Monitor is black

Hewlett-packard Pavilion dv4-2140us ente...
July 22, 2010 at 11:48:42
Specs: Windows Vista Business
The monitor on my boss's laptop went dead yesterday. No BIOS or any other splash shows up when you boot. I did attach a second monitor and that works fine. The control panel says that the graphics card works properly (ATI Radeo HD 3200) . When I go to display settings it lists the external monitor as my default and shows the laptop monitor as number 2 and it is grayed over. I can't extend my desktop to or activate the laptop monitor. I talked with HP tech support and the tech guy said it was probably a bad graphics card and we need to swap out the mother board. Before we do that I want to see if someone else has some ideas (maybe a software problem?)

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July 22, 2010 at 16:08:17
"I talked with HP tech support and the tech guy said..."

These days, you may have been talking to some guy in a India, or in any case to some support guy who may or may not be competent.

It's a LOT more likely that one of these things is what is wrong than there's something wrong with a graphics adapter that produces a perfect display on an external monitor...

- the wiring between the base and the display is damaged due to wear, usually right where it passes through the hinge area.

Common after the laptop has been used a lot. Relatively cheap to fix.

Symptoms: The display may have been working when the lid was in certain positions, not working when it was in other positions, for a while before it wouldn't work at all.

- or - the backlight has burnt out in the display
- or - the voltage inverter that provides high voltage to the backlight has failed (it's usually inside the lid under the display)

Both are common after the laptop has been used a lot, or if the laptop has been dropped. The backlight is cheap but must be expertly replaced - most technicians get a replacement display assembly instead of doing that. The voltage inverter is cheap and easy to replace, but usually it's the backlight that has failed.
Symptoms: The display has had an overall colored tint for a while before there was no video at all. Then the display was normal brightess for a short time after booting, then it went black and stayed black. After the display went black, if the brightness is/was increased all the way, you may see / have seen a very faint image, sometimes.

Did he drop the laptop, or spill liquid on it. ??
Those things are the most frequent reason a laptop malfunctions such that major parts need to be replaced.

Have him take it to a laptop repair place that is certified to work on HP computers to analyze what is wrong.

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July 22, 2010 at 16:41:25
"HP tech support"

Well there is your problem. Those guys don't know squat. I spend more time with HP techs teaching them how to do their jobs.

I digress.

Are you sure your boss just didn't toggle the screen modes to External Connection Only. Just do a FN+F4 to toggle through the modes.

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