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A soda spill will do this every time. As the Notebook recovers I doubt that the inverter board as gone. But the suger from the soda could be melting and causing a short. The only real solution is to completely dismantle the notebook and clean it with white spirit or similar. It will help if you can download disassembly instructions first! PS Try not to use it for too long without cleaning it.
I have seen this a few times for 2 different reasons.
First you have to determine if the screen is really totally black or if its just that the "back light" bulb blew out. Look at the screen closely and from different angles as u restart the laptop. You may notice that the you can just barely make out the windows start up logo so faded that you think it's totally black. If this is the case, you need to replace the back light.
Second time I dealt with this it turned out to be that the sensor (that is at the base of the screen where the display meets the keyboard) was stuck in the down position. Think of it like a car or fridge door...it has a small pin that when the door closes it shuts off the door/inner light. Laptops use the same principle only they may have different switches for this. It is very small and sometimes it looks like a round cushion even. You may have spilled something like soda (which becomes sticky when dried) on the pin and it is stuck in the off position. Use a toothpic and a slightly wet tissue paper around the edges to clear it. Play with it (nicely) to unstick it and once its up...use the toothpick with the damp napkin to carefully remove the material around the button.
Obviously you are still seeing the green lights on the screen which tell u that at least the flatscreen is getting power. If this is not the case, you probably have a loose connection between the screen and motherboard. Hence why you get no picture at all on the flat screen. Take it in to be fixed if that is the case. Don't try to tamper with this yourself.
Regardless if you don'r feel comfortable taking the comouter apart it needs to be taken apart and looked at. Depending on what got spilled inside the sooner the better. If it was a soda of some kind it could be bad.I would take out the battery and not try it again.
you pretty much wiped out the mother board you can take to the repair shop and they might be able to clean the soda residue out but soda contains sugar and when heated turns to carmel and fry the circuts
Two things to try; 1- remove the battery and start on AC only, 2- remove the memory and try one at a time. You might be able to find diagnostic light codes at Dell's support site for this machine. I'm going to say that this is a motherboard issue, and it's probably fried. Laptops and liquid don't mix well.