Question about IBM ThinkPad T21 Notebook

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IBM ThinkPad T21 LCD display very dark

The LCD in my IBM ThinkPad T21 LCD display becomes very dark. I still see the picture, but the image is very weak. Someone in the internet suggests the Inverter problem. So I bought one inverter from eBay and replaced the old one. The problem is still the same. Nothing better or worse. Can someone tell me what the problem is?

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  • DavidWang Dec 29, 2007

    How to fix the backlight?

  • DavidWang Dec 29, 2007

    No. I didn't

  • DavidWang Jan 03, 2008

    I still don't see the backlight. Both on the top and at the bottom of the LCD, I see about 5" wide area are covered at the middle. I don't know how to open it. Do you know where I can get the detailed manual to see assembling of the LCD?

  • eliasib Mar 19, 2008

    I have the same problem, it used to be solved by flipping the display back and forth a couple of times, but now that trick doesn't work anymore. Did you ever solve it for good?

  • shadl Apr 05, 2008

    I have the exact same problem. Do we need a new LCD or something else?

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The problem can be at the flexible cable that connecting mainboard to LCD panel. There are two line that connecting to backlight lamp. The position of the broken cable is in bottom-center of LCD. One or more line/track broken can resulting : LCD blank or LCD display very dark. The solution is : jumper the broken line with jumper cable & soldering.Or you must replace the flexible cable.
Goodluck..

Posted on May 15, 2008

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Definitely the ribbon cable! Replaced the LCD screen and the inverter first with no luck. I had a T21 for parts that I got off eBay for $10, best $10 I ever spent. Used the ribbon cable from that one and the problem is solved. Godd luck.

Posted on Feb 23, 2011

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I had the same problem with my T21. I also had to close and open the lid a few times in the beginning, but after a while even that didn't help anymore.
So, I took the whole thing apart, and what I expected turned out to be right: the ribboncable going to the display was cracked where it leaves the lid and goes into the pc-case.
It is possible to repair it (I know, because I did) but if you're not used to work with a soldering iron (and your eyes are in perfect shape), don't even try. These contacts are so tiny that I had to work through a magnifiying glass all the time.
First, you have to remove the outer shell of the ribboncable. The easiest way to do that is with one of these highspeed rotary tools. (Note that this shell is made of conductive material, watch out with the debris)
When the cover is removed, you can see which traces are broken. Before you can solder the broken ones, you have to remove the varnish from them. That can be done with a sharp knive. Be very careful, because the copper layer underneath is very thin.
In my case, four of these traces at the side of the cable were broken (varying in size between 1/2 and 1.5 millimeter).
I soldered some copper wires over the fractures, and that did the trick.
It works again!
Biggest challenge now is to get it assembled again :-)

Succes,
JVdB.
Remark: If opening and closing the lid solves the problem for a while, you can be definitly sure it is the cable, and not the inverter or the LCD.

Posted on Jun 06, 2008

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I had the same problem and the solution was to replace the inverter card located at the screen panel.

Posted on Jan 15, 2008

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The problem could of been the backlight

Posted on Dec 29, 2007

  • Thomas Christopher
    Thomas Christopher Dec 29, 2007

    did you see it when you took it apart?

  • Thomas Christopher
    Thomas Christopher Dec 29, 2007

    It is probably down one of the sides of the LCD screen. The inverter board changes the small dc voltage to ac to run the light.

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You could have a defective LCD screen, If the laptop appears to be running and the hard disk is spinning but the screen is dark then, to determine if you have a LCD screen or video card problem, read this and follow these instructions.
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look for example ebay partnr: 260327530145
only for example if this is your problem.

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LCD and inverter replaced, still dark


The most common fault here is certainly the screen cable - it is available cheaply on ebay - I'm in the UK so here is a local example in this link:

T23 Cable

the other slim possibility is failure of the backlight switch which detects when the screen lid is closed.

Please rate this assistance as we depend on your feedback - hopefully this should be fixya - thanks,

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05K9944 ALL SUB TO 04L2348

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