I tried holding down <Fn> & power keys to do the diagnostic test, but in the middle of it the screen went black and I couldn't see what was going on (although again, very faintly in the background I could see the progress bars moving). So it seems to be booting up perfectly fine, all the lights on the keyboard stay lit, but the screen just keeps going black & I can't see anything. So I don't believe it is a hard drive or memory problem.
Also, I didn't start having this problem until AFTER I had used a friend's HDMI cable to hook up my laptop to her TV in order for us to watch movies. I don't know if that could be related or not??
The only thing I haven't been able to try yet is plugging it into an external monitor via VGA cable, because I'm not at home & don't have access to my cable or TV. If there is anything else that I could try in the meantime or if anyone knows from this description if there is simply a part I need to have replaced, please reply! I noticed a post that someone was having this similar problem but not quite the same as mine. I've searched online FAQ's, even done Dell's online troubleshooting, to no avail, and am trying to avoid fee-based support if there is something I can do to fix this problem myself! Any help would be very much appreciated!!
Edited by xraychick181, 16 January 2010 - 04:44 PM.