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I can only see half of my screen - Computers & Internet

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  • Computers & ... Master
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I suggest you have a bad LCD screen.

HOWEVER the procedure is to diagnose, and not spend money foolishly.

I need to know the laptop manufacturer name, and model number.
I cannot for the life of me believe FixYa would not ask for this, as a general requirement.

The model number is on the Bottom of the laptop.
Post back in a Comment.

In the meantime,

1) Check the graphics chipset first.
Connect a VGA monitor to the VGA port, on the laptop.
If the VGA monitor shows the same horizontal split of the LCD screen, then your graphics chipset is bad.

Laptop OFF, monitor OFF, connect a VGA monitor to the VGA port, on the laptop.
This is an example of a VGA Cable, and VGA connector (Port),

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VGA_Connector

Scroll down a little for an example of a VGA Cable.

You can use a CRT type of monitor (Looks like a small TV), or a flat LCD screen monitor if it has a VGA cable.

Turn the monitor on. If a CRT type allow it to warm up.
Turn the laptop on.
By factory default settings the display should show on the external monitor.
IF not;

There are at least 3 display options;
A) Internal monitor of laptop ONLY.
B) Internal monitor of laptop AND external VGA monitor.
C) External VGA monitor ONLY.

Here's where it gets rough, Dawn;
Hold the Fn key down, and at the same time tap once on the Display Toggle-Over key.

What key is that? Dunno. Laptop manufacturer name, and model number wasn't stated.
HP is usually the F4 key.
Acer? F5 key
Lenovo/IBM? F10 key.

The F key at top should have a monitor outline symbol, and an arrow on one side; for the Display Toggle-Over key.
No display on external VGA monitor?
Hold the Fn key down again, and tap once more on the Display Toggle-Over key.

Same display of internal monitor on the external VGA monitor?
Bad graphics chipset. Actually it is probably the MOUNTING of the graphics chipset TO motherboard.
More on that if it is the problem.

Good display on external VGA monitor?
Problem is the Video Cable, or inside the Display Assembly.

2) Video Cable:
The Video Cable connects to the motherboard, (In an area under the Keyboard, or Switch Cover above it), runs under the left Hinge; and up into the Display Assembly.
From there it may have a small cable coming from it, that connects to the screen Inverter.
The main part of the Video Cable then connects to the back of the LCD screen.

CCFL backlighting uses a screen Inverter.
(Cold Cathode Fluorescent Lamp)
LED backlighting May, or May Not.

Due to repeated normal opening, and closing of the laptop; the Video Cable may become pinched.
This can cause pulling on the Video Cable, and loose connections.

It can also cause damage to the tiny wires inside the sheath, of the Video Cable.
(Stretched/Broken)
If you see apparent damage to the sheath of the Video Cable, suspect damage to those wires inside.

Loose connection of Video Cable TO motherboard, or TO screen Inverter, (IF used), or back of LCD screen connection.

The procedure is to remove what components are needed from the laptop, to access the motherboard connector side of the Video Cable; and PHYSICALLY check to see if it is plugged in tightly.

{Components may only be the Switch Cover.
Above Keyboard, and below LCD screen. Has the Power On button, indicator LED lights, and perhaps speakers.

May be the Switch Cover AND Keyboard.
May be the Switch Cover, Keyboard, and Palm Rest Cover; in order to access the motherboard connector of the Video Cable }

Disconnect the LCD screen from the Display Cover, to access the LCD screen side connection, of the Video Cable.

Once all connections are proved to be tight, try the laptop again without fully reassembling. See if you can connect everything, with the LCD screen sitting out a little. Perhaps the Switch Cover off, but wires connected.

HOWEVER of you see apparent damage to the sheath of the Video Cable, or if you don't; the Video Cable MUST be ruled out before going on.

Connections tight? Didn't repair the problem? Remove the Video Cable.
A continuity test of the Video Cable must be performed, with a multimeter set to OHM's.
EVERY wire in the Video Cable must be checked for continuity.

