Computer Consulting Services Serving Greencastle, Mercersburg, Waynesboro, Chambersburg, Hagerstown, and the Surrounding Areas Since 2004
Copyright: Ryan’s C.C.S. 2004-2013 (717)597-8687
Broken Laptop Screen | LCD Replacement
Laptops are great until the screen breaks and then they are seemingly useless. There
are few common ways a laptop screen breaks or is broken. In this article we will
discuss the common ways a laptop screen is broken or breaks and whether or not it
is better to buy a new notebook or replace the screen. If you are a local to the
Greencastle, PA area, RCCS can assist you in diagnosing your problem and repair your
laptop, you can call or use our contact page to drop us a line.
Common LCD Failures, Breaks:
• Screen is blank
• Screen is dim (can see an image, but not very well)
• Screen has vertical or horizontal lines.
• Screen has random dots of color or lack of color.
• Screen has splotches of color or hued in one area.
• Cracked or physical damage to display.
• Stays on for a while, but turns off randomly.
• Boots, but doesn't go into Windows (typically blank screen with flashing cursor)
Find A New or Used Laptop Screen at eBay!
We are not going to cover every possible scenario here, however the above is the
most common of LCD failures in a laptop. Let's start with the basic stuff. If you
have no screen at all and it is looking at you blank (and black), try connecting
an external monitor up to the laptop to see if it will display on that first. This
will immediately tell you if the screen is bad or if it is something inside the computer
such as the video card, CPU, motherboard, or memory. Once you have determined that
the screen works with an external monitor then we can proceed with the different
• Screen is blank and external monitor shows a display: There is a board level
failure. LCD is likely to need replaced.
• Screen is dim, images are barely visible and hard to see: Needs a new backlight.
• Vertical and/or horizontal lines: Bad communication between LCD and motherboard,
possibly damaged ribbon cable, bad video card (should see on external monitor as
well), and altogether just need a new screen.
• Random dots of color: We call these dead pixels. Dead pixels is a dot of color
stuck in an on or off state of a single or no color. You will need to replace the
screen if you are having this problem.
• Cracked Display: Screen replacement.
• Screen stays on for a while, but shuts off randomly: This type of problem can
be tricky. The issue is either the inverter or a backlight. The backlight normally
flickers or gives a orange or pink hue to the screen instead of a solid white where
white is supposed to be. However, if the display just turns off without warning,
the inverter is more likely the issue. Keep in mind this is not to be confused with
the computer randomly turning off. The computer (laptop) should still be on while
this happens. If you entire system is shutting off this could be a larger problem
such as over heating, or electrical failures in the motherboard.
• When the computer is booted, you may see the manufacturer display and then the
screen goes to a blank black screen, maybe with a flashing cursor. Likely this isn't
a bad screen at all, but more likely a hard drive failure. If your hard drive has
failed mechanically and your data isn't recoverable, we recommend you check out our
We mentioned the word "backlight" and "inverter" earlier. You may ask what they
are. A back light is a small cold cathode fluorescent light bulb or CCFL for short.
You are already familiar with these in everyday life on a larger scale when you
walk into a department store or in a work place. The light that lights up a LCD
screen is a really small version of a fluorescent light bulb you would use to light
a room. Replacing these can be very inexpensive (if the laptop screen doesn't use
a proprietary connection or type of bulb) versus buying a whole new screen. However,
this requires surgery on your laptop and is a tedious process to take everything
apart and back together again.
A LCD inverter is a device that changes DC (Direct Current) back to AC (Alternating
Current) for the backlight. That is why if the screen just shuts off and the rest
of the computer remains running, the inverter is likely the cause.
When purchasing a new LCD screen consider only buying the screen and not the entire
housing. You will save a lot of money doing it this way, it just requires to be
installed into the existing housing of your laptop. Backlights will require soldering
know how and patient hands. Inverters are typically the easiest thing to replace,
but still require some dis-assembly of the LCD housing. Above all, always unplug
all power and exercise static electricity safety when working on any electronics.