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Display not working on my T30

T20-T23 Series and T30 specific matters only. NOT for T25-Retro.
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swjhay
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Display not working on my T30

#1 Post by swjhay » Sat Dec 29, 2007 6:42 pm

the LCD screen on my t30 is not displaying images. The back light is still bright, but all i see is a bright black screen. I hooked it up to a monitor and found that it still displays video. I assumed the problem was the ribben cable connecting the screen to the mother board. I bought a new one and just replaced it, same no display problem. Any advice on what else may be the problem?

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#2 Post by rkawakami » Sat Dec 29, 2007 6:52 pm

Only two things come to my mind, neither of which you probably want to hear :) :

- LCD panel
- motherboard

Given that the backlight still works with your old ribbon cable and the replacement, I'd have to say you are looking at those two. One way to possibly determine which it is, would be to replace the entire lid assembly from a known working T30. The other option would be to put some pressure on top of the graphics chip to see if it has the same type of problem which has been seen in some T4x systems. You can either put the system into a dock with the keyboard and hard drive removed and use the dock's power button to turn the system on. Or you can wedge something non-conductive (i.e., paper or plastic) between the video chip and the keyboard or bezel.
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#3 Post by ajkula66 » Sat Dec 29, 2007 9:48 pm

Given my limited experience with T30s, I'd be placing my bet on a motherboard issue.

Good luck.
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#4 Post by phool@round » Sun Dec 30, 2007 2:07 am

...... it's displaying through the vga port to an external monitor....... that rules out the video chip as the single source. It uses a parallel circuit though to both outlets for video signal....

The backlight is on....... but no image. Ribbon cable has been replaced...... (don't know for certain that it's a good cable yet) ....... this is a common issue with 570's.

If it where a stuck lid switch there wouldn't be backlight. But a few pokes at the switch *might* reveal a partially sticking one. (doubt it)

What is the BIOS setting in the boot order of the video i.e., LCD/VGA, LCD, VGA.....? (not a big deal, but worth looking at) Have you tried the FN/F7 key - external monitor, LCD to be sure that circuit isn't at fault? That should at least turn off the backlight when sending the signal to the VGA port.......

While pushing and proding things could you put some gentle pressure on the LCD lid, upper right with your fingers. (location of LCD control board) I've heard of some people *gently* hitting the lid and the video magically appears. That's a little too rough for me........ don't like hitting electronic components, kind of a caveman solution.....

You say that you have external video...... have you run PC Doctor yet? It's worth a shot while diagnosing things......

I'm thinking LCD panel (control board for the panel is attached to it) OR the connector on the system main board for the LCD has a mechanical malfunction which would need to be fixed or replaced with a new board.......unless your good at fixing small things....... but keep trying to work with what you have first.

Did the laptop take a tumble recently or did this problem just appear without provocation?
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#5 Post by rkawakami » Sun Dec 30, 2007 3:29 am

phool@round wrote:...... it's displaying through the vga port to an external monitor....... that rules out the video chip as the single source. It uses a parallel circuit though to both outlets for video signal....
I may have to take exception to that. My understanding is that the LCD panel is driven digitally, whereas the VGA port is analog. Yes, there can be a digital-to-analog converter to provide for the external video signal. However, the S3 graphics chip in my T23 can drive the LCD and external monitor with separate images (desktops). I'm assuming that the ATI Mobility Radeon 7500 in the T30 can do the same. I haven't been able to find a datasheet on the 7500 GPU and verify that the output signals are on separate paths but this page at ATI's new home (amd.com) suggests it can:

http://ati.amd.com/products/comparisons ... rison.html

If the problem is with a bad connection or defective component in the interface between the graphics chip and the input to the LCD, that could cause a loss of video to the panel but allow the VGA port to operate correctly.
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#6 Post by RealBlackStuff » Sun Dec 30, 2007 7:56 am

That same problem occurred on my T30. Only solution was to replace the mobo.
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#7 Post by phool@round » Mon Dec 31, 2007 12:52 am

I paid homage to the chip........, I said "....poking and prodding....."

