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Graphics chip, LCD screen or both?

Posted on 2011-03-09
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Hi,

I've a Dell XPS M1330 laptop whose Nvidia graphics chip is faulty.  

The screen looks like this:

 Laptop's own LCD screen
But if I connect an external monitor, I get this:

 External Monitor
As windows loads on the external monitor, it improves to a usable state (for word processing, etc) except that certain colours are distorted.

I'm considering getting a new motherboard, but before I do, I just want to check - is there a chance that by some coincidence the laptop's LCD screen is also faulty, or is the output on it completely explained by the faulty graphics chip?

Thanks in advance.
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Question by:mark_D74
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12 Comments
 
LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:AustinComputerLabs
ID: 35085923
Can you connect to an external monitor to se if that works.
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Expert Comment

by:rcombis
ID: 35086030
Have you tired to uninstall the graphics driver and then re-install?

Make sure you re download the correct, most up to date graphics driver and then re-install it.

Also make sure you totally delete the old graphics driver and uninstall any software for the video/graphics card.

After that if that doesn't help or change things, it could be a hardware problem.

Do you have a warranty on the computer?
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Author Comment

by:mark_D74
ID: 35087054
The second image is of the external screen I've connected the laptop to.  As you can see, the image is messsed up even at POST stage, so drivers can't be the issue.  I'm more interested in whether the first image (the laptop's own screen) shows that the LCD screen is also, coincidentally, faulty or whether it's a symptom of the faulty graphics chipset.  I don't want to order in and install a new motherboard and find that the laptop also needs a new LCD panel.
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by:edbedb
ID: 35087413
The first screen would indicate that the LCD panel is bad.

The colors on the second screen are usually caused by a bad video cable.
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Expert Comment

by:AustinComputerLabs
ID: 35087768
I agree with edbedb, the second picture looks like the cable is not completely connected, has a bad pin or the like.

Does the external monitor continue to work after windows boots up?
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Author Comment

by:mark_D74
ID: 35088059
It does look like a video cable problem, but I've already swapped out different cables and a different PC to rule it out.
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by:edbedb
ID: 35088170
Then the only way to know for sure is to replace the LCD panel. The motherboard costs way more and is more difficult to change.
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Accepted Solution

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dbrunton earned 500 total points
ID: 35088214
Look at this

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FFEv6fy85bM

There are a whole bunch of Youtube videos highlighting this model with Nvidia graphics.
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Author Comment

by:mark_D74
ID: 35088282
The LCD panel on this is very unusual - I would have to order in the exact right one specially.  VGA cables on laptops vary quite a bit, but usually at least the power for the inverter board is standard.  But not on this.  

I don't think the LCD is gone - I think dbrunton's Youtube video confirms that the graphics chip is toast and that if there's a problem with the LCD, then it's a pure coincidence.  So I'm not really any wiser...
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by:edbedb
ID: 35088362
I don't see how the display adapter is responsible for that screen while it puts out a legible screen to an external monitor. And, I have seen bad LCD panels do exactly that

I'm just saying.
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Expert Comment

by:edbedb
ID: 35088478
One thing I would do before buying anything is disconnect the LCD cable then test with the external monitor. It wouldn't be the first time I see a bad LCD interfere with the external monitor.
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Author Closing Comment

by:mark_D74
ID: 35122908
It's pretty obvious it's the same, common Nvidia problem as shown in this youtube video.
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