I was asked to do a tutorial based on when I replaced my D620's CCFL, so here it is. Unfortunately, it's not something I do every day and I don't really want to take apart another one just for fun. Fortunately, I took pictures when I did it, so I'll show you those.
First you have to remove the screen assembly. Frankly if you have a desire to replace the CCFL you already know how to do that. Then remove the screen bezel, then the LCD panel and it's brackets on the right and left. Then disassemble the LCD panel - it's snapped together, so this might just break it.
Here is the CCFL I bought on eBay from China for $10. It shipped in a white plastic pipe:
Naturally it was so fragile it was ridiculous, but somehow I never broke it. I plugged it into the inverter board to see how it looked:
Mmkay so now the hard part. You'd have to disassemble (aka, pull apart) the bottom part of the LCD, not really all of it, and remove the old CCFL from the tiny cavity in there. It looks like this:
The CCFL gets stuffed between layers under a delicate foil strip which reflects light so it doesn't go toward the user but instead out into the LCD diffuser. Bear in mind that I damaged three things at this point: I scratched up the layers so they looked bad (the polarizing film is easily scratched and once scratched easily visible when using the laptop), I crinkled up the foil resulting in weird light patterns at the bottom of the screen (it is supposed to be flawless too), and I accidentally moved one of the layers about 1/8 inch down, resulting in a row of about 4 pixels no longer being seen on the bottom of the screen. If you attempt this, I'm sure you will do all those things.
After the new CCFL is stuffed in there the same way as the original, you can snap most of it back together. In my case, the cheap Chinese CCFL wasn't really the same as the OEM one, and was longer than the original, so I cut off some plastic pieces of the LCD case to make it fit. Here is a picture showing where the bulb was too long and I trimmed the plastic (the part that starts near my finger originally continued til it reached the metal):
And a picture of the total bits discarded:
Happy breaking-your-electronics (albeit already broken electronics) everyone! If I ever have occasion to replace a CCFL again, I'll be certain to make a step-by-step showing how it's done!
Skylites Computers -- CalebHansberry's Vintage Computing
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