Question about Dell Inspiron 6400 Notebook

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Monitor will sometimes refuse to turn on

At power up or restart, more then often enough, the laptop monitor will refuse to turn on. However, it will come back to life now and then. I can assure you that the problem is neither the Inverter PCB or the backlight/LCD itself. How do I know this, because I've already changed both and the problem is still there. The video cable, also, can not be the problem because the monitor will sometimes turn on, usually by having to press F8 together with the power button, or having to remove the battery or the AC power, one or the other, and then the Laptop monitor works fine with no problems. Until I re-start or reboot the laptop and ther we go again. Yes, an external monitor proves that the video PCB is good, but can there be a part of the Video Circuit that works seperately with the laptop then with the external monitor ? One things for certain, I have not found the solution yet.

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  • Barry Parks May 11, 2010

    Have you tried the Fn + F8 key combination to toggle the video mode? The Fn key is in the lower left of the keyboard. This key combination will toggle from the build in display, a remote monitor or projector or both internal and external. It may be that the system is coming up in a state that is only sending the signal to an external device.

    Another question, is the Dell splash screen displayed and then does the screen go black when Windows is loading?

    I hope this is helpful. Please let me know.

    ~ Spoem



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Try to update your video driver. If you already tried to check on the external monitor and no problem then it's your LCD video or mother board is faulty. If you updated the video driver and still the same problem then it's your motherboard that needs to be replace.

Note: If machine is under warranty no need to pay for the repairs.

Posted on Jun 05, 2009


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You most likely have a defective screen - a defective inverter or a CCFL lamp or simply the video cable needs reseating. After reseating the video cable and the problem is still there then :-
To determine if you have a LCD screen or video card problem, read this and follow the instructions.

Defective CCFL backlight, it may have the following symptom:

  • Screen flashs on red/pink and off.
  • Picture stays on in red and slowly be come normal.
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  • Picture flickering on and off.
All these symptoms indicate that the LCD backlight lamp (CCFL Lamp) has reached the end of the life and all you need to do is replacing the CCFL lamp

Connect an external monitor to your laptop and power it up, if you see the normal Windows images then the video card and laptop is OK and the problem is definitely the backlight.

Dim image and/or dark display on the laptop's LCD screen indicates a faulty LCD backlight and it could be the inverter that supplies high voltage to the CCFL lamp or it is the CCLF lamp is nearly burnt out or burnt out, most likely this is the case.
The inverter can be replaced easily but the CCLF lamp is more time consuming and requires soldering skills.
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