Like the title suggests. I have an intermittent issue with the back-light not working when the machine starts up.

The screen still displays graphics just very dimly. I checked the cables and they all looked fine (Not worn, cracked, twisted or split). I also heard a slight buzzing noise from the Inverter. So I replaced that as it was a $15 part.

While the issue seemed to go away, it did not. Right now the backlight doesn't come on at all. I'm sure the backlight could be the problem. But I guess I'm looking for a confirmation from anyone who has experienced a similar issue. Should I just replace the backlight and report back?

  • If your backlight is trivially accessible, then you could go ahead. There is a chance that the backlight is integrated into the screen and that you might need to disassemble screen to access the backlight. The process isn't very complex, but is assembling LCD screens is, in my experience at least very very difficult. They are extremely fragile and can very easily brake. – AndrejaKo Jul 15 '10 at 17:12

Suggested fix: Test the new inverter with a multimeter (I'm not sure of the exact procedure). It's possible (though highly unlikely) that two inverters in a row were defective. It's also possible that the cable from the inverter to the rest of the computer is damaged, so test that with a multimeter if you can. If the inverter and the cable behind it are good, then replace the lcd panel. Usually the backlight is not easily removable from the lcd, and you're more than likely to damage the panel getting it apart.

MacGuyver fix: Wiggle the cables around to see if there's a break in the cable. If you do find a break in a cable and it's actual wires instead of a ribbon, find some equivalent wire and splice it in. Or find a position that the cables work in and tape them down securely. I have actually used the tape trick before when I couldn't find the correct replacement.

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  • 2
    WARNING, WARNING! Be aware that a laptop inverter carries a potentially life-threatening voltage when powered on (several hundred volts). Unless you are experienced and comfortable working in such conditions, do not go near the inverter! – sleske Mar 7 '11 at 18:00

If you do find a break in a cable and it's actual wires instead of a ribbon, find some equivalent wire and splice it in.

You can splice the ribbon cable too, but it is a royal pain in a butt. I have done it and it works. A magnifying glass and a lot of patience required though.

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