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Old 02-01-2009, 11:51 AM
 
Location: Jollyville, TX
3,902 posts, read 9,578,296 times
Reputation: 4518

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So, one year ago, I purchased a Dell Inspiron refurb PC (Vista). I've had a couple of weird error messages, but not often - maybe 3 or 4 times since I've owned it. The messages were something to the effect that the video failed, but was recovered.

So, yesterday (exactly one day after the 1 year warranty expired), the video crapped out completely and I have no display. The monitor is fine - it's not receiving a signal from the computer, and yes I double checked all the connections.

So, before I spend money to have someone fix it, I thought I'd give DIY a try. I'm comfortable with computer components and doing hardware installs myself, but with no video to do a diagnostics, I'm not sure where to start.

I don't know if I have a video card or if it's an onboard chip. If it was as simple as replacing a video card, I'd be willing to give that a try but something tells me it's not that simple. I haven't opened the case yet - I thought I'd get opinions first.

So, any suggestions or ideas what it is and what I should do to fix it? TIA!
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Old 02-01-2009, 12:56 PM
 
10,753 posts, read 18,005,309 times
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If you have onboard video the monitor connector will be up in the area of all the other ports on the back of the PC. First thing you need to do is open the case, remove and reinstall the memory modules, a bad connection there is a common cause of a no video issue. Believe it or not the video card is one of the last things I look at for a no video situation as they don't fail as often as other parts, but if you have an add on card it might be worth the effort to get a replacement at best buy or such and see if it fixes it, as you can return it if it doesn't. The power supply or a failed motherboard are also common causes of no video.
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Old 02-01-2009, 01:13 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
18,540 posts, read 55,453,855 times
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If you checked the monitor with another computer, and nothing shows on the display during the POST when you first power your computer on, chances are about 90% that it is the video card. Go from there.
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Old 02-01-2009, 01:33 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post
If you checked the monitor with another computer, and nothing shows on the display during the POST when you first power your computer on, chances are about 90% that it is the video card. Go from there.
My experience (15+ yrs in the industry) is that it's a 90% chance it's NOT the video card.
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Old 02-01-2009, 01:41 PM
 
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Do you hear any beeps when it starts? Are they different than what you used to hear?
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Old 02-01-2009, 01:45 PM
 
Location: Boston
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The problem is so many laptops don't have dedicated graphics cards, but Dells are the exception. I had the GO 7900GS crap out on mine actually...though I replaced it with an upgraded one and overclocked it and it's been running fine for the year since I put it in. I knew mine was going because i could browse the net, then I couldn't load up any game at all, it would just crash out on me. I still have it here to take apart, but I never did.
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Old 02-01-2009, 01:52 PM
 
10,753 posts, read 18,005,309 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InfectedMushroom View Post
The problem is so many laptops don't have dedicated graphics cards, but Dells are the exception. I had the GO 7900GS crap out on mine actually...though I replaced it with an upgraded one and overclocked it and it's been running fine for the year since I put it in. I knew mine was going because i could browse the net, then I couldn't load up any game at all, it would just crash out on me. I still have it here to take apart, but I never did.
The OP didn't mention laptop, the Inspiron is available in both so we'll have to wait for the OP to confirm what they have (I'm guesing desktop). Dell' laptops are no more an exception when it comes to graphics than any other mfg, only their upper end models have a dedicated graphics board.
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Old 02-01-2009, 02:19 PM
 
Location: Jollyville, TX
3,902 posts, read 9,578,296 times
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Thanks guys - it's the desktop version. My son told me about the memory issue - he had that happen to him. I think I'll take a dive into it, re-install the memory and then see what kind of hardware I'm dealing with.
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Old 02-01-2009, 02:53 PM
 
Location: Jollyville, TX
3,902 posts, read 9,578,296 times
Reputation: 4518
OK, took the cover off - popped the memory out and then re-installed, checked and have the video onboard, closed it up, powered up and nothing...but wait...I have to be sure it's not the monitor. It's a 19" Samsung LCD, not that old.....I swapped monitors from our old computer and guess what? It's the darn monitor!

Reps to all for helping...if anyone has any idea how to fix my monitor, I'll be really happy!!!
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Old 02-01-2009, 03:38 PM
 
28,617 posts, read 40,594,929 times
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Look at the pins in the connectors and make sure none are bent. If any are a small flat screwdriver is excellent for bending them back straight. If they are bent completely over a very small pair of needle nosed pliers will usually get a grip without totally messing up the ones around it.
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