Question about Dell Inspiron 6400 Notebook

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LCD screen partially display's

My LCD screen is only partially displayed. I have a black or sometimes blue or white area to my right side on the screen. When I press on the screen(Top just left of center-where the connector is), it sometimes resolves the issue and the full screen appears. Could this be the inverter board or the other board at the top of the screen where I press to get the full screen to appear. It appears at though the lcd screen is ok since it sometime shows a full screen. This happens at start-up. Usually when the full screen appears it remains for the time that I have the laptop on.

I also have a light blue streak just left of center that is about 1.5 inches. This never disappears.

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  • repinskid Mar 13, 2008

    Thanks. That's what I thought. I did take the screen apart and reseated the cable to the board at the top of the screen, but was unsure about the inverter board connection. So I did not do the inverter board. I will try to reseat the inverter board.

    By the way. What is the board name at the top of the screen. The one with the warning about touching?

  • rm96 Jul 14, 2008

    I have the same computer (in the E1505 version) with an identical sounding problem. My screen is partially blank on the bottom 2/3rds of the display. Could this be the connection to the inverter board as well?


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This kind of issue is usually due to a loose inverter cable, re-seating the cable is a relatively simple matter. 
If the laptop is still under warranty you should contact Dell to have it repaired, if on the other hand it is out of warranty you should shop around for a repair quote unless you are absolutely confident you can strip and reassemble your laptop.

Posted on Mar 13, 2008

  • Nicholas Wilson
    Nicholas Wilson Mar 13, 2008

    You seem confident so try re-seating the inverter board and, if you have one, give the connections a blow out with an air duster (available from any good hardware/plumbing supply/electronics store).

    As for the other board it's you're WiFi card and the wires are theĀ antenna.


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Suggests a problem with the Video Cable, screen Inverter, or LCD screen.

However the diagnosis starts with the graphics chipset. It has to be ruled out as the problem before going on. Otherwise you would be foolishly replacing parts, (Video Cable, screen Inverter, LCD screen), when it would do no good.

1) Laptop OFF, monitor OFF, connect a VGA monitor to the VGA port, on the left side of the laptop.

This is an example of a VGA Cable, and VGA connector (port),

Scroll down a little for the VGA Cable example.

You can use a CRT type of VGA 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 VGA 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

Press, and hold the Fn key down, and at the same time tap once on the F5 key. (The F5 key is the Display Toggle-Over key)
Still no?
Hold the Fn key down again, and tap once more on the F5 key.

Display is good on external VGA monitor?
Then problem is Video Cable, or inside the Display Assembly.
(screen Inverter or LCD screen)

Display is bad on the external VGA monitor, means there is a problem with the graphics chipset.
Most of the time, it is the MOUNTING of the graphics chipset TO motherboard, and not a faulty graphics chipset.

Video Cable:
The Video Cable connects to the motherboard, in an area under the Middle Cover.
(Middle Cover. Acer for Switch Cover. The plastic strip under the LCD screen, and above the Keyboard. Has the Power On button, LED indicator lights, and speakers)

It then runs under the left Hinge, and up into the Display Assembly.
From there a small cable comes off of it, and connects to the screen Inverter. The main part of the Video Cable, then connects to the back of the LCD screen.

So we have - Motherboard connection, screen Inverter connection, and LCD screen connection.

Due to the normal opening, and closing of the laptop; one or all of those connections could be loose.
The Video Cable could be pinched, and pulled on.

It can also cause damage to the Video Cable.
Example of Video Cable,

The large white connector at the Bottom, with black insulation around it; plugs into the motherboard.
The small cable with the smaller white plug connector, connects to the screen Inverter.

The main part of the Video Cable goes up, and ends in a large white plug connector. The smaller cable that goes on up from it, plugs into the webcam.

Start by checking the motherboard side connection of the Video Cable.
1) Remove ALL power. Remove the AC adapter (Charger), and Battery.

2) Open the laptop.
Remove the Middle Cover.
The Middle Cover pops off. HOWEVER be aware that there are cable STILL attached.

