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Dell monitor goes black


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11 replies to this topic

#1 sunliner403

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Posted 26 May 2011 - 04:29 PM

Hi all,
I've got a Dell Inspiron 5030S with a flat screen monitor .Graphics card is an ATI Radeon. Had this rig about 3 years and it's been fine until 2 days ago.
The monitor just randomly goes black. The light on the power button stays blue, for what that's worth. I can push the button and turn it off and back on. Sometimes it stays on others, it goes right back to black. I updated the card's drivers but it still goes black.

The only change I made recently was changing the video preferences on a FPS game called FarCry (oldie but goodie). The screen goes black when I launch the game now, but it also does it when the game isn't running. May have nothing to do with the issue but it's the only change I've made.

So..based on that, any ideas? Maybe the video card is going out...or maybe the monitor itself?

Thanks for reading?
-Mike

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#2 caperdog

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Posted 26 May 2011 - 07:09 PM

only way i know is to test. try another monitor. test. try a different cable. test. try a different video card. test.

#3 Platypus

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Posted 27 May 2011 - 06:57 AM

The monitor just randomly goes black. The light on the power button stays blue

That would indicate the monitor is still receiving a signal from the computer and is probably going black due to the backlight shutting off. Simplest test is to try the monitor on another computer (including a different video cable) and see if it still does it. If it does, it's probably going to be a backlight inverter fault in the monitor - a common cause is bad electrolytic capacitors.
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#4 sunliner403

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Posted 30 May 2011 - 03:33 PM

thanks! I'll switch monitors and cables on another PC. The problem hasn't repeated in the last day or two though, gonna be one of those pesky things to catch in the act.

Thanks again all!

-Mike

#5 siberone

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Posted 03 June 2011 - 11:39 AM

I have the same problem with a Dell Inspiron 1501. The screen goes black on random occassions but all lights indicates that hd is running and network card is connected.

I did connect to an external monitor and all works fine.

You mentioned capacitors so what do I need to do to test or replace these?

Thanks in advance.

#6 caperdog

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Posted 03 June 2011 - 05:06 PM

bad capacitors would be either leaking or have a bulging top. they would have to be de-soldered to remove and then solder in new ones.
found this guide for acer monitor which will give you an idea of what you are in for.
http://martybugs.net/electronics/Acer-AL1716-caps.cgi

#7 siberone

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Posted 06 June 2011 - 11:45 AM

Thanks caperdog for this info and video.
My problem is with a laptop and I read that the video is on the motherboard so I may not want to tackle this.
The blank screen comes and goes. i have ran all the Dell diagnostic scans and all show to pass.
I have ran all the virus and spyware scans just in case and the machine seems to be clean and it works flawlessly when connected to an external monitor.Still scratching my head on this one.

Thanks again. Johnny

#8 Platypus

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Posted 06 June 2011 - 08:12 PM

Laptops are a bit harder to diagnose. A faulty backlight inverter board is possible, faulty backlight lamp is also reported in Google searches.

Once a lamp develops a problem it tends to be fairly consistent, so a symptom that comes and goes is more like an inverter fault. To confirm if the backlight extinguishing is the cause of the black screen, observe the unit in a dark room. If you can see some light bleed from behind the dark screen, it's a video fault setting all the LCD pixels off. If there's no light bleed, you should be able to hold a torch light up against the screen, and faintly see part of the desktop image from torchlight reflected back inside the LCD panel. That's a way to confirm if the video signal is OK, and the backlight isn't on.

Once that's established to be the case, if you feel up to it, you could try getting an inverter board on Ebay and replacing it to see if that's the cause, otherwise I guess you'd need to put the unit in for service.
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#9 siberone

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Posted 06 June 2011 - 10:42 PM

Thanks Platypus,

I can see a faint image in certain light conditions.Do you have an idea that the inverter is a seperate card or unit to remove and replace?

Also I am curious as to why this does not show a failure in the diagnostics test.I ran all of the Dell programs that I could find and all passed.

Thanks again for your helpful info.

Johnny

#10 Platypus

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Posted 07 June 2011 - 12:48 AM

I believe the inverter is a small board located in the bottom of the lid casing below the LCD panel. It would be very unusual for a system to be designed with a facility that a diagnostic could use to test the backlight inverter (when you can see the screen to use a diagnostic, the inverter is working, so would test OK anyway).

Edited by Platypus, 07 June 2011 - 12:50 AM.

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#11 siberone

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Posted 07 June 2011 - 01:28 PM

You have a good point there.

I started the diagnostics and let it run even with the screen blacked out.Then I connected to an external monitor to view the results.

After some research it seems to be the general concensous that if you can see the faint images on the black screen then the invertor is working but the backlight is not.Now to find out what all is involved to replace the back light.

What a learning experience.

Thanks

#12 Platypus

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Posted 07 June 2011 - 04:51 PM

it seems to be the general concensous that if you can see the faint images on the black screen then the invertor is working but the backlight is not.

The faint images indicate the video drive and the LCD panel are operating. Either the inverter or the backlight lamp could be faulty.
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