I found a PDF here. It's not a mobile 7500 but it will have to do, it's all I could find.......

Here is a quote about TMDS "(Transition Minimized Differential Signaling) A transmission method for sending digital information from a personal computer, set-top box or other video source to a flat panel display."

Thanks for taking exception! I have my idea where it's at but it's too much for the average Joe to fix.

swjhay, has this T30 been docked at all recently.......?
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#8 Post by rkawakami » Mon Dec 31, 2007 1:01 am

Ah, good hunting! Yes, the block diagram on the second page seems to say it all. The TMDS interface would be routing the video signals to the LCD panel and the analog RGB path goes out the VGA port. With the hundreds (??) of connections in the BGA package you could have a bad solder joint (or a couple) which would only affect the panel or only affect the VGA port. If both displays show an identical failure at the same time, then that might point to a video memory issue.
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#9 Post by phool@round » Mon Dec 31, 2007 1:39 am

Inquisitive minds must know.....
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#10 Post by r3tex » Sat Jan 05, 2008 3:04 pm

I have the exact same problem with my new T61p with the UWXGA+ screen. It's insanely irritating that I got it finally and now it doesn't work. I need it for school. I tried unhooking the cable at both ends but to no avail. Like the previous poster, the backlight is on but the picture is black. Sometimes it flickers on but I can't figure it out. The backlight controls work though...
I hope they don't have to send for spare parts from the US.... :(

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#11 Post by swjhay » Tue Jan 08, 2008 8:36 pm

Thanks for the really helpful replies, I am going to try all the ones I can right now. As for answering some of your questions. The laptop was given to my mother by a friend. It worked fine for a while until the hard drive started to go, and the display would only work sometimes. I bought my mom a new laptop and this one has sat for a year or two since. i recently picked it back up to fix it. when i rediscovered the display didn't work. I reseated the converter board which brightened up the display. I then replaced the cable. As far as I know the laptop has never taken any spills or damage while in mine and my moms possession. Also it hasn't been docked since we have owned it.

EDIT: I am going to take it into work today and PC Doctor it. That should tell me pretty much what the problem is.

swjhay
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#12 Post by swjhay » Wed Jan 09, 2008 6:50 pm

I PC Doctored it at work today. All tests came back good. Nothing wrong with the display or the mobo according to pc dr.

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#13 Post by azn_boi123 » Wed Jan 09, 2008 8:16 pm

Hey, I have the exact problem with my IBM T30, I replaced the inverter and it still only shows the backlight w/ no image. However, the problem was cause after it fell 3 feet from the coffee table. I hope theres an easy fix to this...

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#14 Post by swjhay » Wed Jan 09, 2008 9:29 pm

I'm going to last ditch effort pull it all apart again and make darn sure the cable is seated right on both ends. Failing that, does that basically mean I have a 90 dollar LCD purchase ahead of me?

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#15 Post by beeblebrox » Sat Jan 26, 2008 2:37 am

swjhay wrote:I'm going to last ditch effort pull it all apart again and make darn sure the cable is seated right on both ends. Failing that, does that basically mean I have a 90 dollar LCD purchase ahead of me?
No, I have the same problem here. I got a brand new LCD, inverter and cable. They show the same result. it is rather the mainboard, I guess.

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#16 Post by derick » Sat Feb 02, 2008 12:57 pm

Around LCD plug in mobo are couple of fuses (blue or glass).Check it.In my mobo was one broken.The symptoms was,that TP wasn't started to IBM logo.Turn off itself when boot.On external display worked good.
Maybe it helps somebody
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#17 Post by djThinkbad » Mon Feb 04, 2008 10:04 am

Same problem here IBM/Lenovo says LCD needs replacement, it is not the mobo, and not the inverter-board, and not the cable, BUT THE LCD SCREEN ITSELF!

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#18 Post by Robbyrobot » Thu Apr 17, 2008 1:33 pm

derick wrote:Around LCD plug in mobo are couple of fuses (blue or glass).Check it.In my mobo was one broken.The symptoms was,that TP wasn't started to IBM logo.Turn off itself when boot.On external display worked good.
Maybe it helps somebody
Interesting observation...

