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Determining if a laptop monitor is recoverable


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#1
Radien

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First of all, thank you for your past help on this site. :) I have a new problem and this time I just need a pointer as to what I should investigate.

When my computer boots up, I see the boot screen, but by the time it gets to the profile selection the monitor goes black. I still hear the boot-up noise, and the login noise. When I press the power button to shut down, I see my desktop for a moment. Given my limited knowledge, I am guessing that my laptop is incorrectly detecting whether the lid is open, and turning the monitor off when it shouldn't. The lid is a little looser than it used to be, so maybe it's a problem with the wiring? It's hard for me to tell without knowing how it functions.

Any advice about what I should look into? I have a friend who has a nearly identical laptop with no hard drive sitting around in his garage. I am considering asking to buy it so the hard drive can be transferred to his old computer, but I'd like to have at least a guess as to whether this might work. Conversely, if it's likely a loose wire connecting to the monitor lid, maybe I could find someone to help fix it. I would appreciate any thoughts, advice, or suggestions.


Note:
I created a topic in a different subforum, "computer won't boot - malware related," but it didn't receive any replies, and I suspect it's because I posted it in the wrong subforum. I also had new information, so I reposted in this forum. If needed, here's the original topic: http://www.geekstogo...n-after-reboot/

Edited by Radien, 14 December 2011 - 05:19 PM.

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#2
phillpower2

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Hi Radien
Try connecting the laptop to an external screen via the laptops VGA port and see if the display stays on, it is possible that the MB to screen ribbon has come loose or is damaged.
When you connect to the external screen you may need to toggle between screens by pressing the Fn and one of the F1 to F12 keys.
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#3
Radien

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Hi Radien
Try connecting the laptop to an external screen via the laptops VGA port and see if the display stays on, it is possible that the MB to screen ribbon has come loose or is damaged.
When you connect to the external screen you may need to toggle between screens by pressing the Fn and one of the F1 to F12 keys.

Ahh, thank you; I'm really sorry I somehow didn't see your reply earlier. Your advice is similar to some that a friend gave me today, so I will definitely try to do that. Later today I'll go see what monitors we have available. If necessary, I'll borrow one from a family member's computer just to see if it works.

So, there's a ribbon that senses whether the lid is closed or not?... I don't know what the mechanism looks like on the inside, but I strongly suspected something like that might have happened. I haven't had any particularly damaging accidents or drops with this laptop, but the lid DOES feel looser than it used to, so perhaps gradual wear and tear has finally shaken something loose.

Thank you, I will post again after I have tried this!
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#4
phillpower2

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So, there's a ribbon that senses whether the lid is closed or not?...

No, the ribbon carries the signal from the MBs video chip to your laptop screen and over time it can become damaged or disconnected due to nothing more than the lid being opened and closed.
Different laptops have various ways of knowing when the lid is closed and Windows has settings so you can customize what happens when you close the lid, see http://en.community....4/19420167.aspx and http://windows.micro...ose-your-laptop meanwhile I will look out for your update regarding trying an external screen.
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#5
Radien

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No, the ribbon carries the signal from the MBs video chip to your laptop screen and over time it can become damaged or disconnected due to nothing more than the lid being opened and closed.

Yes, that sounds like it might be the problem, although the monitor does display during the boot sequence and shutdown.

Different laptops have various ways of knowing when the lid is closed and Windows has settings so you can customize what happens when you close the lid, see http://en.community....4/19420167.aspx and http://windows.micro...ose-your-laptop meanwhile I will look out for your update regarding trying an external screen.

My computer was set to "do nothing" when the lid is closed, if I recall correctly. One small problem is that the power button was set to "hibernate" without prompting the user for a command. I guess that means that the only way to do a full boot is to hold the power button down for 5 seconds, or use Ctrl-Alt-Del. I haven't tried the latter yet.

I was just about to try the recommendations from the first reply, so if that doesn't do it, I'll read up on those pages after trying it, OK? Thanks for the articles; I will probably read them tonight regardless of whether this test succeeds.

Edited by Radien, 21 December 2011 - 07:50 PM.

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#6
phillpower2

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ok, keep us posted.
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#7
Radien

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Okay, sorry for the late reply, but I was asked to keep you posted, so I figured I'd follow up.

It turns out the computer really is fine except for the monitor. I'm not sure what went wrong inside the laptop's shell, but switching to an external monitor did work. I have to let it boot up completely before pressing Fn+F8 (F8 is labelled the "CRT/LCD" key) to switch to external monitor.

What I learned from this is that my Dell Inspiron 6000 does not automatically detect an external monitor and send a signal to it. You have to toggle manually with Fn+F8. This may be worthwhile information for anyone who frequently deals with Dell laptops.
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#8
phillpower2

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Hi Radien
Try connecting the laptop to an external screen via the laptops VGA port and see if the display stays on, it is possible that the MB to screen ribbon has come loose or is damaged.
When you connect to the external screen you may need to toggle between screens by pressing the Fn and one of the F1 to F12 keys.


Thanks for the update Radien :thumbsup:
The MB to screen ribbon can become damaged or loose in the socket simply from normal use, the lid being opened and closed for example, they can be difficult (complicated) to repair and if not confident the user should seek the services of a Tech or competent person to do the repair.
Having to between screens is not uncommon with pressing the Fn and F5 keys a popular combination, some brands use a single function key.
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#9
Radien

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Thanks. :) At this point I don't think I will attempt to repair the ribbon, or even get somebody else to do it. It would probably make more sense to replace the rest of the laptop since I ended having a friend transplant the hard drive from his old Dell, so I could just work out a deal for the rest of that laptop. For now, though, I guess I just have an oddly-shaped desktop computer... Anyway, hope this produced a tiny bit of useful information for someone.
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#10
phillpower2

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Thanks for the update, if you are happy with how it is that is all that matters :thumbsup:
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