alright, i know it wasn't the smartest thing to do, but i popped my old dell inspiron 1150 open to clean the dust out of the fan, and i didn't know that when i started that i should have gone in from the top through the keyboard and not from underneath.
by the time i had started piecing the machine back together i noticed that i had accidentally unplugged what i was assuming to be the graphics/video card. when i booted the monitor display had a bunch of lines going horizontally across the display like a television with a bad cable connection. when i arrived at the xp login screen (after i managed to guess my way to the user icon) and accessed my user account the display slowly fades to a medium bit-depth fade to white nightmare that slowly transitions into various colors like a dirty nes cartridge.
now, i don't know a lot about computers, which means i shouldn't have done this without adult supervision, but is there any advice or directions anyone can give me to rectify this mess.
by the way, since i'm taking the novice comp enthusiast approach to things, does anyone know whether or not i can call dell to have them replace the top 'plate' (i don't know the word, the thing that protects the back of my monitor), something had happened to my laptop before this adventure and the plastic that is screwed onto one of the hinges is broken and i *really* don't want to have to jury rig this thing with galvanized wire.
thanks for the help, cats.