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Monitor issue or Motherboard/Processor issue?

Last response: in Motherboards
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September 7, 2010 2:33:33 AM

hi there, IF THIS IS THE WRONG FORUM, PLEASE LET ME KNOW & i will repost it to proper place. thanks!

i just spent an hour with dell tech support chat and i want to confirm that their answer is correct (i am doubting it, for a few reasons...the main one is that he gets commission if i buy a new system).
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Dell Dimension 5150 Dell 2007 WFP color monitor
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ISSUE: while tweaking the brightness/contrast settings on the On Screen Display of the monitor (accessed via control panel/display), i accidentally turned brightness/contrast to 0 and hit ENTER ...now nothing on the monitor is visible and all is black. dell confirmed that there is no 'reset' button.

dell techie said that whenever brightness is to zero inside windows (display settings) it would only affect windows...and once rebooted it should show the dell logo, & windows loading screen will launch.

i unplugged ALL from the monitor ALL from the wall socket and ALL connecting monitor to the tower. i left all unplugged overnight. same problem in morning.
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i should note that the front panel buttons on the monitor dont work, as i accidentally spilled liquid near monitor power/settings buttons & it might have splattered to button area. (i know, i know). this happened about a month ago, and aside from the on/off power button, all other buttons seem to work. i should also note that aside from the on/off power button, the monitor was working PERFECTLY before i messed with brightness/contrast settings.
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since this monitor issue began, when i restart my tower i do not see the dell logo.
oddly, however, when i was playing with the panel buttons last night (the ones on the front of the monitor) hoping they might come alive, about 2x i WAS, in fact, able to see the Dell logo, but then it quickly went off and said monitor is in 'power save' mode. now, whenever i boot my tower, the power LED is first orange (1 sec), then quickly turns green. when the monitor turns on i ONLY see the vga icon and the words 'power save is on'. nothing more.
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techie suggested trying another monitor connected to same tower.
i turned on the tower's power button, then turned on the new monitor, and, per his suggestion unplugged the vga cable.
new monitor now says 'no vga cable' and there is a flag-like symbol on screen.

the monitor now is all SNOWY and it says 'little or no signal'. but this could be because new monitor is actually a tv monitor (which can also be used for computers). it might say that about the signal because it was previuosly plugged into a cable box.

but i AM able to see the OSD MENU on new monitor & have capability to tweak settings...so, unlike on MY monitor, i AM, in fact, able to see things.
techie said new monitor works fine.
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per his suggestion, i turned system off and on again.
tower's power button LED was orange for 1 sec, then turned green.

in the front of the tower, there is 1 (of 4) indicator LED light FLASHING (not solid) (it is LED #3 - icon is AA battery shaped).
the 1 light in the BACK of the tower is FLASHING (pretty sure it never did that before problem began).
* The diagnostics LEDS are apparently indicators which Dell designed to trace the fault/issue of the computer.

all indicator lights (LCD's)* (1,2,3,4) turned on. after a few seconds. only #3 is still on (and remains flashing). techie says that the flashing #3 indicator light indicates a processor activity failure/ video failure then it is definitely a processor/motherboard problem. how could a processor/video failure actually happen after tweaking brightness setting?????

techie said i must buy new system (of which he gets commission) which is why i'm questioning all this.

thank you thank you thank you, in advance, for your help !
debbie
a c 78 V Motherboard
September 7, 2010 3:55:09 AM

It sounds like your monitor has had a rough life.
See if you can boot into the SAFE mode:
-- Press the F8 key at computer start - just keep pressing it.
-- You'll get to a screen that offers Safe, Safe with networking, and Last Known settings that worked.
-- Choose Safe mode
-- If you can boot into Windows Safe mode, you will see a dialogue box with Yes or No buttons.
-- Choose RESTORE to go back to your earlier settings that worked (I think it is the No button).
-- Select Restore and choose a date earlier than the one where you changed the display settings.
-- It will take few minutes, and the computer will re-boot.

If that doesn't work - try another monitor, as the techie suggested. Borrow one from a friend. If you can see the POST/DELL startup screen and boot into windows, you can buy a new monitor and return the other to your friend.
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September 9, 2010 12:05:42 AM

hi treefrog,
yes, the poor monitor. :( 

unfortunately, i cant get to safe mode. still nothing on screen except black. any more ideas???
if i open the tower, is there anything that would fix?

thanks soooooooooo much.
debbie
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a c 78 V Motherboard
September 9, 2010 12:44:38 AM

debbie: When you used your friend's TV you could see things. Have you tried an actual monitor? If your monitor cannot be reset, you may have to get a new one. But before you spend that money, try another monitor. If it works, then your computer graphics are OK, so buying a new monitor would solve your issue.

If the borrowed monitor does not work, then your computer's graphics may have failed. But try the borrowed monitor first.

On opening the case, at this point there isn't really anything you can do inside the case - well maybe use a can of air and blow out dust, especially if the computer has been sitting on a carpeted floor. If you do that, touch the case frame with your hand before you reach inside the case. That will "ground" you, so there will be no static discharge that could harm your computer components.

Please look at the manual before you open the case, this link will bring up an acrobat file that is you manual.

Try the borrowed monitor before we go further with this.............
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September 9, 2010 2:24:47 AM

you're a doll for helping ! :) 

will try the different monitor again.

when i tried it yesterday, i WAS able to see (on the new monitor): SNOWY effect. atop the snow, it said 'little or no signal'. but this could be because new monitor is actually a tv monitor (which can also be used for computers). it might say that about the signal because it was previuosly plugged into a cable box.

i AM able to see the OSD MENU on new monitor & have capability to tweak settings...so, unlike on MY monitor, i AM, in fact, able to see things. techie said new monitor works fine.

does this tell you anything?

finally, inside tower is clean. (cleaned it almost spotlessly less than a month ago).
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September 19, 2010 12:11:39 AM

just wanted to say thank you, treefrog, for your kind help!

unfortunately, it's going to be a new machine for me!
:( 

thanks again and joyous days ahead !!!
deb :love: 
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!