Laptop inverter boards (also know as LCD inverter, FL inverter, screen inverter, backlight inverter) come in different shapes and sizes. On the picture above you see some typical looking inverter boards found in laptop computers.
The inverter board works as a power supply for the backlight lamp mounted inside the LCD screen. The inverter board converts low voltage DC power (few volts) supplied by the motherboard to high voltage AC power (few hundred volts) needed for the backlight lamp.
When the inverter board works properly, the backlight lamp gets power and the LCD screen lights up. As a result, the image on the screen is bright.
HOW INVERTER CONNECTED TO LDC SCREEN
On the picture below you can see a typical laptop display assembly which includes the LCD screen, video cable and inverter board.
One side of the inverter board connects to the backlight lamp and another side to the video cable (LCD screen cable).
HOW INVERTER MOUNTED INSIDE LAPTOP DISPLAY PANEL
In most laptops the inverter board is mounted below the LCD screen as it shown on the picture below. You can get an access to the inverter board when you remove the screen bezel – a plastic frame around the LCD screen.
TYPICAL INVERTER FAILURE SYMPTOMS
Usually inverters fail in one of the following ways:
1. When you turn on the laptop, the screen lights up for a short period of time and then goes dark. You still can see an image but it is very dark, almost invisible and definitely not usable. When you restart the laptop, the screen lights up and then goes dark again. The laptop works fine with an external monitor.
2. Your laptop turns on but the screen remains dark all the time. You still can see a very dim image outline. The laptop works fine with an external monitor.
3. The laptop screen works fine for hours or even days, but sometimes it goes very dark as it mentioned above. When you restart the laptop, the screen works fine again.
Inverter failure symptoms are very similar to backlight lamp failure symptoms and in most cases you cannot tell which one is causing the problem until you replace either the inverter board or the backlight lamp. From my personal experience, inverter boards fail more often than backlight lamps. If you have to guess, replace the inverter first.