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muppetish's avatar

Any idea why my laptop won't boot up properly?

Asked by muppetish (13978points) September 28th, 2010

I’m not sure what details I will need to include here, but I’ll try my best. My laptop is a four-year-old Gateway and I’m currently running Windows Vista. It’s pretty much been through hell and back with viruses, wiped clean more than once, and I am keen on replacing it with a superior machine but not until the end of the school year.

Right now, I am running it in Safe Mode until I can hop-over onto my mum’s PC. Lately, I have been unable to properly load the laptop through my regular log-in. When I turn the computer on, I can get to the log-in screen without problem, sign-in, and see my desktop for no more than a minute. Then the screen dims to the point where I cannot see more than outlines, let alone figure out where my cursor is.

The first couple times this happened, I thought my laptop was overheating (which has happened – and is the reason why I have my fan on throughout the day) but after squinting and tilting the screen, I realized that I was still signed on and just couldn’t see anything.

I don’t know whether this is the battery, my laptop is just getting old, or if there is some worse internal problem than this not-so-tech-savvy mind can grasp. Sorry if this is too little to go by (I figure it’s probably difficult to give much help with these things without being able to tinker around with the machine itself) but I thought I should ask Fluther before considering taking it to anyone else.

I have a feeling this is going to be a long day.

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5 Answers

Arp's avatar

Sounds like a problem with the LCD, not overheating. I recommend bringing it in to have it looked at, it might be anything from a faulty/shed wire to needing an entire new display. It is hard to tell without actually looking inside it though, if you find any more details let me know!

muppetish's avatar

Thanks for the input @Arp. If it is the LCD, why are there no loading problems with the log-in screen or Safe Mode? Those function completely fine.

I managed to get in and load everything fine for a couple hours. When I went to plug in the adapter to charge the battery (as it is currently running low) the screen went to the dark screen of death again. I’m guessing this doesn’t bode well to say the least.

lukiarobecheck's avatar

Do you have an external monitor that you could connect the laptop to? That would help determine if it is with your LCD screen on the laptop or graphics card. Also it might be a software setting within Windows.

Arp's avatar

@muppetish Yep, I am sticking with the power problem. Since your cpu is staying active, it means, that the power to your actually computer is running fine, but for some reason, the screen isn’t getting all the power it needs. I am really starting to think it has to do with wiring, perhaps something got stripped or ripped, but you would have to see inside to know what it is.

And please let me know, the LCD does work properly in safe mode?

muppetish's avatar

This evening, I shut my laptop down and left it plugged in to charge the battery. The battery is charged, but if I plug it in while the machine is running, the screen will go out. It is running smoothly without being plugged in… except when I picked it up a moment ago. Oy.

The LCD is perfect in safe mode, whether the machine is plugged it on I run it on the battery alone. This is why I am perplexed about the whole thing.

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