General Question

wabarr's avatar

I have a dell inspiron PC running Windows XP (pity me). The laptop is about 1 year old. Today my screen went (almost) totally dark....but the OS didn't crash. Why?

Asked by wabarr (458 points ) April 3rd, 2008

I know this is really hard to troubleshoot….I know there was no OS crash because I could still just barely see what was going on…enough to close and save and restart. Problem solved…until 6 hours later. Rinse and repeat. Is this probably a hardware problem with the display?

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9 Answers

jamms's avatar

Your display is in need of a tech. I hope you have a warranty.

deathfrombelow's avatar

I agree with jamms, bring the display to a tech. From what you have described though, you may have a faulty display backlight bulb or screen electronics. If you feel up to it call Dell tech support and get them to send you a new screen and fix/replace it your self. One interesting thing about Dell that they don’t tell you is that the disassembly and service manuals are available for FREE(as in beer) on their support website(last time i checked). Not to mention on an Inspiron replacing the display is about as easy as pulling the old one out and dropping the new one in.

wabarr's avatar

The 1 year warranty just expired. Craptastic. @death….thats good to know about the service manuals.

deathfrombelow's avatar

Your welcome. Check e-bay for the screen that you have and make sure the seller has a working one. Last summer i had to swap about 50+ screens, because the people i worked for were the only Dell on-site service tech for 50mi, at this point I can almost do a display swap with my eyes closed.

syntak's avatar

bummer. you’re looking at spending $400 + labor on a new LCD panel or even better purchase a new laptop (which would more than likely be the better choice). You can get old laptops for cheap these days. Shop Around!

yannick's avatar

Just thought I’d add my two cents: I used to have a TOSHIBA running XP and it worked great for… 3 or 4 years I think. However, at that point it did what I think yours is doing. The computer was still running but the display looked like it had broken, as there was no backlight on it. However turns out the screen couldnt be fixed, as it was related to the graphics card crashing and that meant I would need a new graphics card. Instead I just got a new computer…

iceblu's avatar

Well it could just be the backlight… is the screen just really really dim? if so, a backlight is only like $25, and from someone like me to install it would be another $65. I don’t know if you know someone or even you, yourself that could do it.

wabarr's avatar

Yeah….it appears to be just the backlight that is out. And it is working fine right now…..just intermittently goes out….and then works fine after a restart.

winblowzxp's avatar

The backlight could be starting to fail, or there may be something else within the power circuit going to the backlight which could be going.

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