Thanks ahead of time for whatever ideas/help you may have.
I am not completely inexperienced with computer issues, but am not an expert by any stretch of the imagination.
My 4 year old Alienware system (which has been upgraded a few times with RAM, Video and sound cards, etc) has been working great until a week or so ago. I started having trouble starting up out of hibernation... frozen computer with black screen that required a hard boot. With increasing regularity, my attempts to boot the computer met with monitor messages saying 'no signal detected' and a black screen. In the last couple days, this was a hassle. Got to the point where I was having to boot 3 or 4 times just to get to the desktop... but I was consistently able to get there with enough patience. I saw trouble coming, crossed my fingers, and started doing what I knew to do... Started by backing everything up.
Checked drivers were updated, cleaned out startup and temp folders, etc.
Today, nothing but a black screen all day long. CD/DVD drives spin. Lights on CPU, and fan noises seem normal.
I just opened the thing up and don't see any scorch marks on the video card, etc.
What next? Go shopping?