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Screen remains *very* dark for a *long* time, if resumed too quickly from sleep mode

Posted on 2008-06-14
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Last Modified: 2013-11-17
If I close the laptop (goes to sleep mode) and open it too quickly, then the screen will come back almost black. Reboot doesn't help. I'll have too remove all power sources for a couple if minutes and then the computer eventually works again...
Or just closing the laptop and wait for a couple of hours does also seem to help.

So far we've talkt abouta Vista. Another way to induce the error is to try sleep mode from Ubuntu. That will always put the computer in this sad condition. Annoyinig.

Dell first wouldn't help 'cause I have Ubuntu installed too... Eventually they agreed that something is wrong and offered to replace the screen. But I don't think that would help. To me it seems like a bug in some firmware.

What to you think?
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Question by:davidsperling
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by:Wakeup
ID: 21786737
Is it just not waking up?  Or do yo just physically have no access to the screen?  IE keyboard responds (num lock caplock scroll lock light up etc)  and looks like the hard drive is accessing, and windows sounds seem to be working etc etc....

Have you tried to hook up an external monitor?  Just to see if you get any video from that as well?

Sometimes there is a magnetic switch on the laptop or a little peg like (rubber stick) that when shut the lid on the laptop that it engages and basically tells the screen to turn off and to set the laptop into standby or hibernate or turn off....
I know that most laptops dont play well in a standby mode setting, you may try to change power mode settings to Hibernate or do nothing when the lid is closed...see if that changes anything....? Try some of those and let us know what you come up with.
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by:authen-tech
ID: 21786969
Sounds to me like the backlight is going out and if they will fix it under warranty I'd let them.  You can often replace the inverter for much cheaper than the entire screen to fix back light issues.  I would also recommend going into your advanced power settings (control panel) and change the action when closing the lid to nothing...so it doesn't go to sleep as soon as you close the lid.  That's a preference thing but I hate it when it goes to sleep when I close the laptop to walk 10 feet!

Hope it helps
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by:davidsperling
ID: 21791518
The problem seems very "digital" to me. Could it really be an electrical error?
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by:Wakeup
ID: 21791567
david, if you can answer some of the questions we've asked or tell us what you've tried.....or elaborate a tad bit more, maybe we could give you a bit more help.  Ok?  Did you try any of the things I suggested?  If so....what happened?  
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by:davidsperling
ID: 21791692
>Is it just not waking up?  Or do yo just physically have no access to the screen?
-It boots up, but you can barley see the picture. (even before OS loads)

>Have you tried to hook up an external monitor?
-No

>I know that most laptops dont play well in a standby mode setting, you may try to change power mode settings to Hibernate or do nothing when the lid is closed...see if that changes anything....?
-Yep, I've done that. It's better to "do nothing" while traveling. But the sleep mode is very handy...

What I really wanna know is - is it woth sending it away for repair for a couple or weeks? Is the computer starting to break down? Maybe I've just noticed the problem 'cause I've started using it while traveling.

Is it a known problem with this model? (No idea asking dell ;-)
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Expert Comment

by:authen-tech
ID: 21792858
If you are having the problem before the OS loads...that's a guarantee it is a hardware problem.  I have replaced inverters many times to fix the problem you are describing.  It's just going out.  Is it worth fixing?  Especially if they are going to fix it under warranty?  Yes.  If you were a local customer I would order the part and replace it for under $100.  It's usually worth fixing even an older laptop for that much since most of these are still selling on ebay for $450 or higher.  I have laptops that are 8 years old and still ticking.  Mostly the hard drives are consumable and will definately need replacing after 5+ years...but almost everything else should work indefinately.  It's like a car.  Fix the alternator...keep the car.  Sometimes things break...it isn't a sign that it's time to buy a new car necessarily.  If you were having motherboard issues...then maybe.  But I would just get it repaired and move on.  

Hope we have been a help to you!  Good luck.
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by:davidsperling
ID: 21793179
>If you are having the problem before the OS loads...that's a guarantee it is a hardware problem

-Sure, but does it have to be a disease of degenerative nature?
It's quite predictable when it happens (like sleep from ubuntu) and the laptop is quite new.
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authen-tech earned 400 total points
ID: 21793863
No, it's a specific part that is failing and upon replacing the part you should be good to go again.  It's predictable because that is when the part is being told by the computer to operate off/on.  It's not accepting calls to it because it is defective.  I would just get it replaced.
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by:Wakeup
Wakeup earned 100 total points
ID: 21797014
Sounds like the backlight or power inverter for the backlight.  as stated earlier:
quote from authen-tech: "Sounds to me like the backlight is going out and if they will fix it under warranty I'd let them.  You can often replace the inverter for much cheaper than the entire screen to fix back light issues.  "

Or it could still be the switch as I stated earlier....depending on the model,
"Sometimes there is a magnetic switch on the laptop or a little peg like (rubber stick) that when shut the lid on the laptop that it engages and basically tells the screen to turn off and to set the laptop into standby or hibernate or turn off...."
And sometimes that switch when hit doesnt do either of those, it just turns the backlight off.  If that switch is stuck in engaged mode, it can resemble the problem you are describing.
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by:davidsperling
ID: 21800574
Thanks :-) For the record - the hibernate mode works excelent w/ Vista on this machine. It even recoveres faster and don't have this problem so far...
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