laptop's computer screen problem

Hewlett-packard Pavilion ze4910us notebo...
July 23, 2010 at 12:27:54
Specs: Windows XP, 1 gb 60 gb
i have another laptop i use for light work (typing documents). just recently, it will turn on, but shows up a blank / black screen and won't boot (to windows) the way it used to. if i turn it off and back on again, sometimes the picture ( distorted look) shows up at the screen. i took this photo when i tried to boot up with linux OS just for testing. here is the link:

please click to see image

what could have gone wrong?

See More: laptops computer screen problem

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July 23, 2010 at 13:40:35
It could be a damaged screen or graphics card. To determine which, hook up an external monitor and see it it has the same effects. If so then it is the graphics card if not probably the screen. You can eBay for a damaged laptop that is being sold for parts and see if you can replace the screen.

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July 27, 2010 at 10:27:00
thank you so much for your response, ace_omega. i gave it a rest for a while and after a week, it boots up normally again. i think it will give up on its own, who knows when. but the good thing is that i managed to back up all of my files before it dies on me again:) you've been very helpful. thanks again:P

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July 27, 2010 at 10:34:53
Laptop no video (or video problems), and battery, AC adapter, power jack T shooting.

Battery or charging of the battery problems can cause the display to turn black and the computer to shut down when the battery is depleted, and the laptop won't start up again until the battery has been charged at least a minimal amount.

See response 1:

DO NOT plug in or unplug a monitor's video cable into / from a video port while the computer is running. Doing so can damage the monitor's circuits and/or the video adapter's circuits.

Some laptops will display on an external monitor without you having to do anything.

If you get no video on an external monitor, some laptops have a key combo that you must press to toggle the display to external video only / sometimes both / built in display video only - see the Owner's or User's manual for the model.

If there is nothing wrong with your AC adapter or it's connection and the jack in the laptop.......

Laptop main batteries usually work as they should for a year or so, then they begin to rapidly deteriorate. From what I've seen, by two years they cannot be charged to anywhere near their full capacity, and it gets worse after that.
They often develop internal shorts when they are older. If the battery gets HOT rather than just warm after you have attempted to charge it for at least a half hour, or after you have been using the laptop for a while with the AC adapter plugged in, it's definitely internally shorted and you must replace it. Internally shorted batteries getting too hot have been known to cause the laptop to catch on fire.

Old main batteries are likely to cause you problems.
A used display assembly is NOT a wise choice unless it has been refurbished, as in, the ad says backlight has been replaced with a new one.

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Related Solutions

July 27, 2010 at 11:34:58
thanks, tubesandwires. my unit is very old, like i said, i use it for lighter load (like typing documents) if my family uses the other laptop. the second (and only) battery i have is of no use anymore ( i didn't feel the need to buy a new one for fear that it will eventually die on me.haha ) but am just glad i got to do the back up before it happens again.

thank you for your input. :)

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July 28, 2010 at 08:59:37
It never fails to puzzle me that so many people who have laptops are cheapskates regarding replacing the main battery.

This is your battery:
(part number) 371785-001 Battery (Primary) - 6-cell lithium-ion (Li-Ion), 11.1VDC, 4.4Ah, 48Wh

You don't necessarily need to buy a HP or Compaq battery.
If you know the part number, there plenty of cheaper clone batteries out there that are just as good. If they have a 1year warranty that's the same warranty you get for a HP or Compaq battery.

The only other thing that might cause the image you linked to and your other symptoms is the ram has a poor connection in it's slot(s).

A common thing that can happen with ram, even ram that worked fine previously, is the ram has, or has developed, a poor connection in it's slot(s).
This usually happens a long time after the ram was installed, but it can happen with new ram, or after moving the computer case from one place to another, and I've had even new modules that needed to have their contacts cleaned.

See response 2 in this - try cleaning the contacts on the ram modules, and making sure the modules are properly seated:

For a laptop, or netbook, you must remove both its main battery and AC adapter before you do that.

For a brand name computer, see the Owner's or User's manual if you need to - how to remove or replace the ram is usually in that - it may already be in your installed programs. If you can't get into Windows, it may be on a disk that came with the computer, or you can go online and look at it or download it - it's in the downloads for your specific model.

Product specs

It came with XP SP2, so it was made in or after about 2003.

Apparently it came with two 256mb modules.
You would definitely benefit from more ram, if it's still got that.
Max is two 512mb modules - DDR266(mhz)

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July 28, 2010 at 12:29:00
wow thanks for your tip. i will go and give the memory modules a look and do the suggested cleaning. (really appreciate the link).

and funny that you mentioned it, earlier today (before reading your post), i got a new battery replacement for the old laptop... :-) it's my third one, considering the unit is already 6 years old. i am amaze that it still works as intended.

THANK YOU again for your suggestions:)

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July 28, 2010 at 15:29:45
You're welcome to use our help.

Don't randomly buy ram.
Look up which ram is listed for your Pavilion model.


go here

You can also search by
click on
Model name

click on search

One you know which brand name part numbers work in your model, you can use that to search with to find the cheapest price, or local places many stock it.

Generic ram is okay too, as long as it's guaranteed to work in your model.

You can use certain PC2100 (DDR266) or PC2700 (DDR333) ram modules, but PC2700 (DDR333) modules will probably run at 266mhz - PC2100 specs - on your mboard.

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