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Black screen - no flashing white cursor in the upper left corner - no picture at all, i.e. the initial Dell start-up screen doesn't show up either:
- LCD is dead or isn't getting a signal - not an easy fix; or
- the LCD isn't being sent a signal - holding down the function [Fn] key and press display Function key to toggle through its settings (LCD panel only, Rear VGA output only, both LCD and VGA output)
Black screen - flashing white cursor in the upper left corner - the screen goes black after the windows loading screens come up but before the windows login screen comes up - it is probably a windows video driver problem. Try starting in Windows Safe Mode with VGA. Press [F8] after the Dell startup screen disappears to access the windows startup menu
Hook a spare monitor to the video output usually on the back, if okay! the inverter board just below the screen is the likely problem, or the backlight behind the display is faulty, but if both have the same symptom it is the video graphics card normally built into the motherboard.
The backlight behind the display may be starting to fail, hook a spare monitor to the video output usually on the back, if okay! the problem is in the the laptop display, Now if both show the same symptoms, it is the Video Graphics Card normally built into the motherboard.
Try connecting an external monitor to the 15 pin VGA (Video Graphics Adapter)and see if you still get a white display. You may have to hold down the function key next to the space bar and depress the key with a picture of a monitor on it to send the video signal to the monitor. If you still get a white display on external monitor then you have a problem with the laptop's video card. If the display on the external monitor is fine then you have a problem with the laptop's LCD display panel or I/O cable and they need to be replaced.
I had a similar problem with a one year old Dell laptop, and it turned out that the screen was OK on battery power, but when you plugged it in to the AC charger the screen went very dark. It turned out to be the LCD backlight inverter, which I purchased from a fellow in Florida for about $16 and installed by following the instructions at http://www.insidemylaptop.com/remove-replace-lcd-screen-video-cable-inverter-on-dell-laptops/ . Hope this helps you out a bit...