Also an assistant is needed to gently wiggle the cable in the middle, and see if you get an intermittent reading on the multimeter.
If so this indicates a broken wire inside the Video Cable.
Replace.

Not everyone has a multimeter laying around.
Suggest take the Video Cable to the nearest small computer shop, and have the resident tech check it for continuity.
Should only be a couple of bucks.
(They say they can't check it? GET OUTTA THERE!
That ain't no REAL tech! Lol!)

Video Cable checks out?
Then the next component to check is the screen Inverter, again IF used.
Problem is to check a screen Inverter requires a sensitive multimeter.
Read fairly expensive,

http://www.fonerbooks.com/test.htm

For the above reason; the ease of access to replace, (Just remove Display Bezel), and usually low cost; the screen Inverter is usually just replaced. Average cost is around $20, or less.

Screen Inverter isn't used? Problem is LCD screen.
Screen Inverter replacement didn't repair the problem?
Problem is LCD screen.

I know the above may look like, "Wah, wah, wah", from Charlie Brown. (That's what my niece tells me)

If I had the manufacturer name, and model number, I may be able to give you a link to a Service Manual, and possibly pictorial, or video guides; PLUS step by step info from me.

Makes it less, "Wah, wah, wah", lol!

For additional questions please post in a Comment.
Regards,
joecoolvette

http://www.insidemylaptop.com/taking-apart-hp-pavilion-dv7-laptop-guide-3/

http://www.insidemylaptop.com/how-to-replace-screen-on-hp-pavilion-g7-laptop/

http://www.manualowl.com/m/Acer%20Computers/Aspire-7738G/Manual/114625

Posted on Jan 21, 2013

  • joecoolvette
    joecoolvette Jan 21, 2013

    Thought I would also add; An LCD screen cannot produce light.http://solutions.3m.com/wps/portal/3M/en... (Click on the monitor icon) It needs an additional light source. A Backlight is the qadditional light source. A Backlight can be a CCFL, (Or two of them), or a series of LED's. (Light Emitting Diode) A CCFL is a Cold Cathode Fluorescent Lamp. Similar to Fluorescent lighting used in homes, and businesses; but on a MUCH smaller scale. [Average thickness is 2mm. That is a little larger than 1/16th of an Inch. Average length is almost as long, as the LCD screen is in height. Example,http://www.laptoprepair101.com/laptop/20... View the last 8 photos ] A screen Inverter is used to convert the power (Electricity) from the laptop, for the LCD screen, and Backlight. As previously stated CCFL backlighting DOES use a screen Inverter. When LED backlighting was first brought out a screen Inverter was used. Doesn't seem to be the case now. When you hear the term Chip and Chipset, they are slang terms for I.C. Integrated Circuit,http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Integrated_... The I.C., or chipset for graphics, is the graphics chipset; or more properly known as the Graphics Processing Unit. GPU,http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GPU If the GPU is mounted (Soldered) directly to the motherboard, and borrowing from the system resources; i.e., Processor and Ram Memory; it is Integrated Graphics. Another term that doesn't seem to get used anymore, is OnBoard Graphics. Explains a little bit better. ON the motherBOARD. Or the graphics chipset is mounted to an adapter card. (Graphics card. Video card. Same/same) A graphics chipset when soldered directly to the motherboard, is soldered using a BGA surface mount. Ball Grid Array,http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ball_grid_a... The bottom of the graphics chipset has Solder Balls in place of contact pins. The matching mounting area on the motherboard has Copper Pads. (They are also gold plated for better contact ) View this small video for a detailed explanation of Solder Balls, and the BGA surface mount, with viewing a BGA Rework Station at work,http://ersa.com/art-ir-pl-650-346-1472.h... Scroll down, click on the Red -> Take a few minutes to view the IR 650 demo video. Regards, joecoolvette

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