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Laptop screen goes black randomly


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#1
jencwu

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Hi, I'm not sure if this is a Windows or hardware issue, but I'm leaning toward hardware so I'm posting here. I have a Compaq Presario V3016US notebook running XP, about 4 years old. For quite awhile now it's been having this problem. The screen will randomly go black and the system seems to freeze. If I tilt the screen just right I can very faintly see what was on the screen at the time this happened, but the computer does not respond to anything. I can see the cursor but it doesn't move when I move the mouse. The power button does nothing and the only way to resolve it is to remove the battery and unplug the power cord, thus removing all power sources. When I start it back up it is fine again. This happens very intermittently--maybe once every couple of months, if that.

Some additional info: I generally leave the laptop on all the time, though I typically close it when not in use, which puts it into standby. I do use it quite a bit every day though. The battery is almost completely dead, it will only hold a charge for maybe 20 mins max. I always have it plugged in and the battery in. It also gets very hot underneath sometimes, to the point where I can't have it on my lap. Based on my perusal of similar topics, it seems any of these factors could contribute to the problem so hopefully that helps you help me.

Edited by jencwu, 16 January 2010 - 03:14 PM.

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#2
jencwu

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Oh, and I don't know if this makes a difference or not, but my husband has the exact same notebook, bought at the same time as mine, and his has never had either of these problems (black screen or getting very hot). I do use mine more than he uses his, however. His battery went bad before mine and we replaced his battery about 2 years ago.

Edited by jencwu, 16 January 2010 - 03:14 PM.

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#3
OpenOutcome

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Hello jencwu,

To me this sounds like a simple overheating problem, and by the sounds of how you treat your computer, it would by all means make sense. All computers, like people, need their sleep. By that I mean a full shutdown, with nothing running or continuing to quietly operate. Sleep or standby mode, while most of the time a perfectly good state to put your computer in, is not a full time way to go. That's like living through life with naps every now and then, and never having a full 8 hour nights sleep.

You may have noticed after a while of having it only been on sleep mode (a couple of days or weeks maybe) that things start to slow down.. maybe a program takes a little bit longer to open or close. While on, your computer stores things in it's memory (or ram) and even if your computer has plenty of ram (which if my sources are right, your laptop only carries 512mb, which is pretty small for todays computers) eventually the space will be taken up. Constant running like this can wear the insides of your computer down.

The battery can also be a culprit (I would definitely suggest getting a new one) and if it can only last 20 minutes, it has some definite faults. Also, for future reference (something I didn't know for quite a while) your battery needs to be worked every once in a while. Leaving it plugged in constantly will also wear down the battery faster, and some exercise with it unplugged will help a new battery get used to different situations.

Clear up some space on your laptop and run some programs to clear all your temporary files once and a while. Downloading and running TFC along with giving your comp some FULL rest time, once and a while will surely help speed things up and lessen overheating. Buy a new battery and exercise it sometimes. Like I said, I'm no expert, but as no one has replied yet, I thought I'd suggest some things. More advanced techs can probably tell you more, but until then..

Best regards,

-Jason
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#4
jencwu

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Thank you very much for your reply. I will start shutting it down fully at night, and I do plan to get a new battery. I didn't always leave it plugged in all the time, only since the battery has gone bad, and I have upgraded the ram to 2gb. I will use the TFC program you referenced and definitely give the system some rest, and hopefully that along with getting a new battery will solve this problem. Thanks again.
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#5
OpenOutcome

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Hey,

Good to hear. Hope this puts a solve to all your problems, but if not, don't be afraid to ask. Best regards,

-Jason
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#6
jencwu

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I just encountered a different problem with this computer this morning, so I'm cross-referencing these two posts since they are both about the same system. Here is the post regarding the new issue: http://www.geekstogo...up-t266738.html
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