Repair Tip of the Week: Backlight Troubleshooting

Occasionally after repairing an iPad, you’ll notice the LCD remains dim. Following these steps you can quickly work your way through the issue.

Step 1: Make sure that the iPad is charged.

The first step in an identifying an electronics problem should always be to check the power source. In this specific instance, check that the power source (battery) has a charge. Since it is possible that the LCD backlight isn’t functioning, you will need to plug the iPad into a computer. This allows viewing the charge via iTunes.

Step 2: Perform a hard reset.

Once confirmation has been made that the iPad has power, it is time to perform a hard reset. To do this, simultaneously hold down the power button and the home button for 10 to 15 seconds, or until you see the Apple logo.

Note: Before re-opening any device that is showing problematic symptoms, try a hard reset. Hard resets can solve a wide range of issues.

Step 3: Re-seating the LCD cable.

If the hard reset did not resolve the dim LCD, the iPad will need to be disassembled. (To minimize the risk of breaking the newly installed digitizer, use proper heating techniques!) After removing the digitizer, unplug the LCD connector. Inspect the connector for any signs of damage, corrosion and/or foreign objects. If nothing is out of the ordinary, re-insert the LCD cable into the logic board connector. Repeat steps 1 and 2. (Repeat these steps before finishing the iPad assembly to allow for further troubleshooting if necessary.)

Step 4: Replace the LCD.

If the LCD remains dim after the completion of steps 1, 2 and 3, then the LCD may need to be replaced. Connect a new iPad LCD, and repeat steps 1, 2, and 3 as necessary.

If a new LCD does not resolve the dim light, there is likely damage to the backlight diode and/or filter. These subcomponents can be damaged fairly easily if the iPad is not powered down during the screen replacement. The damage also can be the result of the introduction of ESD to the iPad logic board.

-Matt Haywood, General Manager

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