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Paging Rosie ... My laptop needs 10 CCs of your knowledge. STAT!

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Big Buckin' agate_monkey, Jun 6, 2008.

  1. Big Buckin' agate_monkey

    Big Buckin' agate_monkey Active Member

    I go home to find the laptop asleep last night. Push some buttons to wake it up to no avail.

    I saw a faint image, but it won't go bright. That can't be good.

    I reboot (Hey, if it's good enough for IT, it's good enough for BBAM).

    Monitor is bright again. I sign in, go to the kitchen to empty the dishwasher, and return to a dark screen again with a faint image.

    The room it's in is kinda warm, so I move it to a cooler room thinking it's just too hot for it. Heat is one of the PCs biggest enemies, you know.

    The screen came on again, but I had to leave, so I turned it off again.

    When I returned, I plugged in and started it up. I got far enough along to get into my e-mail account (that's about a 10 minute process after everything boots up) before the screen started lightly flashing (don't think big production flashiness, more like a subtle blinking flashiness) for about 30-60 seconds before going dark again. Then I went to sleep.

    What do I do to save it? Is this the type of thing I can fix on my own? Should I count my loses and max out the credit card? I mean, I'm not totally SOL computer wise. I have a work-issued PowerBook G4 (no, that's not from a newspaper employer), but I'm not real keen on the idea of using that for the side work I do for the local newspaper.

    It's a six-year-old Compaq Presario. It stays on virtually all the time. I'm likely paying the price for that, but I'm pleased with six years if this is the end.

  2. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    BBAM, It's time buddy. Six years? It's time.
  3. Big Buckin' agate_monkey

    Big Buckin' agate_monkey Active Member

    But ... but ... we've shared so many moments.
  4. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    If it is booting, and screen is bright at first, but then the whole machine goes dead, my guess would be it is a power issue. First thing to diagnose would be the power supply or the pin connector to the motherboard.

    If it is not completely dead--computer is powered--but the screen is going blank, it's probably a video card issue if your laptop has a dedicated video card instead of shared video memory. Only way to really test it would be to open it up and swap out the video card. If you know what kind of card the machine has, and it is a 6-year-old computer, chances are you can find a really cheap replacement. I mean like less than $30 kind of cheap. If you really want to salvage a 6-year-old machine, it could be worth buying a new card on a flyer and trying to swap it.
  5. Big Buckin' agate_monkey

    Big Buckin' agate_monkey Active Member

    The machine is not completely dead. The blue light indicating it is on is still bright when the screen goes black.
  6. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    The hardest part of love is letting go... let it go..
  7. Claws for Concern

    Claws for Concern Active Member

    Fall in love with something else ... please.
  8. Big Buckin' agate_monkey

    Big Buckin' agate_monkey Active Member

    Why can't we be friends?
  9. Rosie

    Rosie Active Member

    I'm here, had a LONG day at work today and I very rarely visit SportsJournalists.com from work.

    K, this may not be a complete tragedy, but you also may not like my answer.

    Without actually seeing your laptop, I think you have a backlight/monitor problem.

    You need to test this. With the laptop off, plug in a monitor. Then boot up your laptop. (I don't remember if Presarios need to have the monitor 'switched' on, so consult your owners manual on that.)

    If you have a good image and can do everything just fine, then your laptop's LCD needs to be replaced. This is expensive and unless you have someone who will do it for you, I would say you are better off pricing out a new laptop.

    The good news if it is the LCD is you haven't lost any data (and you should be backing up important data like stories and photos on a regular basis anyway.)

    It's also possible that somehow you may have changed the LCD settings and you'll need to readjust them. But from your description, I don't think this is the case.

    Have you had any pinkish hue to your LCD when you turn it on?
  10. Big Buckin' agate_monkey

    Big Buckin' agate_monkey Active Member

    Lately it has had a pinkish tint when it first turns on. Then it would go back to normal.

    I can't say I'm thrilled with needing a new laptop, but at least all the info isn't lost. I recovered the most critical of critical items today. It took me a few times of restarting, but I managed to get it.

    Now I want to make sure I don't lose the iTunes collection. I will be a very angry BBAM if that happens.
  11. SportsDude

    SportsDude Active Member

  12. Rosie

    Rosie Active Member

    Pinkish tint?

    Your backlight on your LCD is failing, which is what I suspected from your original description. Now, there's no doubt.

    Your data is safe, the backlight is part of the LCD and has nothing to do with your hard drive. The backlight can be replaced, but due to how tricky and pain-in-the-behindish it is, you will probably have a hard time finding a shop which will do it. The LCD can be replaced, but again, it's a matter of finding a place to do it. It's also not a cheap repair. I replaced an LCD a couple years ago and the screen alone was $260, and that's because I knew where I could buy a new one for a good price. The labor was free because I didn't charge myself. :)

    You can hook up a monitor if the screen fails completely, but as old as your puter is, unless you can find a different screen or even lid to swap out, it's new computer time.
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