Screen goes black while computer continues to run

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Jj1037

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Hi. I'm not sure if this is the best thread to post this in, but I decided to just put it in Windows 7 since that's what my laptop has.
I've been having this issue with my laptop for a few months now where the screen will randomly go black while my laptop continues to run with no way of getting the screen to come back (other than resetting). It used to take 20~ minutes before it would go black, but now it goes off before I can even get to the login screen of my laptop.
I'm almost positive this ISNT an issue with the screen itself since I'm in safe mode and it hasn't gone dark on me once when I'm there. But I have no idea what could cause the screen going black when I normally try to use my laptop compared to just being in safe mode.
Any help would be appreciated. I've gone to Best Buy three times and every time they've tried to tell me I just need the screen replaced.
Thanks.
 

Macboatmaster

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The test is this
Connect another monitor
If it is the screen as BestBuy suggest the problem will not occur on the external monitor

If BestBuy are wrong and it is the graphics chip or indeed the driver for the graphics the problem will still occur.

The fact it does not occur in Safe Mode may be either
1. The driver, as Safe Mode uses a standard windows low resolution driver
2. The demand on the graphics is a lot lower
3. A minimum set of drivers and services are loaded in Safe mode and that may eliminate another software issue that is causing the problem
4. Demand overall is lower in Safe Mode and that can eliminate heat issues which may also cause the problem

When you reply post the make and full model of the laptop please

If you do not have another monitor to connect externally providing there is a connection provided which there is on nearly all laptops then you need to borrow one from somewhere
 

Jj1037

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I have no monitor to connect my computer to currently and can't get one for a while.
My laptop is an Alienware Laptop M5790 with a Serial 9FFCLX1 from 2013.
What should I do if it's any of those things you listed, though? How do I fix the driver or graphics card, or how do I find out what the software issue is?
 

Macboatmaster

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http://www.dell.com/support/home/uk/en/ukdhs1/product-support/servicetag/9ffclx1/manuals
That shows your laptop
However it is difficult to get a specification
I think the graphics are
Video controller

Integrated

    • Intel HD Graphics 3000
    • Intel HD Graphics 4000
Discrete

    • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M
    • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 675M
    • AMD Radeon HD 7970M
Video memory

Integrated

512 MB dedicated video memory (for total system memory greater than 4 GB)

Discrete

2 GB

either integrated on the CPU or the actual card as shown
Until we can find which it is we are not going very far
see if you can run it in low resolution mode rather than Safe Mode

then try and send me the results of this
https://static.techguy.org/download/SysInfo.exe

run it and copy and paste to your reply the information in the white box.

If there is a difficulty doing that then go to system information or device manager and see if you can ascertain the graphics from there.

DID BESTBUY offer any conclusion for the new screen suggestion. If of course they opined that their tests showed it was the screen with a fault on graphics when the higher resolution was run - then that is a different issue from then simply saying try a new screen, without offering a reason for their conclusion.

The best way forward at this stage is as I said - connect external monitor - I know you say you do not have one but I covered that by saying
then you need to borrow one from somewhere
neighbour, friend etc, or local computer shop - you can of course take the laptop to the source.
 

Macboatmaster

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Additional to the above follow this procedure
Run the LCD Built-in Self Test
All Alienware Notebooks have a built-in self test for the display that will help you determine the cause of the problem. To run the test do the following:



  1. Turn off your system
  2. Press and Hold the D key
  3. Turn on the system while holding the D key, release the key when you see colors on the screen
    The screen will come on and cycle through the colors Red, Green, Blue, White and Black

    This will stay for a few seconds, pay attention to screen to check if the distortion is present during the test.
Testing and External Display
Connecting an external display will allow you to determine if the source of the distortion is the screen or some other component of the screen

If the distortion is also present on the external screen follow our article Running ePSA Built-in Diagnostics on your Alienware System for further testing
 

Jj1037

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Tech Support Guy System Info Utility version 1.0.0.4
OS Version: Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate, Service Pack 1, 64 bit
Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-3740QM CPU @ 2.70GHz, Intel64 Family 6 Model 58 Stepping 9
Processor Count: 8
RAM: 32718 Mb
Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 675M, -2048 Mb
Hard Drives: C: 452 GB (205 GB Free); F: 465 GB (465 GB Free); G: 29 GB (29 GB Free);
Motherboard: Alienware, M18xR2
Antivirus: None

Best Buy offered to send my computer in for repairs, but once it was delivered they found out that they didn't have my computer screen model anymore, and neither does Dell. So it was a dead end.

As I live in the middle of 53 acres of woods with my closest neighbor who I don't talk to living a mile away and stores being 25 minutes away and my driveway being snowed in, getting a monitor just isn't an option at the moment, unfortunately.

I'm actually typing this from my computer right now. It's working fine, which is weird because sometimes it does and other times it doesn't, so I'm doing all of this while I can. Not sure how long it will last. I'm about to test the LCD Built-In Self Test right now and will reply in a moment once it finishes.

Thank you so much for helping me so far. I really appreciate it. I haven't had much luck asking others for help.
 

Macboatmaster

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I understand isolated location. I live in the country but no where near as remote as that. Typing on my tablet will post more when on the computer
 

Jj1037

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The only thing my computer does when I try the LCD test is emit a high pitched beeping noise repeatedly until I shut it down.
 

Macboatmaster

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It will - you must release the D key immediately you see the colours on the screen
  1. Turn off your system
  2. Press and Hold the D key
  3. Turn on the system while holding the D key, release the key when you see colors on the screen
It would beep no matter which key you held

See if you can go here
http://www.dell.com/support/home/uk/en/ukdhs1/product-support/servicetag/9ffclx1/diagnose

and configure that for the online test for your graphics card and lcd
So on the custom components test
Custom Component Test heading you check those items and then run the test

I am signing off now it is 0150 UK time
Back evening about 1900
earlier if weather is to bad for outside work
 
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