troubleshooting Question

hp pavilion zt1175 screen shuts off

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HP pavilion zt1175 screen shuts off (this is a Laptop)
after being on a few minutes the screen goes blank (it's like almost off but not quite because you can still see things very, very faintly.

If i hook an external monitor up to the 15pin monitor jack it will stay on when the laptop screen goes faint.
this would imply that the mother board is good and the the problem most likely lies in the Monitor or connection RIGHT!

It seams to shut off more frequently (intervals of one minute or less) after it has been on for 10 or 15 minutes

I am going to take it apart and see what there is to see (wanted a few suggestions first)
Of course the obvious...
1.)Check monitor wire and connection
2.)screws that hold heat-sink down on processor
3.)blow out fan and heat-sink if dusty and clogged


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