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Dell Inspiron 9400, Any help ?


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#1
trickpa

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Hello

I have the following problem
-The screen on my Dell Inspiron 9400 became completely unreadable (full of lines and duplicated). At the same time, it was impossible use an external monitor. After reading several forums, I changed the video card
- Now when I start-up, the screen remains black, the HD led lights up but then switches of (no noise of HD starting). and nothing happens (fan is running but no HD or screen activity). It looks similar this
http://www.geekstogo...amp;pid=1364786

- I have tried strating up with fn button pressed and the led are lighting up except the led of NUM Lock (with 9 in the center of the lock) is blinking

Any idea how to solve this ?

Thanks a lot
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#2
phillip22

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I'm puzzled as to how you managed to change the video card on a Dell Inspiron 9400 -- that's a laptop isn't it?
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#3
trickpa

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Hello

Yes, the 9400 is a laptop.
I followed the very clear instructions in the following post "Case Study: Replacing the Video Card of a Dell Inspiron E1705 (9400)"
http://www.notebookc...400.4187.0.html
The change was not too complex. But I am now stuck with no reboot.

Any idea what could be causing the black screen ?

Thanks
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#4
The Admiral

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Hi trickpa, and welcome to Geeks to Go!

While the "case study" you read was very well written and technically accurate, I'd like to quote two sections from the study that you should have paid particular attention to.

First of all we are obliged to warn the Reader, that all attempts to disassemble a notebook result in loosing guarantee rights and are, therefore, performed at own risk and responsibility.

Before getting to work, the key issue is the appropriate ESD (Electro-Static Discharge) protection. It was highly important for me, because this way you can avoid damaging the fragile components of the notebook.
So, I put on proper gloves and antistatic armbands, and worked on top of a grounded anti-static pad.

The FLASH-ON-ON error code that you are receiving when you run the diagnostics indicates that there is a problem with the CPU. But discussing with our return trends department, the FLASH-ON-ON error code is actually caused by the motherboard 78% of the time. I think that while you were replacing the video card, static shock fried the motherboard, and is causing this no POST issue.

If you don't mind risking even more damage to your laptop, you can reseat the processor. Chances are that it is the motherboard, considering the extreme risk of electrostatic discharge.

Did you take any precautions against electrostatic shock as instructed in the case study?

Edited by The Admiral, 18 November 2008 - 04:08 PM.

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#5
trickpa

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Hello Admiral

Thanks a lot for your answer.
My 9400 was bought in 2005 so the warranty has expired, hence my attempt to fix the problem myself.
No I didn't take extra precaution regarding static shock as I was very careful not to touch the motherboard (and there is little static at home). But it was probably not enough I guess.
Is there any further test I could do ?
Do you have a rough idea of how much a new motherboard is ?

Thanks again

Trickpa
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#6
The Admiral

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There is no other test you can do. You've done all you can do. Because I'm a technical support representative, I don't have access to the Dell pricing. Unofficially, I have found refurbished motherboards (part WH277) on ebay for about $175 USD. Add in shipping and some ESD protection, and you're looking at around $200.

Why ESD protection? Just to put things in persective here, humans can feel a static shock of 3000 volts. A visible spark is only about 300 volts. But most internal components of a computer can be damaged by a shock of between 5 and 30 volts.
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