Posted on December 19th, 2009 38 comments
I have a Dell Inspiron 1520 which started to get a whining noise right under the DELL logo below the screen right in the middle. It would change pitch depending on how bright the screen was set at. I replaced the inverter which cost me $15 on ebay. The process was fairly simple but I took more things apart and made things generally more difficult on myself than I needed. Here is the most simple way to repair your inverter on a Dell 1520 Inspiron laptop.
- Remove the plate covering the power button and numlock/capslock keys. This can be done by twisting a screwdriver under the little slot on the top right hand side of the cover.
- Remove the frame around the screen. Do this by removing the 6 little pads and and stickers covering the screws to remove the frame from the screen. There is one in each of the corners and two near the center/top. Unscrew these screws. To remove the screen cover frame you will need to twist and pry a little bit near the hinges. Don't be afraid it does require some force.
Once it is removed it should look like this:
- With the frame off, remove the screws holding the screen to the lid. There are some that screw down from the top and other that screw into the side of the screen, just look around. Next, remove a couple screws holding the microphone/webcam board above the very top of the screen. This will allow you to safely move the entire screen and get to the inverter. Once you have done this, you can open your laptop lid all of the way so it is almost flat and move the screen and webcam board so they are flat on the keyboard. It should look like this:
- Replace the Inverter. At this point you should be able to easily get to the inverter which is between the hinges below the screen. There are two cables to unplug. One has a blue ribbon to pull on and the other a white connector to pull out.
- Once you've switched them out, put everything back together and you're done.
It took me a long time to realize that if I removed the screws to the microphone/webcam board it would move with the screen which led to lots of problems trying to get to the inverter while the screen was still attached to the lid. That is really the only trick.
38 Responses to “Howto Replace a Screen Invertor on a Dell Inspiron 1520”
Thank you for this useful guide.
WOW! Thanks for the tips! It really helped me out!
You gave me good advice on this except for the inverter board. I have everything out but I can’t figure out how to switch the inverter to the new monitor. Or even seperate it from the old monitor even. Any idea
This was great info. I too came to the problem as Augie did. I found that on either side of the inverter were two tiny phillips screws. One was covered in white tape. Remove them and pull up removing the inverter and the metal frame that it is attached to. Now came the trickey part. With an exacto knife I had to gently work the inverter apart from the frame. This also required a little bending of the frame. Reverse the steps (and the frame bending) when installing the board. Again, this was a very helpfull page.
Thanks Shane for clearing that up!
hello , i hope you can help me.
I have a dell inspiren 1521 and have you the service manuell ?
can you send my e-mail ?
Thanks a ton for the instructions! I just replaced backlight inverter of my Inspiron 1525 and it is working great now.
Working on a Dell Insp 6000
seems the inverter is connected to the display with some kind of glue (no screws no clips). Can not pry it away at all
NM slide it out and replaced it
YSDimov June 19th, 2010 at 4:26 am
i gave my laptop service to replace my ivertor, becouse i was not sure that is the problem BUT i found that my web cam and my mic dosnt work. Dou you know how to test with my self where can be the problem except the cable on the top.
David (UK) June 24th, 2010 at 6:07 am
Thank you to Zach and others that added comments; I’ve been able to repair my laptop for a sum of GBP £8. Quite proud of myself but I wouldn’t have been able to do it without your guidance.
Where did you get the inverter from?
The screen on my Inspiron 1520 is very dim – Dell support tell me a new screen is required which they would be happy to fix for £250. Thought I might try a new inverter first.
I got my inverter off of ebay for something like $15. The other thing you might try is replacing the backlight which will be more expensive than the inverter, but still less expensive than £250.
Thanks a lot. It helped me.
Antonio August 15th, 2010 at 11:28 am
Amazing tutorial! Very helpful.
Thanks, it helped!
Had to reconnect riibon cable to display, which got loose in the process.
Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge – all went well.
P.S. I used a guitar pick to easily pry the frame off.
If the inverter and metal frame wont come off (as in my case, it was riveted to the lcd panel), i found it was easier to unscrew the inverter circuit board from the metal frame, theres one screw on the left hand side, when looking at the FRONT of the panel…slide it out, do the same with the new inverter and frame (my new one was glued to the frame, so had to pry it off with a plastic knife) slide the inverter circuit board in place, screw to the old frame and there you go! Mine is now working fine, thanks for the guide!
Peter Abashian September 29th, 2010 at 7:31 pm
I cannot thank you enough for posting this. I spent $30 on the board, $16 on a cool mini screwdriver set and it went off without a hitch. My computer is a 1525 and there is some work to do to remove and reuse the bracket that holds the board. I hope santa is good to you this year!
Dustin October 9th, 2010 at 3:26 am
FLAWLESS!!! THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!!! i just took the frame off of the new inverter…..took the screw out of the old inverter and popped it out of the metal frame with a flathead precision screwdriver…..the new one went right in and i put the screw in….no probs……awesome work
Great Instruction! Thanks very much for posting. The pictures were helpful as I am not internal part savvy. Completed screen change in about 1/2 hour on a Dell Inspiron 1520 with these instructions.
