[ltp] Display unreliable - W500

Wade Curry linux-thinkpad@linux-thinkpad.org
Wed, 6 Nov 2013 16:00:12 -0800


My W500 has never had a bright display, but has developed further
problems in the last couple of months.  The backlight does not come
on reliably.  (Using Linux Mint 15)

I have seen descriptions of symptoms for a bad CCFL which usually
include a dim reddish display. I have never seen that.  The CCFL
has always taken a couple of minutes to go from cold to full
brightness, with the left 1/4 of the display being much darker
during that time.  Having the CCFL just not come on sometimes isn't
something I recall seeing among those symptoms.

After being turned off or asleep, sometimes the backlight simply
stays off. Room lighting allows me to see that the display is
otherwise working.  Things that have caused it to come on subsequently
come on are, rebooting, logging in (that is, blindly logging in and
when kwm starts it sometimes comes on), or attaching an external
monitor to the VGA port.  Sometimes the entire screen is blank
until kdm starts.  If it isn't on by that time, it may take
anywhere from 5 to 60 minutes to get it to start, but it recently
took an entire day of intermittent effort for it to come on.  Using
function keys to change the brightness has never caused it to come
on.  After it comes on, it is capable of going to full brightness
within a minute or two as usual.

So the question is, does this sound like a bad CCFL tube, or does
it sound like something else?  If it's a bad CCFL, is there a good
tutorial on it?  Otherwise, does it even sound reparable?  I'm not
able to pay someone else to do it, but I've got a soldering iron
and willingness to dig in.

Oh.. the battery is cruddy and only good enough to keep it in a
sleep state right now, so all of this is happening when plugged in
to AC.

What do you all think?

Wade Curry