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my screen keeps going black - help!

  • Hi all - I have a dell inspiron 8100 notebook computer. Here is my tale of woe: Yesterday afternoon I turned on my computer and about 30 seconds into start-up the screen went black. I turned off the system and turned it on again. Again the screen went black. After about 3 more tries the computer started up properly and all was fine...until this afternoon. I used my computer earlier this morning and everything was fine. I turned it off and came back to it about 3 hours later. After I had been using it for about 10 minutes the screen went almost completely black. The computer was still on, but the monitor was dark. I turned off the computer and restarted it. The screen went black after about 3 minutes. The same thing happened about 4 more times before I decided to call dell for support. The dell representative I spoke with had me take out the battery, unplug the power source, and hold down the power button for 30 seconds. I then restarted my computer and the screen went dark after 3 minutes. He then had me reinsert the battery and restart the computer. Once again the screen went black after 3 minutes. The representative said it sounded like I had a loose connection; however he couldn't tell me how to fix it since his system was down. He said he'd call back again this time tomorrow - but I'd like to fix this asap. So I'm now writing you for help from my husband's computer. Help me please...what can I do to fix my computer? Thanks! - Margaret
  • Connect an external monitor - does it go black as well?
  • If it's a loose connection, the first thing I'd re-seat would be the flex cable, instructions here:

    http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/ins8100/en/sm_en/remove.htm#1050927

    Best of luck!

  • Ok, after about an hour of fooling around with my system, watching it behave when I wanted it to mess up, and having it mess up when I wanted it to behave I think I've isolated the problem. I hooked up my notebook to an external monitor and after starting and restarting it several times without any problems the notebook monitor finally went black while the external was fine. So it's a problem with the notebook monitor (or the notebook monitor connection). Now...what does this mean? Does this mean I should try following the directions in that helpful reply to my query to reseat the flex cable? I'm really nervous about opening my notebook up and messing with anything. I don't exactly have a degree in computer science...Thanks!
    -Margaret
  • I don't wish to hijack your thread at all, but I wouldn't mind getting an answer, also.

    I just bought a 9100. It arrived today. When I plugged it in it started up ok. I clicked on the User Agreements and it went on to set-up, then I heard a sound and the screen went black.

    I tested the electrical cord, wriggled the cursor nub, hit keys... nothing. I shut it down and started it up again.

    It got a little farther into set up when I heard the little noise again and the screen when black.

    Hmmm!

    I tried emailing tech support. Got an error notice (and what does being a on the customer server mean, anyway?). I tried looking under Help topics and got a "check back later" message. I sent off a complaint to the website feedback (that worked!). And now I'm here...

    This is not a good sign!!!

    Box looked undamaged by shipper, btw, so I doubt I can lay the blame there...

    HELP.
  • Chances are the backlight or inverter is failing.  If you are under warranty, call Dell;  they will replace the screen.

    If you're not, a notebook repair shop can repair the screen at much lower cost - $150 or so vs. $700+ for a new screen.

     

  • Hmmm... so it's something that needs a repair? No easy fix... That's too bad.

    It should be under a regular mail-in warranty, since it's brand new out of the box (well, actually, it's a refurb--but still under the regular basic warranty). Poor components are gonna get all loose being shipped back and forth... but I guess there's no help for it.

    Thanks for the advice!

    ----
    the display finally came on and stayed on until I shut down about 15 min. later... I wonder if I should keep testing it out...? I'll probably post back here tomorrow... if I keep getting no display then I'll get ahold of Dell and see about shipping it back...

    Message Edited by April L on 09-01-2004 06:19 PM

  • He was talking about the origional poster - thats what happens when you jump into the moddle of a thread with a different problem.  Call Dell Sales and schedule a return for credit - you have 15 days.  Then order another.

    Message Edited by johnallg on 09-01-2004 11:53 PM

  • April L, if you just received it and it is playing up then just send it back to Dell and get a refund then re-order another, yo should not have to put up with faults.

    For the original poster, as mentioned your backlight/inverter is probably dead. If you still can see a shadow image then its definately your backlight/inverter. If i'm not mistaken you can replace the inverter without changing the whole LCD which is cheaper. But as far as parts are concerned i thick its easier to find the whole LCD with inverter.

  • After 2 dell technical support calls, a couple of posts to this forum, and endless fooling around with my computer it looks like my problems will soon be solved. After speaking with a couple of dell technical support people this morning it looks like my LCD screen needs replacement. Fortunately I'm still under warranty and dell's going to send someone out tomorrow (cross your fingers) to replace the screen. Thanks for everyone's input!
  • grrrlaction--thanks for not minding me posting in your thread. I'm glad your problem is fixable!

    thanks to the others who posted on my problem. I may still send it back, but right now it seems to be working. And there are no cracks in the glass that I can see.

    I'm wondering--it was really hot the day it was delivered, and the box had been sitting in a hot truck. Could it be possible that the display would shut off due to the heat??? Or am I just being optimistic?

    Now that the machine is cool, if it goes off again, I guess I'll know it wasn't the heat. But so far it's working... Very weird...
  • it would only shut off if there was a build up of current perhaps because of a short circuiting somewhere. They may also cause a heat build up i suppose.
  • Rats... it's not working again... and it's cool (air-conditioned office), now...

    I pressed the power and at first the Key Locks blinked and then nothing happened. Then off. Then on, same. Then power off. Then finally the fans started up, but still no display... wait. Then power off... wait... Same.

    It's looking like the poor thing may have got rattled on the way here... Since I assume they checked it (as a refurb) at Dell. But maybe they didn't check it. Might have just been ordered and never delivered as a refurb, maybe?

    Just tried it again... fans and leds on the HD start up more quickly, but display not going on...

    *sigh*

    I guess it's time to call up support and see if I can pack it up and return it...
  • yeah thats sounds like your best bet. Get it sorted there's no point in suffering over a new machine
  • Called up tech support... they couldn't get it to work with me hitting various keys, etc. So they're sending me out another computer and I'm to return this one after it arrives.

    I guess I'll have to see how the new one works! But so far I'm satisfied with trying another one...

    Thanks for everyone's advice!