Upon initial boot the compaq logo is just barely visible after that the screen stay dark. Attaching an external monitor works fine. No hardware errors are present. The machine has not been dropped or damaged in any way. Symptom "just arose" during a boot up. Battery ad charger are fine.
Is this perhaps a video invertor problem? If that is possible is there any way to test to be sure?
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Re: compaq presario 2200 screen stay dark
Sounds like the inverter has gone, the only way to test this is to remove the laptop lid, remove the bezel (front plastic cover) please take care not to crack or splitt the plastics, then get an electical tester and test the inverter coil to make sure a current runs through it, if it doesn't its the coil, if it does you need a new inverter, the coil is located under the plastic sheath
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I'll give you something to try : using a bright light florescent ,lcd, etc. shine it right on the screen. Look in the center of the screen for the windows logo (might be barely visible). If this is the case, you either have a bad inverter or the CCFL in your lcd panel is bad. If it is, re-post and we can walk you through troubleshooting or replacement.
When you say screen goes very dark when it booted to windows so it means that when you turned on the laptop when the dell logo flashes the screen was fine? if thats the case could you please try this. after turning on the laptop you will see the dell logo flashes immediately keep tapping on F2 and then it will show you the BIOS setup utility, please check if in BIOS setup display goes dark as well. If yes then try this, after turning on the computer when dell logo flashes keep tapping on F12 to boot menu then select utility partition to run the diagnostics. Please run test on the LCD check if display goes black when running the LCD test. Then try this when you sees the dell logo keep tapping on F8 to boot in safe mode check if in safe mode display goes very dark. Try this too, boot in F8 then select last known good configuration check if the settings on your display will be fix. If you can boot to safe mode no problem then uninstall the display or video driver. then restart computer.
You can also try to connect an external monitor if you have one just try to isolate if issue is on the LCD or the video card. If the display is dark as well in external monitor then video card needs to be reseated if fails then replaced. In situation like this most video cards is integrated to the motherboards. So replace motherboard.
Can you see any image on the screen in a dark room, using a flashlight sometimes helps. An image will be most visible right after you turn the laptop on, when the logo appears. If you can see the image but it is dark you need a new probably backlight inverter which is a relatively easy and cheap repair - I usually charge less than $50.