Hello, I've had this laptop since about October 2004, and this is my first major problem. I had it on sleep mode where I just closed the monitor and it shuts off (something I do often). When I opened it up, it started to boot back up like normal, but then the screen went black. After about 5-10 minutes shutting it on and off, I got the monitor to stay on. An hour or 2 later it went off, and no luck since then. There are a couple things I know. The computer still runs. I know this because I can hear it, and my AIM starts automatically, and I see other other computers that I get signed on, and stay on until I turn the computer off. Second, if I close the monitor, and open it up again it does turn on. Sometimes for half a second, sometimes for about 3 seconds, but it always seems to go back off. There doesn't seem to be a spot that I can hold it at and it'll stay on or anything like that. After, I did give it a very through cleaning, and no help. I'm guessing its a connection to the monitor since it will go on but not stay on. Any ideas, monitor dead, loose wires (I wish)? If it is the monitor what options would I have, any idea if this is compatible with an external monitor (I don't even know if the Inspiron 1150 monitors are available and not sure about installing one)? ANY help is appreciated!! Thanks.

Ok this sounds as though it is a loose connection or a bad wire. You evidently get light to it when it comes on (short time as it does) so I presume the backlight is ok. It could be the inverter that has gone bad and needs replacing.

Best thing to do is contact DELL themselves as a lot of computer parts that Dell use are specific to their machines.

It could also be the ntel 82855 GME graphics controller.