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Laptop Turns On But Screen Is Black

Updated on June 7, 2020
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Computer technician with 15 years in the industry. I hold an A+ Certification, as well as a Bachelors of Science in Information Technology.

The topic I want to talk about today, is just simple and very basic computer troubleshooting and maintenance. Keep in mind that you may have already discovered some of these techniques, but then again you may not have come across it in the way that I am going to explain. Also, keep in mind that each computer repair technician develops their own way of doing things and nothing is actually strategic, simply tried and true methods a lot of times and hands on experience.

Basic Hardware Troubleshooting
Question 1. Why does my screen remain black when I boot up? Computer turns on but black screen.

Answer: There could be a few different reasons this happens.
reason 1. Bad memory module. Sometimes they go bad, you're not responsible for it, there's nothing you've done wrong. Memory Modules sometimes just give out. Turn your computer completely off, unplug from power source, remove the ram cover door and first try reseating the ram cards. Ex: if you have 2 modules just reseat them in opposite position than they were before. Sometimes this works! If you only have one module, just remove it and reseat it in the opposite ram slot. Power your computer back on.. if it worked then your system will possibly notify you of the change in memory and select F1 to continue.

If you still have a black screen after this method and booting back up, consider inserting new ram cards. Shut your computer off, unplug the power adapter, remove the inserted ram cards and replace with new one. Plug your adapted back in and power on your computer. If this worked, your system will notify you of the change upon boot and go ahead and select F1 to continue.

If you still have a black screen after you power up then the issue doesn't lie with the memory modules. So there are a couple of other things to check out.
First let's do a hard reset to dispense all negative power and reset your PC.

Shut your computer down, unplug from power source, remove the battery and ram cards. Hold your power button down for 30 seconds. After you hold the power button down for 30 secs, reseat your ram cards, do not insert battery and connect your adapter to your power source, go ahead and push your power button as normal to power it back on, do not hold down.

If this works and your display is visible, you simple had negative power flow and there's really no issue at all. Ever so often a computer can become this way due to daily usage. Doesn't mean you have a battery problem or a problem with your power adapter. What you've encountered is simple negative energy flow.

If this didn't work and you still get a black screen, the next thing to check is the CPU/heatsink/fan.. things under the hood. I wouldn't suggest to anyone to try this unless you have some experience with removing your systems casing so you can get to this hardware.

Your CPU/Heatsink/Fan is nestled inside attached to the motherboard. Depending on the model of computer you have, it may be integrated to the motherboard and if this is the case, you really must know what you're doing to attempt such a troubleshooting technique.

However, what we're looking for is a gray paste that's applied to the CPU, it's called thermal paste. Sometimes this paste becomes hardened and could sometimes chip away from the CPU as it becomes crumbled sometimes. This leaves the CPU in a position to overheat due to loose compound. So what you want to do is remove the heatsink/fan unit so you can get to your CPU and remove this paste gently with a cotton swab, slow gentle pressure. Then apply fresh application of thermal paste to the CPU, about half the size of a small pea, don't need too much. Once you acheive this, go ahead and test it out to see if this solves the issue.

Other things to check:
If reapply thermal paste to the CPU, check to make sure that your heatsink/fan works properly. You can do this by checking for common red flags.
1. Does your fan make an unusual sound or noise while computer is turned on
2. Make sure that your ventiliation is clog with dust/dirt/ or debris
3. Do you hear the fan running during anytime when the laptop is powered on
4. Does the copper part of the heatsink unit get really hot.
5. Is your fan connected to the motherboard (normally has a small connector wire with white connector on the end)

Well these are some of the most common issues that you may be having if your screen is black and have no display when you power on your computer.

Another issue may be
Screen gone out
May not have a hardware issue at all, you just may need to replace your screen. So if you think this is the issue you need to check for one thing before getting a new screen. First check that your LCD connector isn't bad. On occassion I've seen this problem occur. Sometimes connectors wear down or out and loose contact capability. Since LCD connectors are fairly inexpensive, I'd give this a try first before investing in a screen replacement.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Brendan Curry


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