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Laptop Quick Fix |

I’ve had my Dell Inspiron 8500 for over 4 years now. It’s been pretty solid, but it is starting to show it’s age. Saturday night I booted it up, I could tell that it had booted successfully, but the screen never fully turned on. It faded from white to gray and back, over and over. I went to another computer on my network and was able to ssh into my laptop, so I knew it was up and running.

I got on google in hopes that there was an easy fix and that I wouldn’t have to spend a lot to do it. I found Shandy’s Blog. He had the same problem. Apparently this is a fairly common problem caused by the button that detects if the laptop’s screen is open or closed. It will get stuck in the closed position.

Shandy gave a free fix. Pop the top of the keyboard off, re-seat the button, put it all back together. This is easier than it sounds. It doesn’t even require a screw driver. It took about 5 minutes to complete the entire process and I was back up and running again.

I was kind of wishing I had taken some pictures to document the process. Well, I got a 2nd chance today. When I got home from work today the button was stuck in the closed position again. I took pictures this time.

Here’s a picture of what the screwed up screen looks like, white with black and gray streaks. The streaks move, sometimes they disappear and I only have a white screen. It varies from being super bright to dim.

01-white-screen.jpg

This is a picture of the button. Notice how it’s sticking out at an angle. You’ll see why next.

02-badswitch.jpg

After popping off the blue strip of buttons at the top of the keyboard, I found out why the button was stuck. The yellow square shows where the switch is. Click on the image for a bigger version.

04-badswitch.jpg

Here is the switch after re-seating it.

05-fixedswitch.jpg

These are two pictures of it reassembled. Notice the button is now straight, and is sticking out further.

06-fixedswitch.jpg

07-fixedswitch.jpg

Success! Back at the login screen.
08-ubuntuscreen.jpg

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