Does your Dell laptop have a black screen? This problem page will go over several common occurrences when it comes to a laptop screen not turning on. The problem can be caused by either software or hardware causes, so read on to determine the right solution for you!
This may seem trivial but a forced restart of your computer is the first thing you should try.
- Hold down the power button for 10 seconds. After a few seconds, press the power button to boot up your laptop.
Is the Dell laptop not powering on? Try charging your laptop for 15 minutes and then power it on. If the battery is severely discharged, leave it charging for longer.
- If the battery is faulty, a battery replacement is necessary. Search the iFixit site for the associated guides of your exact model.
Your laptop could be functioning but the display is broken or disconnected.
- Use a separate known good monitor to test if your computer is able to output visuals.
- If the separate monitor is working, check the physical connection of the laptop's screen internally. A cable may be disconnected or destroyed.
Try restarting the video driver. This software fix won't fix a hardware issue, but it's worth a shot.
- Use this keyboard shortcut to restart the video driver: Windows Key + Ctrl (Control) + Shift + B. This works in Windows 7 and newer.
Software Boot Failure
Computers may try to boot from a USB flash drive or DVD depending on the BIOS order. Removing all peripherals forces the computer to focus on the boot files on the main hard drive.
- Remove any USBs or DVDs that may be preventing the normal boot process.
- If your laptop is having trouble booting to Windows, run Dell Diagnostics by pressing the F12 key repeatedly as you press the power button.
If you are using Windows 8 or newer, boot into Safe Mode to troubleshoot the issue.
- Hold the power button for 10 seconds to power off the laptop to boot into Safe Mode. Press the power button to start the laptop. Do this 2 more times to get Windows to boot into a recovery environment.
- You will see Choose an option at the top of the page. Navigate using the arrow keys to Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Startup Settings > Restart.
- Windows will restart and show a menu of options. Choose Safe Mode with Networking. We need to boot into Safe Mode because it uses a basic driver and will let us view the screen if it is a software issue.
- From here, you should be able to uninstall the corrupt graphics drivers and reboot the computer back to regular Windows.
- The boot partition might have been corrupted. If Safe Mode does not work, Windows will need to be installed again.
If you uninstalled the graphics driver in Safe mode, you can have Windows search for new drivers for you.
- Open the start menu and search for Device Manager.
- Expand the Display adapters section and right-click on the display device that comes up.
- Choose Update driver and in the pop-up window choose Search automatically for drivers.
- Windows will search for new drivers and install them.
Capacitors are tiny electrical power storage devices. The act of draining power out of them alleviates prolonged issues. A hard reset is necessary to fully drain the capacitors.
- To do this, remove all peripherals, laptop charger, and laptop battery. If your laptop battery is not easily removable, search our site for your exact Dell laptop.
- Once everything is removed, hold the power button down for 60 seconds. This makes the computer attempt to power on and drain the capacitors and as a result, the built-up static charge.
- Sometimes, you will need to unplug the BIOS battery (CMOS battery) in addition to draining all power to the laptop.
Beep codes and lights are used to diagnose issues computers have when booting.
- With the laptop powered off, press the power button and listen for any beeping sounds or flashing lights on the side of the laptop. If there are any, document these beeps and light flashes (usually where the charging LEDs are) and visit Dell’s beep code support page to find the beep codes associated. This helps narrow down the issue.
After rooting out the battery, charger, display, and software as issues, the motherboard is the next likely culprit.
- Check out our replacement motherboards for your model of Dell laptop and an associated guide.