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Troubleshooting - HP Pavilion ZE4100 Laptop Screen Won't Light Up

written by: George Sas•edited by: Bill Fulks•updated: 2/12/2011

If your HP Pavilion ZE4100 Laptop screen wont light up here are a few things you can do to determine the cause.

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    HP Pavilion ZE4100 Video Troubleshooting Steps

    The HP Pavilion ZE4100 comes with two CPU configurations, either Intel or AMD and it has an integrated ATI Mobility Radeon graphics accelerator. As any other computer, the HP notebooks might get broken from time to time and you will need to replace some of the components to get it working again. In the case of a HP laptops, where the VGA card is integrated on the motherboard it's impossible to change only the defective VGA adapter, so you will need to change the whole motherboard. There is also the possibility that the LCD screen it's burned out or the power supply that gives power to the screen is not working, and these are a bit cheaper to replace.

    HP Pavilion dv2500se Before you replace any parts, you want to make sure that it's the graphic card that is defective and not something else. HP motherboards are quite expensive so therefore I would recommend checking first the other components, like memory, hard drive, power supply. To start identifying if it is your graphic card or other component that is defective you should always try to perform a Hard Reset of the notebook. In order to perform a Hard Reset you will need to do the following things in this order :

    • Disconnect all the cables attached to the computer, including the power cable. Remove any USB pins or storage cards.
    • Remove the battery.
    • Press and HOLD the power button for at least 15 seconds.
    • Plug the AC power supply (without connecting the battery) and press the power button.

    Is your computer starting up ? Are the LED's blinking or glowing ? Can you hear the fan turning ? Any image on the screen ? Still nothing? Try with a different AC Power Supply or another battery if available. Your machine might not get the voltage needed to power up.

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    Checking the Graphic Adapter and the LCD Screen

    If your LED's are blinking and the fan is working, but there is still no image on the screen we can try to determine whether the VGA is the problem or the LCD screen. Look closely at the LCD display. The display might be very dark without light. Check if your RAM module is inserted properly. You might want to take it out and clean the pins with some alcohol based liquid and let it dry properly. Insert the RAM module back in and start the machine up. Press a few times Fn+F2 to increase brightness as it might be turned all the way down or Fn+F5 to try and switch between external and internal display. If still noting it's time to try with an external display.

    Power of the laptop, connect an external display and power up the laptop. Do you have an image on your external display ? If not try to hit a few times Fn+F5 and switch between the internal and external display. If you have an image on the external display then it's your LCD screen that is broken or the LCD Display assembly or the power inverter. Today an LCD display is not as expensive as it might sound and if the power converter is defective that costs even less and might also fit from another laptop or even other brand.

    If you still have no image on your LCD or your external screen then your VGA adapter might be defective and would need to be replaced. As mentioned earlier, it's the whole motherboard that has to be changed as the VGA adapter is an integrated part of it. It might also be your CPU or even a bad RAM module so if you have the possibility to check with another RAM module try that first. If not then it's time to take the notebook to a specialized computer repair shop and let them have a look at it, or maybe just buy a new one.

    Image credit: Wikimedia Commons