Knowledge Base

Troubleshooting a Notebook LCD Screen That is Black or Blank

Table of Contents:

  1. Notebook LCD Screen is Black or Blank
  2. Types of Display Ports
  3. Touch Screen Troubleshooting
  4. Related Videos

Troubleshooting Laptops with Blank or Black Screens.

1. Troubleshooting a Notebook LCD Screen that is Black or Blank

Step 1:

Check the A/C adapter's power indicator light, if none, try it on a working A/C outlet.

Step 2:

Press the power button and check for any lights on the computer, if none, refer to Dell Knowledge Base article Resolve No Power, No POST, No BOOT or No Video Issues With Your Dell Computer

Step 3:

Adjust the brightness of the LCD screen, while the computer is on.

To Adjust the LCD Brightness hold the FN Key and Repeatedly Press the Up Arrow to increase the brightness or while holding the FN Key and Repeatedly Press the Down Arrow to decrease the brightness.

Check for visible damage to the LCD. To identify any damage not visible to the naked eye, ensure you run LCD BIST on the system (refer to Step 5).

If the LCD has damages which is not covered by any applicable statutory warranty, limited hardware warranty and/or Dell-branded service, including Complete Care / Accidental Damage service, there may be a cost incurred by you for the replacement of parts.

For more information on Out-Of-Warranty Repairs visit the Warranty Services web site.

Step 4:

Test the LCD in the System Setup (BIOS).

To enter the computer BIOS Setup Screen perform the following steps:

No Video is different from No Display, if you get video at any point prior to booting into the OS then at the first text on the screen or when the Dell logo appears, tap F2 until the message Entering Setup appears.

Note: Some older Dell computers use an alternate key sequence instead of to enter System Setup.

These key sequences include:
  • Ctrl +Alt +Enter
  • Delete
  • Fn +F1
  • Fn + Esc

Step 5:

Run the Laptop Built-In Self-Test (BIST).

To run the Built-In Self-Test perform the following:

  1. Turn the computer off.
  2. Press and hold the D key while pressing the power button. This will start the BIST.
  3. The screen will display multiple flashing colors. Look for lines, distortion, or any other video issues you have observed.
  4. The laptop will restart when the test is finished.

Step 6:

If video is seen in the BIOS or the LCD BIST passes, proceed to step 7 or Contact Technical Support.

Step 7:

Connect to an external monitor (if available), refer to the next section for more information on Display Ports.

Step 8:

Once it's connected, press and hold down the FN and press F8, this should display the screen on the external monitor.

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2. Types of Display Ports


High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) is a technology that provides an interface for any audio/video source and an audio output/video monitor. It supports standard, enhanced or high-definition video and also multi-channel digital audio on a single cable.
To setup HDMI, connect the HDMI cable to the system and television. Press Fn + F1 to display the image on the television.


Mini-DisplayPort is a miniaturized version of DisplayPort. This interface is primarily used to connect a video source to a display device such as monitor.
To setup Mini-DisplayPort, connect the DisplayPort cable to the system and television. Press Fn +F1 to display the image on the television.

Display Port

Display Port is a new digital standard for connecting monitors to computers and has the capability to provide a scalable digital display interface with optional audio and high-definition content protection (HDCP) capability. Display Ports usually resemble USB Ports with one side angled.
A Display Port cable should be used if Display Port connectors are available on both the computer and the monitor.


Digital Video Interface (DVI) is the digital standard for connecting monitors to computers. DVI connections are usually color-coded with white plastic and labels.
DDVI cables provide a higher quality signal than VGA cables. A DVI cable should be used if DVI connectors are available on both the computer and the monitor.


Video Graphics Array (VGA) is the analog standard for connecting monitors to computers. VGA connections are commonly color-coded with blue plastic and labels.
A VGA cable should be used if DVI connectors are not available on either the monitor or the computer.
Note: HDMI and Mini-DisplayPorts provide 5.1 channel audio support.

When HDMI and Mini-DisplayPort cables are connected at the same time, there will be no display on the LCD.

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3. Touch screen Troubleshooting

Here are some articles that go into touch screens and touch screen troubleshooting further:

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4. Related Videos

How to Run the LCD BIST?

My Laptop Display Won't Turn on

Troubleshooting Touch Screen Issues in Windows 8

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Article ID: SLN129589

Last Date Modified: 04/09/2015 11:53 AM

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