Laptop Hardware Troubleshooting for Dell Inspiron 1721


I'm trying to troubleshoot a Dell Inspiron 1721 that went dead. The screen got splotchy then died. Now the computer will not boot, though it seems to power up, and I can hear the hard drive come on and the fan. Screen remains absolutely black.

Efforts so far: reseated both RAM cards,
tried booting with just one RAM card,
tried using external monitor in case of screen problem

My next thought is to test the voltage coming into the motherboard to check that the power supply is functioning as expected.

I hate to invest in a new motherboard if that isn't the problem. Suggestions for next troubleshooting steps, please? Many thanks!

Processor-AMD Turion™ 64 X2 Mobile Technology TL-56 (1MB/1.8GHz)
Memory - 2GB Shared Dual Channel DDR2 at 667MHz
Video Card -
ATI RADEON® Xpress1270 HyperMemory™
OS-Windows® Vista Home Premium Edition
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  1. Forgot to mention, hard drive works fine. Can remotely access it with no errors or problems.
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