The LCD inverter manages the amount of light displayed on a laptop computer’s LCD screen. When the inverter is bad, the monitor can fade and become dimmer. Luckily, it is very possible that you do not have to replace the LCD monitor itself, which will frequently take you a lot more money. If the laptop display fuctions correctly after the computer turns on or comes out of the sleep mode, then there is nothing wrong with the LCD or inverter.
One can save hundreds of dollars by replacing a damaged or failed LCD monitor yourself but you have to be very prudent. You have to make sure that the LCD inverter is the reason of the problem. Then you have to select the correct LCD inverter parts that will match your particular laptop model. If the problems are not fixed after you replace the inverter, it can be that the problem is not the inverter. For instance, it can be the flex cable (also known as video cable) that links the inverter with the LCD monitor. For example, COMPAQ Presario’s have a bad habit of ruining the orange flex cable that goes through the hinges and connects the LCD to the main board. So work on your own risk. So long as you get the correct parts, replacing the inverter is relatively easy. No sophisticated tools are required. You can easily find instructions and demonstrations online. The procedures pretty similar for most laptops. (The first connector to remove is usually the simple flex cable which transmits the digital video signals addressing for the LCD matrix to the screen.)
A few laptop models are notorious in LCD inverter turning bad, including Dell Inspiron 1100, 1150, E1405, E1505, 1501, 5100, 6000, 6400 series, Dell Latitude D500, D600 series. According to our experience, Compaq/Pavilion DV4 series have a common problem of broken flex/video signal cable, instead of the LCD inverter problems. Dell Inspiron 1545 also have quite some problems with the LCD Video Cable.
If the backlight of your laptop stopped working and the image on the screen is so dim that you can hardly see it under bright light, most probably you have a failing inverter board. There is a good chance to fix the problem if you replace the inverter board. If you replace the inverter board but the image is still dim, most likely there is a problem with the backlight lamp inside the LCD screen. If that’s the case, try to replace the LCD screen. Note: it’s much easier to disassemble the laptop display panel when the display panel is taken apart from the laptop.
Syndromes of a failing LCD inverter can differ with different models of laptop computers. For example on a Dell laptop, the notebook started to get a whining noise right under the DELL logo below the screen right in the middle. It would change pitch depending on how bright the screen was set at.
Another example will be for Acer Aspire, the machine displayed a corrupted display with a wave shape and verticle lines obscuring the image with the right-hand side of the panel blank. This indicated the LCD panel itself had failed, probably due to impact from a foreign object or excessive torque being applied to the screen during opening/closing of the lid. In order to replace LCD screen in these models you will have to remove the keyboard, keyboard cover and display panel.
If you are not too technically savvy, or you are not sure what is causing your problems, you might want to pay the professionals to fix them for you. Otherwise, you can see some LCD inverter tips on http://lcd-inverter.expectable.net.