Question about Dell Inspiron 6400 Notebook
Sounds like you have a failing backlight. The flourescent tube at the bottom of the LCD that make the screen bright enough to see will change to a reddish tinge as it goes bad. Eventually the tube will not generate light at all and the screen will go black, but you can still see the image faintly if you use a flashlight at an angle to the LCD surface. You might also hear a faint buzzing sound, just like when an overhead flourescent goes bad.
Replacing the backlight is a tedious and difficult job. First the LCD panel has to be removed, and then it must be disassembled to get to the backlight. The tubes can be purchased on eBay but they are leaded glass and very thin, so they tend to break easily. There are two contact tips must be desoldered and then the two new ones soldered before the LCD panel can be reassembled and then put back into the upper half of laptop.
For a beginner, it is much easier to replace the entire panel with a new or known good used one. Best bet is to check your warranty first, otherwise a full LCD panel will cost at least $75 plus the labor to install.
As for the TV out, the preferred method is to hook an external by VGA cable to test the video card. You should get full picture with proper colors since the problem is in the laptop's display itself. The TV out jack requires drivers and a functioning XP to display.
Posted on Dec 30, 2008
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