Question about Dell Inspiron 6400 Notebook

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No display. I am an electrical engineer with a lot of experience fixing older desktop systems but new to spelunking into laptop issues. That said... My system was fine night before. Powered on. LEDs seem to indicate system is running. LCD panel is blank, no POST/Dell logo or anything. At some point the display again worked for about 5 minutes and then went blank again and has not returned. LCD backlight is on. Ran Spinrite on the HDD. It is fine. I have an Invidia Go7300 card. The VGA connector looks like it is on the motherboard. Is there a way to default to the on-board VGA to see if I am having problem with the graphics adapter. Any other suggestions?

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  • ErikBleuer Sep 17, 2008

    Hi Cactus,



    Before going inside the laptop I had no way of turning the system on with the lid closed. With everything open I can actuate the lid pin switch manually. Indeed my external VGA monitor woke up and now displays a bunch of $$ $$ $$ $$... while the CD-ROM with my Windows install disc inserted trys doing something. I don't get the usual BIOS POST screen with the option to enter setup. Eventually the CD-ROM drive stops, system beeps and states on the VGA.....

    "No$footable devmcew--strike F1 to vetr}$boot, F6 fov setup utility, F5"...

    F6 retries to access the CD-ROM minutes later repeats the above. Next time around I pressed F5 and got to Pre-boot System Analysis. It is now running system tests (still never had ability to go to CMOS setup) but this is progress. Now, my finger slipped of the lid pin switch and low and behold the LCD came up displaying what was on the VGA! I don't thing my problem is solved yet, but your suggestion with the lid switch got me moving in a positive direction again. Many, many thanks!!!



    I'll post again when the tests complete.

  • ErikBleuer Sep 17, 2008

    Also, FYI I do not have the HDD installed presently.

  • ErikBleuer Sep 17, 2008

    All tests passed. rebooted and tried it again. I noticed a difference on the display before there were vertically lined up dots throughout the display on both the VGA and the LCD. The second time the display was clear of dots. Again all tests passed. I fear that my problem might be the mother board and not the video card problem since I saw those dots on both. In addition, I am afraid that my issue may be intermittent.



    I have to go to work now so I'll have to do more tomorrow to put my system back together. At this point all I have done is reseat all the connections inside the case that I could.

  • The Cactus May 11, 2010

    Hello ErikBleuer,

    By your question and info above, you sound like your qualifications are well beyond me, but maybe I can help anyway!

    I just want to know what happens when you connect an external monitor to the laptop, if anything comes up. Most machines I've ever worked with will default to the external monitor from the outset, sometimes when you power on the laptop and leave the lid closed. I had an 8200 that would work in this manner.

    ~Cactus


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It might be a problem with the lcd cable . open the comp in front of you at an angle of 90 degrees . just above the keyboard there is a pannel on which the power button is also there . we need to take out that pannel , on the far right hand side of that pannel there is a place where you can fit a screw driver . place a screw driver there and then pry the pannel from right hand sidew towards the left hand side . now you will be able to see two screwws which are securing the keyboard open them and you will be able to tajke off the keyboard . now look for the lcd cable which is comming from the lcd through hinch and going in the motherboard , we need to unplug that cable and then plug that back and while doing so blow some air in that connector . the cable might be connected to the motherboard with a connector below the keyboard or below the pannel which we took off earlier .

Posted on Sep 19, 2008

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