Laptop Screen Going Blank

My laptop and I have had a bit of a falling out recently to the point that I gave it a bit of a slap and ending up fragging the hard drive!

Oops, anyhow I put a new drive in and was initially running Ubuntu and had no issues with my screen. I reinstalled windows 7 and now seem to find that my laptop screen just goes blank for no reason at random times. It isn't the screensaver, it's not power saving settings but when it goes blank it is still powered and the backlight seems to be on but there is no image on the screen at all. No amount of tapping keys or the mouse pad brings an image back and the only way to get around it is to press and hold the power button to turn it off. On rebooting the screen is always there without fail.

The laptop sat turned on but idle last night for over 7 hours without a problem yet this morning I used an external harddrive to move some files and the screen died again after about 5 minutes. I've rebooted and in the last 20 minutes it has been fine while I have been posting this!

Does anyone know what this could be?
It's probably the cable between the screen and the motherboard. Seen many wiggle loose over the years, but fixing it will vary massively on what model laptop you have. Some you can just pop the cover off, and access the base of the screen where the locking connector is, others are more difficult and screwdriver involved.

You may find that moving your screen back and forth gives temporary function.
Loose data ribbon?

Knacked microswitch between screen and case?

Overcharge? Inverter going out? (though there you can normally sort of see through the black to the screen behind {if that make sense})

HRF, I don't think its the connections because the screen is static and inbetwen it going blank, being powered down and being rebooted it isn't being moved at all. I did have this problem on a previous machine and it's not the sam eproblem.

Steven, again I don't think it would be the microswitch as there is no movement of the screen causing it to switch off. I don't know about overcharge - I'll get googling? I did think about the inverter as I had that problem with a previous machine but the screen on that machine was completely dark but the image was visible like you say, in this instance there is no image at all but a 'backlit' black screen.

I have left my laptop transferring stuff to another external hard drive so I'll see if the problem is connected in anyway to the initial external drive I was using?


Book Reviewer
have you tried installing ubunto as a second OS using WUBI? if it works fine after that under ubunto then its probably the driver getting messed up along with the power settings.

are you sure the backlight is on? often such misbehavior is down to the inverter failing.
Not tried this myself but a possible fix (note the possible) is to shut down, remove the battery and mains power, hold the power switch pressed for a count of 30 (or more) and then reassemble and switch back on.

This is supposed to help with this type of problem on some laptops.

No promises mind.
Grumblegrunt, backlight was definitely on. But I've put Ubuntu back on and now have a dual boot machine. I used 2 external HDDs whilst on Ubuntu to transfer stuff around and there were no issues. I'm now back on Window 7 and trying again - so far so good. It certainly looks like it was a driver issue rather than a physical one, however with 4 hours of transferring to go there's plenty of time for my laptop to earn itself a one way trip out of the 4th floor window!

Steven, tried your idea but within 10 minutes of rebooting and trying to transfer files it went pear shaped again! Cheers anyway.

Now for the next step in my plan I just need to figure out how I can shrink windows down to the minimum and create a storage partition so all my docs, music, pictures and videos are available in both Windows and Ubuntu. I've got a 500GB hard drive and want 50GB each for Windows and Ubuntu then 400GB for storage.


Book Reviewer
minitool partition wizard. I'd do two extra partitions - one for important stuff like docs, pics, books, music and one for stuff like films, backup files etc... you can make up to 4 primary partitions on the disc whic will make them easier to recover if windows goes tits up. changing the saves and libraries to the second partition also helps.

look up the specs on your machine and see who's video card is in there then look up the latest win7 driver or at a push the vista one then force install it. you probably wont find one on the makers site but a google will probably find an alternative you can use.

also do a windows update and see what the optional updates are. driver files are not automatically downloaded
buy a new one and go on an anger management course
Loose data ribbon?

Knacked microswitch between screen and case?

Overcharge? Inverter going out? (though there you can normally sort of see through the black to the screen behind {if that make sense})
My laptop screen has started behaving in a similar manner to that described by the OP (1 year old Dellbogstandard) except that it is intermittent, (like: on now but expecting it to blank at any moment either for a minute or give up and do something else) With a torch I can see the screen contents, desktop etc and have run anti-virus, defraggler etc and gone through diagnostics on start up. Any suggestions?

Edit to add that I haven't dropped it or misused it in any way that would keep me out of heaven.

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