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  1. #1
    5 Star Lounger Vincenzo's Avatar
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    Bad screen possibly

    My friend's Dell XP laptop screen has some unusual behaviour. When the first boot screen appears, it darker than normal, with a red cast on the areas that should be white. Then the next screen that says Windows is so dark that you can barely see the image. Next, the login screen has the red cast again, then after you enter the password it goes completely dark.

    When I connect an external monitor it is blank up until after the login, then the external monitor looks fine, and the computer works ok.

    When I boot into setup mode, the main bios screen has the dark red cast for about 10 seconds, then goes blank, although the power light is still lit. External monitor is blank in this mode.

    Since the external monitor works fine once XP has logged in, I am leaning toward believing it is a bad screen, but it seems strange that the screen changes from red cast, to dim, and then to blank. And it seems odd that the bios screen is dim at first, then goes blank.

    also seems odd that the external monitor is blank until after the login, I seem to remember external monitors generally produce an image starting at the first post screen.

    Any thoughts about this, or any other tests I can do to confirm if it is the screen? Are there any settings anywhere that could affect the way the screen appears when in the bios setup screens?

    Thanks
    Last edited by Vincenzo; 2011-07-22 at 10:29.

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    You might try new drivers for the graphics adapter and monitor. I would check at the graphics adapter web site for the graphics driver and possibly at the laptop manufacturer web site for monitor drivers. It is possible the screen is bad, but drivers are an easy check. Might be worth checking whatever hardware drivers the laptop manufacturer has posted for chipset, etc. Perhaps even a Bios flash. Beyond these checks a trip to the shop may be in order and a decision may have to be made if the laptop is worth the repair expense.
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  3. #3
    5 Star Lounger Vincenzo's Avatar
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    It doesn't seem like drivers installed in Windows would affect operation in Setup mode. What do you think?

    BIOS flash may be a good idea.

    Thanks

  4. #4
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    This has all the looks of a graphics card issue. I had a similar issue with a now old Toshiba laptop. For a while the external monitor could be used, but after a week or so, even that went dead. As it was still under warranty, a motherboard replacement was the solution.

  5. #5
    5 Star Lounger Vincenzo's Avatar
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    Good idea, it could be the graphics adapter, in which case it would not be worth the repair. I am still considering Ted's driver suggestions. But since the problem appears when in setup mode, I am uncertain whether Windows drivers could be the cause.

    Seems like Setup and boot discs would use drivers that are part of the bios firmware, no?

    Haven't had time yet to do more with it, but I did try booting to a Linux disc, and both the laptop screen and external screen were blank once I got past the boot selection screen

    Thanks
    Last edited by Vincenzo; 2011-07-24 at 09:56.

  6. #6
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    If you get the problems when Windows hasn't even loaded, it does seem a hardware problem, not a drivers one, as there are no drivers loaded, at that moment.

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