Toshiba Laptop screen goes blank

Satellite m45
August 20, 2008 at 14:30:55
Specs: Win XP Home Edition, Intel Centrino 1.73 Ghz 5
I have a Toshiba Satellite M45 laptop that I've had since 2006. After the computer has been on for about 2 or 3 hours the screen randomly goes blank. It's not totally dark as you can see that there is still some light coming from the screen but it is dark enough that I can't see anything. I have the power settings correct so that the monitor will never turn off with full power. This happens when the computer is plugged in to the outlet directly = Full power. The warranty is up and I am wondering if there are any ways to fix this problem. Thanks.

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August 20, 2008 at 19:34:58
This sounds like a temperature problem. Perhaps it's time to get the fuzzies cleaned out of the insides. You'd be amazed how much dirt & lint get trapped inside a Laptop.

It is posible your Backlight Inverter for the LCD screen is failing. The Length of time suggests Heat.

Uless you are comfortable opening a Laptop Case, a shop would be your best bet.

Does this ever happen when running on Battery only?

There is nothing to learn from someone who already agrees with you.

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August 20, 2008 at 19:48:17
It could be heat although the computer is still running when the screen goes blank, it doesn't shut down or anything. Programs continue to run etc. Just I can't seen them. The battery life on these satellite laptops is so aweful I rarely run it on the battery since it lasts me like 30 minutes at most. I'm thinking it is the backlight inverter. I also upgraded the drivers seeing if that will fix it, we'll see.

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August 21, 2008 at 12:11:30
Some Laptop Batteries degrade when not used as intended. 30 minutes run time on a full charge is an indication of a weak battery.

Try running the Laptop on the battery only till it goes into Hibernation on it's own, then connect the AC and allow it to fully charge. Repeat a few times. If the Battery only run time stays the same, you may need a new Battery.

Toshiba Rates Battery Runtime on a Model by Model basis. You could check what is normal for your LT/battery combination.

Generic Laptop batteries may not perform to Toshiba standards. Same for AC adapters . Check to see if Battery & adapter are appropriate for your M24

A weak battery can affect the AC operation because the AC is always trying to charge the battery.

Run with the Battery out, on AC only, see if performance increases, Or backlight problem persists.

I suppose it could be the inverter, but I would think Inverter problems would not be time dependant, waiting 2 to 3 hours to develop. The other possibility would be the Backlight Tube itself.

Heat, in an electrical circuit, equals increased resistance. Laptops tend to have Hot Spots. If some part of the Inverter or Inverter wiring resides in a Hot Spot, it could affect the Inverter circuit only. Hot Spots can occur in different locations than expected due to dirt & dust accumilation in the Processor Fan ducting.

Problem with Laptops is, nothing is cheap. Not parts, not service and who just happens to have a new Laptop Battery hanging around? Makes troubleshooting a real PITA and wallet.

What I would do:

Check for matching Battery & AC adapter.
Run on Battery only/Recharge, repeat.
Replace the battery if Run time stays Low

Run on AC only to see if problem persists. If YES.
Open the Case, clean Dust/Dirt out of system.

Retest on AC with cleaned LT.

Retest with new Battery & cleaned LT

Or have a shop clean the LT & test Inverter
and Backlight.

There is nothing to learn from someone who already agrees with you.

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August 21, 2008 at 15:27:42
I'll try that. Thanks for all the help.

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