Introduction and laptop display advice?


Dec 28, 2007

A little background on me first:

Name: Steve
Age: 53 (soon to be 54)
Occupation: Software Engineer for 33 years with IBM
Job: Testing CAD system for hi-end chip design
Op Sys experience: VM, JES II, JES III, IBM AIX, Redhat Linux, SuSe Linux,
SunOS, WinDoze XP

I've been testing software on various systems for 33 years. I'm pretty
familiar with the Op Sys's listed above and can usually figure out
software problems with most any of them. Now, hardware experience?
No so much, but I'm not a complete novice either. I know the DVD/CD drive
isn't a cup holder. ;-)

On to my problem (yes I did search first):

Here's the system I have:

IBM ThinkPad - R50p
WindoZe XP Pro - SP2 - up to date
all hardware drivers up to date
All system software up to date
2 Gb memory
60Gb - 7200rpm
ATI Mobility Fire GL T2 Graphics - Driver:
IBM Thinkpad IPS 1600x1200 LCD panel display Driver:

I had the screen set to power off after 20 minutes of inactivity which
worked fine for a couple of years. Recently, on an intermittent basis,
the screen would not turn back on after it shut off. A reboot would fix
it but then it got persistent so I shut that off and just left the
screen powered on even when I closed the lid.

Lately, in the morning when I open the lid, the display will not recover
when I open the lid and hit the trackpoint. Does the same thing even if
the lid is left open over night. Simple reboot won't help.
It begins to power up and I get the initial IBM screen and then it blanks, or
it may actually begin to boot and display temporarily and then blank.
Typically, I need to unplug the power, remove the battery, reinsert the battery,
replug and re-boot. That may work, or not. This morning it took about 6
cycles of the battery routine to get the display to stay up. Once the display
is functional, it's ok for the day even if I move the display so I think that
kind of rules out the ribbon cable, but I could be wrong.

Now, when I say blank, I mean blank, not dim. I have the display turned to full
intensity and took the system into the closet and closed the door. Nothing,
nada but black.

So, I think it may be any of the following but I'm not sure how to diagnose
further. The device manager says that all components are functioning
properly. Any ideas would be appreciated.

Ribbon cable from laptop to display - fairly easy fix I think
even for the hardware challenged
like myself.
Back light Display power supply - not sure how difficult to fix
Motherboard = buy new system.

I don't have a desktop, and don't want one. I run wireless on the couch
in the living room and that's not subject to change as I work from home
frequently and don't want to be sitting in our office where the modem and
router are located. SWMBO wouldn't tolerate a remote monitor sitting in the
living room either so that's out. ;-)


Dec 28, 2007
Well, thank you kindly for all of your help. I found the problem.

Admin: Feel free to remove my userid as I won't be back to this site. Apparently my question wasn't worthy of help or ideas. This kind of "help", I don't need.
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