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Need Help! blank screen on laptop

Discussion in 'Community Broadband & Computers' started by doberman, Sep 11, 2010.

  1. doberman

    doberman New Member

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    We've got a Toshiba laptop which is about 2 years old. We tend to keep it plugged in and powered on most of the time.

    A couple days ago the screen went black. No one was using it at the moment, so it may have been either in or entering hibernate mode. We couldn't get any image on the screen at all. The next day, with some random combinations of power on/off plus CTL-ALT-DLT, it came back on. It worked perfectly for about one day, then we found the screen black again. When it's black, it's totally black with no hint of anything, and when it works it seems just fine.

    This time I can't get it back at all. I've tried to boot into safe mode, using F8 keys. I tried to remove the battery for a more complete reset. I tried to plug in a separate monitor, and that one received no signal. Finally I pulled out the recovery disk, but even with that in place, the screen is blank. I can't get anything but blank screen.

    Any ideas? If I bring it in to some shop, such as Best Buy, I fear I'll pay just about as much to repair it as it would cost to buy a new one.

    thanks
     
  2. Chsalas

    Chsalas Member

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    there might be a setting that sets it to output only to an external monitor (on mine it's CTRL F5). Look at the top row of keys and look for a icon for a monitor, cycle through that maybe?
     
  3. Sasquatch519

    Sasquatch519 Member

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    You said you tried to boot into safe mode... are you able to get anything on the screen when it is first booting up or is the screen always black even through boot up? I'm assuming it is black through boot up.

    Assuming that is the case, the first step is to see if it will display an image on an external monitor. Seems like you've done that too. If you are 100% sure you've told it to output a signal to the monitor (sometimes those things are finicky) and there's no signal, I'd assume the problem is video card failure.

    Most laptops have the video card built directly into the motherboard, so you'd likely had to replace the whole motherboard. It's only 2 years old and most manufacturers offer a 3 year extended warranty at the time of purchase, so if you have that you can probably use it. If not, you could see if you can but a replacement through toshiba and have someone install it, or just replace the whole laptop. Depending on how fast the laptop is and what you need it to do, your decision might change. Overall it's probably much less trouble to just replace the whole laptop, which is probably what I would do.

    You can rescue your files from that laptop if needed. First remove your hard drive from the laptop. It's usually on the side and probably has 2 small screws in it. Unscrew those and slide it out. You can buy adapters online that allow you to convert that internal hard drive into a USB drive so you can hook it up to another working computer and copy all your files off.

    As a general recommendation I'd tell you to stay away from the tech services at Best Buy. Anything they can do you can probably do yourself with a little research on the internet.
     
  4. Sasquatch519

    Sasquatch519 Member

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    One other thing I should add - why does hardware fail in computers? Could be just bad luck, but I think the biggest reason is heat. Particularly in laptop, because they have small form factors, it's hard to circulate air through them well and cool things down. If you leave it running all the time and leave it on the carpet or a couch, that might block the exhaust fan and make things get hot in there. Over time, all that heat can wear on circuits and make them warp. It's generally a good idea to put laptops into sleep mode just so they don't produce too much heat.
     

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