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Display / Driver / Inverter(?) issues

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Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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October 22, 2012 7:01:01 PM

Windows 7 64bit
HP 2000 Notebook PC
Intel Pentium CPU B950 @ 2.10GHz
4GB RAM
No graphics card


Okay so here's the problem:

(1) I power on the laptop and the pre-BIOS screen appears that says "PRESS ESC KEY TO ENTER BOOT MENU".
(2)However as soon as the BIOS screen comes on, or if I press the ESC key for the boot menu, the laptop screen goes blank, but the backlight is still on.
(3)I can see that the system's processes are still running fine, because the screen flickers occasionally and it shoes the normal startup procedure.
(4)I can boot into Windows because it's the first option at the boot menu(just press Enter), once Windows boots and I'm at the login screen, the display works fine again. But only if I have an external monitor plugged in.

With the external monitor plugged in, the display works from the login screen onwards. I tried rolling back the drivers and updating them but neither works, I also tried taking the battery out and holding the power button for 60seconds+. I can't get into the BIOS to change any settings because I can't see what I'm doing. I can't use Ubuntu Live because the display issue is still present. I searched around and it seems it could be the inverter but I have no idea what that is or what it does.

Any help?
October 22, 2012 7:31:23 PM

On accessing the BIOS:
If you hook up an external keyboard and mouse, and boot with the laptop closed, does the BIOS show on the external monitor?
You can't access bios because the laptop doesn't natively output on the external monitor. You can try different ports (hdmi, vga, etc) to try to find one that does output during boot; however the laptop may not let you do it.

As far as the laptop display is concerned: Can you wiggle/tap the display and get any output to show up?

If you hold a strong light in front of the display, can you see any pixels working correctly? (I'm honestly not sure if this could work, but I usually try it).

My guess is it's either the panel or the inverter (and I'm leaning towards the inverter, since it works for a few seconds before cutting out). The drivers cannot be causing your issue, because they don't load until Windows does (when your external monitor is activating).
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October 22, 2012 9:00:36 PM

djscribbles said:
On accessing the BIOS:
If you hook up an external keyboard and mouse, and boot with the laptop closed, does the BIOS show on the external monitor?

As far as the laptop display is concerned: Can you wiggle/tap the display and get any output to show up?

If you hold a strong light in front of the display, can you see any pixels working correctly? (I'm honestly not sure if this could work, but I usually try it).
I'll try these and report back.


You can't access bios because the laptop doesn't natively output on the external monitor. You can try different ports (hdmi, vga, etc) to try to find one that does output during boot; however the laptop may not let you do it.

My guess is it's either the panel or the inverter (and I'm leaning towards the inverter, since it works for a few seconds before cutting out). The drivers cannot be causing your issue, because they don't load until Windows does (when your external monitor is activating). said:
You can't access bios because the laptop doesn't natively output on the external monitor. You can try different ports (hdmi, vga, etc) to try to find one that does output during boot; however the laptop may not let you do it.

My guess is it's either the panel or the inverter (and I'm leaning towards the inverter, since it works for a few seconds before cutting out). The drivers cannot be causing your issue, because they don't load until Windows does (when your external monitor is activating).
The laptop only has a VGA port. If the issue was the inverter, how complicated would it be to fix that? And how much would it cost?
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Related resources
October 22, 2012 9:09:45 PM

There's a video on youtube that shows you how to replace the inverter. Here's a link to one, although he talks about replacing the screen, the inverter is right next to the bottom of the screen so it pretty much shows you how to do it.

watch?v=WKeisMQHmZo
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October 22, 2012 10:30:36 PM

I tried the suggestions and neither worked, so does that mean the problem is the inverter?
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October 22, 2012 10:40:57 PM

If the things on accessing the bios didn't work then that sounds like more of a video card problem in my opinion. It's kinda hard to tell without having the laptop in front of me thou.
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October 22, 2012 11:03:53 PM

memadmax said:
If the things on accessing the bios didn't work then that sounds like more of a video card problem in my opinion. It's kinda hard to tell without having the laptop in front of me thou.

But how could it be a problem with the video card? I don't even have one in there, it's onboard graphics, and it was working previously.

I know what you mean though about having it in front of you. Not sure why it's easier to problem solve that way.
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Best solution

October 23, 2012 1:55:47 PM

memadmax said:
If the things on accessing the bios didn't work then that sounds like more of a video card problem in my opinion. It's kinda hard to tell without having the laptop in front of me thou.


He can see the desktop on an external display once windows loads. That, to me, absolves the video card (aka the integrated graphics chip). He can't see the bios because the laptop display cuts out soon after boot, and the external vga doesn't show anything by default at startup.

@OP: Because you report that the backlight stays on for the laptop display despite the screen going black (and staying that way for good), I would presume the panel is the issue. If it were the inverter, the backlight would turn off, and you would (in theory) be able to see the contents of the screen when you shine a flashlight on it.
I however, am not an expert on laptop displays, so if anyone want's to chime in to support/refute my conclusion, please do so; to me this makes sense.
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November 8, 2012 12:01:08 AM

djscribbles said:
He can see the desktop on an external display once windows loads. That, to me, absolves the video card (aka the integrated graphics chip). He can't see the bios because the laptop display cuts out soon after boot, and the external vga doesn't show anything by default at startup.

@OP: Because you report that the backlight stays on for the laptop display despite the screen going black (and staying that way for good), I would presume the panel is the issue. If it were the inverter, the backlight would turn off, and you would (in theory) be able to see the contents of the screen when you shine a flashlight on it.
I however, am not an expert on laptop displays, so if anyone want's to chime in to support/refute my conclusion, please do so; to me this makes sense.

How would I fix it though? And about how much would it cost?
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November 8, 2012 3:43:52 AM

look on amazon/ebay for a replacement screen for your specific laptop model, the screen may cost between $50-100 or more. To replace it, the method will also depend on your model.

My asus it takes 2 screws to a small cover, where the display connects, then 4 screws to release the hinges. Not exceedingly difficult on mine, but it's going to depend how it's made.
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November 18, 2012 10:39:06 AM

Best answer selected by Aquanet.
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