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Laptop monitor fades to white

by lobescoper / July 19, 2009 7:30 AM PDT

Hello, I have an older laptop, a Toshiba Satellite 2435-S255, and the monitor seems to be having some issues. Whenever I boot up windows, the boot up screen works fine, but usually right after windows finishes loading the screen starts to slowly bleed to complete whiteness. An external monitor works fine, even when the laptop screen is white. What is weird is that sometimes switching between external monitor and the laptop monitor will bring the image back up on my laptop. Also, if the screen on my laptop is white and I press the power button to hibernate the laptop, then the windows hibernating screen comes up just fine. I reformatted the laptop and it still does it. I tried reconnecting all the video cables inside as well.. my only other thought is that it could be a bad inverter, but I dont see why the bootup and hibernate screens would work just fine if that was the case. Any thoughts?

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by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 19, 2009 7:40 AM PDT

This is one of the famous Intel Pentium 4 2.4 GHz based laptops. Once you see ANY issue like that you know (well our office knows) it's time to take it apart to where we can get the heatsinks off. With the heatsinks off we clean up all the dust, lint and then apply fresh heatsink compound. Then build it all back up.

Usually we need to do this every few years.

A bad inverter's symptom is black, not white.

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by lobescoper / July 19, 2009 9:55 AM PDT
In reply to: TURN IT OFF!

Thanks for the quick reply. I did completely gut the laptop (except for motherboard) and dusted off everything. The cpu came off with the heat sink when I removed it, so I didn't apply any new thermal compound. Do you think I should remove the cpu from the heatsink so I can apply fresh?

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"I didn't apply any new thermal compound."
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 19, 2009 11:11 AM PDT
In reply to: hrmm

That compound is not an optional step. Your writings have me thinking the compound has dried up and is not working as it should.

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Having trouble.
by lobescoper / July 20, 2009 12:31 PM PDT

Could it be a heat issue even if an external monitor is working fine. The computer runs super smoothly on the external, and doesn't seem to have the other symptoms of an overheating system. I tried to remove the heatsink from the CPU today and it seems to really be stuck on there. I let it run for awhile to heat it up, but still could not seem to get them apart. Any suggestions for getting them apart? I also noticed that the lcd monitor stops receiving any more date when it starts to fade, because the mouse cursor remains in the same place while I can still move it around on the external monitor. Could this be a faulty video cable?

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Second guessing.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 20, 2009 12:45 PM PDT
In reply to: Having trouble.

Your choice here. Heat sink compound is 69 cents here. I have no explanation why people pass it up.

The cable? Change it and see.

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by lobescoper / July 20, 2009 12:55 PM PDT
In reply to: Second guessing.

I appreciate your thoughts, not necessarily the tone though. I am not second guessing anything. I already stated that I am having difficulty removing the heat sink from the CPU. I followed all the guides I could find online but they seem to be pretty stuck together. Instead of offering me help in that department you accuse me of second guessing your input. I called around to computer stores in the area to try and purchase some thermal compound, and have yet to find a store who will sell it to me.

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Its just my experience
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 20, 2009 1:21 PM PDT
In reply to: Thanks

That many owners will avoid well worn answers. Here's some compound ->

I will share that the old Pentium 4 based units are known trouble machines. We learned to do very specific things and will not accept them for repair as they are well beyond service life. We'll hand out what we learned instead.

If the compound has turned to a cement then it's likely not doing its job. But the turn to white at least is not the inverter failure. That's assured.

If that doesn't fix it then it's a video circuit failure. I'm unsure how deep you are in electronics designs but the vga output is not what the LCD uses so what you get out the back has little to do with the display in that regard.

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Many thanks!
by lobescoper / July 20, 2009 2:51 PM PDT
In reply to: Its just my experience

I hear you about people avoiding well worn answers. I definately am ignorant when it comes to laptop repair, so your info has been wonderfully helpful. It does seem that the paste has turned to cement, would alcohol be the best way to help remove it? Some forums say to use a hairdryer, but heat seems to not help it become softer. I felt like I was going to damage the cpu when I was trying to twist them apart earlier.

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Those Pentium 4 CPUs
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 20, 2009 9:14 PM PDT
In reply to: Many thanks!

The models I've seen with the metal tops are quite rugged. I've seen a tech do more damage to themselves than the CPU getting one removed.

Since the failure is not a OS crash but a video one look for other chips that have heatsink attachments and refresh those.

If the machine must be fixed, start looking for a replacement main board on ebay.

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No luck thus far
by lobescoper / July 22, 2009 11:41 AM PDT
In reply to: Those Pentium 4 CPUs

I managed to finally get the heatsink off and apply some arctic silver. This seemed to fix it but today it started fading out again. I took the entire computer apart and could not find any other chips with heat sinks... I don't know if I should try to re paste the main heat sink once more or just use it with an external until it dies. My problem is that I am moving to Japan in 9 days and can't afford a new laptop, or even a new mobo.

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Then it will have to be a desktop.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 22, 2009 8:39 PM PDT
In reply to: No luck thus far

While it was a chance it was the CPU there are graphics chips at play for that and those are on the mainboard. It looks like you have a desktop.

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All right!
by lobescoper / July 23, 2009 12:45 AM PDT

Haha, I always wanted a desktop!

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Weird Discovery.
by lobescoper / July 23, 2009 1:05 PM PDT

So I made a strange discovery today. If I have the external monitor plugged in on startup, and let windows boot up and sit a bit. I can then unplug the laptop from the monitor and use it just fine. Also if I start it up without the external, once the image bleeds away, I can plug in the external, swap between the 2, and get the image back on the laptop. I then can unplug the external and the laptop will work fine. These leads me to think it might be related for some reason to a startup driver... but I reformatted the hard drive and installed the latest video drivers... which unfortunately are from 2002.

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When chips fail.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 23, 2009 10:40 PM PDT

You will find odd things like that. It doesn't mean much as it worked before the failure.

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What chip is this?
by lobescoper / July 24, 2009 12:48 AM PDT
In reply to: When chips fail.

When I was taking apart the computer, I noticed a chip on the motherboard that appears to be covered in a clear glue... just curious if that might be something that could be causing it to overheat.

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This never seemed to get a good answer.
by TechSean / June 4, 2013 9:20 AM PDT

This is the circuit board on the LED or LCD that is bad... replacing the lcd screen will fix this issue.

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" so I didn't apply any new thermal compound. "
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 4, 2013 9:26 AM PDT

Sadly this is quite the old discussion about an even older laptop that we saw this design too often. After a few encounters we added this design to models we would not allow in the shop for repair.

Didn't you see that issue?

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