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Video Works When HDMI Plugged In- Otherwise Sporadic

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by icashootnstar, Apr 3, 2012.

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  1. icashootnstar

    icashootnstar Thread Starter

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    Hi,
    I have an XCPS M1730 running Windows 7. Recently the screen would go black intermittently. As I used the computer, the instances would occur more frequently and last longer until it would just stay black and not come back up at all. I can see light if I look closely and cup my hands, but no image.
    The perplexing part was that when I plugged a TV in via HDMI, the screen on the computer came up too… and stayed up after a couple of sputters! Dare I hope that this is software related and not too expensive to fix? I’ve been reading a bunch of terrible posts about fried video cards!

    Thanks,
    Shannon

    Tech Support Guy System Info Utility version 1.0.0.2
    OS Version: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium, Service Pack 1, 32 bit
    Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Duo CPU T9500 @ 2.60GHz, x64 Family 6 Model 23 Stepping 6
    Processor Count: 2
    RAM: 3070 Mb
    Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce 8700M GT, 256 Mb
    Hard Drives: C: Total - 292356 MB, Free - 78462 MB; D: Total - 10239 MB, Free - 9977 MB;
    Motherboard: Dell Inc., 0KX412
    Antivirus: Microsoft Security Essentials, Updated and Enabled
     
  2. Oddba11

    Oddba11 Jim

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    I'd suspect a hardware (ie: video card) fault. A single or multiple connections should make no difference for proper operation. More likely is that the card is loose/not seated properly, and connecting the HDMI cable moved the card.
     
  3. icashootnstar

    icashootnstar Thread Starter

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    Messages:
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    Thanks for the input! FYI the HDMI connection consistantly works. The notebook screen comes and goes. It seems good at startup, then starts to go dark more and more frequently during use.

    Do you know where I can find some good instructions on how to re-seat the video card on this computer? I(I hope that's all it takes!) 've poked around looking for the obvious stuff. But I don't want to break anything.

    Thanks,
    Shannon
     
  4. icashootnstar

    icashootnstar Thread Starter

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    I found a YouTube video instructional on changing the video card and followed it to reseat the video card. I was hopeful when it stayed up for ten minutes. Alas, it started going dead again shortly thereafter. Any othere thoughts? If the card were toast, wouldn't it just stay dead instead of coming and going?
     
  5. Oddba11

    Oddba11 Jim

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    If the HDMI output is always good, then I'd suspect a hardware fault with the laptop screen. When it goes dark is the desktop still visible (shine a light on the screen)?
     
  6. icashootnstar

    icashootnstar Thread Starter

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    The screen seems to have a light behind it. But there are no images.

    UPDATE- I again deleted and downloaded the driver. The last time I did it, it seems to be staying up! I've got my fingers crossed! There were a couple of adverse side effects though. The LCD is reset so that it rotates between CPU/RAM, Time/Date, and Countdown/Stopwatch. Also all of my desktop gadgets have disappeared. Maybe it's the driver after all?
    I'm completely flummoxed.
     
  7. Oddba11

    Oddba11 Jim

    Joined:
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    Maybe I misunderstood.

    The output to the laptop screen and to the HDMI port should be identical. If one is working and the other going black...that sounds like a hardware fault.

    Drivers would affect BOTH outputs (ie: laptop screen and HDMI).

    As for the desktop gadgets/icons/shortcuts/whatever, that is OS related.
     
  8. icashootnstar

    icashootnstar Thread Starter

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    Sigh. After running perfectly for a day, it went kaput again. This time it's not coming back up. I deleted the driver again, intending to reinstall it. But when I rebooted, neither the screen nor the HDMI connected TV worked. This problem is so fickle! At any rate, I'm now without any in-home repair options (I think) and now I'm just trying to guage the cost/type of repair I'll be looking at.
    If I can see the glow behind the screen, does that mean it's more likely to be the GPU at fault here?
     
  9. icashootnstar

    icashootnstar Thread Starter

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    For anyone following along (and who may benefit from my cautionary tale), Here's an update:
    I replaced the original GPU (a NVIDIA GeForce 8700M 256) with a refurbished NVIDIA GeForce 8700M 512 and IT WORKED! … for about 20 hours. Then everything went dark. No more network access. Now it only powers up to a couple of clicks of the optical drive and a short whirring of the HD. The only lights are on the power indicator and the NUM CapLock.
    I tried the startup diagnostic (FN+ power) and the lights and tones gave me the following sequence:
    The three lock indicators flashing twice all together,
    Caps only flashing for about two minutes,
    All three flash once,
    Trilling beeps as they each flash left to right in quick succession,
    Three flat beeps,
    Then continuous repeat of the trilling and flat beeps and flashes again

    Apparently this reduces to 3-3-1 according to the charts I found. That means “NVRam Insufficient Power”.
    This is my second bad experience with Dell and I’m ready to toss the whole thing and get an ASUS N75SF or a Toshiba Qosmio unless someone can offer me hope?
     
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