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Presario F550 dead?
Went to turn on the laptop, start screen appeared & it started to boot as normal so I went to do something else.

Came back into the room and the screen was black but lights on the keyboard were on.

Tapped the space bar, screen still black...

Turned it off and on again, monitor black - lights on keyboard on.

Is it time for the trash bin?
time to get rid of all power from laptop and leave it for two hours.
remove mains and laptop battery, allow the laptop to reset and see if it comes on.
Even take out the watch-type battery?
if you can get to it without stripping half the laptop down then yes remove it
Pulled the battery and unplugged the watch-type battery, let it sit for a few hours and still black screen...

Tried plugging it into my TV via SVIDEO cable thinking perhaps I could use that as the monitor and see something but no luck...
oh dear , sounds like a dead laptop.
something has gone up the creek.

might have to take that thing in to a shop and get them to test the gfx card/motherboard.

one other thing you can try and thats leave it over night, and while you at it, remove the memory simms as well.
then in the morning add just one memory simm and see if you can get it to start.
No luck on getting it to start. Called a local computer shop but they don't do laptops. Have to take it to a larger shop in a nearby city.

If it is the motherboard, how much do they run and is it worth it for an HP? Are there any better aftermarket motherboards available?
well to answer that no after market motherboards for that or any other laptops.
the problem is the shell of that laptops plastics are made for just that one motherboard.

i would get a price from the shop before you go ahead with the repair.
if they say it needs a new motherboard at such and such price, plus what ever they charge to fit it then think about that price over that of a new laptop and make your mind up.

i would choose dell over that of HP anyday.
i have dells laptops myself and they are good machines as long as you keep them clean
I took your advice Dave and ordered a Dell Inspiron 17 with a few upgrades mid-December. It arrived yesterday morning and that big 17.3" screen is incredible compared to the now-tiny F550!

The reason I'm persisting with the F550 is because I was hoping to use it as a travel laptop if possible.

As you said, I will definitely get a quote & weigh the difference. The F550 is older and slower, if the cost exceeds a few hundred $ I'll just trash it and buy another Dell...
i admit i have a dell XPS M1710
its a good machine, its fast and does everything i throw at it.
downside is its a little heavy but thats a small price to pay for such a good machine.

I upgraded this one when i bought it to 4 gig ram, nvidia 7950 ( 512 meg )
blueray and the top core2 at the time of 2.33
i have dragged this machine just about everywhere with me and its good on its battery for such a big laptop.

little tip for you with that dell battery

fully charge it , then fully discharge it till the laptop shuts down.
do that three times to get the best life out of that battery.
if your not going to be using the battery remove it from the machine and store it.
nothing worse then to keep charging a battery that don't get to drain every now and then.

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