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My Dell model 1504FP LCD has a malfunction. Whenever I power the screen on, it does not light up but stays switched off for approximately five to ten seconds. Then, when I power on, the screen works.

What could that be?

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I believe it could be the inverter starting to fail. However, I am not sure. When it "does not light up" can you see the desk but very faintly in the background?

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A failing backlight can be very hard to see. You may have to hold a flashlight up to the screen while it appears to be off, and then you'll just barely be able to see the picture. –  Fopedush Nov 9 '12 at 20:19
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