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Dell inspiron 8500 Display issues

Posted on 2005-03-11
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Last Modified: 2008-01-09
I have a Dell Inspiron 8500 with the 9600 Radeon Mobile video card. It has WINXP Pro with service pack 1 loaded. Recently after removing my laptop from the docking station i tried to boot up the computer. It gets to the loading winxp logo then after it is done and should display the logon screen the screen goes black. The laptop is still on because my memeory I can enter the user name and password, yes in the dark, and hear it login. However the screen does not turn back on. I have booted it in Safe mode, safe mode with networking, VGA mode and they all work fine. If I put it back in the docking station and use the monitor it works fine too. This tells me that there is something wrong with the driver switching to the resident screen and I tried to reload the driver but it still does not display after the WINXP logo screen. Any ideas short of reloading the display driver and using system restore, which both have been done.
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Question by:griffinss
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8 Comments
 
LVL 31

Expert Comment

by:rid
ID: 13518917
The graphics card may have been set to a refresh rate that is accepted by the external monitor, but not by the internal. You could try changing the refresh rate in "unsafe mode" (use the external screen). Generally laptop LCD's run OK on 60 Hz.

This can also be a problem with the driver, if you can do a monitor switch by using a software tool, rather than using the Fn + FX key combo that is the standard procedure. If the driver is indeed damaged, a reload of the driver is the only option.
/RID
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Author Comment

by:griffinss
ID: 13519059
Rid,

I changed the refresh rate with no success at getting the laptop to turn on. I have already reloaded the driver prior to posting this question. One thing to note is I can go in VGA mode but as soon as I change the resolution the screen goes black but the pc is still on. Any more ideas? I am witts end right now with this.
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LVL 31

Expert Comment

by:rid
ID: 13519115
Sounds really odd. Is there any kind of entry in the display properties that is for the monitor; an entry that may be wrong? I mean, if you use too high resolution or something this may perhaps cause a black-out. When you change the resolution, are you going to the laptop screen native resolution or something else?
/RID
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Author Comment

by:griffinss
ID: 13519311
Well here is the scenario as it happened. At home I use a docking station with a monitor. Have been for sometime now. Then on Tuesday I removed the laptop as I always have to go to work and the screen went black after the WINXP logo screen. I did not change anything. I tried to reload the newest driver from Dell and tried to restore to an earlier time all with no success in fixing the blackout.

In the display properties it does have default monitor and that is it. I went into the device manager and removed all monitors, then restarted and still no go. I went back in with the external I have hear at work and noticed that it again installed 4 default monitors in the device manager again. All with the exact same properties. Anytime I change any setting from the VGA mode it goes black? I kept thinking driver to but like I stated it has already been reloaded under safe mode. I try to change it to 1024x768. Anything other than 640x480 wwit h8 bit color causes it to blackout.
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LVL 31

Accepted Solution

by:
rid earned 1500 total points
ID: 13519440
Hmmm.

At this point I think I'd like to suggest that you try running the laptop on another O/S by booting off a "live CD"; there are several available, Knoppix being one of the more known ones. (www.knoppix.org). This will give you the ability to try the hardware with totally different drivers and such. If there are still problems, the issue may be in a hardware component, if it goes away it is very probably in the win XP drivers.
/RID
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Author Comment

by:griffinss
ID: 13519848
Rid,

I gave you a b for your answer cause it gave me an idea that fixed the screen. Dell laptops have a suspend switch that can get stuck such as this one did. Once I moved it around the screen came back on. I really appreciate all of you help with this.
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LVL 31

Expert Comment

by:rid
ID: 13519975
Quite OK. That switch is not the first thing you'd think about!
Cheers
/RID
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Expert Comment

by:maggiekieu
ID: 13527493
sound like the inverter board is bad
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