laptop desktop not visible--help!

Compaq Presario r3000
January 3, 2009 at 09:01:23
Specs: Windows XP Home Edition, PIII 900/512
After using my laptop, I returned later to find the screen dark. I could not perform a proper shutdown, so I shut it down manually. When I restarted the computer, the Windows logo appeared, but afterward the screen went black and I can not see the desktop. I have done this repeatedly with the same result. It also shows messages such as "computer rebooting" or "hibernating," but the desktop never appears. The screen looks like the computer is off. I've tried opening and closing the top, using the Fn keys, etc with no successs. Please help! I have very important info on this computer.

See More: laptop desktop not visible--help!

Report •


#1
January 3, 2009 at 11:21:35
I'm assuming you have NOT recently installed video display drivers. If you have, you MAY not get any display (a black screen) after Windows starts to load, but almost always you should get a display while booting before that point.

Try connecting a monitor to the VGA port.
If you then get normal video, there is nothing wrong with anything on your mboard including your video adapter, but there is something wrong with the backlight and/or the voltage inverter for the onboard LCD display, or less likely, there is a problem with the wiring between the base and the display in the lid - often it's a broken wire where the wiring passes through the hinge.

Your symptoms sound your problem is most likely the backlight is failing, and the voltage inverter is shutting itself off or setting itself to a lesser mode in a short time after booting because it is "detecting" a problem with the backlight.

For some info about replacing a voltage inverter or backlight, and what some typical symptoms are, see response 5 in this:
http://www.computing.net/hardware/w...

If there is a problem with the wiring between the base and the display in the lid, the built in LCD display MAY work correctly when the lid is in certain postions, and NOT work correctly when it is in other positions.
That wiring bundle is a commonly replaced part and is relatively cheap.


Report •

#2
January 3, 2009 at 11:51:47
You can probably save your important data by physically removing the drive, and then using an adapter cable to attach it to a USB port on another system.
The following shows an example of an adapter that you could use:
http://tekgems.com/Products/kl-usb-...
Be sure to get one for a laptop (2.5" drive).


TWIMC
NTVDM = NT, Win2K and WinXP Virtual DOS Manager
http://kb.iu.edu/data/acxn.html


Report •

#3
January 3, 2009 at 13:48:24
I connected the laptop to my desktop monitor and got the same display. The "troubleshooting" message ran along the bottom of the screen due to my manual shutdowns and restarts, then both screens went dark. Does this indicate a problem with my video adapter?
One response recommended that I physically remove the drive, and then use an adapter cable to attach it to a USB port on another system in order to save my data. How easy is it to remove the drive?
Thanks.

Report •

Related Solutions

#4
January 3, 2009 at 14:04:35
The desktop monitor is now displaying a message that says there's no input or that the cable is disconnected even though the monitor cable is connected. What could this indicate?

Report •

#5
January 4, 2009 at 21:31:35
"I connected the laptop to my desktop monitor and got the same display."

If you mean it does this in both cases...
"...the Windows logo appeared, but afterward the screen went black and I can not see the desktop."

AND you always get video while booting up until that point...

If you are having display driver problems, sometimes you will get no video after Windows starts to load.

Try booting into Enable VGA mode.
Repeatedly press F8 while booting, and when the boot choices menu appears, select Enable VGA mode.
Enable VGA mode loads everything normal mode does, except it forces Windows to use default VGA drivers that all mboards and video adapters support, rather than any specific drivers you loaded for your video adapter.
If that gets you to the desktop eventually (Windows will want to run chkdsk because you didn't shut down Windows normally - don't cancel that - let it do it), then
go to Control Panel - Display - Settings
- If it doesn't say Plug and Play Monitor, or the specific drivers for your monitor, there, click on the Advanced button, Monitor, Properties, Driver, Update Driver, No, not at this time, Next; Installfrom a list..., Next; Don't search..., Next; Select Plug and Play Monitor, Next, etc.
- If it DOES say Plug and Play Monitor, or the specific drivers for your monitor, there,
skip the next step, go to (HERE) below that.

