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Black Screen of Death or Something Else? HELP!


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#1
Mike_in_Pgh

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I've had my Dell laptop for about three years with no issues.

I go to boot up my system this morning, and after the initial Dell welcome screen pops up, the screen goes black. However, I can hear Windows starting like normal. The computer seems to be running perfectly fine, except for the black screen. So, I restarted the system, with the same result. Dell screen, then black screen. I tried this several times with the same result.

Having little experience with computer troubleshooting, I took a chance and disconnected my laptop from it's wireless internet connections and power cords and took the computer itself in the other room. This is where things get interesting. Everything started and ran perfectly fine. I left my system on for the entire day with no issues whatsoever. Then, hoping the mystery problem was resolved, I turned the computer off a few hours ago. To my dismay, the problem returned. I got a black screen on start-up. However, once I disconnected everything again and started the system in the other room, everything ran perfectly normal.

I have to say that I'm at a loss here. Any ideas or suggestions would be appreciated. As of now, I'm planning on leaving my system on and not turning it off. I've run CC Cleaner and McAfee's disk cleaner, thinking that the system was being slowed by excessive junk. I have Core Temp, and the temperature readings were around 150 F earlier, which is a little high. Maybe its a cooling issue? If this is the problem, wouldn't the system have shut off at some point during the day? Why would the computer start in one room and not the other? If anything, my other room is warmer than the computer room.

Again, any advice/ideas would be appreciated. Thank you!
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#2
Broni

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150 °F = 65.6 °C seems little bit high.
What happens with temps later? Do they rise?
What do you use to track them?
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#3
Mike_in_Pgh

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Hey Broni -

As of now (12AM EST), the temperature is 100 F. It was running at a high of 150 F earlier tonight (around 7-8 PM). I use Core Temp to track them. Its a fairly cool night here (probably around 50-55 F). The thing that makes me believe it may not be the temperature is the fact that when I went to restart the computer about an hour or so ago, I experienced the same problem. Also, why would the system start in one room and not the other?

Madness, I tell you...madness...haha...
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#4
Broni

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Probably not the overheating then....but you're also saying, that on a top of different room, you have to unhook all extras to make it working, correct?
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#5
Mike_in_Pgh

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Yeah. I have to remove the power cord and router cable from the computer, walk the computer into the other room, and boot it up in there. Then, bring the computer back into the 1st room and re-attach the router and power cables in order to access the internet (and not waste battery power). Like I said, I've had this computer for three years (including two spring and summer seasons) with absolutely no issues before.

I honestly can't think of what the issue might be here. It's almost like something in the 1st room is preventing the system from booting up properly, but once the system is up, things are fine and the computer runs normally in that room.

So strange...
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#6
Broni

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Did you try different electric outlet in "haunted" room?
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#7
Mike_in_Pgh

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The "haunted" room...haha

No, I haven't. I may give that a shot tomorrow (if I decide to risk turning this thing off again...). You're thinking simply an overloaded outlet? I do have the computer, router, modem, and a small fan running out of the same outlet, although that's been the case for a while now.
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#8
Broni

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We won't know until you try...
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#9
Mike_in_Pgh

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Ah...why wait...

I unplugged the fan from the outlet. So now, just the computer, modem and router are running from there. I'm going to shut down the system and see what happens. Hopefully I'll be able to post good news in a few minutes...
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#10
Broni

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I'm praying :)
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#11
Mike_in_Pgh

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Well Broni, I suppose you're a miracle-worker...or just have more common-sense than I do...

Apparently the outlet was the problem. I removed the fan from the outlet and was able to boot the system fine (twice, actually). Everything was connected there for months, so I'm not sure why I started seeing a problem now. At any rate though, everything seems to be back in working order.

Thanks for saving my computer...and my sanity...haha...

I very much appreciate your help.
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#12
Broni

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Hey, great news :)
BTW, I'm "haunted rooms specialist" :)
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#13
Mike_in_Pgh

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IT'S BACK!

I'm having the same issues this morning. After I thought the problem was resolved last night, I left my computer on overnight. I woke up this morning and the screen was black, although I hoped it was on "hibernate". I pressed the power button to bring the system out of hibernate and the screen came up for a second, then went black. I shut the computer down and tried to boot it up, with no luck. It's the same issue: i can hear the system running, except the screen is black. Now, the only time the computer runs with a working screen is when it is completely disconnected from the power cable and internet connections. Although, if it sits for an extended period and goes into hibernate, it apparently needs to be rebooted.

I think I've ruled out an overheating issue and it doesn't appear to be the battery (according to the battery's LED sensor, it's fully charged). Could the charging pack on the power cable be bad and draining the computer's battery somehow? Or is it something with the monitor (loose cable/connection somewhere)?

Broni, if you're out there, gimme a shout!
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#14
Broni

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Did you have a chance to try different electric plug in a very same room?
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#15
Mike_in_Pgh

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Yeah, I tried that last night, and it seemed to work. I assumed the problem was solved. You know what they say about that...

I gave the computer it's own outlet, running nothing else from there. It seemed to work fine last night, and I left the system on after I went to sleep. Then, when I woke up this morning and went to check the computer, the screen flicked a few times from hibernate and went black. I played musical plugs again, trying to boot the system from a few different outlets. No luck. I even took everything into the other room (the "unhaunted" room) and tried to power it up from there. No luck. The only way I can get the system to boot properly is by disconnecting everything (power cords, internet connections) and using the computer battery as power. Now, to preserve the battery, once I've powered the unit on, I'll re-connect the power cord. Even then, I have no issues. Everything seems to revolve around the issue of powering the unit on initially (or kicking it on after hibernate).

I've disabled hibernate this morning, thinking the problem may have something to do with that. Something tells me it isn't the computer itself, because why would it boot fine after everything is disconnected? Again, I've checked the battery, core temperature, etc., and it doesn't seem to be those things.

Any thoughts/ideas will be accepted (and probably tried...haha).
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