ISSUE: Dell XPS 720, Black Screen on Startup

ISSUE: Dell XPS 720 will not produce an image on my monitor. On startup, the computer sounds like it starts up normally, front LEDs flash, the case fans spin, the CPU fan spins and the CPU and HDD sound active. Unfortunately, the GPU fan never throttles down from the initial 100% at startup and an image is never produced on the screen and the monitor light continues to flash like it is in sleep mode.

Due to the constant 100% fan speed on the GPU, I am inclined to think that the GPU is the issue. My first action after recognizing the problem was to clean out the inside of the computer and remove all of the dust. It had actually been quite a while since I had done that. The dust inside the GPU, looking through the fan slots, appeared to be caked on. The computer is completely clean now, but the issue remains. I've ruled out the monitor by plugging it into my laptop. I've also unplugged and reseated all connectors and hardware on the MOBO, minus the CPU obviously.

BACKGROUND ON USE: Computer has generally been on everyday for the past two years, hibernating at night and during periods of non-use. The night before this issue occured, I had installed the most recent Windows 7 recommended updates. Also, there have been times while playing various games, that the screen would go dark and the monitor would appear to go into sleep mode. After about 30 seconds the image would be restored. The computer has also restarted on its own during periods of heavy use since about 2 months after getting it. I attribute that to the low quality of the Dell 1000W power-supply.

CPU: Intel Q9450
GPU: NVIDIA GeForce 8800GT
MOBO: nForce 680i SLI ???
RAM: 4 x 1GB DDR 2, unknown MhZ
OS: Windows 7
PSU: Dell 1000W
HDD: 2 x 160GB in RAID 0

I am planning to do my first custom build anyway, as a response to this issue, but there are some photos that I would like to retrieve off of the HDD and I hear that transferring HDDs in a RAID 0 format is next to impossible, so if there are any potential solutions I am more than excited to hear them.

Thank you for reading this, and I hope it is in the appropriate forum. Also, thank you for ANY suggestions that you may have as to how to get the computer up long enough to transfer about 900 photos. :)
5 answers Last reply
More about issue dell black screen startup
  1. If you have a spare gpu try it.Also check the power on off button color.If its orange/amber color the MB is gone.
  2. just put the hd as a secondary one in your custom built...and it sounds like a video card problem
  3. Unfortunately I don't have a spare GPU. The power light is a solid green and the diagnostic lights blink and cycle and then shut off in about the ammount of time that it used to take to get to the windows logon screen. I just looked up the 720 manual and that seems normal. Luckily, it's not the MB, if I had known before I purchased this computer that the mobos used in them are completely custom for Dell, I probably wouldn't have bought it. Thanks for the reply, good suggestions.

    As for the HD, it's in a RAID 0 stripe configurations so apparently I would have to find a mobo with an identical raid controller. Also, I agree that it sounds like a video card problem, the constant 100% fan speed being the biggest indicator at the moment.

    The GPU will probably be the first piece of hardware I purchase for the new build so hopefully I'll be able to test it soon.

    If you have any other suggestions as to what may cause a video issue like this. It's a pain not being able to enter bios or run any diagnostics.
  4. Thats good that the light is green. You are correct the MB is a BTX Dell MB. It sure dounds like the gpu. Sorry I was not more helpfull.
  5. No problem. Thanks for the reply and reinforcing my assumption that the problem is with the GPU. I'll continue to look for additional probably culprits while I wait to get my hands on another to test that assumption.
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