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Dell D630 - LCD works with Ubuntu; fails to display during boot or with Windows 7

jakemorgan
jakemorgan used Ask the Experts™
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Dell Latitude D630

No information is shown on the laptop's LCD during boot or with Windows 7 running. If I hook up an external display all information is shown on the external display. I've tried switching display's with fn+f5 several times with no luck.

Now the the catch. If I boot into Ubuntu then the laptop's LCD display will work only after Ubuntu boots and the X server has initialized. Still no boot process display.

I've reset the BIOS (unhooked the battery on the motherboard etc and set them to default factory). I've even flashed the BIOS to A17

I'm assuming since Ubuntu works, its by-passing the various firmwares and managing the system itself.

Ideas?


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Commented:
hmm can u run windows in VGA mode? F8 after dell splash screen and choose VGA mode

Commented:
Do you get the BIOS flash on the screen ?

Check if there is any setting in BIOS for the Video.

The fact that Ubuntu can run fine means your hardware is working fine.
So there is no hardware issue with your system.
Have you got the necessary chipset drivers for your system installed correctly in your Win7? You should get the necessary drivers for the screen to work.
Check the link
http://support.dell.com/support/downloads/driverslist.aspx?c=us&l=en&s=gen&ServiceTag=&SystemID=LATITUDE%20D630&os=WW1&osl=en&catid=&impid=

Alternatively you can install WinXP just to make sure that machine works.
You will still need to install the relevant chipset drivers.








Top Expert 2013

Commented:
that looks like a video card problem to me
can you test with another OS ?  XP, even Windows98 ?

Author

Commented:
Switching (Fn +F8) to an external display (VGA) works for everything (system BIOS initializing, Windows and Ubuntu startup, and working within those OSes).

The only time the laptop LCD will work is after Ubuntu has booted and X has started.


The Windows 7 hard drive I'm using to test with is out of another Dell D630. The only difference that I know of between the two systems are the LCD (the good system has the WVGA+ vs WVGA) and the processor speeds are different.

@asidu - The BIOS flash screen only shows up if I hook up an external display. Thus why it seems there is something more fundamental to the system that isn't set properly. Which could explain why when Ubuntu starts up it manages the system and finds the LCD. VS Windows 7 which still has portions of its code that relies on the system's various firmware.

How about Safe Mode ?? Able to run and load normally from the Laptop LCD ????

Or else for me in this case, would suspect the extended video card is intermittent faulty, if D630 is using an extended video card try to disable the extended video card under device manager and use the onboard graphic and see.

Commented:
The Ubuntu test reveal that the LCD display is OKie.

Reckon some issue with the system BIOS.
I would try to get the BIOS flash working first.
So you should try using the original BIOS version.

Author

Commented:
@asidu - I'll try the original BIOS and report back.
Top Expert 2013

Commented:
if you have no display during boot, the basic video resolution apparently does not work; and this can be caused by a motherboard problem
if windows display does not work, and Ubuntu does, that can be caused by different drivers
try running from a live Windows cd, and check if that displays correct : http://www.ubcd4win.com/      

Author

Commented:
@software onbekend - the test results was wierd. I had to plug the external display in to start the test then removed it. The tests continued until it got to the question about if i could see the color test (bars, etc); at that point i had to plug in my external monitor and I said no. At that point the screen flashed and the laptop's display appeared and the tests continued using the laptop's display....however after the test I rebooted and the laptop's display failed to show.

still scratching my head....
hhmmmm ....... Try to change the screen resolution to 800 x 600 (so that it is supported by most display) and see whether it helps.
Top Expert 2013

Commented:
did you try the ubcd4win yet?
If the test is failing...Than there is an hardware problem with screen...
If you have warrenty,contact Dell for support.
If you don't have any warrenty than you can try to get hold on an other screen and swap the screens.
To fix the problem youself you need very good understanding of how an screen works and know wich parts you have to replace...
Perhaps you can ask Dell for a price of a new screen..
Or perhaps an repair shop can help you.

Good luck
To check of you stil have warrenty...Go to the website http://supportapj.dell.com/support/topics/topic.aspx/ap/shared/support/my_systems_info/en/details?c=th&l=en&s=lca
Fill in the 7 digits of the servicetag.
You can find the servicetag at the botom of the laptop..
Or if the label is not readable you can open the bios on an external screen an the servicetag will be shown in the bios

Commented:
If memory serves, I had a D630 that did the same thing. I believe they ended up swapping the screen and the motherboard. It's actually really easy to replace both of those in a D630. I have done both numerous times, but you do need to be patient. If it were me, I would see if there were a spare that you can use to determine which is faulty, if not both.

You can unbolt the screen (there are 4 screws under the laptop that have arrows if I'm not mistaken that hold the screen to the base.

If you are able to get that piece apart, there is a video connector that you will need to unhook, but this is very straightforward. Take your time. The next thing to do would be to try connecting the other screen and determine if the motherboard's also defective.

Next, you will need to take a small flathead or other appropriate

Commented:
This of course would be after checking the warranty...
Top Expert 2013

Commented:
how is it going Jake?  any feedback ?

Author

Commented:
I haven't spent much more time on this issue. I purchased this device to use as a server vs a working laptop. The seller stated he couldn't get the display to work so when I received the unit, tested it out with ubuntu, the display worked fine. The unit's srv tag information on Dell's site doesn't match the existing device configuration. I'm thinking someone either swapped parts or made a Frankenstein laptop out of misc Dell parts. Would explain why the BIOS Posts weren't being displayed but when Ubuntu booted it would properly detect the display.

Thank you everyone for your suggestions!
jake

Author

Commented:
Giving up on finding a solution. The MB and display do not correspond to the Dell's site based on the srv tag.