Question about IBM ThinkPad R40 2897 Notebook

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R40 screen is dead

My R40's 15" TFT display has gone dark and no amount of rebooting and jiggling the hinges will help. I'm not clear whether the LCD panel or the converter (inverter?) has died. Or both. Searching eBay, it seems there are lots of people willing to sell me a new LCD for $100 or more. Is that a good deal? I usually have the laptop in its doc at home and my office, but on occasion I do need the built-in screen. Thanks!

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  • James
    James Nov 06, 2007

    Hi Poohawk. As I recall the LCD flickered on bootup one day and kept working, but the next day it was gone for good. I haven't ruled out a loose ribbon cable but it's not exposed like it is in my even older Thinkpad. (If I could figure out how to open the thing up and check that would help.) But I suspect something has simply burned out. How to tell if it's the screen or the inverter?

    Thanks for your interest!


  • James
    James Nov 06, 2007

    Hi Poohawk,

    As I recall the screen flickered on bootup one day but kept working, however the next day it stayed dark. (There is only the faintest image visible, as I noticed in a dark hotel room). I haven't ruled out a loose ribbon cable, which is a problem on another Thinkpad I own. The cable is completely concealed on the R40, so I can't jiggle it.

    I suspect something has just burned out. How to tell if it's the LCD or the inverter? Thanks for your interest!


  • James
    James Nov 06, 2007

    Sorry for posting a reply twice... I thought I'd lost the original from a bad wireless connection...



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Since a used R40 will be in the neighborhood of $300, a $100 or less for the screen might not be too bad of a price. Without the screen, you have a $330 paper weight. With the replacement screen, you have a working computer. And that would cost you $200 less than buying a replacement R40.
Hopefully this line of thought will help you make the decision.

Posted on Nov 06, 2007

  • 1 more comment 
  • Ron Roske Nov 06, 2007

    Question- Did this happen all of the sudden, or did it slowly degrade to this point? If you can provide some more specific information, it might help us to get to more specific solution?

    Have a super day!


  • Ron Roske Nov 06, 2007


    Since you can see images on the screen (they will be real dim, like you said) you do have a bad backlight.

    As far as opening the display up, this may help. There are a couple of small black plastic crew covers that are located at the lower right and lower left of the display. There are a couple of similar sized square screw covers located on the top inside of the display. Remove those covers and their associated screws. Then (very carefully) pry the cover apart. That should get you to where you want to be.



  • Ron Roske Nov 09, 2007

    An additional thought here! Try operating the cover switch manually and see what you get for results. That could be the problem.
    As to removing the cover for the LCD assembly, there are also 3 screws (under black plastic covers) located on each side of the screen..



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