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Step 1: Locate the Fn (Function) key on your keyboard. It may be on the bottom left side with dark blue letters. Locate the two "brightness" keys near the top of the keyboard. These will be in the "F" keys, possibly if F6 and F7. They should have little sun pictures or something similar to indicate brightness. Hold down the Fn key while pressing F7, or whichever "F" key your laptop uses to increase brightness. Tap F7 repeatedly until you reach the desired brightness. Fn must be held down as you continue to tap.
You should be able to check the function keys (F1-F12) and one of them should have a little symbol, it will look like a sun (circle with lines radiating out from the circumference) and a little up arrow, it will probably be right next to one with the sun and a little down arrow. Press the "Fn" key (right next to the left windows key) and hold it down, then tap the "sun up" key. That will raise your brightness.
If you want to raise it permanently, go into the Power Control Options in the Control Panel and find the setting for screen brightness.
Brightness is controlled by a couple of the function keys along the top row of your keyboard. Compaq's support page for this model is here, where you can find manuals, drivers and other information. Hold down the Fn key and the F7 key to lower screen brightness. Fn and F8 raise the brightness. If you look at those keys, you'll see they have a little icon of a sun and up and down arrows on them.
Maybe the display brightness is low. Go to Control Panel and check somewhere. Also, look for a brightness key. My F7 and F8 have brightness up/down in rectangles.
Press the 'Fn' (Function) key and press the brightness up key. You're up and ready. Go, enjoy!
It sounds like the backlight might be wearing out on your laptop, did you use the function key to raise the display brightness? Also you can go into the control panel/display and change your brightness there too and then shut down the laptop it should save those settings....
Ok it could be a few things, I am assuming that you are using XP and its a laptop, so lets try these:
Can you turn up the volume by using Control Panel -- Sounds and Audio Devices --- Device Volume slider?
On some Compaqs, the controls for audio are activated by holding down the FUNCTION key (usually blue letters on key on the left side of keyboard) and then pressing the audio up or audio down key. These keys are usally towards the top of the keyboard. These keys can do multiple things depending if the blue function key is press down first. They can control things like switching between internal and external displays, turning up/down the brightness on your laptop display and controling your audio levels too.
Do you hear any sounds at all, if not, does Device Manager list your sound device?