Toshiba laptop screen blank

May 15, 2012 at 09:34:54
Specs: Windows 7

So I'm the guy all my friends go to when they have a computer problem so a friend came to me saying her Toshiba laptop screen is just blank at all times when powered on. She gives it to me and I turn it on and of course it is working fine. A few minutes after startup I pressed the power button and the screen just goes blank as she described to me before. I pressed and held the power button to forcefully shut the computer off and it did shut off as it should have (heard the fans stop and all power lights shut off). As i tried to turn it back on, the screen just stayed blank, but power indicator lights were working. Everything I have tried since will not get the screen back working. Here are some symptoms and what I have already tried...

The power button seems like it could be a little temperamental. it doesn't appear to be seated correctly in the case, meaning its a little crooked and when pressed one side goes down further than the other, and as she described to me some times she has to press harder than usual to power it on. Only noting this because it was when I pressed the power button that the symptoms came back. But when pressed the power indicator light does come on though. I have tried wiggling, tapping and "cleaning" the button, but nothing

I have tried to connect an external monitor and power up as usual, but still nothing/blank screen.

I read a trick to take the battery out and unplug it then press and hold the power button for 30-60 seconds then plug in and try again, but that trick did not work either.

i have no physical evidence behind my theory but I can only assume it is rather the power button or somehow the laptop "thinks" the lid is closed when it is not.

Any solutions or other suggestions as to what the problem may be?

Thanks


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#1
May 15, 2012 at 11:36:14

This could be one of several problems.. here's what I would try:

- Remove the RAM out of the slots on the bottom and experiment with those (i.e. different RAM in each slot, leave a slot blank, etc).
- Pull the hard drive out and boot the laptop up and see what happens.
- Remove the laptop battery, plug the power in and see if it boots on.
- Remove the CD-ROM drive and power it on.

Either way, try all of these with different variations. I very highly doubt the power button is what's causing this, something else is doing this. If all else fails, remove the wireless card on the bottom and see what happens.

I hope this helps.

Jonas "Jackal" Lear
http://www.sbccrew.com
Serving the South Bay Since 1999


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#2
May 15, 2012 at 12:09:10

Just tried any and all combinations of your suggestions with no luck. When I stated before that all the power lights come on, but screen is blank, I did not originally notice sometihng little. The power light comes on, but the hard drive/data access light stays off at all times. I know you stated that you doubt the power button is the problem, but one last note on it. I dont even have to press the button itself to turn it onn/off (at least turning on/off the power light in this case). If I press a little hard on either side of the button it acts as if I were jsut pressing the button itself.

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#3
May 15, 2012 at 12:51:24

Blank as in the screen is all white, or all black (no video at all)?

If it's black, people often say they have no video when they actually DO always have video while booting the computer BEFORE Windows is supposed to load, but no video after that.

Do you always have video while booting the computer BEFORE Windows is supposed to load,
or no video at all ?

"I have tried to connect an external monitor and power up as usual, but still nothing/blank screen."

You will get no video in any case when there is no ram installed.

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 / built in display video only / sometimes both - see the Owner's or User's manual for the model (e.g. press both Fn and Fx ; x is a number).

If that doesn't work either, something inside the laptop is probably damaged


"If I press a little hard on either side of the button it acts as if I were jsut pressing the button itself. "

The power button presses on a momentary switch - it's on only when the power button is pressed in. If the power button sticks such that the switch is on continuously, the computer will shut off in a short time, if there is nothing wrong with the switch. Pressing near the power button should not make it act as if the power button was pressed.

It's extremely rare for the power switch itself on desktop computers to physically fail, but that does sometimes happen with the power switch on a laptop.

Ask the owner.....

Have you, or is it possible someone else who had access to this computer...
- dropped it, or dropped anything on it, or otherwise exposed it to a physical jolt ?
- spilled liquid on it, or sprayed it with liquid, or exposed it to liquid such as rain ?

