Fixing a Laptop Screen That Goes Black Randomly

Not all laptops are created equal or perfect. Of the range of laptop problems you might encounter, most common is a screen problem. Read to know all about fixing randomly blackening laptop screens.
It is practically impossible to do anything on a laptop computer when the screen itself goes blank. As your laptop screen goes black and you stare at your own reflection gazing back at you, there is bound to be utter frustration. Dismissing it as a one off issue, you switch off the laptop and switch it on back again; only to be greeted back by the same black screen. This random blankness of the screen seems to be a persistent problem with some laptops. In this Buzzle article, I provide you with information about the possible problems which may cause the screen blankness to occur and ways to fix it for good.

Causes & Solutions

Any laptop computer problem can be narrowed down to be a hardware or software level issue. The laptop screen is provided with power from the battery and data from the motherboard connection. Its rendering is handled by the video card fitted in the motherboard. To function, it also needs a hardware driver installed on the hard drive, which handles its synchronization. The issue of laptop screen going blank, along with a general hang up of the system can be traced to a problem with any of the above mentioned factors involved in its functioning.

Screen Goes Black as System Sleeps
One of the simplest reasons for the laptop screen going blank may be because of the system going into sleep mode. If you have set a very short period for the auto sleep function to kick in, the screen will go black when inactive for a long time. Change the time period setting to avoid this problem from occurring. It is unlikely that this is the source of your problem, but no harm in checking it out. It may also be a problem caused by overheating of the system after prolonged use.

Screen Driver Issues
Glitches in the graphics driver software may be causing this problem. Update the screen driver software and see if the problem persists. If the issue is easily resolved this way, obviously the driver software was the source of this laptop screen problem.

FL Inverter Failure
There is a component called the FL inverter that controls the back lighting of your laptop's LCD screen. A problem or failure of the FL inverter, along with some loose cable issues might lead to a situation where laptop screen goes black when moved. Connect your laptop with an external monitor and see if it functions properly without going blank. If it does, then the issue is certainly caused by the failing FL inverter, which you must get replaced back again to restore normalcy.

Faulty Data Ribbon
The connection from the motherboard that links the graphic card and the battery to the LCD screen is the faulty data ribbon. In case the ribbon has gone bad or loose, the LCD screen may go through intermittent period of blackness! So replacing the data ribbon might solve your problem in this case.

Overheating & Battery Issues
Insufficient battery power and overheating can cause your laptop computer to behave strangely. A screen black out, might just be a result of an overstressed and heated motherboard. So try to rest the machine for some time and get an efficient cooling mechanism in place which can combat the heating effect.

In most cases, the problem seems to be a FL inverter failure or an overheating problem, made worse by a bad battery. The trick is to isolate the problem and identify the most likely cause through testing. Hope you find your solution among the suggestions provided in the above lines. In case none of it works, it is best that you let a professional handle the repair job. Contact the manufacturing company and ask their servicemen to take care of the problem.
By Omkar Phatak
Last Updated: 9/19/2011
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