Dark screen Acer Aspire 5100

  Nogueras 11:42 03 Oct 09

My Acer Aspire screen is fading as I use it over the months. There are no areas which are lighter or darker than anywhere else,there is no flickering from the backlight and no lines etc. Can anyone tell me, is the trouble possibly caused by a fading backlight or the backlight inverter?
The screen comes up immediately and is very evenly illuminated, but difficult to see in bright light.
Thanks for any advice.

  woodchip 12:41 03 Oct 09

looks like the back light is on its way out either that or the inverter

  mooly 13:01 03 Oct 09

Silly question... do the brightness controls work OK ?

  Nogueras 13:03 03 Oct 09

Thanks Woodchip, but as the inverter is a lot easier to replace I was hoping someone would know how to check its output voltage, or which was the most likely fault. The backlight change would be almost an impossible task I think.

  Nogueras 13:04 03 Oct 09

Sorry, Mooly, forgot to say it is a Laptop.

  mooly 13:19 03 Oct 09

:) So do the brightness hotkeys work ? FN and whatever it is, usually the left/right arrows.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 13:22 03 Oct 09

Testing inverters is not for the faint of heart as they can pack very high voltages, up to 1000V or more. The problem with testing inverters comes from the fact that they must be under load to produce the voltage. A multimeter alone can't do it.
The easiest way to test an inverter is with a known working CCFL bulb.
Or you could buy a tester click here

There are 4 main areas that may cause screen prblems:

1-The inverter,this usually seen as a sudden loss of the backlight but the image is still slightly visible

****2-The CCFL bulbs, dimming and discoloration over a period of time then finally going out.****

3-The LCD cable feeding power the inverter. No power getting to the inverter.

4-The small pin switch activated by the lid closing is stuck. This turns off the CCFLs when depressed, try pressing it a few times to see if the LCD lights up. In some cases of newer laptops there is no pin switch but they have a magnetic switch hidden under the case that can't be activated without closing the lid.

  Nogueras 16:21 03 Oct 09

Many thanks Woodchip, Mooly and Fruit Bat for your help. But I must be thick, and its certainly not in the manual, my laptop is a 5100, what are the FN keys etc., which hopefully change brightness of the screen? Do you mean Function keys 1 to 12? I've also checked the charger off/on which apparently can affect the brightness - it doesn't.
I've been hoping that as the laptop is only 2 1/2 years old, not much use, that the tube hasn't gone. My Packard-Bell laptop has been on 12 hours every day for nearly 5 years and is still bright.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 16:25 03 Oct 09

"what are the FN keys"

there will be a key Fn (usualy bottom left of keyboard) it gives access to the FuNctions on the other keys that are usually printed in blue on the key

i.e works similar to the shift key

  woodchip 16:27 03 Oct 09

On my HP Laptop fn key is bottom left with a square round fn letters could be blue or white. Press this at the same time as you press any letters on the top Row in Blue or White with square round them

  Nogueras 16:40 03 Oct 09

Well thats great Fruit Bat and Woodchip, problem solved!! Fn key and left/right do exactly as you say they should - screen is really bright now. Thanks a lot.

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