Since the video last worked properly all the time, has there been a power failure event that happened while the AC adapter was plugged in ?

Those things are the most frequent reasons something inside the laptop has been damaged.
.......

Depending on settings in the bios, pressing the power button briefly while Windows is running may place the computer and the video video in Standby or Hibernate mode
You can have problems with the software on the hard drive that results in the computer not "waking up" from that mode.
However, holding the power button in until the computer shuts off releases the computer and Windows from that state - the computer SHOULD always have video while booting the computer at least BEFORE software loads from the hard drive.

If the user normally has to Logon to Windows, then it would be NORMAL for the hard drive activity led to stop blinking shortly after Windows reaches that point and the user has not responded. That led SHOULD blink while booting the computer BEFORE that point, assuming that the bios Boot Order or similar settings have not been messed with.

A poor connection of the ram in it's slots CAN cause your symptoms. You could try re-seating it. It is extremely RARE for ram that worked fine in the same mboard previously to spontaneously go "BAD". There's probably absolutely nothing wrong with it.

A problem with the software on the hard drive, or a defective hard drive, CANNOT cause no video while booting the computer BEFORE the software is supposed to load from the hard drive.

A problem that is causing problems with charging the main battery, or a defective main battery, can cause your symptoms when the computer is running on the battery alone. In that case, if there's nothing else wrong, and if there's nothing wrong with the AC to DC adapter and it's connection to the laptop, the computer should work fine when the main battery is removed and the AC to DC adapter is connected to it.

Laptop no video (or video problems), and battery, AC adapter, power jack T shooting.

See response 1:
http://www.computing.net/answers/ha...


.


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#4
May 15, 2012 at 17:48:29

I should have been more clear with the "blank screen". What I meant was completely black. Not even a filcker or pre boot information. The screen appears as if it were never turned on in the first place.

This laptop does have a toggle to switch between laptop and external monitor, but it still did nothing when pressed.

It appears that even though the power light and fans are on, it is not booting, which could be why the hard drive light does not come on. Its kind of like its stuck in a limbo of nothing or stuck in a standby/hibernation, but I also held the power switch to force shut off and try to restart from there releasing the standby mode but nothing.

The owner "babies" it so it is not banged around at all.

The ram was never upgraded so that cant be the problem, but I removed and reinserted it anyway just to check, but nothing.

I've tried all combinations of battery only, AC power only, with and without the battery inserted, etc. and nothing.

I dont know what to do from here



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#5
May 16, 2012 at 08:17:49

Ok, then going by what you've told us so far, the only thing left is something is definately damaged or malfunctioning inside the laptop

If anyone else has EVER had physical access to the laptop, then it's possible one of these applies. People may not tell you they have done such things, especially if they suspect you would not react reasonably. For that matter, it seems there are more people these days who will not admit they have done anything wrong unless they're cauught doing it.

"Have you, or is it possible someone else who had access to this computer...
- dropped it, or dropped anything on it, or otherwise exposed it to a physical jolt ?
- spilled liquid on it, or sprayed it with liquid, or exposed it to liquid such as rain ?"

Damage caused by a power failure event can apply in any case. It doesn't matter whether it was running at the time the event happened, the computer could still have been damaged. That's more likely if the event was caused by a lightning strike.

"Since the video last worked properly all the time, has there been a power failure event that happened while the AC adapter was plugged in ?"
...

If the laptop has EVER been dropped, there is probably slight physical evidence of that somewhere on the outside of the case, I would think most likely on an edge of the case..
If the computer case's base is opened up, there will probably be physical evidence that it has been dropped, most likely at the edge of the mboard.

E.g. I have a friend's Acer laptop that was dropped. It has a small dent on one corner of the outside of the case near a hinge, and when I opened it up it has physical damage of the mboard edge near that corner .

The built in display stopped working immediately after it was dropped, but it worked fine for several months with an external monitor. Then the keyboard and ALL the USB ports stopped working. It still works otherwise, but you can't get past the Logon screen when there's no way of using a keyboard with it.
.....

