Laptop boots up, but no display even when plugged into external monitor. Is this a RAM problem or video card?

Home Town

Oct 25, 2016
My Windows 7 gateway laptop display shut off suddenly while I was browsing the Internet this morning. I tried rebooting, took out the battery and restarted it, but still no display. It makes noise like it's booting up, the backlight is obviously on, but there's no display. the fan is running and it makes the window login noise, but when plugged into vga or hdmi it still doesn't show a display, but it makes the little chime when I plug in the HDMI. I took out the RAM and tried cleaning and using one RAM disk, or whatever, at a time without any luck. I received a low memory error message before the display shut off so I was really thinking it was the RAM, but since it still doesn't have a display on the external monitor does that mean it's not the memory? I hope my video card isn't bad. I have a lot of crap on that laptop and can't afford to shell out 200$ for bestbuy to do a data recovery.

I should also mention, I've restarted it a million time pressing f8 ect and, once, the screen did flicker. It brightened in the middle of the screen and then lines went across the screen, but it never did display any graphics. It hasn't done anything but show a glowing black screen since.
When you plug in/connect the external display, try doing it when the laptop is 'off', turn on the external display and then turn the laptop back on. If you can see on that external monitor then, it is a problem with the laptops display. If, however, you still can't see anything on the external monitor, then I would be looking at the graphics card. Which will probably lead to having to replace the motherboard.

If the device is under warranty, then I would contact the manufacturer and see about them repairing or replacing it.


No need to get best buy to do data recovery. If you end up needing the data off it because you can't get it working, pull the hard drive and then go get yourself a USB hard drive enclosure for less than $20 and put the drive in that. Then access it from any computer by plugging it into a USB port. The bonus is once you get everything copied you can erase it and use it as a backup drive if you wish.
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