I have a T41p that works perfectly with an external monitor as long as the internal LCD monitor is not plugged in. When it is, and the display output is directed to the internal monitor, the computer will not POST, although it starts to (flashing lights, fan). When the LCD is plugged in but the display directed to an external monitor, the computer will start normally, but will stop dead when Fn-F7 is used to switch to the internal display. It can only be restarted when the power plug is pulled and reinserted.

The problem is independent of the display (switching the display did not change the symptoms).

Now I'm going to check out what you write above and see if I can find anything visibly wrong with the fuses around the LCD display plug on the mainboard.

Does anyone else have such a situation? I realize this is not the proper section for a T4x problem, but since the described symptoms are so similar to mine, I thought this would be the proper place to comment.

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#19 Post by SMA » Thu Apr 17, 2008 4:45 pm

It takes two things to get the internal LCD going - a video signal and an awesome lot of dc current.
Next to the CPU, the LCD is the most power hungry component in any laptop.
Taking it for granted that you will know how to test for a GPU error, than it seems clear to me that your t41p has a power problem Robby.
Had it been a t23 I would have suggested you to inspect them inductors.
In the lack of t4x experience, all I can suggest you to do is to look for a bad capacitor in the power circuitry.

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#20 Post by RealBlackStuff » Thu Apr 17, 2008 6:28 pm

Hey, I have a spare T30 mobo with those symptoms. I replaced that mobo, but kept it for a rainy/sunny day. That day may have come finally!
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#21 Post by Robbyrobot » Fri Apr 18, 2008 2:37 am

@SMA... Very good point. I'll check into that. In fact, there are quite a few inductors on the top of the board and it wouldn't hurt to make sure they're properly soldered either.

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#22 Post by Robbyrobot » Sat Apr 19, 2008 8:46 am

Haven't checked the inductors yet, but I tried a little experiment... opened the bezel on the display, removed the inverter plug (the one from the mainboard) to be sure that no power would be going to the inverter - presumably the most power-hungry part of the display - then started the computer on an external monitor and switched to the internal one with Fn-F7. My expectation was, of course, that the computer would continue to operate and that I would only see a display without the inverter-driven backlight.

But no such luck: the computer went out exactly as before. So whatever this problem is, it is associated with the connection to the LCD and apparently has nothing to do with the inverter. Or - assuming a lot - I have TWO short-circuited LCD cables, one on the display that came with the computer and another on a display from a T40 I had bought earlier. I don't believe that, though... too many assumptions. Oh, by the way - I had also previously cleaned the display plug on the mainboard with a toothbrush and isopropanol, so dirt in that area is also eliminated as a possible cause.

At any rate, I looked at the blue (glass?) fuses and checked them for breaks, but found nothing.

Strange business... I'll report if I find anything more, but at the moment am baffled.

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Re: Display not working on my T30

#23 Post by 4evermetalhead » Sat May 07, 2011 8:22 am

i would suggest you to check the RAM. for sure you have to use 2 RAM chips of the same size,never use 256&512 for example.if you have 1 ram chip on your pc remove it and use a second one if you have, try powering up the pc. its a very common problem.i just fixed one with this problem.it burned the ram chip cause the user was using 512&256 the same time.now he has to pay 30-40 euros for finding the problem and 80-90 euros new 1gb ram chip. :eek: anyway,good luck with that. :SH!: :mrgreen:

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Re: Display not working on my T30

#24 Post by Retrostyle » Sun May 08, 2011 8:16 am

Please excuse my bad english, I'm not a native speaker of this language.
I know, that this thread is an old one, but as far as i have confirmed the problem, it could be possible, that mostly Hitachi LCDs (I have two that are showing the same defect and have heard from another T30-User, that he have buyed three Displays with same problems and all of them are from Hitachi) was hit by this "glowing CCFL but no Picture"-Problem. In some times you can see a flickering picture, when you bend the Panel, but this is only for a second or so. Other Panels seems don't to have those defects. Especially the SXGA+-Panels wouldn't show this symptoms.
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