USAFHummer
Topic Author
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A.net Laptop Computer Experts...Help!

Thu Feb 23, 2006 5:47 am

Hi guys...heres the story...

I have a Dell Inspiron 8500 laptop, Windows XP, its almost 3 years old...

Basically, the short story is that the monitor on the laptop no longer works...the rest of the computer is fine, but Im forced to hook it up to an external monitor to be able to use the computer (like I am doing right now)...the only anomaly I know of which might be related to this is that a few months after I got my computer, it took a hard impact of some sort (caused by me), and ever since then, when you first turn the computer on, it stays dark until the Windows log-on screen, but otherwise its been fine, until now...

Is this an easily fixable problem, or will I have to spend an excessive amount to get the laptop monitor working again??? Anyone have any ideas?

Thanks
Greg
Chief A.net college football stadium self-pic guru
 
gordonsmall
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Thu Feb 23, 2006 5:55 am

It'll almost certainly cost more to fix it than it's worth - so my advice is buy a new laptop.
Statistically, people who have had the most birthdays tend to live the longest.
 
theCoz
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A.net Laptop Computer Experts...Help!

Thu Feb 23, 2006 5:59 am

Laptop screens are expensive. I'd have it checked out by the manufacturer, as it may not be the screen itself, but a separate component. Hopefully a cheap component.
 
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mbmbos
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A.net Laptop Computer Experts...Help!

Thu Feb 23, 2006 6:01 am

I have to concur. Sorry to break the news. Typically, when a laptop monitor fails, it's a serious problem and one that is expensive to fix.

Three years life from a laptop is a pretty long life. Fortunately, there are some decent laptop sales going on right now.
"If I don't manage to fly, someone else will. The spirit wants only for there to be flying. As for who happens to do it, in that he has only a passing interest."
- R.M. Rilke
 
stuckinMAF
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A.net Laptop Computer Experts...Help!

Thu Feb 23, 2006 6:14 am

I concur. The display is the weakest part of a laptop....and the most expensive. The likelihood is that repair cost will be excessive, and replacement will be your most attractive option.

If you are mechanically inclined, you could pop the lid on it to inspect for damage. From the incident you described, you might want to check the flexible PCB that goes through the hinge feedthrough and look for cracks in it. You could order that part yourself and replace it, it's not that expensive. I have actually scraped the coating off of both sides of the break on those and used cyanoacrylate (super glue) to repair them, being careful to line up the exposed conducting surfaces and placing the glue on top of the repair to coat and hold it.
"A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity" -Sigmund Freud
 
noelg
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A.net Laptop Computer Experts...Help!

Thu Feb 23, 2006 6:20 am

You're talking £400-500 for a new screen - that's about $800 in US money.

On a new laptop it's touch and go whether it's worth it, on an old one you'll just be better off to get a new one (unless you can get one on ebay).

Cheers,
Noel
 
stuckinMAF
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A.net Laptop Computer Experts...Help!

Thu Feb 23, 2006 6:37 am

Quoting Noelg (Reply 5):
unless you can get one on ebay

Whatever you do, DON'T try to get one off eBay! Most of them are lease returns that were bought in large lots and are being sold piecemeal without being tested. The lease units are usually "used and abused" because the owners know they only have to keep them 1-3 years and believe me- they get their money's worth out of them!
"A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity" -Sigmund Freud
 
AC773
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A.net Laptop Computer Experts...Help!

Thu Feb 23, 2006 7:04 am

Quoting Noelg (Reply 5):
You're talking �400-500 for a new screen - that's about $800 in US money.

Hold on. Sounds to me like the screen itself is fine (as far as you know), it's just disconnected. It could be free to fix if you're mechanically inclined, or a couple of hundred if you're not. Even so, the computer was nearing the end of its lifespan anyway, so you may as well save yourself the trouble and get a new one.

Do yourself a favor and *******DON'T GET ANOTHER DELL!!******* I'd recommend IBM (Lenovo) or Toshiba personally. Best of luck!

 bigthumbsup 
Better to be nouveau than never to have been riche at all.
 
LOT767-300ER
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A.net Laptop Computer Experts...Help!

