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Mountain View, CA
reply to Camelot One

Re: Odd Toshiba laptop display problem

Isn't the VGA output connector on laptops physically wired differently to the GPU? More specifically: isn't the D-sub connector wired to completely different pins/etc. on the GPU compared to the native LCD screen? You can use the D-sub connector to hook up a monitor and use it as a 2nd/additional display. At least on the laptops I've used from HP and Lenovo I did exactly this.

What I'm trying to say: the VGA connector working/showing things just fine in no way shape or form means the GPU itself is in working condition. There are shared, and separate, transistors for each display.

The problem is either one of the following, given the tests you've done:

1. Something amiss with the GPU on the motherboard or the related circuitry (between the GPU and the LCD itself -- yes there is some other circuitry involved, albeit minor).

2. Something amiss with the actual LCD display itself -- still cannot rule this out because the replacement LCD you got did not work. Unless you can get an exact replica laptop (same exact model, all the way down to revision), I dunno how you'd troubleshoot this.

FYI, I have yet to see any LCD screen bought off eBay advertised as "replacement for {model of laptop}" actually work -- I've tried replacing two of them in my time on Dell laptops, and both had different sets of problems (while the original/stock continued to behave an erroneous way, at least it got a picture to some degree -- much like yours), and also came with their own power inverters and so on. Maybe I just got unlucky both times, but whatever -- the moral I've learned is that vendors don't give a crap about laptops. They consider them expendable within 1 year, thus if something starts acting wonky on them, their response is "for a nominal fee we'll replace your laptop with a new/better model". It's virtually impossible, from what I've found, to get proper replacement parts for laptops which are over a year old.

As a result of my experience, I've adapted the following attitude: laptops suck universally, trying to repair them is a waste of time. The only parts that tend to work when swapped/replaced are the "user-serviceable" parts with bays, such as the hard disk, RAM, or (only sometimes) mini-PCI cards (wifi, etc.). Everything else acts like black magic, especially the GPU bits. I therefore just recycle those which go bad and invest in new ones. Laptops = industry cash cow. Another reason I hate the things...

If the laptop is under a year old, call Toshiba and make it their problem. In fact, you could even tell their support folks "look I'm a technician, just send me the exact LCD panel I need, P/N xxx-yyy, thanks".

Making life hard for others since 1977.
I speak for myself and not my employer/affiliates of my employer.