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Causes Of A Black Or Blank Laptop Screen

In Thousand Oaks I have recently been getting many laptop computers with blank LCD screens. So this weeks piece of advice tells you how to find out what may be causing the problem with your laptop computers LCD.

These are the most common problems which affect laptop screens and cause them to go completely black.
Burned Out LCD Bulb
A laptop computer has a very thin and long light bulb which shines light at the screen and when this bulb gets burnt out the screen goes dark. However the laptops screen itself is still completely fine and its only the bulb that needs to be replaced.

How to find out if it’s the bulb that's broken: If the bulb is burnt out the computer should start up like normal including all of the lights on the computer turning on. The only real difference is that the screen will be completely black and wont show any images. What you want to do is shine a flash light at the LCD while the computer is on. If you are able to make out a the background or at least see that their are some images then you just have a burned out laptop LCD screen bulb.

If you can not make out the background, proceed to the next problem of how to test for inverter problems.

Note: Many laptops have the ability to dim the light on the LCD by pressing a certain key, so make sure that the laptop is not just dimmed down.

Inverter That Doesn't Give Enough Power.
An inverter is simply a part in a computer which makes DC (Direct Current) into AC (alternating current). When the inverter in a laptop fails it doesn't give the amount of power necessary to power the laptops screen and that's why you may suddenly see it turn black for no apparent reason. Or when you turn on the computer the LCD screen doesn’t turn on, even though everything else seems fine.

How to tell if the inverter is broken on your laptop: Well if you cant make out the background of the screen with a flash light, the next most likely problem you would have would be a bad inverter. What you want to do is hook up a monitor to the laptop, if the monitor recognizes the laptop and the laptops screen shows up then you have a bad laptop inverter that needs to be replaced.(you may also have a loose video cable, see next possible issue)

Note: On some laptops the screen will not be recognized automatically and you may have to press a certain set of keys on the laptop. You may need to consult your computers manual for further instructions.

Loose Video Cable
Their is a very thin cable which connects your laptops motherboard to your screen and provides it with all the power and information needed to display the images. However some laptops my pull at the video cable when opening and cause it to became loose.

How to tell if its a loose video cable that's giving you a blank screen on your laptop: Well unfortunately the only way to tell is if the computer is opened up and the cable is reset. I recommend that this only be done by someone who has good knowledge and is comfortable with opening up the laptop.

If that still doesn't solve the problem then it is likely a bad video card.

Bad Video Card
The video card controls all of the information that relates to images, basically it tells the screen what to display.

Does my laptop have a bad video card? If after hooking up an external monitor and the screen doesn't display anything it is likely the video card that has a problem. You may also see a black screen and hear beeps.

On the majority of laptops video cards cannot be replaced separately and the entire motherboard will have to be replaced.

Note: The beeps do not automatically mean that it is the video card that is faulty. The beeps are codes which refer to a specific malfunction within the computer. You will need to consult your computer manual for what are known as POST or BIOS codes.

While these are the most often problems which create a blank or black laptop screen they are not the only ones. ***Please be aware that this is general information and you should get a computer diagnosed by a knowledgeable technician.

The next article will be published one week from today on Friday November 11 2011.

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