[SOLVED] Washed-out laptop display?

Oct 31, 2020
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Problem: washed-out display.
Computer: Sony VAIO laptop VGN-FZ440E - ROM date 2009
OpSys: Winny-the-Poo, 4 Linuxes, FreeDOS, and ReactOS

Problem Description:
Display was working normally, suddenly became very washed out (too bright & poor contrast) but it was still easily readable and workable, tho annoying. I adjusted the display qualities using the NVIDIA driver utility, changing gamma & contrast to make it appear almost normal again. This worked for about 8 months of daily use, when it suddenly reverted back to to normal functioning. So I undid all the workaround changes in the NVIDIA utility.

Six months later, the problem suddenly happened again. This time it was much worse, so that the display was almost unreadable. It COULD NOT be compensated for this time by using the NVIDIA settings utility - it was still barely readable even with all available settings maxed to compensate.

As I was trying to get all my data off the machine, the display cleared for about 2 minutes, and then reverted to the worst condition again.

An external monitor displays properly, so I think this is NOT a GPU or MoBo issue.
The display problem occurs identically in ALL operating systems installed on this computer and also during boot-up, Grub display, and when in BIOS Setup. So I think its NOT a software issue.

The intermittency to me suggests a bad connection somewhere. I suspect the ribbon-cable connection from the MoBo to the screen, possibly a broken strand in the ribbon-cable where it bends in the screen-hinge. Because of the heavy use this machine has seen, some wear and chafe in the hinge would not be a surprise.

Because the screen is bright, I think it is NOT the cable to the backlight.
The only other cable I can see in the service info I have found (apart from the camera cable) is the video data cable. It seems to me that a break in that cable, or a poor connection at either end, could produce the symptoms I am seeing. Because as I understand it, the image on this type of screen is controlled by activated pixels blocking or filtering the back light.

Does this make sense to you experienced geekers?
What other things should I check for when the thing is apart?
Is it possible that the whole screen assembly is shot?

Any help would be greatly appreciated. This was my favourite machine!
 
Last edited by a moderator:

hang-the-9

Titan
Moderator
Yes it's possible the screen or backlight are bad. Nothing past what you tried can be done without testing physical issues like the cable and screen.

It also seems you are getting your data off this machine AFTER it started to have issues, I suggest you check your backups and make sure your files are backed up before issues start. Once something breaks it's too late to think about backups.
 

hang-the-9

Titan
Moderator
Yes it's possible the screen or backlight are bad. Nothing past what you tried can be done without testing physical issues like the cable and screen.

It also seems you are getting your data off this machine AFTER it started to have issues, I suggest you check your backups and make sure your files are backed up before issues start. Once something breaks it's too late to think about backups.
 
Oct 31, 2020
11
1
15
0
Nothing past what you tried can be done without testing physical issues like the cable and screen.
Thanks forthe feedback. That is about what I feared. Not looking forward to going inside the thing. I always seem to snap off a clip and end up with a loose or flexy bezel. Have not had good success

...I suggest you check your backups and make sure your files are backed up before issues start...
Good advice, and exactly what I always say to other people.
 

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