Dell laptop backlight only works when I press/bend on motherboard

So I've finally isolated my problem with my Dell inspiron laptop. The laptop itself is about 7 years old and pretty well taken care of. About 2 years ago it started having the issue of the backlight dying out, getting progressively worse over time. I eventually stopped using since I graduated.

I thought the screen was the cause but it seems to be a motherboard issue. I first discovered that if I bent the board (lightly) in the corner where the screen cable connects to the motherboard, the screen would illuminate. I thought it might just be a short or something. Then I checked if pressure cause somewhere else in the board was the fix and this seems to be the answer. My guess is a capacitor or something but I'm hoping someone with some more experience can provide a more concrete solution.

Some videos to show my findings

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Not a concrete solution just some thoughts.

Have you tried gently "tapping" the video flex cable motherboard connector to see if it has any effect on the backlight?

It may be a dry joint connector pin and flexing the board may make it make and break contact with the motherboard.

Another thought (and I don't know your laptop) is perhaps the lid switch is located in that corner of the motherboard and perhaps it may be faulty and that is the problem.

The lid switch is a magnetically operated switch (magnet usually in lid, switch in case) that operates to disconnect power to the backlight when the lid is closed.


Hey thanks for the response!

I tried tapping the connector but didn't have any effect on the backlight. I'm not sure where my lid switch would be but that could be a possibility. I think it's safe to say it's definitely something in that area of the motherboard.

I'm currently getting pretty consistent backlight time right now so my fiddling around did something (although I think I forgot to reconnect my wireless card lol). We'll see how long it lasts.

Hopefully someone can chime in with an exact answer.


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