you send in your laptops to the Laptop Doctor, do you pull out the HDD for security reasons?

    Thanks again for your input!

    Viejo
     
  5. Vigilante

    Vigilante TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,666

    We never had to remove parts, just send the laptop and power cord. Remove your PCMCIA cards or other external things like that.

    Just so you know, because they work on systems from all over the US, they are pretty busy and you could be without it for a matter of weeks. But give them a call and find out.

    Good luck
     
  6. El Viejo

    El Viejo TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Vigilante - thanks again! Viejo
     
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