Jump to content

Welcome to Geeks to Go - Register now for FREE

Geeks To Go is a helpful hub, where thousands of volunteer geeks quickly serve friendly answers and support. Check out the forums and get free advice from the experts. Register now to gain access to all of our features, it's FREE and only takes one minute. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to create topics, post replies to existing threads, give reputation to your fellow members, get your own private messenger, post status updates, manage your profile and so much more.

Create Account How it Works
Photo

Black Screen, no error messages, on laptop


  • Please log in to reply

#1
Termie

Termie

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 66 posts
I'm not sure if this is a Win Vista problem, hardware problem (I think it is) or what.

My daughter's lap, HP dv96408s with Vista, has been behaving erratically wrt graphics display the past few days. It would go to a black screen with no error messages displayed. Finally, on booting, it would go to a black screen-no error messages-although you could clearly hear Vista booting (the boot song) but it would sit at this black screen.

I thought the graphics card was fried or something. Then I came across info from HP's website about doing a hard reset and tried that. Miracles happened when I rebooted and voila! Vista's display, along with everything else, came back. Unfortunately, while trying to make sure the resolution was set correctly and all, and before I was able to check for driver updates, first the touchpad stopped responding (it could be due to dirt, but it was ok beforehand.) I plugged in the USB mouse, and that worked. Next, going to my Sys Admin login screen, found the keyboard wasn't responding. I requested a shutdown, to which it seemed to comply, but then the screen went black again and just hung there, not shutting down at all. I ended up doing a hard shutdown just to keep it from overheating (I checked, and it wasn't hot at all-plus it's on a fan base.)

So I'm left with wondering what it is that could be causing this. I was really happy to see that the graphics card was still working, but could it be failing anyway? Is it a driver issue? Would that keep the system from shutting down correctly, and why?

I swear, with 2 laps circling the drain here, I feel both helpless and confused.
  • 0

Advertisements


#2
Termie

Termie

    Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 66 posts
OK, never mind...after I tried rebooting (failure) with another hard reset (success! why?) and it returning to the black screen, I tried the reset again, and this time I ended up at a blue screen (no error msgs) with a console that ran a system repair, ending up at a box asking if I wanted to try a Restore. I said yes...it did that and asked for a reboot. Did the reboot. Black screen with small boxes of colored vertical lines going horizontally across the screen with a second horizontal line of small boxes of piecemeal color (they looked like they were tiny icons duplicated). So I hit the power again, rebooted, and another black screen with what looked like very skewed type (unreadable) across the top third. Another reboot and that brought up the repair console and I ran the repair again. It ran a good while, bringing the following report: All systems tested successfully (with one exception, following), "Unspecified changes to system configuration may be the cause of the problem." The exception is the System Files Integrity Check/Repair, which failed with an error code 0x2.

I said the [bleep] with it and decided, when present with the opportunity, to run a system recovery on it. Sometimes it's just not worth the headache. Plus, no critical data on it to try to save anyway.
  • 0

#3
Termie

Termie

    Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 66 posts
Well that was a brief-lived victory. It didn't even get through setup when the screen flipped into what looked like a patchwork quilt under a strobe light. I rebooted, and it gave the option of going into safe, which I chose, and then it told me that it couldn't complete the software installation in safe, and to reboot, which I did. It booted up and I went through the whole thing again (it remembered the first Sys Admin acct so I had to create another) and it went through with the software installation, the video, everything, just great. There was an error to the AV icon (system not protected) and as soon as I went to close that balloon out, the screen flipped into the above-described view-patchwork under strobe light effect.

If it's the graphics card, why would it run fine one minute and then give me junk the next. What else could this be? Any ideas out there would be greatly appreciated.
  • 0

#4
makai

makai

    Portlock - Oahu

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,793 posts
Hello,

Sounds like a graphic card problem and/or overheating. Also could just be an LCD cable connection problem.

The laptop model you posted doesn't come up on Google as you typed it... HP dv96408s. Did you forget to leave spaces or leave something out of the model number.

When you start the machine, can you get into the bios screen? Since I don't know what model this is I can't tell you how to access bios. It may be F1, F2, F10 or F12. You would have to hit one of these function keys as the laptop boots up to get to bios.

Does the screen also look messed up while in bios?
  • 0

#5
Termie

Termie

    Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 66 posts
Gawd sorry, yes, it's HP dv9640us. One of the nefarious two-model-number laps (well, with HP, aren't they all?) wherein there is one model #dv9500 and below it on the bottom half dv9640us.

Overheating on a fan base in less than an hour? Is such a thing possible? Wait...my BIL has an HP lap that heats up in a short period of time too, but he has no fan. His solution? Stick it in the freezer!

I thought the graphics too, but why would it run fine after a hard reset?
  • 0

#6
Termie

Termie

    Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 66 posts
Oh, and I haven't tried getting into BIOS. I will now.
  • 0

#7
makai

makai

    Portlock - Oahu

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,793 posts

Overheating on a fan base in less than an hour? Is such a thing possible?

Overheating can occur within.... seconds!
  • 0

#8
Termie

Termie

    Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 66 posts
If that be the case, what can I do to fix it? I've already made sure the vents are clean, it's sitting on a fan base...what else can I do?

