Question about Dell Inspiron 9400 Notebook

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Dell Inspiron 9400 display goes blank after a few minutes

After booting, the screen displays normally. A few minutes later (time varies) it goes blank and won't restore until the system is re-booted. There is no warning (nothing abnormal about the display prior to going blank (no color or graphics)). The PC is about 3 years old and has been working normally. Due to a virus, the hard disk was re-formatted and re-loaded about 2 months ago.

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If the issue occurs in the safe mode, then I'm suspecting a failure of the LCD backlight. (It warms up and quits) Also see if video stays on using an external monitor. If it does, then the LCD is most likely failing.

If video goes out on an external monitor as well, then the Video card is failing due to overheating. Make sure all vents are free of dust (Clean with canned compressed air) and the all fans are functional (Run the fan test in diagnostics) If fans check up, then video card is failure point. If fans fail diags, replace affected fan 1st

Posted on May 22, 2009

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First power the system on using Fn+Power and see if the diags run and you have video. If you have video in the diagnostics, then I'd suspect the video card as the failure point.
Also connect an external monitor and press Fn + F8 to activate the VGA port If you get video on an external monitor, I'd suspect the LCD as the failure point.

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Hate to be the bearer of bad news but, Dell has had issues the with Nvidia GPU overheating and going bad. Have had to replace mine twice already on a 2 year old Inspiron. If its still under warranty send it to dell. They will replace the GPU.

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