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My laptop Toshiba Satellite M300 laptop screen is completely blacked out. It powers up and appears to be running, but the screen is blank.

I've taken battery pack off and back on again. Before the screen was blacked out, it used to flicker a bit. Also before it blacked out I was having problems with the Internet, and I was on the phone to an Internet provider who took me through steps to take my laptop back to a future date where it was operational. It then worked properly for a few days, but then I switched it on and screen was blank. It's more than a year old or so out of warranty. Should I pay the $300 bucks to see if they can fix it?

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Have you noticed the screen colour shifting a bit before it flickered and went blank? Can you see anything on the screen if you have it under a bright light and look at it sideways?

If so, it's probably a backlight failure, and it ought to be possible to fix it for less than $300. But if you haven't got a local service shop that can dismantle laptops, you're probably best sending it off for repair. A new screen will make the laptop as good as new, and a new laptop is a lot more than $300, so it's worth doing the repair.

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This is a very common problem with the M300 series. Everybody I know who has ever had a Satellite M300 series (including myself, with an M305d) has had that exact problem.

It's the cable between the screen and the motherboard. Your best bet is to look for the video cable online and try installing it yourself, as unless (and possibly even if) it is under warranty, they will try to charge you around $400 for the repair for a new LCD you don't need, and you'll get the same poor quality cable. There's alternative brands available on ebay that are the exact same cable, except they will last longer, and they're generally around $40 or less (plus shipping). It should be easy (though time consuming) to install. Make sure you keep track of where the screws go (luckily, almost all of them are labeled somehow).

(Or you can do what I did, and made it a headless Minecraft server.)

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