BTW, I can't get in to BIOS. In spite of what I started to consider a "sure fix" to get it up and running (however temporarily) - the hard reset - it seems to no longer want to work. I just get the black screen again. This time, though, I don't get the usual indication that Vista is booting-I get no sound at all. Maybe it's the stage of setup it ended in, or maybe I should just pronounce it *deceased* now.

I've taken out one of the memory chips, just in case (that trick worked to get the other, older lap to finally respond, and it's making a lot better progress in spite of a few hiccups...) but it hasn't made a difference. I'm thinking a day or two of rest and try again.
  • 0

#9
makai

makai

    Portlock - Oahu

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,793 posts
Not sure where the problem is. It may not be overheating, but I had to mention it since it could be a cause. If the laptop fan is spinning, and you know it's spinning, and you also have it on a fan base, then overheating may not be an issue. However, if you can't tell if the laptop fan is spinning, then the fan base will do nothing to cool the processor and the laptop will crash in possibly seconds.

If you could boot up before then there's no reason you shouldn't be able to get into the bios. How are you trying to get into bios? What keys are you using, and are you using the correct procedure and the right keys? Sorry, not being there in person, I have to ask elementary questions since I don't know what you're doing or how much you actually know about computers.

What you could try is removing all power from the laptop, including the battery, and then pressing and holding the power key down for 10 seconds. Do this a few times in a row. What this will do is drain any residual power from the power supply capacitors. Once you finish doing this, plug the AC in, but leave the battery out and try to power up and get into bios again. If you can't get into bios because the battery is out, then install the battery and try again.

The reason to get into bios... and stay there... is to see if the graphics chip is messing up. If the bios screen is fine, then the graphics chip is probably fine. If the bios screen is messed up, then the graphics chip, or the lcd, or the lcd cable could be messed up. We won't know unless you can get into bios.

What you could also try is to attach an external monitor, but going the bios route is just as fast.

Edited by makai, 15 August 2009 - 07:07 PM.

  • 0

#10
Termie

Termie

    Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 66 posts
Gonna make this a fast reply cuz I'm heading to bed, brain fried.

I couldn't get in to BIOS this time around because I couldn't see the prompt-just black screen. I tried F2 (as I recall that's what it is) despite it, but it just stayed at the black screen...

I've done the hard reset (w the battery) but I've always replaced the battery rather than leave it out. It's something new to try! Thanks!

I also took out one of the RAM chips (this was after I couldn't get past the black screen, so I doubt it's the cause of it) and switched the first for second and tried again, without luck.

I can hear a fan going...and it's not the base fan (which is louder)

I've thought about the external monitor-have one available. Will try that if I can't get in to BIOS.

More tomorrow (if I don't wake up totally brain dEaD!) :)
  • 0

Advertisements


#11
makai

makai

    Portlock - Oahu

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,793 posts
Well, let us know what happens.

I know how it is to be brain dead! :)
  • 0

#12
Termie

Termie

    Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 66 posts
Hi Makai...

I'm going to let this one sit for a day or two while I work on my son's lap (described in another thread.) I've got it drained and unplugged...left the battery in for now, as I tried your suggestion with the other lap and I don't want to have 2 batteries lying around (not to mention my kitchen table is a mess as it is!) I will do another reset/drain on it and remove the battery just before I fire this one up and try getting into BIOS.

I'm not as brain dead as I thought (well, we'll see when I start working in a few! LOL) I'll return to this one probably tomorrow...and thank you so much for your help with this (and patience with me, too.) I really appreciate it!

Edited by Termie, 16 August 2009 - 08:31 AM.

  • 0

#13
makai

makai

    Portlock - Oahu

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,793 posts
Truthfully, we don't get too many people here that try as hard as you were. Lots of people don't even reply when they get a reply! When you kept answering your own post with updates, you seemed very sincere in trying to fix your problem. Just couldn't help myself to jump in. Let me know how it goes and if you don't get back for a few days, just PM me. Heck, if you were in Southern California, I'd go over to see if I could help! My sister lives in Vegas, but I don't make it out there too often. Great avatar, by the way. Is that your cat? :)
  • 0

#14
Termie

Termie

    Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 66 posts
Awww what a sweetie you are! I live in Reno, a bit of a ways away from Vegas (thankfully! LOL)

I am sincere in trying to fix these problems. I also sincerely appreciate your help and guidance. Even if nobody answers my ramblings (yeah I consider them rambling!), at least I have a record of what happens, what I try, etc. so that in itself is a help. I'm a glutton for punishment, too, it seems. But I have a fascination with these machines and their workings-as much as they make me want to tear my hair out! Each problem is a learning experience and it's great when you overcome them!

By the way, it's not my cat, but if I had a cat, that would be it! LOL (I stole the picture from a friend of mine. As I recall, she'd had too much Cuervo one night and, well...that was the result. I find it hilarious!)

Edited by Termie, 16 August 2009 - 03:37 PM.

  • 0

#15
makai

makai

    Portlock - Oahu

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,793 posts
Yah, I agree, the picture is great! I'm almost tempted to steal/use it on another website! Nah... just joking... I won't... but it's tempting! It probably had a bit to do with my replying to the thread! I'm a cat lover and it kind of reminded me of the cat in Shrek2... something about it's expression!
  • 0






Similar Topics

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

As Featured On:

Microsoft Yahoo BBC MSN PC Magazine Washington Post HP