Question about Dell Inspiron Notebook

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Dell 1420 Boot issue

I was watching a video one day and my computer froze up. The screen flashed several times and eventually I had to hard reboot. Upon restarting, Vista told me that the video card driver failed, but that it recover just fine (yea, right ;) ). It did this several times. Now, when I turn on my Laptop (Dell Inspiron 1420 32bit), I don't get any image. I've tried hooking a monitor to the external display and hitting the f8 with function but it doens't switch. I would like to try resetting the computer via it's "factory state backup" but I can't see anything. The attached display does light up somewhat as if a backlight is working, but everything is black. Not even the bios is visible.The hdd seems to be working hard. I feel like it is a driver issue, I just don't understand how it could have gotten currupted since I wasn't changing any settings. I was however, watching a video through the s-video port to my TV. I am hoping someone will tell me my video card has not overheated from this typical activity, and there will be an easy answer such as a failed driver. I have all the discs that came with the system. Many Thanks to anyone who can tell me how to solve this!

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  • alanudi Aug 05, 2008

    Well I managed to start up a built-in diagnostic program by pressing "Fn" and the power button together with the system turned off. My screen all the sudden started working correctly. It checked my pc and found no problems. I then went to a repair option by pressing F8 when it rebooted again. This allowed me to run a system startup diagnostic. This suggested a system-restore and did so automatically. The computer booted up fine after that. I am now backing up many files I should have backed up before and will be utilizing the "factory settings restore" feature and will hopefully be back up and running. Thanks for the input!

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O.k. First off a corrupted driver can be as simple as a glitch, and software glitch all the time, it's normal. In this case, it's not a driver, it's going to be the video card. The reason is that the video has a generic driver built in, this allows you to be able to see what you're doing when initially installing the system, then after the install, you download the driver for the particular video card in the machine for the maximum performance. The generic driver also works for any external monitor, until you download the driver for the external, if it supports one. Since the external didn't work, this indicates that the video card has failed and will need replaced. Without being able to view anything, you will not be able to download any drivers or do a bios flash to correct the built in generic driver. The generic driver rarely ever fails and I've never seen a failed, corrupt, or glitched generic in the seven years I've been working on laptops. Take it in for a professional diagnostics if you like, but most likely you're going to have to replace the video card.

Posted on Aug 05, 2008

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