Reboot the computer, normally.
You should have video in Windows.

- If you don't have video in Windows at that point, start up the computer in Enable VGA mode again, and
(HERE)- un-install any display drivers listed in Control Panel - Add/Remove Programs, (don't reboot at that point) and go to Device Manager (e.g. RIGHT click on My Computer - Properties - Hardware - Device Manager), Open up the Display adapters entry, RIGHT click on the name of the display adapter, and Un-install it.
Reboot the computer, normally.
You should have video in Windows but it may be very crude.
Go to the HP web site, look for the drivers for your Presario model, and download the display drivers, and install them.
......

If you have no video in Windows, to shut down Windows normally.....
when the hard drive has finished blinking it's led,
hold down Alt and Ctrl, press Del, let go of the keys; hold down Alt, press u, let go of the keys; press u
......

"How easy is it to remove the drive?"

Try what I suggested (VGA mode) first.

Most Presario models have a Maintenance manual you can download - how to remove the hard drive is in that - search for it on the HP web site.
.......

"The desktop monitor is now displaying a message that says there's no input or that the cable is disconnected even though the monitor cable is connected. What could this indicate?"

Some monitors display a message like that if they are getting no signal or if the monitor is unplugged from the computer - that message is not generated by the computer itself.

Most more recent laptops will not start up if only the AC adapter is plugged in - the main battery must be installed as well, and it must be at least minimally charged. If the battery is not charged up enough, the laptop will not start up until it has been charged to at least a minimal level.

How old is the main battery? If it's more than two years old it cannot be charged to it's full capacity.

Are you sure the AC adapter is okay?
On a friend's Presario, there is an "charging" led on the left front of the laptop that lights up when the AC adapter is plugged in and the computer is receiving it's power and it's charging the battery. Even if the main battery is fully charged, if you unplug the AC adapter then plug it back in, that led should come on at least briefly.
If that led does not come on at all, there is a problem with the AC adapter or it's connection to the laptop.
You are supposed to pull on the plug at the laptop when you unplug the AC adapter - if you pull on the cord instead, as many people do, eventually the plug or the wiring at the plug will be damaged, and after a longer time, the jack in the laptop the plug plugs into can be damaged.



Report •

#6
January 6, 2009 at 08:13:27
TubesandWires, starting the computer in VGA mode worked!!!! You have saved me a huge headache and some money too! Thanks so much for taking the time to provide such detailed instructions. aegis1, thanks for the info on the cable. I'll keep it in mind if I ever need to transfer data. I'll be backing everything up from now on! Thanks.

Report •

#7
January 8, 2009 at 11:20:47
We're glad to hear you solved the problem!

Why did this happen?
- Sometimes you get no display in Windows after you install the proper software for your video adapter, or after you update or change display drivers, after you reboot, because the video drivers aren't recognizing your monitor properly and don't "know" what settings to use.
- or - you may have installed the wrong software for the video.
.....

"I'll be backing everything up from now on!"

It is VERY common for people who buy brand name computers, that we hear of, to NOT make a Recovery CD or Recovery CD set, despite the fact the ability is often there in the original software installation.

Most brand name computers these days DO NOT come with a CD or a CD set with which you can reload the original brand name software installation - usually you are supposed to make the CD or CD set yourself!

If you have not already done so, make the Recovery CD and Recovery CD set while Windows is still working well enough to make them!!

If you still have the original Compaq software installation on this computer, there is probably a program in your Programs list somewhere put there by Compaq with which you can make a single Recovery CD that can be used along with the intact and un-altered contents of the second partition on the original hard drive to restore the contents of C to what it had when you first got the computer, and/or with which you can make a Recovery CD set, with which you can restore the original data contents of the entire hard drive, even if the contents of the second partition are not there or are altered or corrupted, or even if the hard drive fails and/or if you want to replace it with a new drive.


Report •


Ask Question