I have a Lenovo Thinkpad W500. A few days ago, the screen started going blank. Squeezing it generally caused it come back on. This progressed to the point where I had to squeeze it continuously to get an image on the screen.

I took apart the screen. Tickling the video cable caused the screen to come back on, for a time. After some more tickling, cable re-seating and what-not, I got to s state where the laptop would only show a very dim image with no backlight at all. I determined that this was due to a bad inverter and ordered one of those, plus a new screen for good measure.

I just installed the new screen and inverter, but I'm getting no image (not even the very dim, no-backlight variety). Am I right to assume that this must be due to a bad video cable? I've inspected the cable, and it has no visible tears or other damage. Also, the thinklight (signal carried by video cable) works fine.

The laptop is otherwise fine (I'm typing this on it), and displays output on external monitors.

Any other help on debugging this is greatly appreciated.

  • I've had the same problem on a Latitude D620 actually, exact same behavior as yours. If I recall correctly, this is most likely a PSU/motherboard thing. A new motherboard is probably your next course of action if you have the money.
    – digitxp
    Aug 3 '11 at 23:35

If external displays work fine, you're correct to assume this must be a bad video cable. There's nothing relevant other than the cable, the inverter, and the panel itself - except in the extremely unlikely event that there is something physically wrong with the connector on the motherboard where the video cable attaches. This would probably be obvious though (unless it's a short in a signal pin), and either way it's a hell of a lot easier to replace the cable first. (You know the video adapter itself is fine, or external monitors wouldn't work.) If the cable doesn't fix it, though, it probably is the extreme corner case, and you'd be looking at a motherboard replacement at that point.

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