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Laptop Screen Question

Discussion in 'Questions and Answers' started by pennphinfan, Mar 9, 2009.

  1. pennphinfan

    pennphinfan Stelin Canez Arcade Scorz

    Dec 13, 2007
    Los Angeles
    So first off, I know the 'best answer' for this whole question/thread is going to be "Buy a new laptop dumbass :tongue2:" so don't even both with that answer, because it won't be helpful. :shifty:

    Anyway, I have this old laptop I bought before college, (circa 2004). Up until recently it ran fine, as best you could hope for after 4-5 years of wear and tear plus who knows how many downloads/viruses/whatnot. anywho, the lcd screen started acting funny last week and I can't fix it. All of a sudden, even when the computer was open, the screen would go to black, like I had closed it (I have the power settings set such that upon closing the laptop the screen turns off but the comp doesn't go to standby or anything. So, of course the first thing I try is close and open the laptop again. Tada, the screen turns on. But after a few seconds, bam, back to black. The computer is staying on while this is happening, but the screen is out.

    my knowledge of computer innards is slim, but me being the type of person that I am, I ripped the bad boy open seeing if there was any physical reason why the screen was blacking out (broken piece, etc.) I can't really find anything along that route, so my deduction is that it is something just a tad more complex than a broken button. does anyone have any suggestions on stuff I can play around with to try to see if it works?

    I'm planning on buying a new laptop or desktop soon anyway so I'm not all that concerned about that computer, I'd just like to be able to get the screen working for a little bit so I can take some music files off and stuff like that before I junk it. (i.e. I won't spend the time and money taking it to a repair shop). anyway, sorry for the long-arse question. For what its worth, its a Dell Inspiron 8600 laptop.

    btw, I still am going to try hooking a separate monitor into the back of the laptop to see if I can run the feed into something else, but I didn't have a cable to use tonight. I'll have one tomorrow to try, so i'll update with results from that test.
  2. brandon27

    brandon27 Season Ticket Holder Club Member

    Dec 3, 2007
    Windsor, ON. CANADA
    Shocking that it's a Dell. That was going to be my first assumption. My girlfriend has an older Dell Inspiron laptop that is the same way. Only her's gets no picture at all. It flashes on for a split second, and then is gone. Try checking into the tech support section of Dell's website, theres ways in there to get into the computers diagnostics mode and some checks you can do to try and determine the problem. Personaly, i found those useless, but you may find help there. Unfortunately, the best answer for your question here is doing what you already suggested, hook up an old monitor to it, and use it like that for the time being. That's what were doing now. If you can live with that for a while, it is your best bet, unless of course you want to buy a new screen, and replace it. I don't know whats causing the problem, because like you I didnt want to waste money on bringing it to a repair shop, I'd assume though that it would end up costing so much, that it would probably be best to just replace it. If I remember correctly, Dell told my girlfriend that it would cost a minimum of $200 to replace it... Not exactly what you want to hear when you can buy a new entry level system for 600 or 700 bucks.
    pennphinfan likes this.
  3. Oboy

    Oboy Premium Member Luxury Box

    Jan 3, 2008
    Coral Springs, FL
    It could be the flex (internal cable) between the display and the mother board is starting to go bad. It can happen to older machines. If the external display works, then that could be the issue. Or it could also be the display driver going bad. I have heard of that happening. However, the two instances I heard of that were both older HPs.. Good luck.
    pennphinfan likes this.
  4. Desides

    Desides Well-Known Member

    Nov 28, 2007
    Pembroke Pines, FL
    Oboy's response is the most likely scenario. Dell's products are not exactly of the highest quality build: I had the same issue with a 4 year old Inspiron laptop.

    Since your only concern is to get files off the hard drive, you don't need to get the monitor working: simply buy an external case, remove the hard drive from the laptop, drop it in, and hook it up to your new computer via USB. Make sure you buy a case that uses the same connection type as your hard drive though. Since your laptop is an older model, it's likely an IDE hard drive, but you'll want to be sure. Just open Device Manager, find your hard drive, Google the model number.

    You really don't need to fix the display if you aren't going to use the laptop again.
    pennphinfan likes this.
  5. pennphinfan

    pennphinfan Stelin Canez Arcade Scorz

    Dec 13, 2007
    Los Angeles
    yeah I won't try to defend buying a dell. That was 5 years ago and I was all but uninformed on the whole computer everything. anyway, thanks for the help, i'll look into the external case thing if the plugging into another monitor doesn't work for now
  6. like2god

    like2god Typical white person Luxury Box

    Nov 22, 2007
    Is that related to the inverter?

    When my Sony Vaio went kaput last year I had the same thing happen, the screen went black and the computer was still running and worked with an external monitor. The part itself isn't all that expensive, I found one on ebay pretty cheap, but the labor is what is going to kill you. The first estimate was from the Best Buy geek squad, over $200 just for them to look at it. :pointlol:

    So I called a guy that I know that teaches computer tech classes at the local college and he was going to charge me $200 to fix it, but wanted me to buy a whole new laptop screen because taking them apart isn't all that easy (another $150). In the end I decided to just toss that one off to the side and buy a new one.

    If you can find someone willing to fix it for a good price, I say go for it. Otherwise spend that money on a new laptop (there are some good deals out there) or invest in a nice flat screen monitor.
  7. sking29

    sking29 What it takes to be cool

    Dec 9, 2007
    East Tennessee
    I have a Dell and it does the same thing. If you can shine a flashlight on the screen and see whatever is on there then it is your screen inverter (I have had to replace mine twice and once posted about it on here). If that is the case you can pick one up for about $20 and I can help with guiding you through it if you need the help. :up:

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