Laptop display is broken

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Laptop display is broken

Postby civint on Wed Sep 19, 2007 2:29 pm

I'm aware that this may be unrelated/a stupid question, however, I have been recently given a laptop, whose only fault is that the display has died, although it is apparently a hardware fault. It is a laptop bought from a company that is now bust (tiny, a uk computer place), and I was wondering how if it was worth the effort to fix/get fixed the laptop. (i know, i know, the grammar is appalling...)

any help/advice much appreciated

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Postby Husse on Thu Sep 20, 2007 5:32 am

Repairing a laptop is mostly expensive - it's so damn hard to work with them
If it's ok apart from the monitor you could use it with a separate monitor (if there is a vga connector of course)
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Postby civint on Thu Sep 20, 2007 7:52 am

well, according to the person who is giving it to me (knowing I'm a computer type) tells me that the local pc reapir shop says that the graphics card/module in the laptop is broken, and it does have a vga connector, however, if the graphics bit of the motherboard is kaput...sureley that would mean that I wouldnt be able to use it, even with a seperate monitor (even though it is all functioning....)

Also, this is related to my hunt for a low spec, small-ish laptop-in the vein of the toshiba portege 7100/7020 series, which is in turn linked to an ebay horror story...lol
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Postby scorp123 on Thu Sep 20, 2007 8:38 am

civint wrote: Also, this is related to my hunt for a low spec, small-ish laptop
I am still the "proud owner" of a Sony Vaio C1-VFK laptop ... 600 MHz Transmeta Crusoe CPU, 192 MB RAM, 15 GB disk, Sony MemoryStick reader, 1 x FireWire connector, 1 x USB connector. And best of all: It has a UK keyboard layout. Downside: No working batteries, it needs AC power. And I once had to change the internal harddisk, but friggin' Sony used "max. Security" non-standard screws on the innards of the laptop so I had to get rid of those screws by force, damaging some of the internal plastic parts in the process. But those damages are not visible on the outside and it's just the plastic ... all the electronics are undamaged and fully functional.

Make a reasonable offer and we have a deal. :wink:

Right now I use the laptop as MP3 jukebox ... e.g. I turn it on and first thing it does is to activate the 'Music Player Daemon' to play the locally stored MP3's :D
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Postby civint on Thu Sep 20, 2007 9:19 am

I'm ok, thanks, lol but I appreciate the offer...
naw, I want a small laptop for school wordprocessing/internet browsing/music-ing/playing defcon.....which is why i was interested whn my mate was getting rid of his laptop for a pinch, which wass why i was wondering about the repair of the graphics card (is that what its called in a laptop? I have little in the way of knowledge here), which is apprently what is the issue (i was uinsure because my mate in this instance is a completeley uneducated computer user, so i as wondering if my local pc sahop was attempting to fleece him, which i wouyld try to do if i was in their shoes tbh :roll: however, I still want to know if its possible to replace/fix it...........
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Postby codesplice on Thu Sep 20, 2007 11:07 am

A lot of laptops have integrated graphics chips, that is, you can't replace them without soldering, and even then you're probably more likely to fry the motherboard than to successfully replace the chip. So if the graphics controller is integrated into the motherboard, you're likely SOL. I've also seen some graphics controllers (like the ATI X300 in my Inspiron 9300) that sit kind of piggy-back above the motherboard and connect via a really thin ribbon cable. If that's the case, it shouldn't be too difficult to replace, but sourcing a replacement card could be rather difficult and/or pricey.

I'd say open up the laptop and see what you can find out. It might even be something simple: I repaired a friend's laptop in which the video cable for the LCD had pulled itself free of the graphics controller. At the very least, try hooking up an external monitor to the VGA port to see if you can eliminate the graphics controller as the problem.

