How do I tell my friend to fix his computer when he turns on the computer the screen is total black ?
There were many laptop video chips made a few years ago (millions made and sold HP, DELL, Lenovo, Toshiba, and many, many other laptop manufacturers sold them), w/ low temp (no lead) solder for years that caused the dreaded "Black Screen No Video" problems and issues, due to the chips cracking or desoldering by themselves due to heat buildups inside, and there were many common manufacturers that used said chips There was a small recall window after a massive class action lawsuit. (The solder reaches a certain fairly low temp, and the hundreds of solder balls crack between the chip and the mobo connections).
Can be repaired by special heating of the motherboard to resolder the chip and then gluing the chip to the board (the cheap fix, sometimes works, sometimes fails later)...or the correct fix of complete removal of the vid chip and resoldering or reballing w/ better high temp lead based solder. Or replacement of the motherboard itself w/ ATI chips if avail. (they never used that low temp solder to begin with it appears as I have never seen the problem rear it's head w/ an ATI vid chip yet, though I still install shims and other extra cooling on them too).....Plenty of choices for repair at e-bay, and youtube has many vids concerning the issue. (I have repaired thousands of laptops that showed the problem). Cheaper than a new laptop though. I always also install special aftermarket copper shims and cooling materials on all laptop units for both the vid chip(s), and the cpu chips to further help cool those units internally better than OEM heatsink cooling methods (amazing what copper shims, arctic silver and a few heat transfer cooling pads will do if properly installed. Cleaning out the unit by complete disassembly often really helps a lot too, just too much hot stuff all stuffed into too small a space, too much dust buildup...looks like a felt pad between the fan and the fan exhaust heatsink often on disassembly, and too much constant heat buildup inside the case causes those chips to overheat & desolder more times than not. Some units like HP dv7 Series also created a special BIOS file to turn on the cooling fan continuiously, so heating issues are much less frequent (if also cleaned out often enough), but that causes more continuous noise, especially if there is dust or that felt pad like buildup between the fan and the external heatsink. (Hair dust, carpet or blanket or clothing fibers).
To determine if it an LCD problem or Video chip problem, do the following firstly;
If the computer boots at all (turns on, you can hear the hard drive spin up, fans are on, no video still though, and the hard drive light seems to flash a lot like it is loading the OS normally...allow it to load fully until the HD light pretty much stops blinking. Use the FN key and the internal/external monitor button to see if the LCD comes on w/ video.....No? Then Turn it off. And then attempt to hook up an external monitor after shutting it down again (do not plug it into the laptop while it is running), using the blue 25 pin port on the laptop, then reboot again, and use the FN keyboard key after boot up, and the External/internal monitor keys again (one of the F keys usually around F5 or so...2 pics of screen/monitor together on 1 F key top of the keyboard), on the keyboard together to attempt to switch between the internal LCD screen and the now installed external monitor. (If he gets a picture on the screen using the external monitor, then the problem is not the actual video chip, but is a problem w/ the LCD screen of the laptop...Broken screen or damaged LCD cable, unplugged cable, bad backlight or LCD inverter, etc....But that can easily be replaced or fixed also).
If he still gets no picture on the external monitor, or on the LCD, it can be and usually is the dreaded vid chip black screen issue (or sometimes a failed CPU). That can also be fixed. I repair them often, motherboard needs removal and diagnosing. Some units though were later made w/ overtemp video shutdown if the fan does not cool immediately, and sometimes a simple thorough cleaning and re-assembly solves the issue. Some HP units (and others), have a diagnosing keyboard light flashing sequence on boot up (between the CAPS LOCK and the NUM PAD LOCK lights), that will diagnose a no start issue also, which can and should be done before any disassembly.....Some I have just replaced the CPU after diagnosing w/ those lights and the video comes right back. (Those few I actually thought were vid chip problems, but the light flash sequence said CPU failure...sure enough it was). And cheaper fixes too. ($17~$20 Used CPU's lots cheaper than a $125.00 motherboard vid chip reball +shipping).
If he wants professional help I repair and am quite reasonable. But I send out the motherboard for repair if that is actually necessary to someone who has a re-ball machine. Usually a new or repaired mobo is actually cheaper and faster if avail. on ebay for less.
I diagnose properly first before doing any of that. It is usually much cheaper than a new laptop and loss of that data though to simply repair the existing laptop and apply/install cooling shims to stop the problem from re-happening again. Extra cooling and proper cleaning does absolute wonders.
The make and model of the actual laptop helps determine what diagnosing features are available per the individual service manual and internal built in diagnosing features...Always include the info in a question off the laptop labels on the top & bottom of the unit, it looks like: *Each unit will be different specs. though.
Toshiba Satellite L455-S5975 Serial No. X9141XXXK Part No. PSLY0U-00VXX1 Service Tag: VNX756L
Windows 7 Home Premium 32-bit
Intel Celeron 900 2GB RAM, 250GB HDD, 15.6" HD Tru-Bright Display, Matte Silver (AMD/ATI/N-VIDIA) Video chipset.
All that info can usually be determined w/ the unit off by reading the labels and tags, and all the info is important to be able to research Black screen issues and all other issues.
If he decides not to fix that issue, that laptop is still worth much as individual parts (together whole or in pcs. sold 1 at a time fully disassembled. I personally buy lots of pcs. to fix other peoples laptops, and whole units each yr. to fix and then sell). ebay them do not shelve them. We always need lots of good used parts.
HP Computers &...
9 hours ago