Thursday 2 February 2012

Laptop with White Screen

Presented with a laptop that has a flickering screen my first assumption is that there is a loose cable.
Dismantle and repair connection. Put it all back together and there is a worrying sensation when there is nothing but a white screen. At this point the mind can go blank in a panic as the customer walks through the door. What caused the screen to become white?

Retracing steps back is a very good way to start. This most recent part that was inspected was the cable connecting the screen to the motherboard. A wiggle and fingers crossed, all is better. Reassemble and reboot but still there is a white screen. Revisiting the cable connection and my memory kicks in and reminds me that the connector had been removed and reinserted. What is wrong? A very close inspection of the pins shows that two of them are not connecting properly. This is a very awkward job to fix. A good magnifying glass and light are essential. Attempt to straighten the pins using the utmost care and then replace the connector. Hope that the pins do not break. Reassemble the laptop and the screen should display the desktop.

If the problem is on a PC the method for resolution is similar. Most likely there are wires that are not connecting. Attempt to find the fault by tracing back starting from the screen. It's beneficial to have a spare screen to try on a PC or laptop for when screens go blank. There are Fn switching keys on laptops that allow switching between monitors. Check the service manual here for details because laptop key positions are usually different. On a pc simply disconnect and apply the testing screen. If the testing screen works fine then the problem is most likely with the monitor. If not check the cable connection and closely inspect the pins. Take care when straightening pins on the motherboard. It can make future repair uneconomical and difficult to explain to a customer.

If no pins need straightening then consider swapping the cable for another. The last piece of hardware to suspect is the graphics card. Since it is the main part responsible for delivering graphics, problems with it can rise into the hundreds of dollars but flickering is generally not a symptom of a faulty card. That is a classic loose cable fault.

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