|"...I'm seeing the screen split in 2, with the top section on the bottom, and the bottom section on the top..."|
... must admit I've never seen flip halves before!
... awww poor laptop! ... sorry to hear all of this "dskills" I know how you feel.
"...I've considered booting to an external display but my guess is that won't work either..."
... its worth a try borrow one and hook it up!
... check the block connector(s) actually in the screen I physically bent one forward/backward slightly (push 'em home) and it sprang the other half back to life!
... some info here service manual download when you click small blue >> here after scrolling down bottom (left)
(manual consists of jpg's and htm's extract then click display.htm)
... Posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties