I have inherited an IBM ThinkPad T42 from my college graduate son who exclaimed that “my computer is all messed up”. I like to tinker so taking one apart is not an issue. Bottom line is the screen comes on, there is a pinkish hue and then goes blank shortly after the initial Windows XP boot screen with the progress bar appears. I have attached an external monitor and the boot-up process remains visible on the external monitor and the boot up process executes fully (even with the laptop screen blacking out) and I can navigate around on the laptop viewing all the action on the external monitor. There is a very faint image on the blacked out laptop screen.

Here is the weird part. Other forums suggested that the most common cause of failure was the inverter board. So I ordered one and installed it and the same black out situation occurs. However, after attaching an external monitor and rebooting, the boot-up screens were now visible on both the external monitor and the laptop. The laptop screen has not failed to display what is on the external monitor one time. Color is good. Shut down, disconnect the external monitor and reboot causes the same laptop blackout screen after the initial visible Windows XP boot screen. I have upgraded the graphics drivers (ATI Radeon 9600) and that actually produced a larger image onto the laptop screen (as well as the external monitor). That was an improvement.

So am I looking at replacing a faulty screen even though all seems “normal” as long as I am attached to an external monitor? Can anyone explain why after replacing the inverter board I am now getting a enduring laptop image (as long as the external monitor is connected)? Many thanks!

I may be going completely off with this, but from my experience you may either need a new processor or video card. The video card in nearly impossible to replace on most laptops ('cause its directly on the motherboard) but the processor usually pops out without much trouble. Try unscrewing the heatsink from the processor, then turn on the computer while pressing lightly on top of the heatsink. If the monitor works, you need a new processor. You could also take the processor out and plug it into a different computer (with the same socket type, desktop of laptop doesn't matter) because the pressure test doesn't always work. Otherwise it could be a number of things.

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