Troubleshooting Dim Laptop Screens

Depending on the generation of the laptop in question, there are a few reasons why your screen may be dim. But first let's define what a dim laptop screen really is. A dim laptop screen is when a laptop screen is so dim that you need an external lightsource to view it, however at the right angle or illumination it can be seen that it the laptop itself is outputting information to it, yet is not easily viewed without assistance

In order to properly diagnose a dim laptop screen we need to determine the type of Laptop Screen you have. There are two styles, the first style which was common until the last year or two is called the CCFL/Inverter style. This type of screen uses a compact fluorescent bulb (not the same as in our home lamps, but similar concept).

Or you could have what is called a LED Screen, Both Laptops use a liquid crystal displays or LCD as we commonly call them to display the information, however they are illuminated differently. A LED Based screen does not use an inverter based system since the voltages required are not near as high as they are for the CCFL based screen.

Alright, so take a minute and identify the type of screen you have, and then jump to the next part.

Troubleshooting Dim Laptop Screen on CCFL based laptop:

First you will need to remove the bezel, then you will find on the lower part of the screen a long thin circuit board that will be mounted to the back of the screen surround. Take this to a small computer repair shop, and ask if they have a used one you can buy for testing for around $10.00, or order a comparable part off of eBay they should cost less than $20.00 dollars in most cases. Spend money? Yes, because it will cost you significantly less then having any local computer store or Best Buy repair it for you.

If this doesn't resolve the issue, then we know it is the screen. I recommend they have the best prices in the industry even when you add in their shipping costs. They do not use ground shipping they only ship 3 day UPS, or FEDEX.

Troubleshooting LED Dim Laptop Screens can be a little more tricky.

Usually this will require removing the top plate on your laptop in order to access the motherboard from there you need to locate where the ribbon cable connects to the motherboard. Once you have located the ribbon connector on the motherboard you will need to thoroughly examine the motherboard for a fuse that is extremely tiny, but if you look for printing that will say something along the lines of F1= 32V, 3A or anything along those lines you are on the right track. If you are not sure how to disassemble your laptop, either take it to an expert, or if you have an adventurous spirit, jump on YouTube, and most of the time you can find a video for most models of laptops, showing you step by step how to tear them down.

Once you have located the fuse you need to use a multi-meter in order to test it for continuity, if it fails to pass the continuity test this means you have a bad fuse. If it passes the continuity test it is time to replace the screen as this means the voltage is getting to the screen but the circuitry on the screen itself is not lighting the bulb.

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