I have had a Dell Latitude E6500 laptop for about a year now and my display now goes blank after no longer than a couple of minutes. Sometimes it will even be during the bios post, the screen is still blank. It's worth noting I spilled Coke on it last year, but cleaned it out the best I can and haven't had any problems since then. It is a refurbished laptop as well (I'm dealing with a bunch of arguments with Dell at the moment about warranty). A normal start up sequence goes like so:

  • I will power up the PC
  • Laptop posts to bios and Windows/Ubuntu loads
  • Windows/Linux starts up
  • I log in
  • As soon as I get a chance to open up Chrome or anything else the laptop goes black
  • If its still logging in at the time the screen goes out, I can still hear sounds so I know everything else is working (main reason I think it's not the gfx card)
  • I will reboot the laptop, sometimes it will be black at post, sometimes I will go through the same sequence (sometimes trying the other OS)

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Also worth noting I tried to re-fasten the display ribbon to the motherboard in case it was loose.

  • 1
    This seems off-topic for serverfault. Maybe for Super User instead? – mattdm Nov 27 '10 at 0:29

It may be the backlight or the inverter for the display. I had a similar problem on a Dell Latitude D610. You can purchase both the backlight and the inverter, but honestly it's not worth the trouble disassembling the display to replace them. Unless you do that kind of thing regularly, it's a fairly cumbersome operation. My suggestion would be to find a good used display and replace the entire display unit. Make sure you buy one from a reputable company that has a good return policy in case replacing it doesn't resolve the issue.

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  • Was the backlight but replaced the whole display like suggested – Benny Dec 11 '10 at 23:11
  • Glad to hear you got it fixed. – joeqwerty Dec 12 '10 at 0:23

If it can be dark during BIOS screen as well, then this is not an OS issue. We had a somewhat similar issue on one of our laptops. The laptop screen would just start dark and stay like that.

What we noticed however was, when we look very close to the screen we could actually see the icons and etc. It turned out ours was more of a brightness issue, the lcd would not brighten up any more. We had to replace the lcd to fix this.

Chrome and other apps triggering the problem is interesting. I assume chrome starts up all white. Maybe the level of white on the screen triggers the problem.

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  • This is another way to say it could be backlights behind the LCD. Which is probably what is going on in my experience. – SgtOJ Nov 27 '10 at 1:15

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