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Technical Q&A > Laptop Blank Screen!!!

Ok, yesterday I got back, started both my laptop and PC up - no problem.

I wasn't using my laptop at the time and it was only running Windows Live Messenger. Suddenly, the laptop just turns itself off immediately.

I thought it may have overheated, but the laptop wasn't all that warm. I even tried blowing through the fans.

I pressed the power button and it started back up. Well, the power light it on as normal, the hard drive light flickers and the back light for the screen is on.

BUT! there is no Bios, no display and it just sits there. The wireless light is blue indicating it is on, but nothing on screen at all.

Please help! Luckilly, I had just began copying the documents and music that I had copied onto my external hard disk onto my PC (just in time). I can also get back my pictures from a backup archive on the external HDD as well.

Just goes to prove that XP has been running fine now for over 2 years with no hickup whatsoever... and .NET framework works on it...
July 2, 2010 | Registered CommenterJamie
Try plugging it into a external monitor, if you get a picture then it sounds like you need to get a replacement inverter for your screen (or at least the screen is the issue). A inverter is a circuit board in the screen that converts DC to AC to power the backlight.
July 2, 2010 | Registered CommenterSupernova
You also need to post what make it is. Some that have certain nvidea chips are nortorious for it as it's a manufacturing defect in HPs that they won't admit to.
July 2, 2010 | Registered Commenterjoey pesci
@supernover - Ok, I know the back light is working as it emits light in a dark room, there is a back light and no picture.

@joey pesci - I have a HP laptop and it has nVidia chips... it has worked fine for almost exactly 2 years now...
July 2, 2010 | Registered CommenterJamie
I tried it as mine is a very similar model (just a bigger screen, uprated chips etc...) a dv9000. It didn't work, I'm thinking memory problem here? - my dad's PC had a similar problem?

I hope it doesn't come to a memory change...
July 3, 2010 | Registered CommenterJamie
Did you plug it into a external monitor?? .. if you get a picture that also rules out the graphic card

>>I'm thinking memory problem here?

could be, but you should work through things systematically rule one thing out at a time until you find the problem.

reseat the memory, make sure there are no bad connections

If you have more than one bank of memory you can try swamping them around or try out one module at a time. if it boots use mem86 (8 passes) to check working module and replace the damaged one and try mem86 (8 passes) with the two in.
July 3, 2010 | Registered CommenterSupernova
Ok, I will try plugging it into an external monitor...

I'm pretty sure it won't be the memory as it has never been touched since the factory and it has survived flights before (it is a bit ironic that is happened on the same day I arrived, but like I say it had been running fine for three hours then when it was unused and just on the desktop it cut out).

Unfortunately the laptop is a year out of warranty now, but still has a lot of life left in it (providing it could still work...)
July 4, 2010 | Registered CommenterJamie

Ok, I plugged a regular VGA cable (the blue one) into the back of my regular monitor (I normally use the Digital white plug in, so there was a spare socket). I turned the laptop on and even tried the FN + whatever key to turn on the display out. I then pressed the switch input button on my monitor and I had no luck getting a picture, in fact after 10 seconds it automatically switches back to the digital input or the input with a picture.

As for the memory, it can't be a dodgy connection as it is so well in there I can't get it out! It looks like there are two strips, one layered on top of each other. If anyone else has a HP Pavillion dv...... laptop, and you've got the memory out, let me know how you did it!
July 5, 2010 | Registered CommenterJamie

Told ya

Woman at work had a HP Pavilion and did the same thing. Works on an external monitor, sometimes. But it's the mobo.

July 5, 2010 | Registered Commenterjoey pesci

Very similar problem but my back light lights up - the one on the first video (identical to mine) did not have a working back light. Mine also didn't work when I connected it to the external monitor.

I seriously think it is a memory issue here as on my dad's PC (home build) his had the same thing, everything lit up but no video out and it turned out to be the memory (after buying a new one of everything...)
July 5, 2010 | Registered CommenterJamie
I disagree. It's pointing to a the same graphics problem that plagues them all. Woman at work, hers lit up as well. Although, as I was doing her a favour and for free. I didn't go any further. But am 99% sure it was the graphics card issue.

Anyway. The youtube clip is useful as it shows you how to strip it down so you can get to memory out. Failing that. Look on HP's website for that laptop, in support. And you'll find all the maintenance manuals for it. HP are good like that, like Dell. Have great documentation for their kits, for free, for self service. I tried to find the same for a shitty Sony at work, I could even get the fing drivers individually for it.
July 5, 2010 | Registered Commenterjoey pesci
So, do I need a coin and all that stuff?

I'm still sure it is not the graphics card as, yes mine does light up but the backlight is on as well - all the videos I've seen on YouTube don't have a working backlight.

