Troubleshooting Laptop Video Problems With a Touch Screen

Troubleshooting Laptop Video Problems can be frustrating. It’s not a trivial task to open up a laptop to do anything beyond a memory upgrade or drive replacement.

If you feel daring and working with small electronic components doesn’t intimidate you, then there are videos that make the process simpler.

Even if you have done this on occasion it can be stressful working on a laptop.

There are services that will do this for a flat fee +parts.  If parts are too expensive, they may  charge you for the diagnostics and shipping. Shipping alone can be considerable.

Some places may waive the diagnostic charges if you are willing to part with the defective laptop. Plenty of usable parts for a shop that sells parts or uses them for diagnostics.

Scenario – Video Problems

Dell laptop Inspiron 3521 with  a Touch Screen was dropped. Thereafter the user complained that the video was dim and difficult to read. Otherwise, the laptop seemed ok.

Remote connections to the laptop worked fine.

Is it under warranty?

We knew this laptop had been around for a while but it’s always wise to check if it’s under warranty.

Our 1st stop was Dell support. As expected it was not under warranty but they also had diagnostics and drivers that we could try.

Troubleshooting Laptop Video Problems

We decided to bring the laptop in for some troubleshooting.

No obvious damage was done to the case so we hoped that the issue was a cable was loose.

Troubleshooting Laptop Video – Finding out what’s wrong.

We knew the video was dim but wasn’t sure why.

When we viewed the video from a remote connection it became obvious that the colors were reversed.

Everything that should have been white was black, everything that should be blue was black.

It’s surprising how illegible the video was even when the BIOS screen was displayed.

Colors Reversed – Top to Bottom

A Dell website was all but invisible since they use a lot of blue & white.







Do we really want to open a laptop for troubleshooting?

As mentioned above, opening a laptop is not for the faint at heart.

Laptop with palm rest removed

It’s tedious work and requires considerable patience and time not to mention keeping track of all sorts of parts and screws.

We checked all over the Internet but no-one had posted anything about removing a touch screen. We did find our part though and Parts People confirmed that there were 2 parts involved:

The video below does a good job of detailing the process up to removing the bezel (3:26).

The trouble is that the bezel on our laptop is attached to the digitizer glass.


Our Laptop LCD screen with digitizer

We got it apart

It wasn’t easy but we managed to remove the digitizer glass using low heat on a heat gun and carefully inserting tools between digitizer and laptop case until we could unsnap all the clips.

Unfortunately, the cable was not our issue so we probably won’t invest more time and money into this laptop.

What could be wrong?

The general consensus is that the LCD, video cable, system board could be at fault.

A shop that has all those parts could determine which were defective.


Troubleshooting Laptop Video Problems can take considerable time and still end in frustration.

Unless you have known good parts lying around, it probably is not worth the effort to repair a laptop that is around 3 years old.

Don’t Hold Back Your Business Virus Protection

Business Virus Protection

It’s useful to set up a centrally controlled anti-virus when you have a few machines to manage in your business. This post refers to Worry-Free Business Security (WFBS) but is applicable to other versions of business virus protection in general.

Don’t Hold Back Your Business Virus Protection from doing its job.

The main reason you need business virus protection is to protect your server. Your typical home protection suite won’t suffice. If you run an Exchange server then you should install the Advanced version if not then Services is the best option. There is also a Standard edition that requires less setup.

Even if you don’t have a server you may still want a business solution so you don’t have to update your anti-virus suite machine by machine.

Web Management Console

With WFBS, you manage your machines via a Web Management Console.  Once the machines are added you can review the status, update and configure  from the console.

Web Management Console requires Internet Explorer. Typically you need to run the site in compatibility mode as a trusted site. The Services version can be accessed from anywhere while the Advanced version can be accessed via LAN/VPN.

Email Notifications

WFBS software suites can be set up to email your notifications when there is a problem. It’s best to use a dedicated email address for the product.


You have to find a reseller to purchase these business products.

Worry-Free Business Security Advanced

Advanced has some nifty features for IT but is overkill if you don’t have an Exchange Server. It requires a security server which could be any machine but it’s better to install on your server.

Advanced requires Internet Explorer to access the web which can be tricky with a server Operating System.

This version works on LAN or VPN so no protection for machines that are not connected. The rest of the machines get their updates from the security server so you have a single point of failure.

If your server is setup to block outgoing email you may have difficulty getting notifications to work. Earlier versions of Advanced had trouble with Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) so make sure you have the latest version.

Worry-Free Business Security Services

Services don’t require a Security Server machine since it’s hosted by Trend-Micro. The best feature is that you can run your company anti-virus on remote machines.  Since this is a hosted solution email setup is not very difficult. Services updates automatically.