Thu Feb 23, 2006 7:06 am

Quoting AC773 (Reply 7):
Hold on. Sounds to me like the screen itself is fine (as far as you know), it's just disconnected. It could be free to fix if you're mechanically inclined, or a couple of hundred if you're not. Even so, the computer was nearing the end of its lifespan anyway, so you may as well save yourself the trouble and get a new one.

???

VGA output from his Dells motherboard has nothing to do with the LCD display, It sounds as if the display went kaput.
 
AC773
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A.net Laptop Computer Experts...Help!

Thu Feb 23, 2006 7:29 am

Quoting LOT767-300ER (Reply 8):
VGA output from his Dells motherboard has nothing to do with the LCD display, It sounds as if the display went kaput

That's not what I'm saying. There's a small cable to connect the laptop's LCD to the laptop's motherboard. That's what may have the issue. If the display were broken and it was getting a signal from the motherboard, it likely would display something with cracks and such through the image. It's unlikely that an LCD would just crap out like that.
Better to be nouveau than never to have been riche at all.
 
boeingfanyyz
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A.net Laptop Computer Experts...Help!

Thu Feb 23, 2006 7:34 am

Alright, new problem!!!  wink 

Sometimes when I rest my left palm on my laptop to type (Toshiba Satelite), the computer screen will go blank. As well, whenever I run some large programs such as FS and other large files, the computer screen will go blank!

Any suggestions?

Cheers,
Boeingfanyyz  airplane 
"If it aint boeing, it aint going!", "Friends are like condoms...they protect you when things get hard!"
 
Emirates773ER
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A.net Laptop Computer Experts...Help!

Thu Feb 23, 2006 8:10 am

Let me place my problem here as well. Two days ago I was watching a movie with my laptop connected to the TV via S-Cable and suddenly there was a blue screen with some codes on it, the laptop restarted soon after and would not boot windows. When I tried using the windows installation CD it would give a error during booting, after a couple of hours the computer started giving a blank screen when ever restarted it although the hard drive and all the other components seem to be working. Do you guys think its a mother problem or my CPU module is gone?
The Truth is Out There ---- Face It!!!!!
 
boeingfanyyz
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A.net Laptop Computer Experts...Help!

Thu Feb 23, 2006 8:13 am

Yay!!! Let's all post our problems!!!  wink 

We can have a technology-challenged persons party!!!  wink 

Cheers,
Boeingfanyyz  airplane 
"If it aint boeing, it aint going!", "Friends are like condoms...they protect you when things get hard!"
 
dan2002
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A.net Laptop Computer Experts...Help!

Thu Feb 23, 2006 8:16 am

Get a Mac, the screen wont break when you drop it.




Signed,
Klaus
A guy asks 'What's Punk?'. I kick over a trash can and its punk. He knocks over a trash can and its trendy.
 
boeingfanyyz
Posts: 970
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A.net Laptop Computer Experts...Help!

Thu Feb 23, 2006 8:18 am

Quoting Dan2002 (Reply 13):
Get a Mac, the screen wont break when you drop it.

For real...?

Cheers,
Boeingfanyyz  airplane 
"If it aint boeing, it aint going!", "Friends are like condoms...they protect you when things get hard!"
 
eilennaei
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Joined: Tue Nov 23, 2004 8:41 am

A.net Laptop Computer Experts...Help!

Thu Feb 23, 2006 8:23 am

Quoting USAFHummer (Thread starter):
anomaly I know of which might be related to this is that a few months after I got my computer, it took a hard impact of some sort (caused by me), and ever since then,

Try selling it for parts, or continue using the external monitor.

Quoting Boeingfanyyz (Reply 10):
Sometimes when I rest my left palm on my laptop to type (Toshiba Satelite), the computer screen will go blank. As well, whenever I run some large programs such as FS and other large files, the computer screen will go blank!

Any suggestions?

Hook an external monitor to it. If the symptoms disappear do as in the above case.

Quoting Emirates773ER (Reply 11):
Two days ago I was watching a movie with my laptop connected to the TV via S-Cable and suddenly there was a blue screen with some codes on it, the laptop restarted soon after and would not boot windows.

