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Dell XPS One Repair - Blank Screen, Video Card

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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December 19, 2012 1:51:02 AM

Hello,

I received a 2008 Dell XPS One from a friend and after two months of working, the machine just won't provide anything on the monitor. All black screen. The power button on the side is blue, and the monitor button on the front is blue, fans are on, but not the video. After researching a bunch on the web, it could be the video card from what I've been reading.

I got the manual, opened it up, took out the video card with the heat sink attached, and now am just searching for DIY ways to try and fix the video card/heat sink. Are there any things I can try to do to the card to salvage it? Just want to try something before plunking down the dollars on a new one.

Thanks in advance if anyone can help me out.

Joe
a b U Graphics card
December 19, 2012 2:05:26 AM

short of putting in another exact same model video card, there's nothing you can do to check it. The other option is to test the current card in another computer, but the environment won't be the same... :/ 
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a b U Graphics card
December 19, 2012 2:15:49 AM

Sounds like the video chip needs a reflow. Does it have an Nvidia chip in it? Was a common problem with a series of their laptops. Led to a class action even.

Odd are though either gpu needs to be replaced because of bad lead free solder in the actual die layers itself, or the solder balls on the bga came loose and it needs a reflow.

anybody with a decent reflow machine could this. You'll see online people say put it in the oven, take a heatgun to it, hair dryer, etc. These are all temp fixes and will faill. Lead free solder melts at 217c and needs a dwell time of at least 20 seconds at around 222 to keep the solder liquid and fix the bga balls. The odds you hit that temp with your oven or heatgun are slim. Either it will fix and die again or you'll toast the chip and melt the balls together and really screw it up.

I fix mostly xbox 360s and ps3's with a reflow machine but use it for laptops on occasion too.

Probably your only bet to fix it is find someone who can reflow it or replace the gpu with a reflow machine.
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December 19, 2012 3:24:50 AM

Thank you both for your answers.

Yes, it has an Nvidia chip in it. I did think about heating it up after seeing those fixes on some sites, but afraid I won't hit the temps you're talking about to make it work. Will admit, I'm out of my league with some of your terminology, but interested in what is involved in "reflowing a video chip."

And just to confirm, when you mention "laptop," you're including a dell xps one in that reference since it's an all-in-one rig similar to a laptop's build, correct?
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