Question about Dell Inspiron 9400 Notebook

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Disabling Multi Monitor

I have a Dell Inspiron 9400, running XP. The problem I am having is that my laptop's screen is fried. I purchased a new monitor, but windows is detecting it as a second monitor and due to this I am not getting the resolution I want. Also most things appear fuzzy.

My goal would to disable my laptop screen and make the monitor I now have plugged in the primary monitor (basically a desktop set up).

Thanks in Advance for any assistance

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Re: Disabling Multi Monitor

Rin disply proteies drag secdary window over primary one ok to set as new defult

Posted on Jan 27, 2008

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My inspiron intel laptop screen has been darkening and flickering and I tryed to do what my laptop told me but it doesn't work is there another solution?

What did your laptop tell you?
Just curious

1) "Help, I'm being held prisoner inside this laptop"
2) "I'm tired, and I'm going to bed. Lights off"
3) "Use the Brightness control, and brighten this screen up"


An LCD screen does not produce light. It needs an additional light source.
A Backlight is the additional light source.

A Backlight is a CCFL.
Cold Cathode Fluorescent Lamp.
Similar to Fluorescent lighting used in homes, and businesses, but on a MUCH smaller scale.

An Inverter (Screen Inverter) is used to convert the power from the laptop, to the Backlight, and LCD screen.

90 PERCENT OF THE TIME the fault is the Inverter, when it's a Display Assembly issue.
The rest is a bad LCD screen.

The Inverter is a small rectangular circuit board.

It is mounted behind the Display Bezel, and at the bottom of the LCD screen.
{The Display Bezel is the thin plastic frame in front of the LCD screen. Resembles a picture frame)

Scroll the page down.
(The Inspiron 9400 and Inspiron E1705 uses the same service manual)

Suggest you connect a VGA monitor to the back of the laptop, to the blue VGA connector.
(Laptop OFF, external monitor {VGA} OFF)

You can use a VGA monitor that is a CRT. Looks like a small TV.
Or you can use a flat LCD screen monitor if it has a VGA cable.

Turn the monitor on. If it is a CRT model, let it warm up.
Turn the laptop on.

The display should automatically be on the external monitor. If it isn't press, and hold down on the Fn key, then tap the F8 key once.
No? Tap the F8 key again. (Still holding down on the Fn key)

If the graphics (Display) is the same on the external VGA monitor, as they it is on the laptop's internal monitor, you have a graphics chipset problem.
Usually requires motherboard replacement, unless you know a really skilled tech.

If the graphics are fine on the external monitor, you have problems in the Display Assembly.

More than likely the screen Inverter.

Dell Inspiron E1705 Service Manual,

Pictorial guide for replacing the LCD screen, and the Inverter,

1) Use an ESD wrist strap, and connect it's alligator clip to a good ground source.
(I connect to an unpainted surface, of the metal frame of an empty desktop computer case.
You can also connect to a unpainted surface of a metal table leg )

2) Use a multi-compartment container for the various screws you will remove.
Label each compartment for the area the screw/s come out of.

If no multi-compartment container is available, you can use a clean egg carton as a substitute.
Label each egg holder.
Some screws look VERY similar to other screws.
DO NOT mix them up.

For additional questions post in a Comment.


Oct 02, 2011 | Dell Inspiron E1705, Intel Core 2 Duo...

1 Answer

Have a Dell Inspiron 9400, when running off the battery the LCD is perfect, as soon as I plug into power the screen goes black. Ive tried multiple power supplies and still the same result?????

you may need to change your power settings. it sounds like when you plug it in it goes into a mode thinking there is another monitor hold the FN key and press a key usually f5 that looks like a computer monitory. anyway plug in the pwoer cable, and hold fn and press the key that looks like a computer monitor maybe twice until the monitor comes back on let me know if that works!

Mar 17, 2011 | Dell Inspiron 9400 Notebook

1 Answer

When i start my Dell 9400 up and it takes 10 mins to load to windows XP, , when the windows loading screen comes up the FANS go crazy. I then wait till i'm at the desktop at which point i immediately shut...

Your battery HAS to stay in if its not working which means the OS needs the extra power.
If your fans are going crazy then your laptop is overheating!!!
Contact Dell

Dec 30, 2009 | Dell Inspiron 9400 Notebook

1 Answer

Dell Inspiron 9400 laptop display problem

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.

Dec 26, 2009 | Dell Inspiron 9400 Notebook

1 Answer

Need help for my Dell Inspiron 9400 Laptop

Try booting in Safe mode, see if you get video

If you do, reboot in VGA mode, then adjust the refresh rate accordingly

A replacement LCD is about $200 on EBay

Sep 09, 2009 | PC Laptops

1 Answer

Dell Inspiron 9400 notebook display blank

Most likely, as you have said, this is already a hardware issue. For hardware issues the best thing to do is to have your system checked out by a local hardware technician. If your video is in fact the issue here then most likely you will be needing replacement for the motherboard now this costs a lot. so you have two choices really, 1) Just get a new laptop because the price of a new one will cost almost as much as replacing the part. 2) Have it fixed by Dell and have the part replaced then ask for warranty reinstatement, if they have one.

Jun 06, 2009 | Dell Inspiron 9400 Notebook

1 Answer

Dell Inspiron 9400 display

you may have damaged the screen in which case theres not much more you can do then replace it.if its a new labtop it may be still under warrenty in which case get back to dell.

Mar 22, 2009 | Dell Inspiron 9400 Notebook

1 Answer

How do I add a dell external monitor to a dell inspiron 9400

Simply use the external video port. It may require an adapter depending on the monitor you plan to use.

Nov 18, 2008 | Dell Inspiron 9400 Notebook

4 Answers

Problems with Dell Inspiron 9400 Video Memory conflict -

This solution is totally incorrect. He is having the problem that many of us face with the GeForce Go 7900 GS and the Inspiron 9400. There is a known issue with eventual overheating and the video card going bad. This is specific to the single-pipeline chip, in which their is a new dual-pipeline style that fixes the cooling/overheating issue that eventually fries the video chip. Dell has not 100% took ownership of this. I am on my fourth fried video card (thank god for the 3-year warranty I got) in which they have previously replaced with the single-pipeline style. This time they are finally replacing the laptop with either a new Inspiron 9400 (better be dual-pipeline chip) or a NEW equivalent laptop.

Mar 27, 2008 | Dell Inspiron 9400 Notebook

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