Come to the right of the Power On's rectangular button. See the parting line of the Middle Cover to Bottom Cover?
I use a thick guitar pick to insert in that parting line, and ease the Middle Cover up a little.

You can also use a Spudger Tool. I do NOT recommend using a metal tool, such as a metal flat tipped screwdriver.
You can mar the plastic parts very easily, and also can cause damage.

IF, this is your only recourse, make SURE the tip of the screwdriver does NOT go in more than 1/8th Inch. That is a tiny bit more than 3mm.

Ease the Middle Cover up, then use your fingertips, and go along the edges of the Middle Cover. You want to pop the Middle Cover off, then roll it over on the Keyboard; with the cables still attached.

The Video Cable motherboard connector, is to the left of the left Speaker, and below the left Hinge.
Visual inspection alone will NOT do. You have to physically try to plug the Video Cable connector in.

Now ease the Battery back in, and reconnect the AC adapter. Plug AC adapter back into power. Turn the laptop on. Fix the problem?
No? Go on.

Remove ALL power again.
This time you are going to check the screen Inverter connection, and LCD screen connection.

The plastic frame in front of the LCD screen is the Display Bezel.
Acer calls it the LCD Bezel.
There are 4 Screw Covers to remove. One in each corner.
Top Left, Top Right, Bottom left, and Bottom Right.

These are made of synthetic rubber, or plastic. They have a type of rubber cement on them, that holds them on.
I take a computer pick, and remove them. You may find a similar tool if you do not have a computer pick.

Start at the bottom edge where the Screw Cover, meets the Display Bezel. Lift up.
If you use care when removing you may be able to reuse the Screw Covers. Don't stick anymore? Apply a tiny dab of rubber cement with a toothpick.
I L-I-G-H-T-L-Y stick them to the Display Bezel for safekeeping.

(They like to stick to the computer pick, your fingers, and it seems sometimes passing satellites)

Remove the 4 Philips head screws. (No.1 Philips screwdriver, or comparable Jeweler's screwdriver)
The Display Bezel has TABS that go around the perimeter, of the inside edges.
These snap into matching Latches on the Display Cover.

The Display Bezel is flexible. Made of space-age plastic.
To remove use your fingertips on the inside edge at the bottom. Flex the middle of the bottom up a little.
When it is high enough, slide s fingertip underneath, and go along the Display Bezel at the bottom. Go towards the Right, or Left.

The Tabs/Latches should start releasing. Snap, snap, snap. Almost sounds like you are breaking it.
Bottom popped loose go up the Left side, or Right side. Pop those Tabs/Latches loose.

Once the Display Bezel has popped loose pretty far, it should come off. I state SHOULD. I have has Display Bezels where I had to fight it all the way off. Every Tab/Latch had to be released.

See the small circuit board at the bottom? That is the screen Inverter. You can physically check the connection, just to see if it was loose.
While you are here though, you need to check LCD screen connection. After that, then make sure the screen Inverter connection is tight.

Reason is you are going to partially remove the LCD screen, to check it's connection; and this could disconnect the screen Inverter connection.
(Remember; all connections have to be Physically checked. If the screen Inverter connection was popped partially loose, when checking the LCD screen connection, you may not see it.
Check screen Inverter connection, AFTER checking LCD screen connection )

LCD screen connection is tight, after physically checking?
Screen Inverter connection is tight?
Lay the LCD screen assembly back in the Display Cover, and Display Cover is tilted back a little bit.
(Don't want LCD screen to fall forward)

All power reinstalled, turn the laptop on again, and see if these connections were the problem.
I have run into this many times, and so have users who have posted on here, through the years.

Still no?
You MUST rule out the Video Cable as the problem before going on.
Means the Video Cable has to be removed, and checked for continuity. Nothing fancy here. You just want to make sure electricity, is passing through every wire in the Video Cable.
Test is performed with a multimeter set to OHM's (1K), and every wire is checked.
No access to a multimeter? Then suggest taking the Video Cable down to the nearest small computer shop, and have them check it for continuity. Should only be a couple of bucks.

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