Best of luck,
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Postby civint on Thu Sep 20, 2007 1:27 pm

I will let you know how it goes, I'll see if the gpu is the issue. if not, it should be ok, sonce that was my major worry. The laptop is fairly thick as latops go, so i might be in luck if its a cable thats come undone. if not, then I have a laptop i can ebay for spares /repair, lol
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Postby codesplice on Thu Sep 20, 2007 1:32 pm

civint wrote:I will let you know how it goes, I'll see if the gpu is the issue. if not, it should be ok, sonce that was my major worry. The laptop is fairly thick as latops go, so i might be in luck if its a cable thats come undone. if not, then I have a laptop i can ebay for spares /repair, lol


OR you could find out will it blend? :lol:
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Postby civint on Thu Sep 20, 2007 1:46 pm

maybe....but, I dont stand to gain from that... my capitalist tendancies tell me no, but my lulz sense says...~DO IT!

I lol'd. I pick up the laptop tomoz, so I can check it out over the weekend (when not at unis, visiting, etc etc) then report back to el forum in the new week. I will be a happy bunny if fixed. If not,

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Postby codesplice on Thu Sep 20, 2007 1:48 pm

I'll be waiting on the edge of my chair to hear what the solution is!
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Postby scorp123 on Sat Sep 22, 2007 6:10 am

civint wrote: I want a small laptop for school wordprocessing/internet browsing/music-ing/playing defcon.....
Search e-Bay for Sony VAIO C1 "PictureBook" laptops (there are various models; mine is the made-for-UK 2001 model "C1 VFK" with a 600 MHz Transmeta CPU; other models may have slower or way better CPU's) or Toshiba "Libretto" micro-laptops (the newer U-xxx series built in 2005 have 1.x GHz "Centrino" Pentium-M CPU's ... way fast enough for Linux!) ... These machines are ultra-ultra small and are awesome geek toys. One of my buddies uses his Libretto U100 as "on-the-go file server and network sniffer" ... and he sure gets tons of jealous looks :D

civint wrote: why i was wondering about the repair of the graphics card
Most laptops have their graphics chip directly on the motherboard, so you'd probably need to exchange the entire motherboard. But depending on the age and the model of the laptop this could turn out to be rather expensive ... Did you check what the spare parts cost? There are web sites which are specialised in finding spare parts for all sorts of (old) computers. It may be worth to take a look. e.g. here: http://www.impactcomputers.com/

There are various reviews about that web site circulating in the web ... My own experience is this: If you know precisely what you need and what you want and if you precisely know what exactly the name and serial number of the spare part is: They will ship it within 5 days. Just don't expect any support from them that goes beyond shipping your order (that's not their task anyway) or any help troubleshooting your problems (not their job) ... You have to know what you need from them. That kinda sucks, especially if you're not exactly sure what part you need to exchange. I was in the same situation with my Sony laptop. So lots of Googling and hanging around in the right hardware forums (e.g. Tom's Hardware Guides!) can help a lot. Once you're sure about the spare parts you should probably find it in Impact's online-store ... So far they always shipped my stuff within 5 days (from USA to Switzerland ... not bad!). You could try your luck with them; maybe you will find what you need.
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Postby civint on Sat Sep 22, 2007 2:48 pm

wow, I really want one of those sony ones now.......only 5 in uk ebay, the going rate being 3 figures, not inc. p&p.........most upsetting...

Oh well.
Here is my not so well informed diagnostic.

1. It IS the gpu in the laptop...plugged it into the monitor and hit fn-f5 (its the output to external monitor button on this model) and nothing happened.

2. There may well be more than one issue with this laptop. I can't hear any hard drive noise, or see a hard drive access led lighting up upon booting.

3. I have no idea about the insides because the local pc fixers has (i assume) made all the screws on the panel that hides the last screw and some internal removable bits so that i cannot unscrew them (you know when you use a slightly too small screwdriver and it just makes the screw head too worn away so that you can't get a hold of the crew with the screwdriver.....) :evil: most unhappy.

HOwever due to the number of possible faults, I may just ebay the "$^%ing thing and hope i get a reasonable return. Like, say more than £20....but since the rest of the laptop is in good condition, I might just get that.


*edit* I was considering looking for one (old laptop) on us ebay..is it worth it (ie. safe/worth the shipping costs) to order one to the UK? not that i think it will be, but hey, worth a shot.
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