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Lenovo X201 screen only displays at an angel

Question from customer:

I was wondering if you could please help me decide if my 10 year old Lenovo ThinkPad X201 Laptop is worth repair, and if you can do it.

It has been running Linux Mint Tara for quite some time, working fabulously until the other day, when something failed.
My personal opinion is that the Hall Switch (magnetic switch) has failed, and needs to be replaced. Perhaps I’m wrong, and the monitor is cactus.
Are parts even available after 10 years?

Here are the infinite details, in case you’re interested….

Issue description
For the first time, in a long time, I plugged the power into the side (rather than powering via the docking station). As soon as I plugged it in, the screen went dark. The laptop was still on, but the LCD backlight stopped working. Under the right light conditions, you could see that the screen was actually on; Just barely visible. As I moved the lid of the screen (to close it), the backlight would temporarily switch on, just before the laptop would go into hibernation. If I held the lid open at a specific angle (about 20-degrees), the screen would stay on, and I could interact with it normally, despite at a very uncomfortable angle.

Troubleshooting steps, thus far
–    Plugging the laptop into an external KVM proved successful, and I was able to perform some software troubleshooting. The Linux forums had a couple of solutions which were unsuccessful.
–    The screen brightness controls on the keyboard displayed a UI overlay on the OS desktop, indicating that they were functioning, but the display brightness would only change if it was open at that special 20-degree open angle, and not when fully open.
–    So, I booted to a “Live CD” operating system, no success.
–    I have booted to the BIOS, and gone through many settings, no success.

For me this proved that it was not a software issue.
–    I then attempted to plug the power in and out, remove and replace the battery, rotate the power cable in it’s plug.
–    I removed the keyboard and mousepad as well as the monitor, for visual inspection. There were no burnt-out components, and dust was quite minimal. No abnormal smell or melted parts. Everything seemed to be visually in order.
–    Upon re-assembly, I noticed that required angle to operate the computer has slightly changed by about 3 or 4 degrees.
–    I then attempted a little physical force (it has an SSD), banging the side of the machine with the palm of my hand to release any jammed sensor mechanics, to no avail.

So, I think it’s either going to be a part replacement, or I’ll just keep using it as a “docked” device, attached to external monitor-KB-mouse.

Thanks if you can let me know if you can repair this.


Hi, Thanks for contacting. 
This issue is one of 3:
1- LCD Cable
2- LCD Inverter 
3- LCD screen. 
The cost to repair will be anywhere between $150 and $300. 

Hope this helps