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The sensor behind the plastic readout window needs to be exposed to a sufficient amount of light to alter the display brightness from dark room mode to bright room mode (dimmed display, bright display). Be sure sufficient light falls on the digital readout display when desiring the display to be at its bright mode setting.
make sure the 'VGA' lead is plugged in properly. if still dark turn up the brightness on the monitor. if still dark after that, go onto the computer settings and turn up the brightness on the display settings.
If the display is too dark from the start, that is from the point you get the compaq logo then the issue should be with the LCD panel. if it is dark only in windows you can try increasing the brightness by using the Fn Key and the brightness up option in the keypad.
You have the unit in dark mode. Press the Dim/Dark button again to get the unit to full brightness. THe unit has 3 levels of DIM. First the unit is at its full brightness, pressing the dim/dark button will dim the display and the unit functions normally. Press the Dim/Dark button again will futher darken the display but when the unit alarms the display is turned off and remain off during the alert. After the alert is over the unit waits 20 seconds of no alert to turn the display back on.
If it is dark due to brightness adjustment, get that adjusted. Usually when you adjust the brightness by pressing the menu button, the menu screen would not be dark. If everything is dark dark dark and you can only see some display but in very pitch darkness, then your monitor is a goner, backlit for the monitor is dead, and your monitor will need to be replaced. You can fix the backlit tubing, however it is risky, and expensive, and would cost less if you bought a replacement.
There are only two options for adjusting the brightness of pictures in this camera, exposure and flash setting.
1. Flash Options: The flash is off by default. To turn it on you must press the button with the crooked down-arrow label between the DISP and MENU buttons, and the flash status will display in the top right-hand corner of the display screen. OFF displays the crooked down-arrow and a circle with a line through it. Press the button once for AUTO, displays the crooked down arrow with an "A" next to it. Press the button once more to force the flash, displays the crooked arrow only in the top right-hand display. Regardless of mode, the display will blink rapidly while the flash is charging and remain solid when it is charged and ready for use. Keep pressing the crooked down-arrow button to scroll continuously through the three OFF/AUTO/ON options.
2. Exposure setting: Press MENU, then the left arrow on the top right-hand four-way button on the camera until the COLOR menu is selected. Scroll down to EXPOSURE and press the MENU button again. You will see EV on the display. Use the up and down arrows to increase or decrease the exposure setting. 0.0 is default, you can go up to +1.5 or down to -1.5. Press MENU to exit when you're done. +1.5 would be the maximum brightness setting.