Did I break my LCD? (noob)

Hi everybody.

I got the starter kit from the Arduino store, and just got the the LCD "Crystal Ball" project yesterday. I did it, and everything went fine. Then today I went to try to integrate the LCD in my own projects, and it soon started to malfunction.

Pic 1 Pic 2 Pic 3

As you can see in picture one, only the left 16 boxes are operational. The right 8 are always at max, and the middle-right 8 are faded down. I loaded all of the LCD example sketches, and the problem persists in all of them. I checked and rewired the circuit several times to no avail.

I think I messed up the hardware somehow. Could I have damaged the screen somehow with incorrect wiring at some point in one of my projects? I was removing it a lot to get the wires just right, but I wasn't rough with it or anything. In picture 2, it looks as though there are micro-cracks across the pixels on the far right. One incorrect connection that I DID notice was that I had the illumination pin resistor wired to ground instead of power for the duration of the crystal ball project (I was wondering why the screen was so dim!).

Should I ask the store to send me another screen, or did I definitely cause this? If it's my fault, I'll just by a new one. If I got a faulty screen, I may ask for a replacement. Any help would be appreciated.

They are cheap, and not high quality. The background pin to ground has not to do with the chips of the LCD. Also wrong wiring should not cause this. I think you did not damage it. You can ask for a replacement, but perhaps they say that you got what you paid for (something very cheap that can break by looking at it).

Did you buy from a respectable seller ? like this : http://www.adafruit.com/products/181 Then I would as for replacement.

Did you buy on Ebay ? like this : http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_sacat=0&LH_BIN=1&_nkw=1602+lcd+-interface+-port&_sop=15 Then buy a new one.

That type of problem is related to the auxiliary controller which drives the right half of the display. Most likely it is due to a physical problem such as a broken trace on the pc board rather than a programming problem.

I have displays that are pushing 30 years old which have been inserted and removed from breadboards hundreds of times without damage so I would say that the Arduino Store (which should be a reputable vendor) should replace it.