I can get the back off mine to see the memory, it is just actually getting the memory out that is the problem. I don't want to make a bigger mess of it than it already is by taking it apart, getting it to maybe work again then finding the a load of dust or static got in the chips and the whole thing is rendered useless...
July 5, 2010 | Registered CommenterJamie
Like I said, just go to HPs support site and get the maintenance manual that will tell you how to get the ram out.

I have taken two HP 2510ps apart to replace the screens, using their manual. In a dusty room using the bed as a table. Put back together and they work. So you don't have worry that much.
July 5, 2010 | Registered Commenterjoey pesci
Ah ok, I have a lot of spare time (1 1/2 months solid holiday with nothing booked, so I can just do what I want when I want) and I will take apart my laptop tomorrow.

I'm still can't believe that it was only an hour after I had backed up my data and transferred it over to my PC and then once the laptop crashed I backed it up again, so its on 3 hard drives now - then again, in the worst case I would only be one week out.
July 5, 2010 | Registered CommenterJamie
Can't you get replacement RAM or from your dad's laptop? Didn't you say it was similar? And test that out before totalling stripping it down?
July 5, 2010 | Registered Commenterjoey pesci
My dad doesn't have a laptop. His was his home built desktop. Same thing - everything lit up but nothing on the display. He put new parts of everything in (virtually a new computer)

-new CPU
-new motherboard
-new graphics card
-new power supply

then he tried new memory. Hey presto, it worked. So all his old parts still worked so he put them in my mum's PC (she is not all that techie. She needs help when syncing her iPod)

I can get to the RAM, but it is just a matter of getting it out of where it is cased in. It is clearly designed for upgrading / changing as the CPU is in the same place with the HDD under the flap next to it.

I will be surprised if it is the graphics card as the laptop has been running too hot to touch for 2 years now (50oC heat...) with no problems. It is just ironic that it was actually stone cold when it went wrong.
July 6, 2010 | Registered CommenterJamie
interesting video because i used to have a contract many years ago to replace the heat exchanges in HP laptops (previous models to yours), basically the gas used to escape so the heat from the CPU didn't get to the sink/fan efficiently. If these newer laptops had such an issue then it would also effect the GPU, in fact the CPU would help to overheat the GPU and vice versa.
July 7, 2010 | Registered CommenterSupernova
Memory is a difficult one because faulty memory doesn't always give the same results.
However, memory issues are normally very easy to rule out and most geeks normally have spare memory hanging around if needed, if not you can in most cases use the swapping trick.

Thats why i try the screen, external screen and check memory because you can virtually rule out all the components that aren't on the mobo and in most cases without having to disassemble the case.

Its does sound like this GPU issue if its a common issue with that model
July 7, 2010 | Registered CommenterSupernova
If I can get the memory out to swap it then I will do.

Sadly, I don't have any "laptop" memory lying around, I have a lot of "desktop" memory (DDR2 & 3). It might be a trip to Scan.co.uk in Bolton... or PC World...

Anyone know how to get the memory out of a dv9000? I can unscrew the door that it sits behind, but it is just actually lifting it out.
July 8, 2010 | Registered CommenterJamie
"Anyone know how to get the memory out of a dv9000?"

should say in the service manual. Normally there are clips on each side that you need to *gently* pull back to release the module.
July 9, 2010 | Registered CommenterSupernova
I wouldn't buy any memory just to test it just swap it around if you have more than one strip, like we said the problem is probably the graphics.
July 9, 2010 | Registered CommenterSupernova
Ok, I had to remove a sticker with a barcode - I moved it (shouldn't be a problem as the laptop is 1 year out of warranty...)

You were right, there were two little metal prongs that when pulled slightly back they "ping" the memory up. I just hope it was the memory...

Swapped them over and still the same problem.

Well, I tried one of them in the bottom slot - same problem
Tried it in the top slot - same problem but: NO BACKLIGHT!!!

I looked at the memory - SAMSUNG! In a HP?

So, I tried the second one in the bottom slot - NO BACKLIGHT
in the Top slot - BACKLIGHT

Don't know what is going on, all I know is that the laptop was made in China and the memory in Korea.

My guess is either both chips are dead or its the graphics...
July 9, 2010 | Registered CommenterJamie
My bet is its the graphics like I said all along :)
July 9, 2010 | Registered Commenterjoey pesci
So, it looks like I've got to take the whole thing apart... (oh joy...)

Or can I not be bothered? All I need it for now is video editing. Anyone know a good free video editor (other than Movie Maker... uggh!)

I'll get my dad to do it when he's back in the UK (Hi Dad, my laptop doesn't work and it needs taking apart, it'll only take 5 minutes...) as I CBA.

Can I not just push the graphics chip back onto the motherboard or do I have to go through the whole solder the penny onto the thing... etc...
July 10, 2010 | Registered CommenterJamie