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Toshiba Satellite 1800, dim screen

Discussion in 'Laptops' started by Antaeus Feldspar, Jul 1, 2003.

  1. I have a recurring problem with my Toshiba Satellite 1800 laptop, and
    I'm really hoping someone can help with this problem -- in just a
    little over three weeks, I'm going to be going on my only major
    vacation of the year and I had really hoped to have this laptop
    working for the trip.

    Here's the problem: Sometimes the laptop will be working just fine,
    and other times, the screen will suddenly go and stay so dim that I
    can only just barely make out what's going on if I tilt the screen up
    to a strong light at just the right angle and squint.

    I usually use it with the AC adaptor plugged in, so it shouldn't
    really be having any power issues, at least none with not getting the
    power into the machine. And when I check the batteries, even when the
    screen is at its dimmest, it tells me that the AC power is coming in
    and the battery is at 100%, so again, it doesn't seem like that should
    be the cause of this. It does seem like the longer I have it on the
    adaptor before I use it, the longer it takes before dimming out, but
    that's not a hard-and-fast rule; I can have it on the adaptor for
    several days straight and turn it on and have the screen be dimmer
    than [insert politician you don't like here].

    If I connect the laptop to an external monitor, it runs fine, so I
    doubt it's the video card or anything like that.

    It will flicker to full brightness immediately after turning on (the
    red "Toshiba" logo comes on at normal brightness for a half-second)
    and if I put it on standby, when it comes back up it will show at full
    brightness for a second or two. By manually jiggling the little
    push-button just above the status panel, I can make it come up to full
    brightness -- this is about the only consistent thing in the whole
    mess, it *always* comes back up to full brightness -- but it could be
    for almost a minute before it dims out again, or it could be only a
    tenth of a second.
    It's still under warranty, and I've taken it into the shop once for
    repair. They did *something* to it, after which it worked again --
    and then it stopped working -- and then I went to bring it in again,
    and when he started the computer (not even on the adaptor!) it was
    working fine for him, so I took it right home again. Since then it's
    worked, not worked, worked, not worked... I called them to let them
    know it wasn't working consistently, and their answer was basically:
    "If you bring it in, and it works fine for us, we'll assume that the
    problem's in the luser and you'll pay regular repair costs despite the
    fact that the machine's under warranty and that we didn't fix
    anything." Neither the vendor nor Toshiba tech support were much more
    help.

    The only other thing I can think of as relevant is that it is a
    refurbished machine, and I have noticed discrepancies between what the
    User's Guide says I have in terms of configuring the system (including
    power options) and what I actually have. And, most nettling and
    disturbing, I just tried it this afternoon, and found that the Power
    Meter icon had disappeared from my System Tray.
     
    Antaeus Feldspar, Jul 1, 2003
    #1
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  2. :> (Antaeus Feldspar) wrote in
    :>:>
    :>> [snip]
    :>> Here's the problem: Sometimes the laptop will be working just fine,
    :>> and other times, the screen will suddenly go and stay so dim that I
    :>> can only just barely make out what's going on if I tilt the screen up
    :>> to a strong light at just the right angle and squint.
    :>> [snip]
    :>
    :>
    :>You are not alone. I have a 1805 with similar problems.
    :>
    :>The screen goes dim on these instances:
    :>1. Turned on with external power attached.
    :>2. Turned on using battery and as external power is attached.
    :>
    :>It was a chore to reproduce the defect. The laptop has been in for repairs
    :>for the same issue once before. Booting is fine, which lends to currupt
    :>power management hardware or software.
    :>
    :>Jack

    That is a known issue with the 1800 series and is caused by oxidation on the
    pins of the connector on the fl inverter that the harness from the system board
    plugs into. Toshiba sent out an issue alert to all of the service centers well
    over a year ago on that problem. They recommended a product called ProGold from
    Caig Labs be sprayed on the connector pins to remove the oxidation and to treat
    the pins to eliminate the likelyhood of it happening again. We have used that
    procedure on hundreds of 1800s and 99% of the time it fixes the problem. The
    other 1% require replacement of the fl inveter, the display or both, depending
    on exactly which component has failed.

    OscarT
     
    Oscar T Grouch, Jul 3, 2003
    #2
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  3. :>:>
    :>>
    :>>:> (Antaeus Feldspar) wrote in
    :>>:>:>>:>
    :>>:>> [snip]
    :>>:>> Here's the problem: Sometimes the laptop will be working just
    :>>:>> fine, and other times, the screen will suddenly go and stay so dim
    :>>:>> that I can only just barely make out what's going on if I tilt the
    :>>:>> screen up to a strong light at just the right angle and squint.
    :>>:>> [snip]
    :>>:>
    :>>:>
    :>>:>You are not alone. I have a 1805 with similar problems.
    :>>:>
    :>>:>The screen goes dim on these instances:
    :>>:>1. Turned on with external power attached.
    :>>:>2. Turned on using battery and as external power is attached.
    :>>:>
    :>>:>It was a chore to reproduce the defect. The laptop has been in for
    :>>:>repairs for the same issue once before. Booting is fine, which lends
    :>>:>to currupt power management hardware or software.
    :>>:>
    :>>:>Jack
    :>>
    :>> That is a known issue with the 1800 series and is caused by oxidation
    :>> on the pins of the connector on the fl inverter that the harness from
    :>> the system board plugs into. Toshiba sent out an issue alert to all
    :>> of the service centers well over a year ago on that problem. They
    :>> recommended a product called ProGold from Caig Labs be sprayed on the
    :>> connector pins to remove the oxidation and to treat the pins to
    :>> eliminate the likelyhood of it happening again. We have used that
    :>> procedure on hundreds of 1800s and 99% of the time it fixes the
    :>> problem. The other 1% require replacement of the fl inveter, the
    :>> display or both, depending on exactly which component has failed.
    :>>
    :>> OscarT
    :>>
    :>
    :>Oscar is obviously someone more familiar with resolving the issue. I stand
    :>corrected. Thanks Oscar.

    You're welcome. This situation reminds of my old days of working on full size
    486 and Pentium computers. We would see this same kind of contact oxidation
    occur with ram cards when you mixed metals. For example, ram cards with gold
    contacts being installed in ram sockets with silver contracts.

    BTW, that Progold is fairly pricey. We paid around $15-$20 for a small spray
    can. However, that one can has lasted us over a year now and is still going
    strong. It only takes a tiny squirt to fix the problem.

    OscarT
     
    Oscar T Grouch, Jul 4, 2003
    #3
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