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When I powered on my laptop, the screen does not light and remains completely black. Is there an easy test I could do find out which part is defective, other than assuming that it is the lcd screen itself that is defective? Some users I talked to mentioned various reasons for the issue. They range from a bad lcd screen lamp to bad motherboard.

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What kind of laptop is it? A long list of HP and Compaq laptops have GPU issues which would typically mean getting a new motherboard, but solutions have been developed to fix them without replacing the motherboard. Nvidia messed up on the heat sink design and the GPU gets so hot the solder melts around the pins, and ultimately resulted in a class action lawsuit. The fix is not as complicated as the problem (well at least not for us as users). –  ubiquibacon Aug 2 '10 at 15:18

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You can tell if it's the lamp by shining a very bright light into the screen. You should be able to see (barely) the images changing. The back of the screen is basically a mirror that reflects a light at the bottom of it, and if it's just the lamp then the screen is still updating. It's also the most likely point of failure.

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This will certainly guide you on how to check for dead laptop screen.

http://www.daileyint.com/hmdpc/lcd.htm

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