Laptop Screen Repair Troubleshooting Steps
Like most computer problems, a laptop screen repair is diagnosed by a process of elimination. There are 5 major components to a laptop screen: the laptop LCD or LED screen itself, the backlight, the flex cable, the inverter and the motherboard. Sometimes, the immediate cause of the problem is apparent when the laptop screen has cracked or broken due to physical trauma. Other times, the source of the problem is not so obvious (as is the case when the screen is dim). In this article, we will cover the troubleshooting steps of a laptop screen repair.
The first step is to confirm that we are dealing with a laptop screen repair and not a power failure or other laptop issue. This is done by making sure that the laptop is powering up properly. If the display on your screen is correct and you can see your laptop booting through the bios and into Windows, then you have established that the rest of the machine seems to be working fine.
Alternatively, if the screen is broken and all you see are cracks, ink blots and lines, then you will need to plug the laptop into an external display (a desktop screen) and troubleshoot from there. If the external display is not showing a correct display of the boot-up process but you can hear the laptop turning on properly (normal beeps, fans spinning, hard drive spinning) then you will need to confirm that the external monitor is functional. If it is, there is a mother board issue that will not be resolved by replacing the screen.
Now that you have plugged the laptop into an external display and seen that it is booting up properly, it is time to identify the main issue. If the screen is just black or dark, use a flashlight to illuminate the screen around the top left corner or center. If you can see the display with the help of the flashlight, then we know the screen is receiving data properly but isn’t lighting up. This will either be an inverter issue (test with voltmeter to confirm electrical output) or a backlight problem. If the inverter is faulty, you will need to replace it with a new one. If the inverter is functional, then it is strongly recommended to replace the laptop screen instead of trying to fix the backlight. That repair is hazardous and requires expertise.
If the laptop screen is not dim but there is no display on the laptop (but there is on the external monitor), it is time to trying replacing the laptop screen. Most laptop screen repairs are due to a damaged screen or backlight. However, you may also experience situations where random dots start appearing on the screen, vertical or horizontal lines appear across the entire screen, a growing discoloration of an area is present of a sort of stain is developing. In all these cases, you will need to compare the laptop display to the external display. If the external display does not recreate those issues, you should replace the laptop screen.
Laptop screen repairs are a delicate operation. While it is possible to “do-it-yourself”, keep in mind that you will be dealing with very fragile parts and plastics, small screws, the possibility of further damaging the unit and finally voiding your warranty. We strongly recommend employing a professional shop for laptop screen repairs as the cost difference is usually worth the peace of mind and warranty on the repair.