Why is my Toshiba laptop screen occasionally going black?

Amy K February 3, 2012

I will be in the middle of doing something and the screen just goes black, so I know it’s not the power saving hibernation deal. It just started today, but I do quite a bit of school work on my laptop, so I need to figure out how to fix this. It is quite problematic. I have to actually restart & it goes to the boot up menu, like it is shut down unexpectedly. Help??

  1. Lee
    February 8, 2012 at 8:34 pm

    As Ed suggested, take a flashlight and hold it up to the screen. If you see a faint outline of your desktop (or whatever windows you had open) then it's the backlight. When this happens, was your screen moved or was the table bumped? What I'm thinking is that it could be a loose connection inside, and a little movement can cause the wire to move out of place and turn off the backlight/screen.
    Also, try hooking it up to an external monitor when this happens and see if that screen is working properly. If not, then it's probably your video card (or some weird software glitch).

    February 4, 2012 at 9:19 am

    Hello, what model of laptop do you have?  Does it happen when you are both on batteries and connected? on both?  Has it happened when the computer  is idle?  

    Have you noticed if the laptop seems to be struggling to keep up when the screen goes black?  I would also say it has to do with overheating.  Do you hear the fan turning when the screen goes black? 

  3. Ed
    February 3, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    If it is the backlight, the screen will not turn on even if you restart it. But just to make sure, you can easily check it. Get a flash light and place it close to the screen. You will see the graphics on the screen by doing this.

    Based on my experience, sudden screen blackout on a laptop usually means a problem with your video card, especially if the problem occurs when you are using a graphic intensive software. It may be overheating. To protect it from permanent damage, most laptop will shut down when it reached a certain temperature.

    The first thing you should do is to clean the fan/vent of your laptop. These are mostly accessible on the bottom of a laptop. You just need to remove some screws. If you're comfortable in computer hardware/disassembly, I suggest replacing the thermal paste as well with a good know brand. But don't do this if you're unsure that you know what you're doing. Better to take it to a professional.

    Additional precaution: Avoid placing your laptop on the top of your bed. Make sure that you use your laptop in a flat surface, preferably with good airflow.

    • tim
      July 4, 2012 at 11:23 pm


  4. KayanTihsrah
    February 3, 2012 at 11:52 am

    When your computer screen goes black. is the computer still on...If so.. then the
    It seems that your backlight has gone, however this part of repairing it alone, would at least cost half the price of aLaptop.

  5. Dave Parrack
    February 3, 2012 at 11:30 am

    Have you checked all the obvious explanations such as power lead, battery etc.?

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