Friday, September 22, 2006

Dell E1705 LCD swap with Dell 9300

I received my Dell E1705 laptop and as I said in my previous post. One of the first things I wanted to do was to swap the LCD screens. Well I started out with confidence, but ended in a futile result. The whole ordeal lasted less than 15 minutes and left me devastated (well I really didn't need such a strong word just because it didn't work). Anyone who has experience in opening dell laptops already know all this but just a picture story goes here.

I opened the plastic covering and then the keyboard, its connection and the LCD controller connection.

Since the WiFi antenna resides inside the LCD display I also had to remove the connections from WiFi at the back of the laptop.

I proceeded with the same steps for my Dell 9300 laptop too, and swapped the displays. Now is the time to know the truth! After I switched on my E1705 with it's UXGA screen from my older 9300, I saw the screen go all white, then BIOS messages appeared as normal, no indication of any errors or anything. So I was glad the operation was successful, except of course for the screen going all white before booting up. But the screen kind of looked very dull as if the brigtness is set at minimum. I tweaked the LCD brightness in BIOS but to no avail. So I decided to give it the Dell Diagnostic tests. And there I found the problem. All the tests were successful except for the LCD controller test. The error message was "Error accessing the LCD inverter." Bad luck.

So I called up Dell and after 2 hours of explaining to 3 different departments they finally decided that the LCD cannot be swapped and more over they cannot send me a replacement for a different part. Basically I can excahnge for the exact same part. How unfortunate. The only way around this problem it seems, is to return the laptop and order a new one, with UXGA screen. And that is what I decided to do. I am returning this laptop for a full refund (free shipping and no restocking fee of course). And I ordered another E1705 with the correct LCD screen.

There is one more reason I cannot just swap the displays. Although the display from 9300 fits in E1705, the other way round is not easy. The E705 display has a small projection on one of its hinges and the platform it rests on (E1705) has an opening for the projection. But the 9300 does not have any such modifications, so I will have to file the projection. That will be too much hard work. So better off with a new laptop. Meanwhile I decided to do a quick 3DMark05 test. And got a score of 6200 something. Seems like the NVIDIA 7900 GS is almost twice as fast as the NVIDIA 6800!
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