Malfunctioning.....

Some main chipsets are well know to eventually malfuction after the computer has been used for a while. The most common culprits I've heard of are ceratin NVidia main chipsets. Or the mboard may have been poorly soldered.
In some cases, a technician is able to get the mboard working properly again by going over the mboard with a hot air solder "reflow" device.
Try phoning around to see if a local place that repairs laptops has such a device they can try with the laptop's mboard.

You can often find a new or good used (make sure it has no bios set passwords) replacement mboard for a reasonable price when you search on the web, but you'll need to determine which specific mboard part number the specific model is using. That may be a on a stuck on label on the mboard, or stated in the Service manual. Sometimes there are pictures of the actual mboard in ads on the web.

If you want to try opening up the laptop to see if you can find anything, or to reduce the technician's labour charge, you can probably find a Service manual for the laptop seriries on the web for free or for a small fee


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#6
May 18, 2012 at 01:00:47

When the laptop came on briefly was the picture ok or did it have any lines or symbols on it?

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#7
May 18, 2012 at 12:18:59

When it worked for the 10 minutes or so when I was first looking at it, everything was completely fine! No lines, dimed screen, flickering or anything. It was when I pressed the power button while already booted and running when it went blank. Now I dont know what kind of behavior she has set up for what happens when the power button is pressed, but regardless of that, it has been shut dowm completely, battery removed and unplugged , so there is no chance its stuck in a sleep or hibernation.

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#8
May 23, 2012 at 05:07:13

Did you try a high resolution external monitor? i have seen something similar with a compaq laptop. someone tried to connect a external monitor and messed about with the setting so it wouldn't show anything on the external. what is the model of the laptop you are trying to sort out and the os?

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#9
May 23, 2012 at 07:09:24

Thanks for everyone’s help. Unfortunately I have given up on trying to help her with this problem. She will be sending it out to a professional to diagnose the problem

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#10
May 23, 2012 at 08:08:08

Thanks for the thanks.

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#11
July 8, 2012 at 10:43:19

My screen was not coming on all lights were coming on except hard drive light
So I tried memory I had two slots i removed one then tried to reboot screen came on laptop now ok so problem was one of the slots was faulty.
Thank you gestohlenseele very much for your help.

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#12
July 9, 2012 at 07:33:32

mirag29

As I said above...

"A poor connection of the ram in it's slots CAN cause your symptoms. You could try re-seating it. It is extremely RARE for ram that worked fine in the same mboard previously to spontaneously go "BAD". There's probably absolutely nothing wrong with it."

See response 2 in this - try cleaning the contacts on the ram modules, and making sure the modules are properly seated:
http://www.computing.net/hardware/w...

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.
.......

"It is extremely RARE for ram that worked fine in the same mboard previously to spontaneously go "BAD". "

However, if it's NOT ram that you KNOW worked fine in the same mboard previously, if any ram module is not 100% comptible with installing it in the mboard....

Ram that works in another mboard , or any ram you buy or have lying around, may not work properly, or sometimes, not at all - even if it physically fits and is the right overall type (e.g. SDram, DDR, DDR2, etc.; PCxxxx, xxx mhz) for your mboard. In the worst cases of incompatibility your mboard WILL NOT BOOT all the way with it installed, and the mboard may not even beep - the ram has to be compatible with the mboard's main chipset, or in the case of recent mboards, compatible with the memory controller built into the cpu.
..........

In your case, it's extremely unlikely there is anything wrong with the circuits of the one ram slot.
The ONLY mboards I have EVER come across (two of a hundred or more) that had ram slot circuits that did NOT work were ram slots a ram module had been installed BACKWARDS in and then someone attempted to boot the computer - doing so frys both the backwards ram module and the circuits forv the slot it was in instantly. In that case if you use good lighting and something to magnify the ram slots you can see the physical damage to some of the ram contacts in the slot, and often black carbon deposits if the slot has never been cleaned up.


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