Display on laptop

In 2012, I was at the beginning of being self-employed, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do.  I wasn’t planning on doing computer repair because I assumed there's too much competition.  I started out installing autonomously managed Wi-Fi systems and remotely managed closed-circuit TV systems, which was also a competitive market, but I thought it would be easier to get into.   

I had just installed a Wi-Fi and CCTV system at a local Best Value INN.  I had to fix one of the hotel computers so they could monitor their system.  That was faster than having them buy another computer.  It was a simple fix, so I didn’t think nothing of it.  The owner of the hotel was surprised it was working.  He said several people had tried to get it going and never did.  He was planning on replacing it. Since I was able to get that one going, he l asked if I would look at his son’s laptop computer. The monitor wasn’t working.  He got a quote from Best Buy's (Geek Squad).  The technician said the laptop display needed to be replaced.  The quote was for around $250.  I’m thinking that’s a little high for a new display, but Geek Squad is a nationwide company so you can expect their cost to be higher.

He placed the laptop on the counter.  I turned it on – it booted through the bios sequence of the startup and the screen looked like it was supposed to.  When the computer finished booting up, the screen went black.  Without thinking, I pressed the fn and monitor keys.  The display turned on as normal.


I was sitting there looking at the display, looking for a burnt-out LED or a crack in the screen or something to see what was wrong with it. I was also expecting it to turn off like a bad monitor should do.  Suddenly, I hear excited yelling from behind me!  “What did you do, it’s working!!”   I said I didn’t do anything.  Then I realized what happened. Laptops have function keys that provide additional functions.  Ones of those functions is to switch between the internal display and a connected external monitor or helps you to show both displays.  A lot of time, people would press the keys by accident and it would turn off the internal monitor.  That’s what happened in this case. I instantly had a happy customer.

I couldn’t believe that a technician working for a national name brand company didn’t figure that out.  It’s like the first step in the troubleshooting manual.  And if he was experienced enough, would have encountered this problem already.  But, instead he just automatically assume the display was bad.

After that experience , I didn’t hesitate taking on computer repair jobs.  I did that more than the security cameras or Wi-Fi.


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