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Toshiba Satellite Laptop Black Screen


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#1
dbrupp

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Hi, I have an older model TOSHIBA Satellite (not sure of specific model, just says Satellite on the lid). I had an intermittent problem that now appears to be a permanent problem. When I power it on, I ocassionally see a quick splash of "Toshiba" come across the screen and then the screen goes black and I get nothing else. Lately, however, I don't even see the "Toshiba" splash and everything I try will not allow me to view my desktop.

Just incase the issue isn't the backlight, do you have any remedy suggestions?

1. There's never been any gradual degradation of the backlight; it's always been bright, never dimmed in any area on the screen.
2. I used to be able to close the lid for a minute and when I re-opened the lid, the backlight would be on, allowing me to view my desktop.
3. Sometimes, however, closing the lid would not work and I would need to hold the power button to power off and try again.
4. Last night, I noticed that I could hold a flashlight to the screen and see my desktop through the blackness.
5. I connected the laptop to a CRT computer monitor and can work on my laptop that way.

Here's what I tried, which didn't resolve the issue:
- I ran ccleaner to clean files and registry
- I ran disc defrag on drive c://
- On the properties page of C:, I ran "Error-Checking" under the tools tab.
- Ran virus scan, which came back clean.

I heard that I may need a BIOS update, but I'm not sure how to go about that and didn't want to mess around with the BIOS without guidance. According to system tools, my BIOS version is from year 2002.

Thank You!

Edited by dbrupp, 18 March 2010 - 08:38 AM.

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#2
SRX660

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I am sure that toshiba has stopped updating the BIOS for your computer. There's only 2 things that could go wrong with a dead screen. Either the backlight has failed or the connecting ribbon cable had come loose. This still sounds like the backlight has gone bad. I have had backlights go bad very suddenly and on other laptop's intermittently. You just never know.

Seldom have i seen bad factory drivers cause this sort of problem.

SRX660
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#3
dbrupp

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Thanks for your reply.I should have also mentioned that when I power on, the clean whirring sound of the fan comes on, but then it gives a clicking/grinding/crunching noise. This c/g/c noise seems to occur when the screen should illuminate. Would you happen to know if that is indicitive of the backlight needing to be changed? I'm away from my laptop for the next 12 hours but will check the ribbon when I get home. I appreciate your feedback.
-Doug
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#4
SRX660

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clicking, whirring, grinding sounds are usually from cdrom drives, or hard drives. A test for the cdrom drive is to open the drive and reboot the computer, leaving the drive open. No clicking-whirring-grinding sounds says the drive is bad. There is a cover usually on the hard drive( not all laptops) and removing the cover but keeping the HD in the laptop lets you listen to see if the HD is making the sounds. If so, then the HD is going bad. A trick is to hold a unsharpened pencil touching the HD and pinching the other end of the pencil with your thumb and finger, then sticking the thump into your ear will really tell you if the drive is making the noise.

It really sounds like you have more problems with the laptop then what you first say. It is not economically feasible to do major repairs to laptops, when new ones are a cheaper fix.

SRX660
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#5
dbrupp

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Hi SRX,
The HD seems fine, but I'll have to check again tomorrow. Last night and today, I ran some tests with the monitor by pressing "Fn" and "F5" to toggle between the CRT and laptoprn monitors.
-At first both screens were black.
-Then I pressed again and the laptop gave a small sign of life and illuminated for 5 seconds.
-I pressed a third time and the CRT monitor turned back on.
-Before shutting down, I pressed the keys again and both the laptop and CRT monitor illuminated and remained illuminated.
-Tonight, I pressed the keys to toggle to the laptop monitor and it came on and the CRT monitor went black. I powered the CRT monitor off and unplugged it and have been using the laptop monitor to type this message.

I'm not trying to piggy back a separate issue on this ticket; just in case it related, I thought you should know that as I'm typing, if I press the keys a little too hard, the cursor jumps to a different area and the inserts the letters/characters in a different spot than where I typed them.

I'll have to check tomorrow if the monitor of the laptop comes on when I power on and let you know. This probably sounds dumb, but I wonder if the warm weather we had today had something to do with thelaptop cooperating a little better. thanks for your time and patience as I work through this.

-D
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#6
dbrupp

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(see previous message)
Tonight I had the CRT monitor serial cable connected to the CRT on one end and the laptop on the other end. The CRT was powered off and unplugged.
I powered on the laptop and the screen was black. I pressed "Fn" & "F5" and the laptop monitor turned on and has had zero issues for the past :15 minutes. Any idea what may be causing this behavior?

I value your time. Thank You.
-D
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#7
haihai

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i had the same problem previously. It was due to damage graphic card.
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#8
dbrupp

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thanks, haihai. I searched for instructions on changing the graphic card and it sounds like it may be soldered on the mother board and not able to remove. Perhaps I should bite the bullet, take a loss and buy a new laptop. Unless anyone has additional feedback/suggestions, this log can be closed. Thank you SRX660 and haihai.

dbr
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