laptop screen going black while computer stays on

Posted on 2001-06-17
Last Modified: 2010-04-27
why would a laptop screen go black and need a reboot while the computer stayed on?

1) sometimes if I jiggle the power cord on my laptop (without a battery), I lose all power, not just on the screen

2) if I open and close the lid, it rarely blacks out the only happened once (if I sever the monitor cable...that's a five dollar part and me trying to fumble all day with trying to figure out how to put the machine back together

3) if I don't put the laptop back together correctly, then a bulging part sticks out like a b***r in a speedo

so if it's not the cable, is it the CMOS battery?
Question by:jefhatfield
LVL 11

Expert Comment

ID: 6199975
1) Dont do that then ;-) ................ (A squirt of contact cleaner may improve things some, possibly there is a dry solder joint on the power socket too if it is super sensitive.)

2) It sounds at the moment like faulty power management drivers or settings, either in BIOS or windows, there have been power management updates for windows operating systems, to cure some bugs, apply the latest updates for your version available from

3) Sounds like you ought to practise on chinese puzzles first. ;-)


Road Warrior
LVL 63

Accepted Solution

SysExpert earned 100 total points
ID: 6200364
Well, I would definitely suspect a flakey power cable/connector. See it all the time.

Not easy to repair unless you really know how to take a laptop apart ad are good with a soldering iron.

It does not sound like a CMOS battery problem !!

I hope this helps !

Author Comment

ID: 6200859
I am glad it is not a CMOS battery problem since that seems hard to fix...I don't even know how or where to start on that one...I only know what my original computer business partner showed me on laptop repair...he was the warranty laptop technician for central California for Compaq and Dell.

I found the cable for the monitor at radio shack (of all places) and I know how to connect it to the motherboard but I am a little shaky on how that cable connects to the LCD (if it is a plug or if it is a soldering job). I have a mid-1999 Compaq Presario 1272 with a good year and a half of daily use on it. I no longer close the cover on the laptop and keep it open on my desk and put plastic over the keyboard when not in use. It's my desktop replacement and I have nowhere to carry my laptop. I read a radio shack review about the monitor cable getting severed and it being a pain to fix. Compaq will sell the cable to you only if you agree to purchase another LCD!  What???

The strange thing is my LCD blacked out on me only twice in 18 months (3,000+ bootups), once today and once 6-8 months it doesn't sound like a cable going bad. I can't "make" the screen go black by putting pressure on the cables by opening and shutting the lid on my machine. The two times it went black I wasn't even touching the LCD.

I know my power settings are most likely off but I am not too experienced with that. When I lose essential dll's or cab files or the IRQs really realy get messed up, I back up and restore disk the machine. I know techies who can code in any language, read binary and hex and bang out a repair in twice the  time it takes for me to restore disk a machine...but coding isn't me...I am a new hardware techie in a new career and laptops seem a little difficult for me right now since there are so many physical setups in a machine. They can be setup so differently!

My former partner, now in Texas, can literally visually map out every Compaq and Dell laptop in his head and he knows the color and diameter of every screw used for any laptops made by either company in the last 36 months. I worked with another techie at Office Depot who knew what color plastics the different makers used on their ISA, PCI, and AGP slots. I didn't believe him and I was later recruited by a Microsoft school as a student and later as a recruiter. I brought my techie friend along to the Microsoft school and he ended up being a A+ teacher and lo and behold, the guy knew the color of the plastics used for the slots of different makers on their motherboards...crazy man

I guess I should have done that when I was a kid instead of memorizing WW II planes. I could identify some WW II aircraft by the sound of their motors and I have no problem correcting the markings or paint jobs of any WW II aircraft that has been restored. But being born almost 20 years after the war did not help me get a job...maybe I should memorize the screws and all the components of my laptop instead.

I hope one of you know how to fix the LCD cable end of a Compaq Presario 1272, but if not, that's OK.

 I will post another question after I see if that is the problem. If that does not work, I will back up and restore disk - hasn't let me down in two years and two thousand (mostly minor repairs BUT it's so tedious and I like shortcuts that more experienced techies know (even if it takes more time... because I will scream if I have to restore disk another machine and it tells me "Welcome to Windows" while I hear the cheesy Miami Vice-like song in the background... and "would I like to register my machine"

Yeah right!


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