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slehrman7
1 Copper

Inspiron 8100 - blank or black screen

My Inspiron 8100 is four years old.  When I turn on the computer, the laptop display works fine for five to ten minutes.  Then the screen goes blank or black although I can still see a very faint impression of whatever is on the screen.  I connected an external monitor and that works.  If I change the display properties to a different resolution, the laptop display comes back on for 1-2 minutes and then goes black. 
 
What confuses me is that the laptop display works for a short period of time before going black.  If the problem is with the LCD display or the inverter, then I assume I would not get anything on the display.  The problem could be that the backlight is losing power (maybe from a capacitor that is discharging), but I do not know. 
 
I am still trying to figure out what the problem is with the laptop before I send it out for repair.  I can use the laptop with the external monitor as a desktop.  If the problem is with the LCD then I am not going to repair the laptop.  If the problem is with the inverter or the backlight then I may try to get it repaired for a few hundred dollars.
 
Question:  Why would the display work initially (or when I change the display properties) but then go black?
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11 Replies
bacillus
6 Gallium

Re: Inspiron 8100 - blank or black screen

Sounds very much like a backlight/inverter a problem.
If you shine a flashlight almost parallel to the screen you should be able to make out images on the screen if it's a backlight/inverter problem.
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funtoupgrade
4 Tellurium

Re: Inspiron 8100 - blank or black screen

I would also bet on the backlight.  Cheapest place I know to get it fixed is http://store.nexttronics.com/replcdblrep.html but so far nobody on the forum has reported having it done there that I know of.

 

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slehrman7
1 Copper

Re: Inspiron 8100 - blank or black screen

If it is the backlight, why does the LCD stay on for a few minutes before going black?  I have been told Dell parts will not sell the backlight separately.  They will only sell it with the LCD display.  Is this information accurate?
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funtoupgrade
4 Tellurium

Re: Inspiron 8100 - blank or black screen

Don't know how the electronics of the inverter/backlight work so cannot explain why but it is one of the symptoms of bad backlight. Dell does not sell backlights.  It is an extremely delicate process to remove and replace backlight if you can find one and best left to professionals.

 

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9 Rhodium

Re: Inspiron 8100 - blank or black screen

The backlight is just a simple cold-cathode fluorescent bulb, as in an office light fixture. They can do all sorts of odd things when they fail - take time to come on, flicker on and off, produce bizarre colors -- even come on and then die.

There is also the inverter - a DC power supply for the high voltage to the tube. If it is faulty, it may come on, overheat and shut down.

It is correct that Dell doesn't sell either part separately - any competent LCD shop can replace the bulb and repair the inverter.
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jlpatpdc
1 Copper

Re: Inspiron 8100 - blank or black screen

I sympathize with your backlight problem.

I have a two year old Inspiron 600m with exactly the same problem.

I have sent this unit in to Dell for warranty repair but to our dismay the problem was never fixed.

Our problem is a little more intermittent. Sometimes we won't have a problem for weeks on end, but then all of a sudden it happens. Its so annoying I want to trash the whole unit. During the time our unit was in for repair we used our back-up laptop so when we received the Inspirion we gave it a quick check out and it appeared to be ok. We continued using both laptops but alas the exact same problem reared its ugly head in the Inspirion but by then our unit was out of warranty.

Its interesting though when it does happen I put the computer into the suspend mode then put it back into the normal operating mode and the backlight comes back on (sometimes for a minute, other times til the end of my session of an hour or so).

I've turned off screen savers, power savers, etc. and all the related commands to no avail.

I personally think that Dell has an operating system flaw and they don't know how to address it, otherwise they would have fixed our problem when we sent it in under warranty.

We just thought you would like to hear our story.
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lynio
1 Copper

Re: Inspiron 8100 - blank or black screen

I just started having the same problem with my 3 yr old refurbished Inspiron 8100. The dark screen only occurs whenever it goes on Suspend Mode or is turned off. It's fine as long as it stays on standby. Dell hasn't a clue as to what the problem is. We've reloaded the video driver with no avail. When it happens, I've been able to remedy it by bouncing back and forth from suspend, turning off and on, and if all else fails, I boot up with the Window XP disk then it's good to go again. That is, until it's turned off again.
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slehrman7
1 Copper

Re: Inspiron 8100 - blank or black screen

Based on funtoupgrades suggestion I contacted Nexttronics in Austin, TX.  They think the backlight needs to be replaced.  Their price is $149 (don't know if this includes shipping back to me).  Their website says they use new backlights, not ones taken from old computers.

I am planning to mail the laptop to Nexttronics.  EJN63, what do you mean by "competent LCD shop"?  Are these places listed in the local yellow pages?  Or are they mail order repair shops?  Do you have a recommendation on who is good/bad?  Thanks.

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slehrman7
1 Copper

Re: Inspiron 8100 - blank or black screen

EJN63, what do you mean by "competent LCD shop"?  Are these places listed in the local yellow pages?  Or are they mail order repair shops?  Do you have a recommendation on who is good/bad?  Thanks.
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