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Not sure why, but recently my Dell laptop (Inspiron 1720) screen goes black after a very short time, e.g. if I am watching a video, the screen goes all black, I have to move the mouse cursor to get it back.

What could be the issue?

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What is "a very short time"? Have you confirmed that this "short time" matches the power settings? – user3463 Dec 17 '09 at 12:50
unbelievable.. I didn't think anybody could ask such a simple question – barlop Aug 2 '11 at 13:15

Look into your Power Options on the Screen Saver tab of Display Properties. Your selected power scheme is probably Portable/Laptop with default 'off' settings of 15 min when plugged in or 5 min when on battery power. Set values that satisfy you and (optionally) save it to a named power scheme. If it ever gets reset somehow, you'll be able to quickly recover.

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Just turn off your screen saver or set the time to 3 hours or something longer than what it is currently set at.

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Right click on desktop (not on icon) → properties → screen saver. Adjust time or switch off Screen Saver.

Then go to power options in this window (below) and adjust turning off monitor and hard drives. Remember to adjust power schemas for 'battery' and for 'ac plugged' :)

Thats all.

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