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The back-light which lights up my LCD monitor on my laptop stopped working.

What are my options for repairing this problem? Currently, I can barely see the screen and have to use a flashlight to make out more of what's going on.

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+1 for using a flashlight. – user1596 Jul 16 '09 at 17:30

You can replace it - here's a detailed walk-through with photos. Be careful though, this isn't a trivial task.

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Another possibility could be the inverter. Check to see if there are other cases of this with your version of the Sony VAIO.


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+1, but careful with sony goods. They tend to have proprietary/non-generic parts. – Aiden Bell Jul 16 '09 at 21:06

IMHO, it is generally not worth fixing. The cost for a new LCD + labor (your personal time counts too!) exceeds that of a new computer.

You can probably get a new laptop for around $600 to $800 and it'd probably be faster and have more RAM than your current one. It's unfortunate but usually true.

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I agree with JFV, it sounds like the inverter ... I would be careful with Sony however. The inverters I have replaced have been using voltage matched generic units for pretty standard setups.

If your system is newer (the XBlack type ones) then you might have trouble finding the spare. A generic one wont work.

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If you have the skills (really just basic mechanical and a little soldering), and the patience, repairing the bulb can be quite productive as well as giving you a great sense of accomplishment!

Keep in mind though it MIGHT also be the inverter (probably even easier to fix).

I replaced the backlight in my ThinkPad last year some time and it's still going strong. It's really not that hard, just be VERY careful to take note of where everything comes apart so you can put it all back together in the right way again.

And go to extra lengths to make sure you do not have dust between the glass when reassembling! That is the only mistake I made, and now there are flecks of schmutz on my screen which I cannot get off, because they aren't really ON it, but IN it!

All said and done, I replaced it with a set of small screwdrivers, a soldering gun, two-hours of my time, and a $15 part from eBay! And it's extended the life of my laptop considerably.

I had thought my laptop was dead beyond rescue. Especially when a local repair shop told me they don't do monitors because it's not worth it. But it was relatively quick, easy (though intricate) and saved FAR more money than the mere $15.00 I spent to repair it. Honestly I'm not sure why repair shops DON'T do this, as it would be a procedure on which they could have a pretty high profit-margin. Whatever...

Your biggest problem will be finding the replacement parts.

Good luck and have fun!

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