Possibly a hard disk failure, they often go that way "on the fly", but the completely (?) blank screen at boot speaks against it. The exact error message(s) could help.
 
LOT767-300ER
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A.net Laptop Computer Experts...Help!

Thu Feb 23, 2006 8:30 am

Quoting AC773 (Reply 9):
That's not what I'm saying. There's a small cable to connect the laptop's LCD to the laptop's motherboard. That's what may have the issue. If the display were broken and it was getting a signal from the motherboard, it likely would display something with cracks and such through the image. It's unlikely that an LCD would just crap out like that.

I doubt any mobo jumper cable or switch just let loose when he DROPPED his laptop. Call me crazy but I just think its gone.

Quoting Emirates773ER (Reply 11):
Let me place my problem here as well. Two days ago I was watching a movie with my laptop connected to the TV via S-Cable and suddenly there was a blue screen with some codes on it, the laptop restarted soon after and would not boot windows. When I tried using the windows installation CD it would give a error during booting, after a couple of hours the computer started giving a blank screen when ever restarted it although the hard drive and all the other components seem to be working. Do you guys think its a mother problem or my CPU module is gone?

Sounds like your HD went bye bye. Go into your BIOS when you boot up and disable every startup device except your HD. Or, you can go to a shop and pick up a 2.5inch HD and swap it out and load windows on it and see if that cures the problem. Lots of solutions for this problem
 
Emirates773ER
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A.net Laptop Computer Experts...Help!

Thu Feb 23, 2006 8:32 am

Quoting Eilennaei (Reply 15):
Possibly a hard disk failure, they often go that way "on the fly", but the completely (?) blank screen at boot speaks against it. The exact error message(s) could help.



Quoting LOT767-300ER (Reply 16):
Sounds like your HD went bye bye. Go into your BIOS when you boot up and disable every startup device except your HD. Or, you can go to a shop and pick up a 2.5inch HD and swap it out and load windows on it and see if that cures the problem. Lots of solutions for this problem

The screen is totally blank when I start it, I can hear the fan and hard drive running though. There are no error messages, at least I can't see any on the blank screen.
The Truth is Out There ---- Face It!!!!!
 
LOT767-300ER
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A.net Laptop Computer Experts...Help!

Thu Feb 23, 2006 8:45 am

Plug it to an external monitor via your VGA jack and see if that works. You can also do it via S-Video if you have that in your laptop and hook it up to a TV if you dont have an additional monitor.
 
lehpron
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A.net Laptop Computer Experts...Help!

Thu Feb 23, 2006 2:38 pm

Quoting USAFHummer (Thread starter):
Is this an easily fixable problem, or will I have to spend an excessive amount to get the laptop monitor working again??? Anyone have any ideas?

Screw new laptop unless there are other things about your laptop you don't like but tolerated all this time. Go get an external monitor; unless you travel a lot, get an LCD monitor. Big grin

I planned ahead for the potential replacement of my laptop by getting a 19" analog LCD monitor.
The meaning of life is curiosity; we were put on this planet to explore opportunities.
 
eilennaei
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A.net Laptop Computer Experts...Help!

Thu Feb 23, 2006 3:51 pm

Sometimes removing the battery for a while cures a laptop freeze. A dead battery can also "hog" the wall power current and disable the computer while it is installed.
 
USAFHummer
Topic Author
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A.net Laptop Computer Experts...Help!

Fri Feb 24, 2006 12:41 am

Thanks for all the advice guys...right now the comp is in the repair shop getting an estimate...should know tomorrow how much but Im expecting the worst and thus Ive already started to pre-shop for a new one...in my lifestyle, keeping the comp and using an external monitor long term isnt really practical, so I think getting a new one is my best bet...Im looking at the Sony VAIO right now, the really small one (~11 inch screen), cause my Inspiron with its 15 inch screen was way too big to carry around and use in classes (a mistake I realized right after I got it a few years ago), so I want somethin that I can use in class and not break my back in the process...anyone got the small VAIO?

Greg
Chief A.net college football stadium self-pic guru
 
scott2187
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A.net Laptop Computer Experts...Help!

