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What Is a Screen Inverter?

A screen inverter creates the image displayed on a laptop screen.
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  • Written By: Derek Schauland
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 20 April 2014
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A screen inverter is a small circuit board in a laptop computer that passes a power current from the body to the liquid crystal display (LCD) screen. It works by turning a direct current (DC) from the motherboard into an alternating current (AC). The AC current then sparks the backlight, causing the computer's images to appear on the screen. It is also known as a backlight inverter or an LCD inverter, among other names.

The primary function of the inverter is to power the laptop LCD. As laptop technology has improved, the inverter boards have become smaller and of better quality. One is located just below the LCD display in most laptops, and can usually be accessed easily when the plastic frame is removed from around the screen. It is typically connected on one end to the the video cable and on the other to the backlight. In addition to powering the screen, the inverter also creates a better screen resolution and can give users more control over their display options.

Even though a screen inverter performs a seemingly simple task in laptop computers, it can also be one of the most common to fail. When this occurs, it can sometimes be difficult to determine if the backlight is burned out or if the inverter has gone bad. The symptoms of each are very similar and both can display a dark or briefly lighted screen with some or no images.

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Most times when this circuit board has gone bad, the screen will appear to be lit, but the light will be very dim and the images will be very difficult to see. When a laptop has a faulty inverter, the LCD may display only very faint images, or the laptop could appear to be powering up, but the screen remains dark. Often, a bad inverter can be attributed to faulty circuits or bad conductor coils.

When repairing or replacing a defective screen inverter, there are multiple resources available, including websites, computer services, and qualified technicians. It may be helpful for the user to also check the warranty information on the computer prior to making any repairs or replacements. If the laptop still has a warranty, the manufacturer will usually take care of the repair at no cost and the warranty will likely remain intact.

If there is no current warranty information on the laptop, replacing the inverter is typically inexpensive and can be done quickly. There are multiple websites that detail the step-by-step process of replacing the board. It can also be beneficial for computer users to check the video card in the laptop with an external monitor to make sure it isn't the source of the problem; this can save quite a few headaches if the problem is not something a user can repair.

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Discuss this Article

anon943366
Post 16

On my Acer 5315, the screen is really blurry and slow. It takes so long for the screen to respond. What is the problem? Does anyone know?

reaume
Post 15

I replaced the inverter and it worked fine. Four days later it looks like the new part no longer works. Any suggestions? I'm getting a very faint hp logo, and login, and nothing else.

anon320221
Post 14

Ever since a few weeks ago, when I turned on my Presario CQ60-419WM, the screen only shows a vertical black gap of approximately 1 1/2 inch on each side of the screen and vertical lines in between the gaps. If I connect an external monitor, it works fine. The problem is just with the laptop LCD screen.

anon276558
Post 13

The screen of my Packard Bell Easynote went completely white yesterday. When using an external monitor I get a display and I am able to use the computer. Could this be the inverter?

anon271162
Post 12

My XPS M1530 displays on an external monitor but not on the LCD?

I've been working on my laptop for almost 1 year.

My problem is that my laptop will display perfectly fine on any external monitor, but not on my LCD screen. Please help me. Any ideas?

anon258626
Post 10

I'm just trying to find out if it could be the backlight or inverter because my screen keeps going dim or black but my motherboard and everything else is working fine. It's a pain because I'm a music producer and this is a big setback for me. Please help my fellow geeks, thanks.

anon257428
Post 9

@anon88386: You have a bad LCD. Is your laptop still under warranty? You may get a replacement LCD for free.

anon194442
Post 8

I have a problem on my toshiba satellite a50 that I bought few years ago. The os boots properly on the laptops vga output, but the LCD is very dim.

anon134252
Post 7

1. Check inverter

2. Check cable data

3. Check out from vga way to cable data inverter. Use blower or air solder, to hot solder.

anon117558
Post 6

Plugged a dell xps m1530 US bought into the power socket in uk, and suddenly the screen went. It got lines and eventually no picture. I did the restarting but no use. my guess either the inverter, the back light, video cable or the screen itself. The display on the external screen when connected is fine.

How do i rule out the options? please help. Thanks

anon88649
Post 5

well, some says it might be an inverter, and the connection is loose, but what is exactly the cause?

anon88386
Post 4

I have an ASUS G73JH-A1 notebook and after two weeks I had a sudden LCD problem which is the screen display divided into two parts: the left side was white with vertical black moving lines and the right side has rainbow colors.

Please help me identifying what causes this problem exactly and what to do to fix it?

Thank you. My best regards, Samy

anon79298
Post 3

remove battery/power adaptor before replacing screen inverter.

anon77654
Post 2

i am the same. Does this mean the laptop screen itself is damaged?

anon74812
Post 1

i have totally blank screen. no light whatsoever but the external works fine.

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