Monitor/Graphic card issue? Dell Precision
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 26

Thread: Monitor/Graphic card issue? Dell Precision

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    1,317

    Monitor/Graphic card issue? Dell Precision

    I have a pretty old laptop that still serves its purpose. It is a Dell Precision M90.
    It is running Windows7.
    Recently, without warning, the screen would suddenly show lines all over the place, like a TV out of station.
    At that time, I can't see or do anything other than turn it off.

    I checked for driver updates, and it is all ok.
    If I move the monitor on its hinges, it does not change anything.

    It can take 5 minutes to happen, or a couple of hours.
    I didn't install anything on it recently (as in several months).

    It could be the monitor? the graphic card? something else?
    Before bringing it to the shop, I would like to know if there are ways to narrow down the problem (and maybe, if I am lucky, fix it too).

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2000
    Location
    Idaho Falls, Idaho, USA
    Posts
    15,749
    If you power the laptop off, let it cool for an hour or two, and restart it, is the display normal again? If yes, it is possible that heat is the issue. There may be a buildup of dust inside that is preventing proper cooling of the components. It may be time to see if you can clean the dust out of it.

    http://www.asklaptopfreak.com/green-...h-lcd-display/

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Arkham Asylum, Cell 13
    Posts
    10,622
    That's a really old model. There were several bad batches if Nvidia chipsets on laptops that exhibited that problem. What video card does that laptop have? If it is the video chipset, it's not worth fixing.

    Did you try connecting it to a different monitor? If it works on a VGA monitor, then it's an LCD issue. Again, for the cost, it wouldn't be worth fixing.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    1,317
    Quote Originally Posted by jdc2000 View Post
    If you power the laptop off, let it cool for an hour or two, and restart it, is the display normal again? If yes, it is possible that heat is the issue. There may be a buildup of dust inside that is preventing proper cooling of the components. It may be time to see if you can clean the dust out of it.

    http://www.asklaptopfreak.com/green-...h-lcd-display/
    I'll recheck that. Yesterday, I had brought it with me to drop at the shop (so turned off), and when I came back in the evening, it also did it after a couple of hours. I turned it on about an hour ago, and i'll check how long it will take to happen again.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    1,317
    Quote Originally Posted by Midknyte View Post
    That's a really old model. There were several bad batches if Nvidia chipsets on laptops that exhibited that problem. What video card does that laptop have? If it is the video chipset, it's not worth fixing.

    Did you try connecting it to a different monitor? If it works on a VGA monitor, then it's an LCD issue. Again, for the cost, it wouldn't be worth fixing.
    I know it is an old model. I have had it for 6+ years (and I got it used) but it was doing what I needed it to do.

    As for the chipset, how do I check?

    As for pluging on another monitor, thanks for the suggestion. I'll see if I have cables to do that.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2000
    Location
    Idaho Falls, Idaho, USA
    Posts
    15,749
    If you plug in an external monitor, and it displays the same screen artifacts as the built-in display panel, then it is the graphics chipset that is the culprit. If the external monitor looks OK, but the built-in display panel has problems (when you switch from one to the other), then it is the built-in display panel that has issues.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Arkham Asylum, Cell 13
    Posts
    10,622
    As for the chipset, how do I check?
    You could just look in Device Manager.

    You could also use GPU-Z.
    https://www.techpowerup.com/download/gpu-z/

    As for pluging on another monitor, thanks for the suggestion. I'll see if I have cables to do that.
    Most monitors come with a VGA cable. That laptop probably doesn't have HDMI.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    1,317
    I checked for the drivers, and everything was up-to-date.
    I left the laptop on, mostly idling, for 4 days, and only today, it displayed that same behavior.
    I connected a different monitor, and that monitor stayed blank, with apparently no signal reaching the monitor (but the "Cable not connected" stopped being displayed on the "new" monitor so it did connect). So it is neither one of the options mentioned by jdc2000.

    Anything else I can try/test before throwing in the towel?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Arkham Asylum, Cell 13
    Posts
    10,622
    You didn't verify the chipset. There were Nvidia chipsets that were known to be faulty around then.

    Are you sure you duplicated or extended the screen to the second monitor? There's usually a key combination you have to press in order to output to the external monitor.
    https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/...y-in-windows-7

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    1,317
    Silly me. I had not realised that I needed to "enable" that second monitor. OK so as it did it again tonight (while checking this forum), I connected it to a second monitor and it displays correctly.

    I checked the video card with the tool above (I could not figure out how to check it directly on my laptop), and it is a NVIDIA Quadro FX1500M. Is that a "bad one" (which would have still lasted for 10+ years)?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2000
    Location
    Idaho Falls, Idaho, USA
    Posts
    15,749
    If the external monitor shows a clean image and switching back to the built-in screen shows an image with artifacts, then the built-in display panel (or its connections) have the problem. You may have a mode available that duplicates the display on both the external and built-in displays. If you enable that and get one clean and one bad image, then the video adapter is OK and the one display panel has an issue.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    1,317
    You may have a mode available that duplicates the display on both the external and built-in displays.
    I'll check that out.

    If that is the case, what would need to be fixed/replaced and is it still worth fixing?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2000
    Location
    Idaho Falls, Idaho, USA
    Posts
    15,749
    If it is the built-in display panel that is the issue, the first thing to check is the connection from the mainboard to the panel. Those are usually thin film ribbons or ribbon cables, and the connection can loosen up or get corrosion or oxidation on the conductors. Worst case is the panel is bad and would have to be replaced.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Arkham Asylum, Cell 13
    Posts
    10,622
    If reseating the cable doesn't work, it's not worth replacing the LCD or motherboard on such an old system.

    Quadro FX1500M
    That's a Nvidia G71 core. The major problems were with the G84 and 86 cores, but it's still possible that the GPU is going bad.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    1,317
    If it is the built-in display panel that is the issue, the first thing to check is the connection from the mainboard to the panel.
    Is that in the "hinges"? One tech at the shop asked if the display changed if i was to movve the monitor/cover, and if it did, it might be those "thin ribbons" but it does not do anything. Would that really be an indication or not?

    If reseating the cable doesn't work,
    Is this something i can do? If so, how/where? (you have allowed me to do "surgery" on my desktops in the past' never done it on the laptop).

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •