It was a clean install of Ubuntu 16.04.2 64-bit on an old laptop a few days ago. The laptop is a Toshiba Satellite L655-S5198 with only Ubuntu on it now. Its fan stopped working and suffered from overheating 2.5 years ago. Before the fan died, it was on Windows 7 Home Premium and never had this black screen problem. I replaced the fan less than a week ago, after which the laptop seemed to be working fine until the latest black screen.

The laptop worked quite well for over a day or close to two days. Then all of a sudden, the screen blacked out with a very thin edge on the left side flashing yellow light, which looked almost like LCD screen bleeding. I tried to shut down/reboot the computer from the keyboard using only terminal without access to screen. It didn't work. So the CPU might have frozen/hung up. The fan kept working though. It has happened twice already. I suppose it's something I have to address now.

The fact that it could work a day or two without any issue tells me it's not the fan. Besides, when the screen blacked out, the fan continued working. My second thought is on the graphics/video driver, which I don't know much about. I ran the command

lspci -k | grep -EA3 'VGA|3D|Display'

and got the following:

00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation Core Processor Integrated Graphics Controller (rev 02)
Subsystem: Toshiba America Info Systems Core Processor Integrated Graphics Controller
Kernel driver in use: i915
Kernel modules: i915

I know the laptop has an Intel integrated graphics chip. I don't know which model though. As far as I know, an Intel graphics card/chip is usually compatible with Ubuntu. I installed Ubuntu 16.04.2 on the laptop just a few days ago and did all the updates afterwards. So I suppose the drivers, including the graphic driver, are fine.

I searched for answers regarding black screen problems. Most happen during boot or immediately after boot. That isn't the issue I am facing.

Please share your expertise. Thanks.

  • Can you provide with an image? Also, does this only appear after system boots up or it is also seen on the Boot screen and BIOS? – Alan Jameson Mar 31 '17 at 4:03
  • Alan Jameson, what image are you referring to? The black screen image? Both times it happened, I was in the middle of some work on the laptop. The screen just suddenly went black. Before it happened, I had already used the computer for at least a few hours. So not during boot or BIOS. – tamag Mar 31 '17 at 4:10
  • If it happens only when the system is booted up and not in BIOS, it's definitely a Graphic driver problem. Have you tried to update the drivers? – Alan Jameson Mar 31 '17 at 4:19
  • Please excuse my ignorance as I know little about Ubuntu. What do you mean exactly by "not in BIOS"? With BIOS, did you mean the boot process during which BIOS is in charge before the operating system kicks in? How to update the graphic driver specifically? I just updated the whole package using Software&Updates in System Settings. Since I installed Ubuntu a few days ago and immediately updated the whole thing after the installation, I'm guessing all drivers are up-to-date. Please advise how to update just graphics. Thanks. – tamag Mar 31 '17 at 4:48
  • Your OS uses graphic card to load anything that you see. But in BIOS, no graphic card is utilised. If display related problems does not occur in BIOS, then its not a hardware problem. If the problem even occurs in the BIOS menu that means something is wrong with your hardware. If you want to make sure it is just a software error, hook up your laptop to an external monitor and see if the problem persists even there. If the problem shows on the external monitor too, your hardware is faulty. I just realised you have the integrated graphics from Intel. Their drivers are automatically installed. – Alan Jameson Mar 31 '17 at 5:01

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