Computer question

My old laptop (XP) may be dying. Before I ditch it, I thought I’d ask if anyone has some bright ideas (pun intended, you’ll see).

What happens is that the screen goes very dim, all of a sudden and at random. If I restart it, the screen comes back up with normal brightness. This wouldn’t be such a problem if only I could get the brightness back without restarting. But I can’t see anything while it is dim so I can’t use the mouse, only the keyboard.

Any ideas?

I did a malware scan, found some things, cleaned it up. The problem still exists. Also, I did drop it a few weeks ago, though the problem only began more recently. It’s also intermittent, and, as I said, fixes itself (for a time) upon restart. Can a hardware or connection problem be remedied with restart? Seems more software- or malware-ish to me, but I’m no expert.

UPDATE: I discovered that pressing function-F5 puts the laptop to sleep. When I wake it up, the screen has normal brightness. That’s far faster than a restart and doesn’t cause me to lose my work. It’s a better work-around, though not a full solution.

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