Laptop screen Blackout?

Started by Rogue, July 16, 2014, 02:00:30 PM

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So my screen keeps randomly blacking out on me. It's happened twice while simply using the internet, nothing graphics intensive. The last time I reset it, it lasted maybe half an hour before blacking out on me again.

My indicator lights still say that it's on. If I hard shut it off, it'll power down, but trying to hibernate it or anything else with the power button doesn't work. I even waited seven minutes (approximately how long I took reheating food) for it to go to sleep and nothing.

I'm running windows 7 64bit, Dell inspiron M5030 (it's about five years old), Generic PnP Monitor (1366x768@60Hz), ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4250 (Dell).

Any ideas of what could be wrong?


Is it the connection itself or the backlight?

In the latter case, the pixels will still be on the screen - you can tell by looking really closely, usually. It'll just look black.


O.o I just tried to turn it in to check and it started beeping at me....  6 short beeps to be specific.... 

I'm starting to think this might be beyond mine and my girl's ability to fix.  :'(


I don't know what BIOS you're using, but that sounds like a problem with the keyboard controller.

Might want to get a pro to take a look at it and confirm.
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At this point it might be cheaper for me to replace it. Laptops that do the same stuff this one did for me cost around 250 and I don't want to spend that much fixing this one to have something else crap out on me. It is old after all and we have the desktop for gaming.

Thanks for dropping in to help Veks and Oni. It's appreciated.


If your getting BIOS Beep's on boot from a 5YO Laptop, with the LCD Panel blacking out on you - regardless of whether its just the backlight or the cable you have a couple of likely causes.

LCD Backlight is failing
LCD Panel is failing
LCD Cable is Faulty
Graphics Card is Faulty - and its often onboard, unless its a higher end laptop with a dedicated card
Motherboard is Faulty

Out of all of these, on a 5 year old laptop, the only one I would say is economical to repair is the LCD Cable.

If you can get it to boot while plugged into an external monitor, tap f12 after hitting the power button.   You might need to hit the function key and f5 or f7 - look for the top key on your laptop that looks like a dual screen button a couple of times while plugged into the extra monitor.   This will make your second display the primary.

Most Dell Laptops have inbuilt diagnostics you can run that will tell you exactly the issue - but I have found I need to change screen modes a couple of times to check.

Long term however, a new laptop will be more viable for you if you can afford one.


I ended up getting one for 250 that runs better than the old one, even if it does have 8 on it. :) I can even play on the horizons server again with it without having to use the desktop (which is my girlfriend's). Thanks though Psi.