ACER Extensa 4630Z - Display

happyavocado

Estimable
Aug 16, 2014
12
0
4,560
0
Hello,
I am tinkering with an old laptop and it has a few issues. I was able to boot it up but I got a virus warning. Tried to run antivirus but the screen started going black. Upon further inspection, I have discovered that if I shine a light at the screen I can see (very dimly) that the OS is still running. When I shut the lid and open it back up, the power button has gone to a flashing red-orange. When I press it, the screen will come back up for all of 2 seconds and then disappear again.

I'm stumped because when I open the lid, I can wait 10 seconds or 10 minutes to hit the button and log in... and the screen goes black, comes back up for one second to show me the desktop, and then goes black again. If it was merely a connection issue in the cable connecting display to motherboard, wouldn't it be somewhat time-sensitive?

I restored the laptop from the backup partition (not sure if this was a good idea, but I'm out of ideas). I reseated the battery. Does anybody have any ideas as to what might cause this issue? I can't yet find a cable to connect the laptop to an alternate display but I'm working on it.

Thanks in advance for any advice!

UPDATE: tried to get to Safe Mode but it goes to black screen as well! Could this be the inverter? I got brave and took apart the screen-half to reseat the inverter, but no joy. I might look to replace it but I kind of want to narrow down what is failing before I start throwing money around to fix this thing.

UPDATE 2: tried a power drain -removed battery, held down power button and ran without battery... same thing. I did notice that when the screen is visible, it is looking kind of "pink" and Fn + F6 makes the screen magically - and temporarily - appear.

UPDATE 3: Fn+F6 when pressed twice will make the screen magically reappear - almost 100% of the time - for about one sec. ?! This doesn't sound like hardware anymore but I don't know what to do!

UPDATE 4: bizarre. I found another suggestion which was to hit the left arrow key whilst pressing the Fn + left arrow button repeatedly (to switch displays). Well, the display came back and seemed to be working well, until I had to reboot to uninstall some unwanted antivirus and install the new. The problem has gotten less problematic - I now get a minute or so of screen time before I hit Fn+F6 twice in order to get the screen back.
 

happyavocado

Estimable
Aug 16, 2014
12
0
4,560
0
Thanks Jarotech! I was hoping it wasn't the backlight because that sounds like a much bigger deal than the inverter (and mostly hoping it was something I could solve by not having to buy anything! ;) ). But I agree the pink screen sounds very much like a hardware deal...I'm still flummoxed as to why I can resurrect the screen by pressing Fn+F6. Maybe I've got more than one issue!
 

happyavocado

Estimable
Aug 16, 2014
12
0
4,560
0


It was OK for about 5 minutes. I replaced the bezel and I noted that if it is hardware, it isn't anything that I could be knocking loose because I didn't have to be particularly gentle with it!

However, when I went to change my display options, the screen went black again (but the laptop is still running). I can resurrect the display by clicking Fn+F6 twice, and then it gives me one second of joy, and then blacks out again. When I hit Fn+left arrow key and then Fn+F6 it stays on! :pt1cable: I think I'm going to lose my mind.

 

happyavocado

Estimable
Aug 16, 2014
12
0
4,560
0


What I understood from the other site is that Fn+left arrow might adjust the brightness and that it might work. After pressing it I hit Fn+F6 twice (I guess once goes to external display and twice brings it back) the display comes back for longer. It might be red herring - maybe if I hit another combination it would work, too. But that particular combination is the only thing that has brought the screen back for more than one or two seconds.

I have another display... but I don't have the cable I need. I have an HDMI connecting this machine I'm writing on to my monitor. The laptop doesn't have HDMI. I've got a cable that will connect VGA to RCA and I'm going to try it on a TV (I don't know if that will work... as you can tell, I know a little but not a lot! I'm willing to try though.)

 

happyavocado

Estimable
Aug 16, 2014
12
0
4,560
0


Quick update - the laptop just spontaneously shut down. It was going through the virus scan but the screen was black again and I wasn't monitoring it. Then, down it went! It has come back up again with a few Fn+left and a few pairs of Fn+F6. Going to try the VGA-RCA-TV now...

 

happyavocado

Estimable
Aug 16, 2014
12
0
4,560
0


Temporarily. If I try to do anything else (like change something in control panel, or for instance Windows updates are installing right now and it keeps going black throughout that) down it goes again. Haven't been able to try on an external display yet... waiting for the updates. Could it be something with the motherboard?
 

happyavocado

Estimable
Aug 16, 2014
12
0
4,560
0


It looks like it's a bigger problem than a backlight (but again, I don't know that much but I know that not everything is as clear as it seems. When another one of my computers was "screaming" I didn't think it would be the video card but I learned something there, too!). Before I could get the laptop downstairs to test it, it crashed. Now it is going through Start-Up Repair.
 

happyavocado

Estimable
Aug 16, 2014
12
0
4,560
0


I'm afraid that I'm going to have to try to borrow a cable to connect to a monitor. In the meantime, I have made sure to update the BIOS, look for OS updates and I've been trying to sift through Event Viewer to see if there are any clues there.

The sickly pink shade of the display is gone now but I wonder if that's owing to the fact that the display has been running for a while. I will try leaving the laptop off for a while and booting it up again to see if it goes back to the sickly shade when the laptop has been off for a while.

Jarotech, thank you for all of your help! I will post again when I've got a cable to test or if anything else spectacular happens (good or bad). I think I'm at an impasse until I test it with an external monitor...

 

happyavocado

Estimable
Aug 16, 2014
12
0
4,560
0
Hey Jarotech! I'm back much sooner than expected. I did some digging and found a VGA-VGA cable and was able to connect the laptop to my monitor. The result was clear: for a few minutes I had twin displays. But when the display disappeared on the laptop, it was maintained on the monitor. So... I'm going to try to install a new inverter. I'm still not entirely understanding why the Fn+F6 would bring the display back when it is a hardware issue... any thoughts?
 

happyavocado

Estimable
Aug 16, 2014
12
0
4,560
0


It stayed on for around 45 seconds - 1 minute in the BIOS and then went black and wouldn't come up until it was in the OS. And interestingly, after the screen has been off for a while, it goes back to a weirdly pinkish colour. And the display is dropping again more frequently.

 

happyavocado

Estimable
Aug 16, 2014
12
0
4,560
0


OK. Thanks so much for your help, Jarotech! I think that probably a backlight is going to cost too much to replace - it sounds like it's more than I can do myself (although I think I did pretty well for my first time trying to fix a laptop ;) ). Other than obvious hassles of having to open the case to power it on, is there anything that would prevent me from attaching it to an external monitor and using it in place of a desktop?
 
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