Author Topic: Laptop Screen is Black - Solved  (Read 7028 times)

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Offline SandyG

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Laptop Screen is Black - Solved
« on: October 24, 2014, 11:04:54 AM »
I have a friend's computer, an old Dell laptop.  I want to say it is close to 10 years old, but I am not sure.  The screen is black.  When it first boots you see the Dell Splash screen for about 1 second and then nothing but black.  To troubleshoot I plugged a monitor into the laptop.  Nothing came up on the monitor.  That monitor was black also.  So I am thinking that it is not the monitor on the laptop but possibly the hard drive that is bad.  I'm thinking if the monitor on the laptop was bad, it would have booted up on the monitor I attached to the laptop.  Any thoughts???
« Last Edit: October 27, 2014, 09:02:01 AM by SandyG »

Offline Boggin

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Re: Laptop Screen is Black
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2014, 02:29:13 PM »
If will boot up into Safe Mode with Networking, that would suggest the graphics but with a machine that old, it could be hardware or software.

If it does boot up into Safe Mode then go to the Dell Support site to see if they still have drivers for it or run the diagnostics http://www.dell.com/support/contents/us/en/19/category/Contact-Information/Technical-Support
Tom.

Offline SandyG

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Re: Laptop Screen is Black
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2014, 06:55:05 PM »
I have no idea if it is booting up or not.  The screen is black.  I see nothing.  The computer is on, the lights are on, but no way of telling if it is the monitor for sure or the hard drive.  I can't run any diagnostics or do anything as I can't see anything on the screen.

Offline Shane

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Re: Laptop Screen is Black
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2014, 01:02:23 AM »
If the screen was bad then you wouldnt have seen the dell logo, also if you can get into the bios you know the screen is fine since it is showing that.

A lot of time the black screen only can be a sign of a bad hard drive or something screwed up with the MBR on the drive, or even if they have another usb drive hooked in the system could simply be trying to boot off of the wrong drive.

You can download Ubuntu and run it off a cd or USB drive and run the OS right off of it without installing it, then you can have some more control over checking the drive and possibly getting the files off as a backup as well.

Shane

Offline SandyG

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Re: Laptop Screen is Black
« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2014, 11:51:40 AM »
Shane, Ubunktu says it's free but when I click on download it wants $2.  I can't find a free download.  Not to mention, how can I run it if the screen on the laptop is blank?  I can't see anything to run anything.  Do you know where I could purchase a hard drive that would be refundable if it wasn't the hard drive?  I'm not even sure what kind of hard drive it would take.  I found out it is a Dell Inspiron 1521 tat is 7 years old.

Offline Boggin

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Re: Laptop Screen is Black
« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2014, 01:14:37 PM »
As Shane has suggested, tap F2 as you switch on to see if it will boot up into the BIOS.

As you haven't mentioned any error beeps, I've Googled for error LED flashes and found http://en.community.dell.com/support-forums/laptop/f/3518/t/19501368 so check those out to see what it is doing.

Depending upon what you find, the User or Service manuals should be of use.

I don't have time to read through them myself to see if they have anything more definitive on the error flashes.

User - ftp://ftp.dell.com/Manuals/all-products/esuprt_laptop/esuprt_inspiron_laptop/inspiron-1521_Owner%27s%20Manual_en-us.pdf

Service - ftp://ftp.dell.com/Manuals/all-products/esuprt_laptop/esuprt_inspiron_laptop/inspiron-1521_Owner%27s%20Manual2_en-us.pdf
« Last Edit: October 25, 2014, 01:31:03 PM by Boggin »
Tom.

Offline jraju

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Re: Laptop Screen is Black
« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2014, 02:27:17 AM »
Normally, if laptop is black, pl try shane and boggins ideas. Tap F2 to go to BIOS and there will be usual boot check the memory and system. Run this diagnostics , if it passes 100%, then try to boot oncemore. If all fails , it will be better to insert the same DVD OS in the dvd drive and try to boot from DVD . The version should be exact. Then when starting Windows thro DVD, if you could go to command prompt, thro DVD, then you could try FIXMBR to correct any corrupted master boot record.
                       Which OS you have. you had not mentioned that. This will work for windows xp OS. If you could go to boot the DVD installation and thro it to the command prompt, the problem will be fixed by fixmbr command.
                        I had the same problem and since my system was windows xp, i just boot thro the window xp cd and then type fixmbr. It worked
The Bottom line is "Check your hardware first if it supports the task you try".

Offline Boggin

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Re: Laptop Screen is Black
« Reply #7 on: October 26, 2014, 08:28:57 AM »
These are the specs for that machine that says it comes with Vista HP and has an AMD processor http://www.cnet.com/products/dell-inspiron-1520/specs/
Tom.

Offline jraju

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Re: Laptop Screen is Black
« Reply #8 on: October 27, 2014, 04:53:40 AM »
Hi, Boggins
                Long time no see.
                    I had problem with my windows xp, which was some what easy to repair. But the TO's, Sandyg's machine is Vista and I do not know, whether the installation DVD other than the original OS would allow. Even i did not boot with the original, but the same version of other cd, and i could log on to command prompt to fixmbr.
                      Then i did the first two BIOs test to boot, it came successfully so that i could access the cd drive. Vista has a totally different set up OS file. I do not know whether that will allow the command prompt thro installation dvd. I had difficult experience with Vistas, which is neither XP easy or Windows 7 easy, concerning OS installation.
The Bottom line is "Check your hardware first if it supports the task you try".

Offline SandyG

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Re: Laptop Screen is Black - Solved
« Reply #9 on: October 27, 2014, 09:01:01 AM »
I have no idea how this happened.  I was trying all your suggestions.  It was totally black later and not even a hint of the Dell Splash screen.  I tried booting using F2, nothing.  I took out battery, used power button to release all power, reset memory chip, nothing.  Download Ubunktu.  Tried booting from USB with that on it, nothing.  I took that USB out, took out the USB for the mouse and tried booting using F8.  The screen came up!  I went into BIOS, checked the boot sequence, it was normal.  All appeared normal.  I put the mouse USB back in.  No problems.  Windows had some updated downloads.  I downloaded them and the computer went black again.  Got it to come back with Cnt-Alt-Delete.  Cleaned the computer, ran Tweaking.com as it was a bit slow.  Everything is booting normal and the screen seems fine.  I have no idea if the combination of trying different things helped.  I don't know if it was stuck on the mouse USB boot, but I don't think so.  But for now, it is working.  I am skeptical that perhaps something is still going to the bad, but maybe not.  Maybe it was just stuck somehow.  Thanks for all the suggestions.  Something worked.

Offline Boggin

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Re: Laptop Screen is Black - Solved
« Reply #10 on: October 27, 2014, 10:34:45 AM »
I guess that's the mystique of Windows.

As it's working now there probably won't be any yellow alerts in Device Manager/View/Show hidden devices but the Event Viewer may have something to tell you what went wrong.

WhoCrashed may also have some info if any dump files were created http://www.resplendence.com/whocrashed

If you ever need it, this is how to do a repair install of Vista http://www.vistax64.com/tutorials/88236-repair-install-vista.html
« Last Edit: October 27, 2014, 10:37:02 AM by Boggin »
Tom.

Offline Shane

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Re: Laptop Screen is Black - Solved
« Reply #11 on: October 27, 2014, 10:09:10 PM »
Ubuntu is free, they just bring up a donation page first, if you look on the page you will see an option to skip the donation and go right to the download page "Not now, take me to the download ›", here is a direct link for you :-)

http://www.ubuntu.com/download/desktop/thank-you?country=US&version=14.04.1&architecture=amd64

Shane