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Help! Lenovo T61 - LCD, inverter or backlight?


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#1 debpicks

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Posted 29 March 2010 - 11:20 PM

:thumbsup: I'm hoping you guys can help me out. The display/screen on my Lenovo T61 is very, very dark. For a day or two, the screen would stay on for a while and then go "black". It would sometimes come back on if I played with the position of the lid (almost closing it would make the screen brighten back up). Eventually, it just went black right after I got the logon screen. It works fine on an external monitor. I can see the display if I shine a flashlight on it. It's restored to back to factory settings.

I looked around on this sight and tried to figure out what was wrong. Based on what i read, I thought is was either the inverter or the backlight because I could still see the display with a flashlight. Took it into the repair shop and received an email telling me I need a new LCD screen. I thought that if you could still see the display with a bright light shining on the screen that the LCD itself was OK.

Please help me out here. I'm afraid that the repair shop might be trying to take advantage of me because based my age and manner, it's probably obvious I don't know much about computers. From what I understand, replacing the screen is more costly than replacing either the inverter card or backlight. Am I wrong?

Help, please!

Thanks,
deb

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#2 MrBruce1959

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Posted 29 March 2010 - 11:42 PM

Based on what you have told us, there is a possibility the repair shop is correct.

However being that we are on the Internet and can not actually see what is happening, we're left with nothing but our imaginations.

The second possibility, is that the wiring which connects between the circuit board in the laptop's base unit and the LCD screen's controller board, may have shorted out, or the wiring has created an open circuit.

The closing of the cover may cause the over stressed wiring to make a temporary connection to the LCD's back lighting circuit.

As I can not inspect how the unit is assembled, its hard to say if the wiring behind the LCD unit is hard-wired or modularly connected, if the first is the case here, that means the whole unit has to be replaced as one.
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#3 debpicks

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Posted 30 March 2010 - 12:08 AM

Thanks for your response and please excuse my ingnorance but can you tell me what wiring behind the LCD are you referring to as being modular or hardwired? Are you talking about the wiring in the hinges because as far as I know the backlight and LCD screen on the T61 are completely separate electrically.

I'm probably not understanding your explanation, am I....?

#4 MrBruce1959

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Posted 30 March 2010 - 12:30 AM

Thanks for your response and please excuse my ingnorance but can you tell me what wiring behind the LCD are you referring to as being modular or hardwired? Are you talking about the wiring in the hinges because as far as I know the backlight and LCD screen on the T61 are completely separate electrically.

I'm probably not understanding your explanation, am I....?


We are both on the same path here, modular means the wiring has a plug at each end, it is simple to just replace the wiring in this case since it unplugs.

If the wiring is not modular, this means one end is soldered into place on one of the circuit boards, with laptops being known to have miniature (micro) electronics built into them, this requires a microscope and a fine tipped solder iron in order to correctly do the repair. Sadly the world has gone to disposable electronics technology and makes some repairs not worth the cost.

Yes the wiring in laptops and even cell phones goes through the hinges of the device to reach the LCD screen above and the LCD screen's back light as well, as the screen is opened and closed over and over the wires tend to give out and break inside their rubber casings.
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#5 debpicks

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Posted 30 March 2010 - 12:57 AM

Ok, then. According the the maintenance manual, nothing is soldered. Here's the portion of the manual that explains how to install a new LCD assembly. Just connectors, same for the inverter card. So I'm pretty sure it's all modular. The manual shows that most parts are modular. I don't know how to include the pictures in this post. So no soldering, right?

Table 30. Removal steps of LCD assembly (continued)

When installing: 1. Route the antenna cables along the cable guides and secure them with the tapes. As you route the cables, make sure that they are not subjected to any tension. Tension could cause the cables to be damaged by the cable guides, or a wire to be broken. 2. Make sure that the LCD connector is attached firmly.


2020 Inverter card For access, remove these FRUs in order: v “1010 Battery pack” on page 62 v “2010 LCD front bezel and LCD rear cover (LCD cover kit)” on page 10


Table 37. Removal steps of inverter card


M2 × 3.5 mm, flat-head, nylon-coated (2)(screws)
Black

When installing: Make sure that connectors 3 and 4 (which are plug kind of connecters) are attached firmly.

#6 MrBruce1959

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Posted 30 March 2010 - 01:36 AM

I would have to agree with you on this and I figure if you had known this before, you would have ordered the wire and done it yourself and save a lot of money.

Because the repair parts are available for laptops all over the Internet.

That's why there are web sites like this, where people can ask questions first and get answers/suggestions before doing something.

Being that you have a repair manual handy, you could have done it yourself.
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#7 debpicks

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Posted 30 March 2010 - 09:54 AM

No, I don't really think I could have fixed it myself because
(a) in reality I'm not handy and would have totally destroyed it and
(:thumbsup: because I don't know if it's the LCD cable assembly or the LCD screen itself. the inverter card or the bulb.
If it's the connection in the hinge, I can't see any exposed wiring or plugs on the actual hinges.

Do you feel pretty confident that my actual LCD is fine since it's readable? I know that it's impossible to say for sure but everything I've read here and elsewhere, lead me to believe my actual LCD if fine.

I'm tempted to confront the repair shop. They quoted me the most expensive possibility of repairs for a display issue at the highest end of the range charging $145.00 for the part plus labor. $230.00 total.

Repairing the inverter panel would be $130.00 to $150.00 and repairing the backlight $180.00.

Hmmmm. I feel totally cornered. Any advice?

#8 debpicks

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Posted 30 March 2010 - 10:43 AM

The repair shop said that the backlight/bulb on my T61 laptop with a Samsung screen is bad. They said they have replaced the light before on this type of screen and it doesn't work well and "I will not be happy because it will cause "shadows" on the display." So they have to replace the whole LCD screen. Sound like it makes any sense? Isn't a bulb just a bulb? Especially if you're installing it with all the same hardware as before????

#9 MrBruce1959

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Posted 30 March 2010 - 12:23 PM

Well, I know it is hard to hear someone tell you you have to spend a lot of money to repair something you'd hope would last forever, and I understand where you are coming from here.

I have not checked out a repair manual for this specific model, to see if it actually warrants the replacement of both the back light and screen assembly, I would only hope the shop you took it to, is being honest and fair with their decision to replace both.

Below is a link you might find interesting, it is a Toshiba web page that has numerous manuals for disassembling various Toshiba laptops, you could look over a few of them to see how laptops are put together and such. http://www.irisvista.com/tech/

Other than that, if the shop is an reputable one, then I would believe they know what they are talking about.
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