Troubleshooting a Laptop LCD Display

February 5, 2009

When starting a laptop, the LCD screen isn’t displaying any video but the laptop’s lights are working and you can hear the fan and hard drive running. Which of these options would be appropriate troubleshooting steps?

A) The laptop’s memory may have become unseated. Remove the access panel to the memory and reseat all memory modules.

B) The problem may be a bad LCD panel. Try connecting a known-good monitor to the laptop’s video port and restart the system.

C) The laptop’s power supply may not be providing adequate power for the LCD screen. Check the voltage of the power supply with a multimeter.

D) An operating system update may have caused the LCD display to stop working. Restore the operating system from backup or reload the operating system.

Answer: B) The problem may be a bad LCD panel.

When there’s nothing on a laptop display, the problem is most-likely related to the operation of the LCD panel or LCD hardware itself. Many laptops include function keys that will send the video signal to the external video port, but those function keys won’t usually blank the LCD panel unless a physical device is connected to the laptop’s external monitor port. To ensure the laptop can “see” the monitor, it’s usually a good best practice to shut down the laptop, connect the external monitor, and power up the laptop. At the very minimum, the laptop’s BIOS information should appear on one of the displays.

If the laptop’s memory wasn’t properly seated, the laptop LCD display will continue to work, and you’ll probably see a BIOS error noting a memory problem.

If the power supply wasn’t providing enough power, the hard drive and fans would not be operating. If a laptop power supply isn’t providing enough power to run the laptop and the battery of the laptop is fully discharged, the laptop usually won’t power on at all. Newer laptops check the power supply when starting the system and will tell you if the power supply isn’t adequate for the system. That’s useful, isn’t it?

Although operating system updates can sometimes cause problems, those types of issues are only seen once the operating system has started. If a video problem is occurring upon startup before the OS loads, the problem can’t be associated with the operating system.

Want to learn more? Watch the video: “Diagnosing and Troubleshooting Laptops and Portable Devices”


When your portable device starts having problems, where do you start the troubleshooting process. Unlike traditional desktop personal computers, laptops and portable devices have additional steps for diagnosing troubles. In this video module, we’ll troubleshoot the boot process, video settings, stylus and digitizer issues, keypad problems, and antenna wires.

Pages: 1 2

Tags: ,

Category: CompTIA A+ Pop Quizzes

Comments are closed.