Windows 7 Laptop display bad, external display fine?


New Member
I have a dell inspiron 1720 hooked up to a acer external monitor. When I first hooked up the laptop to the display it worked fine. No problems. I have a nvidia gefore 8600 gt card and I have updated the driver to the windows 7 driver. Well all of a sudden my laptop display stopped coming on. On my laptop the screen is black and you can see a very very faint picture on it. I tried unplugging the external monitor and it didin't work. I unplugged the power and the battery and restarted numerous times. A couple of times I got the dell loading screen to come up but then it went back to the black faint screen. One time I got the windows 7 booting up screen to show but again went to the faint black screen a few seconds later. Its not the brightness turned down either because the screen is totally black and you can barley make out a faint picture of my desktop on it. Only if you look at it a certain way when the light hits it. Any help would be appreciated.
It sounds like the backlight has burned out.
If so, your screen is done for without some expensive repairs.
Most likely the backlight. This is a cold cathode flourescent tube about the diameter of a #2 pencil lead. Cheap, but difficult to replace - yet it can be done. I tried to replace one once, but was unsuccessful, and would not try it again. I have had a backlight fail on me twice.

Could be the inverter or cable connections to the inverter. I dropped my padded briefcase once with my laptop inside. Soon after I was having backlight problems. Took it in for service and it turned out to be a poor inverter cable connection. The inverter is usually located in the display lid.

Could be the display lid switch, but not so likely.

I recommend if your laptop is in warranty, get them to fix it. If it is out of warranty, you can usually buy a used display lid complete on ebay for a reasonable price. I have gone this route twice with fine success. IMO it is easier to replace the entire display lid than to replace the LCD panel itself. The backlight is built into the LCD panel. My experience is with ThinkPads, but I guess Dell would be similar in difficulty regarding replacing the display lid.
thanks thats sounds good. yeah i took out the display and unhooked the cables but no success. i'm going to try to get dell to replace the backlight. we will see what happens. i hate having to call in for customer service. your always on the phone with them for freaking hours.