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Laptop dim; backlight/invertor to blame, or MOBO?

JoeslopJoeslop Registered User regular
So I've got this laptop that I bought back in 2007. Sometime last year the backlight started getting very dim. Whenever I hooked the laptop up to an external monitor it output just fine.

Oh, also, its an Acer Aspire 5100-5023. I've looked one Google and various places have told me it's the backlight going out, and another said it was something to do with the motherboard.

Is there an easy way to tell?

Joeslop on


  • travathiantravathian Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Sounds like the inverter. Are you planning on trying to repair it yourself?

    travathian on
  • Jubal77Jubal77 Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    When an inverter fails I usually can still see the picture in a well lit area. You just have to put your face as close as you can to the screen.

    Jubal77 on
  • TethTeth __BANNED USERS
    edited February 2010
    I used to have to repair laptops a lot at an old gig. I never worked on Acers, but on a lot of HP, Compaq, and Gateway laptops it was almost always the screen inverter as travathian said. This is typically a kind of backplane strip that sits above the keyboard or at the bottom of the LCD, and is actually a power supply for the LCD itself.

    Unfortunately, you won't know if it's the inverter unless you replace it with another. If it's still dim, it's probably the motherboard. In very rare circumstances I found that reseating all connections resolved the issue - especially with old laptops that saw a lot of wear and tear (the connection was a bit loose).

    The good news: I don't recall ever ordering an inverter that was more than about $60. Most seemed to be between $40-$50. And as is the case with all laptop components now days, they're trivial to install.

    Teth on
  • JoeslopJoeslop Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Yeah, I managed to stumble across a website where a guy specifically lists how to replace that particular item on that particular laptop and even has pictures. He also links to some ebay stores that sell the item for about $9.

    Can't lose much for that, I suppose.

    Joeslop on
  • NamonNamon Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    If it's a mobo the problem will probably manifest itself on an external monitor. Hook that up and switch over to it and see what the picture quality is. Although pretty much every dim LCD i've seen has been because of a failed inverter.

    Namon on
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