The screen on my ThinkPad R51 (type: 1836-B9U) died yesterday. I found a lot of the info here and I think I can narrow the problem to either an inverter or CCFL or the video cable, since I can see faint image on the screen and the computer boots otherwise normally (I am currently running it with an external monitor). I am reasonably technically savvy (and know how to solder) and I have a few very specific questions:
1) Is this course of action a good one? Any thoughts are welcome...
-replace inverter (FRU: 91P7336) , see if that solves the problem, and if it doesn't
-replace CCFL, see if that solves the problem, and if it doesn't
-replace MB-to-LCD cable (FRU: 91P6827), see if that solves the problem, and if it doesn't then use R51 as a desktop (or donate parts to folks doing research here) and get a new laptop
2) Replacing inverter: I understand that I should be looking for a new unit. I found one at thinkpad-parts.com here: http://www.thinkpad-parts.com/91P7336-ThinkPad.html
and at Zlectronic.com here: http://www.zlectronic.com/product/LCD-I ... 1-R50.html
The prices for the inverter are about the same (~$10) but Zlectronic has free shipping (which cuts the cost of it by about 50%). Also, Zlectronic has a valid SSL certificate, while thinkpad-parts.com's expired in July... However, thinkpad-parts.com claims to sell "genuine original" parts, and Zlectronic doesn't make such claim...
So my question is: where would you guys get an inverter? Have you had any luck/horror stories with thinkpad-parts.com or Zlectronic? Any suggestions are welcome.
3) Replacing CCFL: where can one buy the replacement CCFL and how much would one expect to pay? Specific stores and part numbers would be very helpful. There is not FRU number for CCFL and the replacement procedure is not covered in IBM Hardware Maintenance Manual, and I've seen folks on here say that some soldering is required. How hard is the replacement procedure? What level of screen disassembly is needed? Is there any guide online on how to do it? Has anyone on here actually performed it? What should I watch out for if I want to do it myself? As I said, I am not half-bad with a soldering iron, having soldered delicate microchips onto PCBs before.
4) Replacing the video cable: does getting new or used matter as much as with the inverter? I found a new cable on thinkpad-parts.com for $45+shipping here: http://www.thinkpad-parts.com/91P6827-ThinkPad.html
On eBay there is also a used one for $9.00 and free shipping here: http://cgi.ebay.com/IBM-ThinkPad-R51-15 ... 0419893689
The eBay seller gives a 30-day warranty and claims to have tested it. What would you guys do: get it new or used?
Thank you very much for any help!