Laptop display only sometimes displays

Posted on 2011-05-05
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-11-17
I have a Dell XPS laptop that usually doesn't display anything on the monitor, even during POST, before it gets to Windows. I can see the LCD backlight is on, but nothing is displayed. When it does work, sometimes it stays on, sometimes it goes black before it gets to the Desktop. Is the problem the monitor, video card, or something else? Thanks!
Question by:canalicomputers

Accepted Solution

amit_10 earned 1000 total points
ID: 35697525
try to connect with any external display  if the problem persists
the display panel is faulty

Author Comment

ID: 35697624
Brilliant! I can't believe I didn't think of that. I'll try and report back.

Assisted Solution

g8kbv earned 1000 total points
ID: 35697907
There are hotkeys on most laptop keyboards, that can be used to cycle through the available display options, external, internal, both etc.

On a few machines, that is handled by the BIOS, but most need the OS up before they work.

Also, if it was last used with an external screen only, or as dual screen/extended desktop mode, when next booted without the extrnal screen, it will try to use that it anyway in preference to it's own screen only.   In which case, if an external screen is tried, you may find it will go to that by default and not even blink its own pannel.   Use the hotkeys (or software utility) to "point" the thing back at it's own display by default. before shutting down, and especially before standby or hibernation.

Many display drivers do also blank the screen as they come up, while they check and test the panel.  Has this just started after something was updated?

I've seen similar odd intermittent behaviour too, when the CMOS battery starts to fail, or the machine looses it's hardware settings for some other reason.

Lastly, as Amit 10 says, something could be faulty.  "Very Gently" slightly move the laptop's display on it's hinges by a small ammount (as if your folding or unfolding it) see if there is anything predictable going on.  If so, there could be a loose/damaged connector or cable.

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Author Comment

ID: 35703373
I just connected a monitor via the VGA port and it displayed perfectly. I also tried moving the laptop monitor around to see if that would wiggle something in to place and no luck with that. So, all this being said, does this sound like a faulty laptop monitor? Remember, it randomly/rarely works. Thanks!

Author Comment

ID: 35703387
...and when it does work it seems to be only when the monitor is only barely opened, not up all the way in a normal viewing angle.
LVL 93

Expert Comment

ID: 35704298
you can start by reseating the video connector( comes loose sometimes)
you'll need to open the laptop for it

Expert Comment

ID: 35705275
in this case if u got luck  your display may work with some sort of arrangements like   g8kvb  said open it gently and watch at which angle ur display work ( it maay work )

the better way will be to go to customer support
either your display panel is faulty or it may have some loose connections(inside the panel)
LVL 12

Expert Comment

ID: 35715041

You can get the service manual of your model from the dell site and it will give you steps how to get to the video connector.
You should try to reset as suggested by Nobus.


Select the correct model from the above link.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 35715884
The problem is a damaged display cable. Seems the repeated open/close of the display wore away at the cable as the hinge rubs against it. Thanks!

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