Every so often the monitor on my laptop seems to just go out. Or rather it just gets really dark - if I look really, really close I can still kind of see stuff on it.
It seems like it might be related to opening and closing the top as if there was some kind of short in it or something. I don't travel with it very often and I haven't moved it in a long time. Now I'm kind of scared to.
The question I have: when it does this - do you think I would still be able to use an external monitor with it? If not, I'm too afraid to take it anywhere until I know I can afford to replace it.
There are two possible reasons. Most laptops have a microswitch somewhere which detects when the top is closed. It will switch of the display or turn the laptop in hybernation mode when the switch is pressed. Maybe the contacts of this switch need some cleaning. You can try to locate the switch and push it a few times to see if it is the cause of the problem.
More problematic is a problem with the high voltage power supply of the screen. This powersupply is located on a small PCB board just under your screen. You can feel the location of the power supply because that location is warmer than the rest of the top. If the power supply is having problems, it needs replacement which must be done by an authorized repair centre.
In both cases, you should be able to use an external monitor, because the circuits of the external monitor and the internal TFT display are separated.
That's good either way - at least the computer won't be totally useless if I can use an external monitor with it.
There is a little button near one of the hinges which is kind of like the button for the light in a refrigerator I guess. When I press it, the monitor does the same thing - it gets really dark but if I look close I can still see everything.
What would be a good way to clean that? Q-tip and alcohol?