I’ve heard of the Blue Screen of Death, but apparently laptops are prone to a condition called ‘Black Screen of Death’ when the graphics card processes it’s final image and goes into permanent retirement.
After the screen goes black during start up,
this is what used to be my Windows Vista logon page:
A few minutes later, the screen changes to this:
I used my computer all morning that day with no problems, when all of a sudden the screen turned bright green in the background, and began to scramble into multiple colors of lines. I could still see the taskbar at that point, and clicked the menu for shut down options. The menu was solid black, and the taskbar disappeared into the scrambled colors. I tried ctrl/alt/delete, then tried powering off, but it was frozen on the scrambled screen. Since I had been online when the problem happened, and my wireless light was still on and refusing to disconnect, I was concerned about being hacked.
I finally had to do the unplug/remove battery option to shut it down.
When I tried to restart it could not complete the boot process and would loop into the option to run repair.
After running system repair (which said it could not repair or restore with system restore), hard drive diagnostics (which said my hard drive passed), and trying all the recommended fixes I found by researching it online from another computer, I called the manufacturer’s support line. I told the agent that I know my laptop is out of warranty (she’s coming up on her 4th birthday, which is OLD in computer years!) and I just had a question about a failure to boot issue. When I told him how the problem started he said it was a software issue, which could be resolved for a $50 fee and a few minutes on the phone with him. That sounded great, but I asked what happens if that doesn’t fix it? He said then it would need to be sent in, which would be an additional $400. If it was the motherboard they would replace that, and any other parts it needs. The repair cost would be open-ended, and I knew a 4 year old computer could easily cost me as much as a new one.
I didn’t want to pay $400. to ship a computer well on it’s way to being outdated to the manufacturer. So the next day I took it to a local qualified repair store, and was told what I already suspected from researching online: the graphics card cannot be replaced separately in a laptop, the motherboard has to be replaced as well. The high end of the repair cost estimate put it at the price of a new laptop. I left the store with 2 laptops; my old one, and a new one that has more features, and more importantly, a warranty!
I’m still learning my way around the new one, and having Windows 7, instead of Vista (which I loved!) But so far, I really like the new features, both in hardware and software. This laptop has come a long way from my first one that ran Windows 3.o and used floppy discs. I still have to figure out how to get my old files from the other one, but I’ve been busy setting this one up and getting programs reactivated, and all the fun stuff that goes along with logging in from a different computer.
I realized too late the importance of using an external hard drive for back up, it would have made the whole process of retrieving my files much faster and easier!Follow @learning2hear