I have a 3 year old Inspiron 8600 notebook computer. It was working wonderfully when I turned it off using the power button yesterday. My husband attempted to restart the computer several hours later and the screen is black. No logo, no backlight, just black.

The green power light is on, the disk drives open and attempt to engage so it does not appear to be a power issue. I attempted to connect my laptop to an external monitor using analog cables and hitting fn+f8 on the laptop, but the monitor simply showed "1: analog input" on dark gray then went to a pitch black screen.

My Inspiron 8600 notebook computer uses a Radeon 9600 mobility card. I use the computer for basic internet access, word, youtube videos etc. Is the problem most likely the video card? How can I determine this for sure? What card should I get to replace this card if need be? Will any Radeon 9600 card fit in my laptop? Also where can I get instructions for replacing the card if this is the issue? I have previously replaced a PSU and video card on a desktop, but never on a laptop.

If it is the video card I believe you will not be able to replace it (I think these things are attached to the motherboard, but I'm no expert).

Get these a lot on daniweb, and this is usually one of the solutions...

Video cards will not display at all on startup or at any other time without memory. If you can open up your laptop and reseat the memory (take it out carefully, and reinsert it into the slot) this can sometimes fix it. I do not know why the memory will sometimes fail like this, my only guess is chip creep or something like that.

try that and come back if it fails.

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