|(note: this post pertains to a different computer than the one spec'ed below -|
HP Compaq NX5000 notebook, 512 MB RAM, WXP Home)
Weird problem, the display on this notebook dims to nearly black only sometimes after boot. You can see the desktop if you shine a bright flashlight on it, so the computer is operating, just no display. Sometimes the display goes out right after the HP splash screen, sometimes several minutes later. Sometimes moving the lid (display) open and closed makes the display come and go. I re-installed the W-XP Home, re-seated the RAM, checked the display cables for looseness, set the powersaving to not hibernate (usually a cold boot gets the display back for a while), set the powersaving to "do nothing" if the lid is closed (pressed the button that gets actuated when the lid is closed, no real major effect). Used a bootable Ubuntu disc to run a diagnostic on the HDD, reports 360 bad sectors. Getting a screen that says Windows is shutting down, etc. Also get "Non-system disk or disk error, replace and strike any key when ready".
What more can I tell you? Is the failing HDD a potential cause of the dim display issue? Something else I may have missed?