A techie fixes his cousin’s laptop with a black screen using ISL Online remote access

As a remote desktop support software provider, we regularly receive great success stories written by satisfied customers who want to share a remote support case that went exceptionally well. Occasionally, we get a story that stands out, so we wish to share it with you. Dusan’s story is one of them.

ISL Online saves the day
Written by Dusan

24/7 tech guyI am one of those 24/7 tech guys, a technical support representative not only servicing anxious customers with software issues, but also helping my family and friends in my free time with any kind of computer issues, questions, and, quite regularly actually, in-depth market analyses of possible choices of computer purchase. Every now and then I am presented with a strange issue, a true challenge really, which I am thrilled to solve and save the day of the grateful friend, or this time, a cousin.

About a week ago my younger cousin texted me there was something wrong with her laptop. As you can imagine, that was a true catastrophe for a teenager hooked to social networking, easily compared to a natural disaster with at least a hundred human casualties. She explained that although the computer appeared to be running, she couldn’t see anything as both the primary display and the external monitor went completely black as soon as she had turned the laptop on earlier that day.

To start tackling the problem, I immediately checked my ISL Online remote computer list, since there is where I keep all my important computers and those of my family and friends, making them available for 24/7 unattended access if needed. The list showed her computer as ‘online’, so I clicked to connect to it. Strangely enough, I could see the broken laptop’s screen even though my cousin could not.

Remote computers

Its screen resolution was a bit strange — 1024×768 instead of the native resolution, while I also noticed several errors, mainly about the missing graphics adapter. I also knew that her laptop had an integrated graphics card as well as a discrete graphics card, which had been set to force the discrete graphics for everything. Therefore, the errors were not the best sign, as if the discrete graphics card was on its way out or perhaps even already gone.

Although I was not sure how to fix this remotely, being able to see the screen remotely even though it was all black locally was making me optimistic, so I asked her to turn off the computer and wait for further instructions in the following days.

What was up next? How was I to fix a hardware failure on a laptop 500 miles away from me? Unfortunately, my cousin is not an advanced computer user who could easily be asked to dismantle a laptop and reset the BIOS settings or press keys blindly without seeing anything on the screen. Thus, it was completely up to me to figure it out and service her laptop remotely.

I began by checking specifications for the exact same laptop model, which revealed an effective option of changing the BIOS settings through a series of commands. A plan was hatched.

The next day I asked her to return to the computer and turn it on. As soon as the computer was online, I connected through ISL Online remote access and started with the fixing. First, I dumped the current BIOS settings to check if it was indeed forcing the discrete graphics and, yes, it was. Then I changed a few appropriate settings, so that it would force everything to the integrated graphics and completely forget about the other one. By dumping the settings again I checked whether it was all integrated. It was. Thus, all that was left to do was to uninstall the discrete graphics drivers and restart her machine, waiting for my remote access session to reconnect automatically.

Those minutes seemed like ages! But as soon as it reconnected, I opened the chat window and typed “Can you see this?” She quickly replied with an exhilarated “yes!!!!”, soon followed by an even more elated outburst of emotions: “If you were here right now, you would get the biggest hug ever, thanks so much for everything!” I, too, was glad and overjoyed that I had finally helped someone who deeply appreciated my work carried out in such a slick and sneaky way hidden behind a black screen. Sort of like an IT James Bond. 😉

We all know that some hardware faults require physical access to fix them, and I was quite sure that this was one of them, but for everything else there is ISL Online!

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