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IBM T20 Help! It Wasn't The Inverter

Discussion in 'IBM Thinkpad' started by Arthur Shapiro, Dec 21, 2003.

  1. Wrote a week or two ago about the failed display on my T20. In the last 40 or
    50 times I've booted it up, I've only had video one time. Other times one can
    see the image faintly in bright light.

    It was suggested to me that it might be a loose connection on the single-screw
    ribbon cable holddown that attaches the cable to the LCD display. Otherwise,
    it was likely to be the inverter.

    I loosened and reattached the ribbon cable several times without effect.

    Purchased an inverter on eBay, and just spent an hour or two putting it in and
    getting the machine back together. Still have a metal piece that somehow fit
    around the left hinge, and which I couldn't figure out. Remember I had
    trouble with that piece when I replaced the cracked top keyboard bezel a few
    months ago.

    Turned it on, and am having precisely the same problem - video faintly visible
    in direct light.

    Am I doomed? Do the LCD panels themselves fail?

    Hate to trash this guy - was hoping to give it to my wife while I enjoy the
    new T30.


    Temporary usercode - to be deleted when spam starts. Use MyBrainHurts at this ISP to reach me
    Arthur Shapiro, Dec 21, 2003
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  2. Arthur Shapiro

    JHEM Guest

    Sounds like the backlight is gone. Check eBay, and there's several places
    that will show up in Google if you search for "LCD replacement backlight".


    JHEM, Dec 21, 2003
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  3. An inverter should not take more than one or two minutes to install,
    with no left over parts.
    You may have gotten a bad inverter on Ebay, it has happened to me.
    The backlight may have failed (and they are hard to replace, better
    off just buying a screen on ebay).
    I can sell you a crappy screen (white blotches) with a good backlight
    for $50 and you can use the screen or salvage the backlight, up to
    Bruce Markowitz, Dec 21, 2003
  4. Oh??? I followed the maintenance manual's instructions, which told me to

    cmos battery
    hard drive
    ultrabay device
    keyboard insulating plastic
    hinge cover
    keyboard bezel
    fan assembly
    LCD assembly
    front bezel

    before getting access to the inverter.

    How could I do it in one or two minutes????

    I think if I purchase a replacement panel, I want one that's pretty much
    shipshape. I'm under the impression that replacing the backlight itself is
    almost impossible.


    Temporary usercode - to be deleted when spam starts. Use MyBrainHurts at this ISP to reach me
    Arthur Shapiro, Dec 22, 2003
  5. Arthur Shapiro

    Teknohore Guest

    One or two minutes is a bit of a stretch, but you shouldnt have to remove all
    that despite what the manual says - you only need to remove the LCD's front
    bezel (3 screws) to replace the inverter. And I thought you were going to prove
    me wrong about T series inverters practically never failing but alas, it wasn't
    to be.
    Not impossible - and I've just found that out myself - but a heck of a lot more
    involved and delicate operation than replacing anything else on a laptop. I'd
    say your best bet is to get another LCD altogether (less than $100 on ebay with
    a little luck) as it'll pay for itself in time and sanity saved.
    I don't remember any metal pieces around the left hinge, what does it look like?
    Teknohore, Dec 22, 2003
  6. Well, it's about 3/8" by 1/2", and was originally flat. Something, and that's
    probably the pressure of the hinges over the years, has bent it a little. It
    has one slot and three holes in roughly an even pattern 2x2.

    On the right side was a corresponding similar piece with a right angle bend in
    it. That piece turns out to have one of the holes threaded and is slipped
    into the back of the case. Without it, only one of the two screws along the
    back that hold the right hinge would have anything to grip. With it, the
    upper screw passes through an unthreaded hole in the hinge and screws into
    this little plate, clamping the hinge in place along with the lower screw
    threading into the hinge itself.

    So the piece in question doubtlessly provides some sort of support for the
    left hinge against the relatively fragile plastic of the case.

    I don't see either piece in the maintenance manual.

    Getting back to the LCD, I've read about replacing backlights, and I suspect
    it's something unlikely to succeed. I'll keep my eye open for a good
    condition used one; I'm sure not going to buy it at the $$ several hundred and
    up cost of a new one.

    Appreciate the input, and hope this isn't boring to everyone frequenting the

    Temporary usercode - to be deleted when spam starts. Use MyBrainHurts at this ISP to reach me
    Arthur Shapiro, Dec 22, 2003
  7. Arthur Shapiro

    John C. Guest


    Better off replacing the LCD outright. Look for the screen in the
    $100.00 range. the $50.00 LCD on eBay are pretty poor with splotches
    and cosmetic issues.

    The TWO brackets you are describing are both broken off and you should
    replace them.

    The one for the Right Hand Hinge is supposed to be connected to the
    UltraBay2000 housing and it provides the structure to prevent the
    breakage of the keyboard bezel.

    The one for the Left Hand Hinge is probably part of the Thermal Hinge
    assembly that was used on the T20/T21 models with the 750mhz

    The UltraBay2000 housing is available as part of the "system kit"
    which is around $50.00 or used housings can be purchased for $25.00.

    The Thermal hinge is around $20.00.

    Contact me if you need any more specific info.

    John C., Jan 2, 2004
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