I have a Dell Inspiron 8500 that is about 4 yrs old. About a week ago, the screen momentarily and quickly flashed random sequence of colors and went black. The computer itself did no turn off. I restarted the computer with no issue and it continued to work for another day before the same thing happened again. This time I left it alone for a few minutes. After about 5 minutes the screen turned a bright, grayish, inconsistent light starting from one side of the screen. I turned it off manually. Since then I have not been able to use the computer for more than 10 minutes, usually only about 1 min, before the screen turns black. I have not seen the white screen or such a colorful sequence before going black since. My harddrive is fine, as I have been able to access nearly everything on it with no problem during these intervals. The symptoms vary. Sometimes it flashes a repeating sequence of 3 red vertical stripes initially upon start up. When this happens the screen goes black very quickly. Sometimes the start up screen is visible, but runs at a slower rate and small patches of short, pink vertical lines are just visible in random places across the screen. Sometimes the startup runs as normal and I can use the computer for a while before it turns black, usually this occurs when the computer has been off for a long time, such as overnight. I am pretty sure the computer is still running when the light goes out, I don't hear any suspicious noises. When it goes dark I usually lose audio as well. I have tried shining a light across the screen (reveals nothing), moving the laptop's top partially open and closed (no effect), closing the top to cause the computer to enter sleep mode (can hear the startup chimes sometimes, not always), defragmenting, opening the blue panel with the audio buttons and looking for lose connections there. I am not very computer-knowledgeable, and I am new to form-posting. If anyone has any ideas I would greatly appreciate them. Thanks!!!!