Question about Dell Inspiron 1200 Notebook

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Inspiron 1200 Dead Screen

I have a Dell Inspiron 1200 when you power the computer on the screen will come on for a few seconds then go black again. I can see some faint shadows in the screen and it appears the computer never full boots up. An external connected monitor doesn't work either.

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  • aaronpfeifer Oct 02, 2008

    I reconnected the external monitor and pressed FN and F8 and got the external monitor to function like it should. Same thing out of the laptop screen on for a few seconds then back out again. I replaced the inverter for the backlight and it responded the same. Do entire screens go bad like this or do you think the problem could still lie in the motherboard?

  • aaronpfeifer Oct 02, 2008

    What tells the backlight to turn on and off? The problem is with the backlight, is there way to monitor the signal that tells the backlight to turn on? If I loose that signal the video is still there you just can see because there is no backlight. I also made sure that the button that switches the screen off when you close the screen isn't stuck down. Any additional thoughts?

  • aaronpfeifer Oct 04, 2008

    I opened the the laptop up and found a heatsink that is attached to the motherboard with soldered on standoffs was popped up and not fully contacting the chip. One of the soldered on standoffs had come off the board. This heatsink is for a chip that sits below the cpu, it has LCD etched into the heatsink. Is this a chip for the video for the computer? It didn't look like there was any way to replace this chip and could this be the root cause of my problems?

  • Anonymous Mar 18, 2014

    The monitor will not go to a full screen. How do I fix this?

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At first glance, I'd say "bad video/motherboard" ...however, when you hook up an external monitor, you also need to first switch into "external LCD" mode. On the Dell laptop, hit FN and F8 I believe to switch between LCD and external. It will go through several modes...LCD only, external only, neither, and both. Keep switching until you see something on the external.

If you never see output on the external, you've got a video/motherboard problem. If under warranty, contact Dell and place a support call.

If not under warranty, you're looking at anywhere from $200-$400 for a new motherboard, plus labor for someone to install it.

Hope this helps - remember to rate :)

Experience:
- A+ certified technician
- 8 years as IT/manager of a 100% Dell-supplied company, with over 1,500 Dell volume annually
- Dell Level II certified technician

Posted on Oct 02, 2008

  • Scott Merrill
    Scott Merrill Oct 02, 2008

    If the external works (EVER) and the LCD does or does not, your problem is *not* your motheboard. If it was the board, the external would not work either...that's why I had you try those steps. LCD's go bad all the time ..they're very sensitive, yet durable creatures.

    In your situation, I usually give clients the options to just save some $$$ and use the laptop with the external screen - most of them never take the "mobile" off their desk anyway. However, if you actually do use it as a mobile computer, then you need to invest in a replacement LCD.

    Glad I could help - don't forget to rate me :)


  • Scott Merrill
    Scott Merrill Oct 02, 2008

    That's an interesting point ....usually, though, if the motherboard isn't supplying enough juice to power the backlight, you'll have other problems too (such as intermittent video on other sources) or other power problems. My first guess is still the LCD - it doesn't take much for them to go out ...now it could be a loose or pinched wire coming from the LCD to the output "card" (usually wedged between the machine itself and the LCD, sitting in the "hinge" area - that plastic piece that's at the bottom of the LCD).

    It's possible you could remove the LCD and check for loose wires. That could be all it is. If not, it's the LCD.

    Scott


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