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Check your hardware light on the exterior of your computer and see if it is lit and blinking. If it is, you have an operating system, but just can't see it. That tells me it may be several things:
1. The LCD cutoff switch is in the off position 2. Toggle (Fn) the display to the internal settings of the LCD panel. It may be set to display an external monitor only 3. Plug in an external monitor. If it doesn't display on the external, after pressing the Fn key you have a failed video adapter. If it does display on the external it is most likely a back light or inverter failure.
you can try Fn + F8 and see if the display was toggled for external (Wait about 15 seconds before pressing a 2nd time) that is the keystroke from (LCD, External, LCD and External)
If no go, see if your system keeps video displayed in the safe mode (F8 at boot, select Safe mode from the boot menu)
you can also run diags on the LCD (Power button + D) or PSA diagnostics and see if the video stays on out of the operating system (Power +Fn)
I have a similar problem currently. Boot and try pressing Fn+Up arrow repeatedly to raise brightness. Then flick the little button right above your volume control that tells the laptop youve closed it. If you see the screen flicker on/off then its the button. Otherwise reboot and try shining a light at the screen from different angles and see if you can see dark images. If you can see windows boot up but dark, then it is almost certainly your LCDs backlight. If you can't see dark images, next try using the VGA output plug at the back of your laptop to connect to a different monitor. Within less than 1 minute you should see the image on the external screen. If not, try pressing Fn+F8 a few times to toggle the output. If still no picture on the external screen your video card might be fried. If you do get a picture on the external with or without seeing dark images on the laptop, then it is a problem with either the LCD screen, it's inverter, or the screens flex cable. Check Dell support for your systems original parts list HERE. You will need your laptops Service Tag number, which is on a sticker on the bottom of your laptop.
Fn + F8 will toggle the VGA port on the back if the System, Press a 2nd time, External and LCD, press again, LCD only again. (Wait about 15 to 20 seconds for the external port to initialize after pressing Fn+F8 as it has to detect the projector)
You should be able to plug in an external (Desktop type) monitor . Look for a connector on the side or back of the laptop. If the external monitor works, you have pretty much diagnosed that you have a LCD problem. Ron-