Fri Feb 24, 2006 1:24 am

new question:

how incredibly difficult would it be to upgrade RAM in a laptop? the 512MB is slowing down my CAD programs.
“Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work.”
 
Klaus
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A.net Laptop Computer Experts...Help!

Fri Feb 24, 2006 1:27 am

Depends on the model. Most laptops accept SO-DIMM modules. Check the memory specifications of your computer (memory type, speed, size, mechanical dimensions...), then look for suppliers of such memory modules.
 
scott2187
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A.net Laptop Computer Experts...Help!

Fri Feb 24, 2006 1:42 am

Quoting Klaus (Reply 23):
Depends on the model. Most laptops accept SO-DIMM modules. Check the memory specifications of your computer (memory type, speed, size, mechanical dimensions...), then look for suppliers of such memory modules.

this is what it tells me:

Sony Vaio VGN-FS640

Memory: 512 MB PC-2700, 333MHz, DDR (256 x 2) (expandable up to 1 gig)


so i'm assuming i have to get 2 512MB cards and replace the 256 ones.
“Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work.”
 
Lindy
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A.net Laptop Computer Experts...Help!

Fri Feb 24, 2006 1:55 am

Wow, why did you take it to repair shop? Those Dell models (Inspiron 8500/8600) had connection problem very frequently.
Here are the steps how to check if the cabel in your LCD display was loosen (now its too late but for the future).
First you have to remove kyeboard bezel and keyboard itself. (easy task)
Then remove 2 hinge screws from the bottom of the system (these two on both sides of port replicator port). Move your laptop back to regular position and disconnect LCD cable from the motherboard. Gently lift your LCD screen up away from the system. Then you have to remove 8 screw covers from the LCD frame and unscrew the screws. Remove the frame, and again you have 3 screws holding LCD to the backpanel. Then again, 4 screws that keep LCD screen together with back panel. Gently move bottom of the LCD up (be careful not to rip cable that is connected to the back of the laptop). There you can see the LCD cable runing from the top of the LCD to the bottom. Usually that part gets diconnected/unplugged due to laptop frequent movements. If that cable is connected then you have to replace LCD.

Now please send check for $150 payable to Lindy Big grin

But seriously, if you ever consider getting another laptop - go with Toshiba.

Dell Certified Systems Expert
Rafal  Smile
BWIADCA - Nikon D100
 
Klaus
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A.net Laptop Computer Experts...Help!

Fri Feb 24, 2006 2:20 am

Quoting Scott2187 (Reply 24):
this is what it tells me:
Sony Vaio VGN-FS640
Memory: 512 MB PC-2700, 333MHz, DDR (256 x 2) (expandable up to 1 gig)
so i'm assuming i have to get 2 512MB cards and replace the 256 ones.

Yes, that's what it looks like. There can be different constraints to the mechanical dimensions of the memory modules in addition, so be careful about that, too!
 
USAFHummer
Topic Author
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A.net Laptop Computer Experts...Help!

Fri Feb 24, 2006 6:25 am

Well, a stay of execution has been granted on my laptop...just picked it up from the local authorized Dell repair shop (sorry Rafal, forgot to mention that bit  Wink)...it was just that the "top plastics sleep button" was stuck down, so they replaced that and voila! it works now just fine!!!! And better yet, my comp's warranty still has a few more months on it, so that all important "repair cost" line on the invoice reads "$0.00"  Smile

Thanks again for all your help!
Greg
Chief A.net college football stadium self-pic guru
 
stuckinMAF
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A.net Laptop Computer Experts...Help!

Sat Feb 25, 2006 5:16 am

YAY!!! Glad it wasn't more serious! That's one of those problems that you could never fix without actually seeing the computer!
"A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity" -Sigmund Freud
 
LOT767-300ER
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RE: A.net Laptop Computer Experts...Help!

Sat Feb 25, 2006 4:56 pm

Told you it wasnt a cable...boo ya.
 
fumanchewd
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RE: A.net Laptop Computer Experts...Help!

Sat Feb 25, 2006 5:21 pm

Quoting Noelg (Reply 5):
You're talking £400-500 for a new screen - that's about $800 in US money.

You crazy kids and your new math! The pound is not 2-1.
In the time of chimpanzees, I was a monkey...

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