Question about Dell Inspiron 1501 Notebook

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I have a Dell Inspiron 1501 and its a little over a year old. It started acting funny about a month ago. It will work fine for about 5 minutes then it goes to a screen with different colored bars and i have to restart it again. I bought a new battery thinking that was the problem but that hasnt solved anything. HELP

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Hey there,
Colored bars make me think of hardware failure of the 1)screen or the 2)graphics card. Both of these, on a laptop, are going to mean sending it in for repair, out of warranty, and paying their rate, which maybe 150 bucks or more. Now, it might be software, considering it works for a bit, then gives you bars. You would hope it's that,. because you can try to solve it by downloading your most recent video card driver.

Ive had an inspiron and like 4 other laptops. A few times I tried updating my video driver to what ended up to be the wrong one, and it gave me lines and bars on the screen. I had to restart in safe mode and roll back to the old drivers, voila, fixed.

Try to go to dell and download the video card or graphics card drivers for your operating system. Install them, reboot. Does it help?

Try to restart in safe mode by pressing F8 when booting up (you have to press it repeatedly as you boot up). Select safe mode, you'll see some stuff on the screen, dont get scared, you'll load windows without all teh extra baggage. You'll see a kindergarten looking screen with big icons and letters. Dont be scared, it's just a basic video driver that lets you see the screen, but not to its full potential. What you're trying to isolate by using teh computer in this state for 15-20 minutes is "will the problem happen with hardly any software loaded". If it does, it's likely hardware-related, needing repair.

If you need to send it in, you'll pay. they wont overcharge you hopefully, but a new laptop computer costs 400-600 bucks minimum, which is a lot less than it used to be, but more than the cost to swap out a graphics card. A new LCD screen may cost you 175 with labor, but that's a guess since I dont have my 2 dell laptops any more...

Try the things I mentioned, and good luck!

Posted on Feb 02, 2009

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