Help finding loose TFT cable?

Discussion in 'EP121 Slate' started by rplatham, Dec 22, 2011.

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  1. rplatham

    rplatham Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I dropped my EP121 (which was in Win7/64 hibernate) about 3 feet on carpet (no under padding, covering basement cement). It landed on the bottom right corner then bounced off the bottom left (camera being top, power connector being left side). I kringed, swore, and put my beer down. Epic fail.

    SHORT STORY:
    Anyone know where the TFT connector or its daughter board are located in the EP121?
    Anyone have an estimate of the RMA repair costs (its outside warranty) if I'm replacing the TFT or its daughter board?
    Any other possible causes for the symptoms below?
    Should I buy a new one and sell the parts from this thing to you guys?

    LONG STORY:

    Visual inspection showed no external blemishes, two of the plastic clips of the backing were popped open and easily snapped back into place.

    On boot, I see almost only flashing lines as in this video. I paper-clipped the reset button and get the Windows Safe-mode prompt in flawless display, but upon starting Windows, it's back to flashing lines.

    I connected an external monitor and its display was flawless. Everything else in the tablet appears to work fine. I backed up my data, whew.

    I suspected a loose cable, so I took off the back, but couldn't find a cable that I would associate with the screen. Visual inspection of the inside didn't show any damage besides a snapped backing clip. I didn't want to disassemble the tablet any further without some clear direction, so I pushed on all the visible connectors to make certain they were well seated and rebooted.

    Tablet booted Windows in some messed up colours (what was grey is now pink) with some scattered images/colours and eventually (30sec to 3 min) goes to flashing lines. Pic1 Pic2 Pic3. External is still fine. I'm posting from the tablet now, with its screen off, sober.

    - Russell
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 18, 2015
  2. CF77

    CF77 Love Tablet. Senior Member

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    The connector is probably deep below. Have you tried undo battery to reset..There was a thread about resetting USB.
     
  3. rplatham

    rplatham Pen Pal - Newbie

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    For those looking to reset the EP121 from the inside by unplugging the battery: I've included a picture of the battery connector, unplugged.


    Thanks CF77, I've unplugged the battery and rebooted. I still get screen distortion (see 2nd pic, kinda like its running in 8 bit colour) and some flicker. I tried forcing the screen resolution and colour depth lower then back to regular settings but the distortion and flicker remained.

    Interestingly, when screen tries to go all black between resolution changes, I get black with blue dots like good old analog TV. This and the repeated slight changes in the screen's display quality on every boot have me more convinced its a connector or daughter board issue.

    Time for me to consider digging deeper into my slate...

    Anyone seen a complete disassembly of an EP121? I think I'll have to remove the motherboard to get at the space between it and the TFT LCD screen. Don't worry, if I do it there will be lots of pictures. On the other hand, if its just a connector the RMA costs will be a lot cheaper and I don't risk breaking anything (edit: anythin ELSE, dumbass).

    - Russell
     

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  4. rplatham

    rplatham Pen Pal - Newbie

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    On closer inspection, no further disassembly was required. The TFT's daughterboard is in the same corner as the power connector and the TFT connector is accessible when the back is removed. I reseated it and everything is running again.

    The pictures below show the TFT connector disconnected. It is a metal topped connector with a black tape pull tag on it. The connector plugs into the motherboard vertically. Poor design because there is no clip to hold it in place. I hope this was fixed in the B121!

    The power connector cables (the paired red and black wires) run directly under the TFT cable. I think that explains the extra sheilding (the gold coloured foil) around the TFT cable which threw me off in the first place. I thought all that stuff was related to the power daughterboard, but apparently not.

    - Russell
     

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  5. CF77

    CF77 Love Tablet. Senior Member

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    Glad you have found the plug without digging deep.
     
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