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Need help with a Dell Inspiron 6000 (LCD)


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#1
sroney

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Yesterday, my son spilled some water on my laptop while it was on. He said that after it happened, the computer seemed to work fine. Last night I tried to use the computer, and the screen would not come on. I plugged my desktop monitor into the laptop, and that screen worked fine, although the touchpad buttons would not work.

I removed the battery, and any cover that was held on with screws. I opened the case, and placed the computer beside a room fan.

Today, the computer boots fine, and the touch pad and buttons work fine. But, I still have no monitor. I can plug the desktop monitor into the computer and it works. Although when I go into applications (word, excel, foxfire) the font sizes either automatically get larger or smaller,

How can I tell if the LCD is dead, or if it is an invertor, cable, or what the problem may be?

The LCD appears to "flicker" when the power is first turned on (barely noticeable. You really have to look) but after that, I get nothing.

I had no screen trouble at all before this happened.

Thank you for any advice.
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#2
ViprXX

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Only thing I can think of is once you start the laptop press the Fn key and the F8 key at the same time to cycle through LCD and external monitor modes. try pressing them a couple times to see what happens. If it still doesn't work you might need to take it to a professional pc repair shop to get the lcd replaced.

good luck
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#3
sroney

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I have tried the function key+ CRT/LCD key. That did not make any difference. I wasn't sure if it did not work because the LCD may be bad, or if it may be damage to something other than the LCD.

I do know that the keys did not toggle between the two.
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#4
The Admiral

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Let's find out what the problem is.

Turn off the computer. Then, hold down the <Fn> key, and press the power button (while still holding the <Fn> key). When the computer turns on, let go of the <Fn> key. This will start some tests. Near the end, some colors should come on full screen and the laptop will start beeping.

We need to know if the colors ever come on the screen, or if it goes straight to the beeping.

If you never hear beeping after about 10 minutes (that's the longest it should take), try the <Fn> + <Power> again.
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#5
sroney

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Thanks for the advice. I'll give that a shot when I get in, and let you know the results.

I appreciate it!
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#6
sroney

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OK,

I did the test. Without an external monitor, the computer went to a series of beeps in about 1-1/2 to 2 minutes. I plugged the computer into a standard LCD screen from my desktop, and it went through a series of tests, then the color bars showed up.

I still cannot toggle between the laptop screen and the desktop screen.
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#7
The Admiral

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So without the external monitor, nothing ever showed up on the screen during the tests, it just went straight to the beeps?

Looks like your screen has gone bad - the LCD Built In Self Test (which runs separate from all other hardware) did not show, so it's the screen going bad. If you still have a valid warranty, contact Dell Technical Support at 800-624-9896 or via Chat and tell them that the LCD BIST failed, and we'll issue a replacement. If you don't have a valid warranty, you can look at using an external monitor all the time, or purchasing your own screen replacement.
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#8
sroney

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Thank you for the advice.

I do not have a valid warranty, so I'll try to buy the screen and change it.

I appreciate your time and help.
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#9
sroney

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OK,

Since the LCD on my laptop is dead, I took the LCD from my wife's Inspiron, and connected it to my laptop, and I got nothing different than with my LCD.

Then I took my LCD and connected it to my wife's computer, and it looked perfect. So I am guessing that the problem is the video card on the motherboard.

Is it worth changing motherboards, or will I be better off getting a new computer?

Everything else works fine. The computer is roughly 2-1/2 years old.

Thanks for any input.
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#10
The Admiral

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whoa that's bizarre. sorry about the misdiagnosis - at least you didn't end up spending money. >.<

An Inspiron 6000 isn't too bad, I'd look at replacing the motherboard if it does what you want it to do. Although you can get Dell's new netbook for just about the cost of a motherboard....
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#11
sroney

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I'll check it out.

Thanks.
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#12
ViprXX

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I was actually thinking about if it was actually the lcd that was bad or just the lcd's connection to the motherboard considering you said your son spilled water on it. most of the time the water gets on the keyboard part of the laptop and not the lcd part. Since you know the lcd is still good and your Dell warrenty is up, I'd just put the lcd back in the laptop and close it up and take it to a local pc repair shop and just tell them you aren't getting a picture on the screen and see what they come up with lol. Most likely you need a new motherboard though but who knows what they'll say, lol. Probably they'll tell you what we did, that you need a new motherboard. Just see how much they will charge you to replace it compared to a decent laptop from best buy or wal mart or something and if its more for them to fix/replace your laptop than to just buy a new one from best buy then I'd say just buy a new one. I say all this assumming your laptop's motherboard doesn't accept an addon video card. anyways, good luck

later
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#13
sroney

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Just a last follow-up on this. The problem actually ended up being the suspend switch. I had called a repair shop close by, to see if I could buy parts. The gentleman I spoke asked what type of trouble I was having. I went through the scenario with him and he said that he felt it could not be the motherboard/video card since it worked when I plugged in an external monitor.

He said that it sounded like the monitor suspend switch since everything worked but the monitor. Well, I remembered that there was a magnet in the bezel of the LCD. I figured out where that would be if the computer was closed, and it put the switch right by the touchpad buttons. That was where the water was spilled, and I did have a problem with erratic movement of the mouse the first day after the spill. So all of that made sense.

I opened everything back up, and removed the touchpad assembly. There was a piece that looked like it could be the magnetic switch. There was some deposit there that looked like it might be minerals, and I used Q-tip with alcohol to clean that area. Dried it off, reassembled the computer, turned it on, and the monitor came right on.

I appreciate the advice here, and hope that this might possibly help someone else in the future.

Steve
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#14
The Admiral

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Wow... give that guy props for me. That would honestly be the last thing I would guess...

Glad you got it fixed. :)
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