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terribletai
02-09-2011, 11:12 AM
I have a Toshiba L550 laptop which I have been running with an external monitor in addition to the laptop screen for the last 12 months. A few days the screen on the laptop "blackscreened" (The laptop appears to start as usual but the screen is very dark, although it changes colour a little and you can see a very faint image) while the external monitor and the rest of the laptop runs normally. Actually the power consumption and cpu temperature are slightly lower than normal - for obvious reasons.

When the external monitor is not connected to the laptop, the screen appears normal on the majority of start ups. Intermittently the machine will "blackscreen" on start up. If the screen is active as normal on start up it will function as normal until shut down.

When the external monitor is connected to the laptop, the laptop screen will normally "blackscreen" on start up, occasionally flickering to life for seconds before dropping off again.

As stated at start this is a problem of a few days - not completely static - I think the frequency of "blackscreens" is increasing.

From my reading, this should be an inverter issue, either the connection or the inverter itself.

Took machine to a local computer shop (who I shall not name here) who:
did a virus scan - Found nothing
deleted malware - Could not tell me what malware they deleted
deleted temp files - I cleared temp files literally 20 minutes before dropping it off
adjusted start up - could not tell me what start up files they adjusted
adjusted screen brightness - I had intentionally set it on quite a low setting for energy savings
they then claim the systems tests ok - however if there are further problems they recommend a format and reload.

That load of rubbish cost me $77 and the machine is in exactly same state with same problem after 48 hours.
Any advice would be appreciated

pctek
02-09-2011, 01:31 PM
the screen on the laptop "blackscreened" (The laptop appears to start as usual but the screen is very dark, although it changes colour a little and you can see a very faint image)

When the external monitor is not connected to the laptop, the screen appears normal on the majority of start ups. Intermittently the machine will "blackscreen" on start up.
From my reading, this should be an inverter issue, either the connection or the inverter itself.



Backlighting I'd say.

And find a new tech, they didn't even look at the problem but just went onto the standard clean out thing. Why?

terribletai
02-09-2011, 01:52 PM
Thanks for the feedback. Described my problem to a different tech who said: inverter, cable, backlight or if incredibly unlucky screen itself, bring it in and we'll run some tests.

Not sure what was up with the last place - described exactly same way. I wondering how simple to replace an inverter is for a 1st timer. I have built a couple of towers but have only ever upgraded ram in a laptop.

wratterus
02-09-2011, 02:03 PM
Wouldn't a L550 have an LED backlit screen? No inverter...

wainuitech
02-09-2011, 02:27 PM
Assuming its This one (http://us.toshiba.com/computers/laptops/satellite/L500/L550-ST5702/) Under the Features Tab - then yep LED

Burnzee
02-09-2011, 03:47 PM
Hi Terribletai

Wondering if the lappie has been reconfigured wrong for an external display. For example, if it is configued for an external display, usually screen 2. With the external screen plugged in, goto the CONTROL PANEL, APPERANCE AND PERSONALIZATION then click CONNECT AN EXTERNAL DISPLAY. Check that EXTEND THESE DISPLAYS has been selected from the multiple displays box.

BURNZEE

terribletai
03-09-2011, 09:36 AM
Hi people.
Good points wainuitech/wratterus: It is pretty much that laptop. I just presumed laptop = lcd. Probably leans more to a backlight issue then.
Thanks for helping covering bases BURNZEE: It normally runs extended, and is currently running as such. I did try other display options: duplicate, only 1, only 2, main on 1, main on 2 etc: just to be sure it wasn't some crazy little windows display bug caused by a recent update etc.

wainuitech
03-09-2011, 10:12 AM
Just something to try --have a look at the refresh rates for the laptop, and the external monitor.

Going from memory - a few years back a customer of mine was similar problems, in the end it was discovered by playing around with the refresh rates and resolutions the monitor and laptop finally decided to play nice with one another. Try refresh rates of 50-60hz.
Also if the resolution(s) , for some displays are set to high this will cause all sorts of problems. One easy way to test this, is start the Laptop in safe mode by tapping F8 on startup, if both the laptop and monitor work fine then it could be a driver problem. Also if you have not done so, may pay to make sure the drivers are current.

Can you start the laptop, with the external monitor plugged in, then FN+F5 keys to switch to it ? Just thinking, there may be a problem if the laptop is trying to fire up both the Monitor and its own display all at once

Iantech
03-09-2011, 01:38 PM
Hi, I presume this does this when it is sitting on the desk plugged into the power, can you disconnect the power cable and running on battery does it still have the same problem?

A strange question and you might ask what the hell has that got to do with anything, but before you do, here is why I ask.

I had a client come to me recently with a 17" laptop (very nice), that had a dead screen, I plugged in an external monitor (which worked fine) and backed up all her data etc before taking it away and getting quote for a new screen ($650 + GST). Anyway long story short, while I still had it, she found her purchase invoice and found it was still 4 days within warranty, so I gave it back, she took it back to where she bought it. I got an email back from her several weeks later saying "Turned out the old computer's lead was causing the screen to malfunction. Thought you'd want to know".

First and only time I have come across this, and something I never thought to try - but I learn something new every time, and its something I will be aware of in future.

So, while in this case it may be a long shot, it may be worth considering.

Cheers & good luck solving your problem.

The Error Guy
03-09-2011, 01:55 PM
The symptoms described point at the CCFL tube or inverter in older displays or the LED backlight as found in the model you have.

Best course of action would be (as suggested) take it to another tech, the other one sounds like a complete idiot, or if you feel comfortable pretty much dismantling the entire laptop then you could purchase a replacement screen and DIY, although the amount of tiny things that can go wrong with laptops its probably better to take it to a service center, they should identify what is at fault, tell you how much the parts + service will cost etc. Some service people offer a warranty on their work and if the replacement screen is new then that *should* have its own warranty.

A bit off topic but I am part way through a project that requires an LCD screen as the display. The non working backlight isn't an issue as we strip it down for use anyway and use a custom backlight. If you live on the lower north island and want to sell the old screen I might be interested in purchasing.

Good luck with new tech