Great help saved me £95 from local laptop company tryinh to rip me off.
Many thanks for this – screen now fully lit and no more black outs!!! As a total novice it took me about an hr – I was scared of breaking the casing but it needed a bit of brute force to take it apart. My top tip is arm yourself with a tiny phillips screwdriver for removing the invertor before you start. I ended up using one of the blades on a swiss army knife to unscrew it. Total cost £6. Delighted.
Many thanks here too. I bought the inverter & backlight off eBay for $37. Your photos and words made this an infinitely easier experience and it was very much appreciated!
Jay Cruz February 11th, 2011 at 2:46 am
That was awesome man…just got done thanks alot
Cant believe how many people have this problem, I had the ribbon pull off in the back but it reattached sorta easy
5 STAR help
Thank you very much for all your help…10++
Now can you help me fix my 1720 that my daughters As$%^ boyfriend spilt pop on…lol
thanks again for the great step by step
Thank you all for your help. The initial instructions were very good and Monkey’s comments allowed me to complete the fix (I could not take the inverter frame out).
It cost me just $5 to get a new inverter from eBay and about 1hour to get my laptop up again.
Thank you so much for this great information. I ordered an inverter from Ebay. I followed your instructions and it was a breeze. I was ready to toss this laptop. Just for the heck of it I called a pc repair person and asked what he would charge to replace it for me. If I had the new inverter they would charge me $125. If I did not have the part they wanted $250. I am so glad I did this myself. Thanks again!!
Dell Inspiron 1520 with no back lighting…found this blog and ordered a new inverter…instructions were perfect and installation was very simple….unfortunately it didn’t fix my problem….what should I do next?
The problem might be that the actual back light is broken. You can get the replacement here. It could be something else though, its hard for me to say.
Dennis Keane July 3rd, 2011 at 5:49 am
The instruction for the replacement of te inverter as described is excellent and easily followed,also by the replies you have had show just how positive those instructions were.
I have similar problems and have already replaced the inverter without curing my dark screen so I am now thinking about the backlight lamp itself. I understand this can be more difficult but have not been able to find instruction on how to do this. Do not wish to go at it blindly.Can you help please.
Dennis, I wish I could help out more, but I have never replaced my backlight lamp before. However I think that getting to the point where you can replace the inverter is half way there. These instructions might be similar to what you will need to do:
Great tutorial guys! I had a customer who needed their inverter replace and I had never done this model.
Thanks for the tutorial!
Thanks from Chile!!!!!
At A Loss September 21st, 2011 at 10:35 am
I have a Dell Inspiron 1525. I had it connected to a samsung lcd tv through the hdmi port to watch movies. Last week I connected the hdmi lead but the tv didn’t detect a signal. So I tried a system reboot. The screen on the laptop lights up as in you can see the back light working but thats the limit to it. I then connected it to an external monitor and it work fine through there. I replaced the inverter still nothing. Like the guys here I removed the screen for easy access. I booted the machine up while it was still open, just so I could have a look at the back of the lcd screen. It appears the back light is working. so I have the laptop reassembled. When I boot up I can see very very faint horizontal black lines set against a charcoal grey screen. so I know it’s not the inverter not sure if having the laptop connected to the tv through the hdmi has burnt something out. If anyone has any ideas as I am praying it’s not the screen. really can’t afford a new screen at the moment. Any help at all guys would be very much appreciated
I do have adell inspiron 1521, the problem with my note book is every time I tried to turn it on It shows adark screen without any sound or booting,I tested the L.C.D. only without the inverter with another different type of dell it works normal.I tried another inverter not areplacement ,the problem still exists, do I have to try or get the same inverter, or any replacement inverter.please advice by return.
jf sebastian October 18th, 2012 at 9:18 am
Thirty six hours ago the screen on my Inspiron 1525 went super-dark – I could see it was still working, but it was pretty much completely black. Prior to this, it sometimes appeared super-bright when going from battery to mains.
then, in the two / three days prior to the complete blackout, the screen had flickered occasionally.
Still needing to use my trusty laptop, I plugged in an external SVGA, which worked fine.
After much research, problem could be caused by [in order of increasing expense/irritation]:
(a) broken inverter
(b) something wrong with screen cable
(c) broken back-light
(d) something wrong with screen itself
(e) something else ? motherboard ? software/driver issue.
Being a cheapskate, I decided to have a crack at (a) to start with.
Bought a replacement inverter for £3.00 (including post) from a rather well-known online auction site.
Inverter arrived this morning.
Twenty minutes swapping it over.
Worked like a charm!
Thank you so much for your help.
Just to reiterate, that’s a £3.00 fix – Dell etc would have charged maybe 50 times that amount. It’s a disgrace.
ps – I seem to have two screws left over – help?!?
Just wanted to say thanks for this advice. My 1520 screen was going almost black (but just readable in very good light, if the text was dark on light) after a couple of seconds of switching on. All the advice I got was to get a new screen, which is about £75 off eBay if you fit it yourself.
Being tight, I decided to try your fix first, for a mighty £3.25 (including postage) and it’s worked perfectly!
Brilliant stuff. Thank you again.