dell latitude e6400 image distortion

ovprit
ovprit used Ask the Experts™
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All:

I have a Dell Latitude E6400 laptop in my hand, and before I chuck it out of the window ( :P ) I wanted to see if I might have missed something I didn't think of at this point...

-= SETUP =-
OS: Windows 7 32-bit Enterprise Ed
Make/Model: Dell Latitude E6400 Laptop
Chipset: Intel GM45


-= ISSUE =-
This laptop was brought to us with an image distortion problem (see attachment)

-= STEPS TAKEN TOWARDS RESOLUTION =-
First we tried to update the driver to latest from Intel, no luck. As laptop was acting slow, we decided to format it, and re-build it from scratch with latest drivers from Dell, Intel and various other vendors. Result, no difference!!

I assumed at this point, it is bad hardware and had Dell send out a technician to replace the motherboard... same issue after rebuild, contacted Dell, and they sent out another board and technician just in case 1st part was defective as they are refurbished, Result? STILL THE SAME!!!

At this point, I'm out of options... I've tested it with the Dell Diag CD, and it passes all tests including the new LCD BIST test.

I've also tried older versions of the video driver thinking maybe the latest one is buggy with no avail.

If anyone else can suggest something I'd be very appreciative!

Sincerely,
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Is the problem only in Windows or do you notice it when you first turn on the computer and in BIOS, as well?

Author

Commented:
Seems to be in Windows thus far... Hence why I assumed it was a driver specific issue... but all of my Google searches have not turned up anything specific.

FWIW I am in touch with Dell to get an exchange at this point... as I said tho, I'd rather have this phenomena explained somehow :)

Commented:
I am a Dell technican. If the Tech replaced the motherboard and you had the exact same problem it could be the LCD display. Very unlikely that 2 motherboards would have the same defective video chip issue. The E6400 has integrated video on motherboard.

To test the LCD plug in an external  monitor in VGA port and check the image. If image is good then you know its the LCD on your laptop that is bad. If external monitor displays same bad image then you know your motherboard is the problem. Call Dell back.
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ID format the drive an re-install.. save what you have on it first of course....  T
Barring a Format and re-install

The Only other time I've seen that distortion was when the WIN7 was not a  legit copy.

Author

Commented:
@Mex4343: So am I bro :) (Dell Tech ID# 169665) as you may have noticed I said above that I did do the LCD BIST test and it IS passing it.

@plusone3055: umm, thx for the comment... but I already said that I rebuilt it twice! And the Win7 is an Enterprise edition we use which is via MS-CA Volume Licensing we grab from MSDN directly... so no legitimacy issues there.
Commented:
I had a simliar issue.  It was the cable going from the LCD to the motherboard.  You should be able to check this yourself.  If you lift up the keyboard, that should grant you access to the video cable.  Make sure it is not being pinched and that it is snug in the connector on the motherboard.  If it is, I would have Dell replace the LCD.
It's under warranty and it's their responsiblity to fix it!

Commented:
Also, mez is right.  If it works on an external monitor, it's the LCD.  Either the screen itself or the cable running to the motherboard.
It could be the LCD, LCD cable, Bad ram as its shared with the integrated GPU. As mentioned a couple of times above testing with an external monitor will point us in the right direction.

Author

Commented:
Dell is in the process of replacing the laptop... My guess (and aleinss confirming it) was the LCD cable as well and despite wiggling it there was no change, although the cable from factory seems to have been abused pretty bad (twisted and bent)

Thanks for input!

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