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Screen gone out - Need help diagnosing and fixing the problem

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#1 harlequin144


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  • Local time:04:44 AM

Posted 01 May 2013 - 06:46 PM

Hello Bleeping Computer,

I need some help with my screen.

My machine isgateway NV5378u. My problem is that my screen does not work. 

Here is an over view of the events leading up to the problem:

First, for a long time prior to the screen stopping working, the screen started flickering just after boot. The image that it was supposed to produce would be skewed vertically, and there would be horizontal lines of various colors flashing across the screen. I first noticed this after the first time that I reinstalled the os so I figured that it had something to do with the drivers. It didn't affect usability at all because it would only happen for a short moment just after the machine would finish booting into windows. Again, I am pretty sure that it was the drivers, but I just figured I would mention it in case someone would find it relavent.

The next symptom came at least a year later, and that was about two or three days before the machine became un-usable. On boot, the laptop screen would not activate. Everything else appeared to start up as usual. I saw that the disk was being used as indicated by both the sound and the disk light. I looked up the problem on line and found lots of posts giving this solution to the problem: turn off the laptop and remove the battery. Hold down the power button for 1 minute, then reconnect the power supply and start up. This worked about 6 or 7 times and then it stopped working. The laptop screen will not start working no matter how many times I try that little trick. 

Before the screen stopped working, I had replaced the battery twice. The first time I replaced the battery I bought one with the wrong specs. I believe the voltage was 11.something and I think it is supposed to be 10.8. That battery failed pretty quickly (4-5 weeks). The one I have now looks like it is correct. I started using the third, correct battery about a month prior to the screen problems.

The other thing that I did just before the screen stopped working was I cleaned the lap top. I took it appart and gave it a thorough dusting. I did this because I was getting suspicious that I was having some kind of problem with cooling. I figured I would start handling that problem by making sure that there was no excessive dust build up or anything. I can say that I was very careful in doing this and I have no reason to think that I damaged anything. I would not be surprised if this is related though because the screen stopped working two or three days later maybe. 

I have attempted to use a secondary screen to no avail. I connected an old crt monitor via the vga input and it would not work. I did try to press the function button that switches the output but that didn't work. The problem there may be that my computer is running a dual boot setup. I am not sure if I need to be booted to an os for that function to work. I tried to get into windows blindly but I couldn't do it. I have yet to try to use a secondary monitor with the hdmi input.

I have also removed the hard drive and connected it to a sata adapter and it appears to be working fine. I am able to grab files off of it using it as a usb drive on another computer, and as far as I can tell, all the files on there appear to be intact. For this reason, I am skeptical that the problem is disk or software related. 

Here is what I would like to know (if possible):
-What is the problem and why did it happen? (obviously)
-Is repairing worth while? If I repair the laptop, is it likely that the screen will fail again?
-Should I go get professional help? I am not afraid of performing relatively simple repairs, though I am not terribly experienced in doing this. 
-Should I repair or replace?

Thanks so much if you have spent the time to read this. Even if you can't help! I really appreciate anyone's effort and any advice you can give me on the problem!


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#2 thehandyman77


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  • Local time:05:44 AM

Posted 03 May 2013 - 02:57 PM

Hi...Had similar problem with less than 3 year old Toshiba L555 laptop.  No warning, tho...just wouldn't light up.  Staples tech said it probably was video card and would fix for $365.  Bought new laptop and transferred files from old HD.  Biggest problem for me is Windows 8. I know some people love it but for my purposes there's to much stuff I don't need and when I download apps they come with a boatload of tracking cookies.  Of course that happens with other down load sites I've used so it just requires a clean up after downloading some things.  Hope this helps somewhat.  Good luck. TheHandyman 

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