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Dell Inspiron 6000 (almost) black monitor


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#1
mwothe

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Hello, I have seen this problem several places but have not found a solution that works for me. I was browsing the other night with "stumbleupon" and landed on a page that triggered what I assume to be a video starting, the screen went black but I still heard sound. I rebooted PC and it displays the Dell startup page but immediately goes black. Upon further inspection you can BARELY see what is being displayed so that I can tell windows is running normally but not displaying correctly.

From what I've seen this is probably a problem with the inverter, the screen itself, the backlight, or possibly something else. I have not tried to connect an external monitor yet but have procured one that I will try tonight (I suspect it will work, I don't know why). One interesting phenomena is that if I close the laptop while it is on and then open it up I can see the monitor just fine, but only for a second or so, which leads me to believe that the monitor itself works. There doesn't seem to be any heat issues, and I've tried several methods found on other forums to no avail.

When I start in diagnostic mode (holding down fn and power button) I can barely see movement on the screen and then a minute later a long series of tones of differing pitch.

It is strange that the screen will display normally when I close and reopen laptop but only for a second. I wondered if it had to do with perhaps the switch but I can't find the switch which I suspect is magnetically triggered?

Anyway just trying to get to the bottom of the issue and find out whether this is a hardware issue or if there is a virus or something that would cause this behavior. I have taken off the bezel around the monitor and the cover over the LEDs above the keyboard and can find nothing loose or disconnected.

I am very far from being a tech so mainly wondering how to track down the source of the problem and then whether it is something I can fix or needs to be repaired by a pro.

Oh- I've tried getting to start in safe mode but no luck--or at least I think no luck as I can't see what is going on on the screen well enough to see what's going on. Once windows is running I can barely see anything only if I use a flashlight shining at an angle.

Thanks for any help!

Mark

PS I also have noticed that if I let machine boot up and sit alone for awhile, a mouse shake will bring the screen back--but only for a second or two then back to black. Thanks

Edited by mwothe, 26 February 2010 - 11:13 AM.

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#2
Ferrari

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This definitely sounds like a bad screen. The fact that you say you "can barely see it" tells me its the backlight.

Also, in order for the other monitor to work, you have to have the settings correct... are they already set for second monitor?

How to set up a second monitor in XP,
  • With the second monitor connected
  • Right Click an open area of your Desktop
  • Select Properties
  • Click the Settings Tab
  • Click on each monitor in the window
  • Make sure "extend my desktop to this monitor" is checked
  • Make sure you check and uncheck the box for which monitor
    is to be the the primary monitor
  • Click Apply
  • The screen may go black and/or flash (this is normal)
  • If the settings seem correct
  • Click OK
Hope this helps.

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#3
mwothe

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Update: the external monitor works fine as I thought--now any advice would be appreciated from anyone about replacing parts. Where to start? Is it advisable to obtain a replacement LCD panel or should I try the inverter or backlight first? I know little about the insides of the PC but I'm quite mechanical and can follow instructions well! I think I'd like to try to fix myself if I can as $ is tight.

Also any advice on reliable sources for parts would be great!

Thanks very much, Mark

Thanks Ferrari for the easy setup steps for the external monitor.

Edited by mwothe, 26 February 2010 - 08:35 PM.

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#4
Ferrari

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Thanks Ferrari for the easy setup steps for the external monitor

No problem at all, you're welcome.

I don't know much about replacing the inverters or backlights. A friend of mine that specializes in working on laptops (years of experience) I believe told me that it's the backlight that goes out when you have the symptom of "barely can see the desktop" on the monitor. But with that said, he has also mentioned on more than one occasion that you are better off just buying a whole new screen. In his experience, sometimes you order an inverter or backlight for XXXX model, and it still doesn't fit quite right. Connection are delicate in that area and he himself has broken connectors off before replacing parts like that.

Point being, you don't want to make a mountain out of mole hill. :)

The only thing I would advise then is to try EBAY. You can find some pretty good deals on there. Just search for your laptop + model + lcd screen. See what comes up, and if you like the price or not. I used to know an AWESOME laptop store on EBAY that just so happened to be based out of my home town, but for some reason they closed up. Don't really know why.

Here is a guide: Replaced Damaged LCD Screen on Dell Inspiron 6000

Hope that helps.

Edited by Ferrari, 27 February 2010 - 06:05 AM.

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#5
mwothe

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Thanks a lot Ferrari. The link is perfect and I've already had the thing that far apart so I should be good. I'm following your advice and replacing the whole shebang. It looks like it will end up costing about 1/3 of a bench fee anywhere around here!

Best regards,
Mark
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#6
Ferrari

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You are very welcome. Good luck with it all. :)
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