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LCD, Inverter, GPU, other???

Discussion in 'Tech Talk - Gadgets, Gizmos and Technology' started by Marlin Guy, Aug 2, 2010.

  1. Aug 2, 2010 #1 of 27
    Marlin Guy

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    My son's Dell M1530 began giving him trouble when he went to Germany last March.
    We ended up buying him another laptop and shipping it to him.

    He has now returned home and I'm trying to figure out what's wrong with his old one.

    It's a Dell M1530 with onboard graphics.
    15.4" WXGA

    The screen will not show anything on POST.
    After it has began to boot Windows, it will show these lines, but only after closing and re-opening the lid. The lid switch on this model is a magnetic sensor.

    It displays to an external monitor perfectly via VGA & HDMI.

    I suspect it's the LCD, but I wanted a second opinion.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Aug 2, 2010 #2 of 27
    phrelin

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    If the external VGA & HDMI work, my first guess would be the connections between the laptop and its lid/LCD. An LCD failure would be my second guess.
     
  3. Aug 2, 2010 #3 of 27
    Marlin Guy

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    I took it completely apart and rechecked all of the connections.
    I've just never had one look quite like this.
     
  4. Aug 2, 2010 #4 of 27
    mstanka

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    (I am a Dell Tech)

    Power down the system completly and then do the following to turn it on:

    Hold the "D" key and press the power button. This will turn on the system and start the LCD seft test. When this test runs, you will see several SOLID colored screens changing to different colors about each second. Once it is complete it will start up into windows. You can power it down at this moment.

    If these lines show there, it is the LCD. If not, it is the MB/Video solution.
    If the LCD is bad, the LCD cable and inverter is replaced. If the MB/Video is bad and integrated video, MB will need to be replaced, and if descrete video, the video card will only be replaced if not part of the MB.

    I hope that this helps.

    If the system is still under warranty, contact Dell and they will be able to correct this for you.

    Only other possible issue is a driver, but I do not see that in this case since it happens outside of windows. This will likely require a part replacement in this issue. I would have to pull up the system tag on my end to see what was shipped with this system.
    Let me know if I can help any further.

    Michael.

    EDIT: I reread your post and see that you have integrated video. If there are no lines on the self test, then the MB would be replaced in this case.
     
  5. Aug 2, 2010 #5 of 27
    Marlin Guy

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    Michael,
    I did as you said and it cycled RED-Green-Blue twice, then continued to boot Windows.

    The color screens were very dim, as if little to no backlight is there.

    In Windows, it is displaying in 1024 x 768. It's still dim, and the desktop is pushed to the left of the screen.

    It's clear, but VERY dim.
    Brightness keys have no effect.

    I tried changing the resolution, but it went back to the grey screen with lines similar to the original post.

    The white looking block on the right is the reflection of my other PC's screen. There is nothing to the right of the blue background edge.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Aug 2, 2010 #6 of 27
    Marlin Guy

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    One more update.
    Now, when I boot it using the LCD self-test, I initially get a black blank screen in Windows.

    When I close the lid and reopen it, the left justified desktop appears as shown above.
     
  7. Aug 2, 2010 #7 of 27
    mstanka

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    Call Dell if still under warranty, sounds like an LCD.

    Michael.
     
  8. Aug 2, 2010 #8 of 27
    Marlin Guy

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    I'll get one ordered.
    Thanks for the help.
    I'll have to remember the Power + D trick.
    Thought I knew them all. :sure:
     
  9. Aug 2, 2010 #9 of 27
    dpeters11

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    Just to make sure, this is using Intel video, not anything from nVidia?
     
  10. Marlin Guy

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    GeoForce 8400M GS

    What difference does this make?
     
  11. dpeters11

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    I know mstanka says it's the LCD, but I wanted to totally rule out the GPU. This notebook uses an nVidia graphics processor. There was a definite issue with nVidia notebook GPUs overheating. I know on a few systems, Dell released updated drivers and BIOS to turn the fans on sooner, but that is more of a workaround, the issue was with the nVidia chip themselves.

    This article specifically mentions your laptop model.
    http://www.zdnet.com/blog/hardware/nvidia-hit-by-faulty-mobile-gpu-disclosure/2172

    And a Dell page:
    http://en.community.dell.com/dell-b...ment-to-all-affected-customers-worldwide.aspx

    Here's the bad thing though. I had a user with a similar issue, and Dell sent someone to fix it. But they replaced the board with one that had the same GPU. They just make sure the BIOS and drivers are up to date so the fans come on sooner. There really was no fix, short of a new laptop.

    This looks exactly like that laptop I saw, except the dim screen part. If it was off for a while, I could get it to show normally for a few minutes, but would shut off the display after a few minutes. External screen worked fine.
     
  12. Marlin Guy

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    Hmmmm....
    That does sound a lot like what we're experiencing.
    I guess I'll find out soon enough, because an LCD is on the way.

    Dangit! :mad:
     
  13. dpeters11

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    Well, if the LCD is replaced, and it still does it, then the motherboard is replaced, you've refreshed the most expensive parts.

    Be sure to keep us updated.
     
  14. mstanka

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    I only say the LCD because you stated you saw the issue during the self test. If you did not see this issue during the LCD test, then the MB/video card would need to be replaced not the LCD.

    If the same issue did not occur during the LCD test, than replacing the LCD will not correct the issue.

    Also another test that can be run on all Dell portibles (except the Vostro brand) is holding the "FN" key down and pressing the power button.

    If you suspect a HDD or memory issue this test will tell you. If something fails during this test a parts replacement is needed.

    Michael.
     
  15. mstanka

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    This is not true - Nvidia had an issue industry wide and has corrected the issue with MB/Video card replacement. It will be the same video solution, just with the issue corrected.

    The issue was not anything to do with drivers as the issue occurs outside of Windows and as we all know drivers are for within the OS, not during POST or even safemode for that mater (well basic drivers are loaded anyways, not full video drivers).

    Michael.
     
  16. dpeters11

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    Maybe I shouldn't have gone by what the tech said. I know the issue wasn't with the driver or BIOS. They released new drivers and BIOS to work around the issue (though they've also had drivers cause overheating). But I was told that the replacement had the same issue, it just would be less likely to happen as it would be cooled more. If Dell got rid of their old spare parts, then maybe it does get replaced with a fixed revision.
     
  17. Marlin Guy

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    We'll know soon enough. LCD on the way.
    On the upside, the last time I bought an LCD that I didn't need, I flipped it for a profit.
    MB's are less marketable.
     
  18. mstanka

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    If the LCD does not fix it, return it to Dell as you have 21 days to return it, and then you can order a MB.

    Michael.
     
  19. BAHitman

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    if the display is DIM, there is a chance that the inverter is not starting the backlighting properly. is your panel LED or CCFL backlit?
     
  20. Marlin Guy

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    I got the new LCD and it lights up bright light gray. Ordering motherboard. :mad:
     

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