Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Dell Studio screen black video card problem

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
Share
January 8, 2013 11:19:01 PM

Hello. I've searched for this particular problem but didn't find anything on the forum.

I have a 3 year old Dell Studio 1555 laptop. If it's at all relevant, I think it has got a 2GHz processor and 4GB ram.
I always treat it very carefully, and have never really had any trouble with it until last week. I was using the laptop perfectly happily until all of a sudden, the screen died. Now, it was not completely dead as the backlight was still on, but the screen itself was completely blank. I could still hear the fans and HD whirring etc, so I believe it's just an issue with the screen. I let it cool down, removed the battery etc etc and after a struggle to get it started, it eventually worked for a little while until the same thing happened again. I couldn't get it started again with any combination of battery/power cable, so just left it and retried it the next day. Again, worked well for a while, but then the problem was different - the screen turned into a load of coloured stripes. No real symmetry or order to them, just a big mash of lines of different colours. This has happened a few times since. Now, the screen simply refuses to work and the laptop is useless! Except after a long journey where I carried it in a bag and it probably got treated a bit roughly. Then, it worked perfectly fine for an hour but the screen has since completely failed to work. This leads me to believe that there is a loose connection somewhere if it does occasionally work after being moved around a bit.

I have tried connecting it to an external display, no luck. Took it to a computer "specialist" (!) who did exactly what I did, starting it and restarting it a hundred times (I'm sure that's not good for it!). He tried replacing the RAM, no luck. He thus declared that it was the video card (or chip, as I understand they are in laptops) that was causing the problem. Thought the soldering had problem come away or cracked between the chip and the board. He suggested I scrap the laptop (which would cost £400 to replace, no thanks). Went to another specialist who said they could fix it for £50 with a 3 month warranty. They said things about reflushing or reballing the chip, but I didn't quite catch what they meant. Anyway, I approached another specialist who said that this was only a temporary cheap fix that would only last 3 months (hence them offering a three month warranty!), and that he would get it sent off and done properly, by removing and fully resoldering and reattaching (I think he said) the chip, which would last for at least 12 months and would cost £150.

I am tied by what to do! I don't know whether to go down the repair route and risk it not solving the problem/the problem recurring soon after and me being hugely out of pocket, or just to cut my losses and buy a new (expensive) laptop.

I understand that this is a fairly common problem, but have no way of knowing whether what the technicians said was accurate. So I would like to ask you if you think that a) this is a reasonable explanation for the cause of the problem and b) whether or not the repair would be worth it.

Thank you for reading through my long post - I have tried to offer as much detail as possible - and thanks in advance for any advice you may have.
January 10, 2013 10:39:18 AM

I got same problem as yours and still not get any exact solutions from anywhere.
If you got anything tell me my mail address is manish.phoenixx@gmail.com

and If I got anything I will surly tell you.
September 27, 2013 4:41:17 AM

Hi moobottle, did you end up finding an answer to your problem?

I have just had this exact thing happen to me to my four year old Studio 1555. The random colours showing before the screen dying completely started two days ago; today it 'died'.

I took the laptop apart, checked the wires supplying the screen, and reseated the connections to the screen. No luck.

On power-on the screen does not turn on (not just a black screen, there is no backlight at all), and the fans do not spin, but the power light near the power on button stays lit and the cd drive makes that noise it normally does when turned on.

Been having problems with the computer overheating over the past few months too, if that s relevant.

I'm thinking it might be the motherboard?
Related resources
October 13, 2013 8:36:31 AM

My Studio 1535 has only recently begun to experience similar problems. I am running Vista 64-bit. I usually run the machine with extended desktop at home. The video always works at home. I don't have problems with most remote locations I visit. However, for some strange reason, I lose my video frequently when at one particular location. This suggests that the problem is power-related.

The only solution that I've yet discovered is to find an external monitor, plug it in, switch to the monitor, select restart, and quickly remove the external monitor cable before the computer begins its shut down sequence. On restart, my laptop video is restored. This suggests that the problem is software-related.

I haven't attempted to rollback system updates. Because the problem appeared only recently, my first thought was that the problem was either with updates, or simply aging.
October 26, 2013 4:28:00 PM

Just an update on my post - looks like the GPU and/or the motherboard failed. I swapped out the mobo for a refurbished one and voila, it worked again. My laptop is still overheating it seems, especially when stressing the GPU playing games etc. Not quite sure what the root cause is though, as the fan is completely clean and working, and I had re-applied the thermal grease (which wasn't even in a bad condition when I dismantled the mobo in the first place).
November 10, 2013 10:47:23 PM

moobottle said:
Hello. I've searched for this particular problem but didn't find anything on the forum.

I have a 3 year old Dell Studio 1555 laptop. If it's at all relevant, I think it has got a 2GHz processor and 4GB ram.
I always treat it very carefully, and have never really had any trouble with it until last week. I was using the laptop perfectly happily until all of a sudden, the screen died. Now, it was not completely dead as the backlight was still on, but the screen itself was completely blank. I could still hear the fans and HD whirring etc, so I believe it's just an issue with the screen. I let it cool down, removed the battery etc etc and after a struggle to get it started, it eventually worked for a little while until the same thing happened again. I couldn't get it started again with any combination of battery/power cable, so just left it and retried it the next day. Again, worked well for a while, but then the problem was different - the screen turned into a load of coloured stripes. No real symmetry or order to them, just a big mash of lines of different colours. This has happened a few times since. Now, the screen simply refuses to work and the laptop is useless! Except after a long journey where I carried it in a bag and it probably got treated a bit roughly. Then, it worked perfectly fine for an hour but the screen has since completely failed to work. This leads me to believe that there is a loose connection somewhere if it does occasionally work after being moved around a bit.

I have tried connecting it to an external display, no luck. Took it to a computer "specialist" (!) who did exactly what I did, starting it and restarting it a hundred times (I'm sure that's not good for it!). He tried replacing the RAM, no luck. He thus declared that it was the video card (or chip, as I understand they are in laptops) that was causing the problem. Thought the soldering had problem come away or cracked between the chip and the board. He suggested I scrap the laptop (which would cost £400 to replace, no thanks). Went to another specialist who said they could fix it for £50 with a 3 month warranty. They said things about reflushing or reballing the chip, but I didn't quite catch what they meant. Anyway, I approached another specialist who said that this was only a temporary cheap fix that would only last 3 months (hence them offering a three month warranty!), and that he would get it sent off and done properly, by removing and fully resoldering and reattaching (I think he said) the chip, which would last for at least 12 months and would cost £150.

I am tied by what to do! I don't know whether to go down the repair route and risk it not solving the problem/the problem recurring soon after and me being hugely out of pocket, or just to cut my losses and buy a new (expensive) laptop.

I understand that this is a fairly common problem, but have no way of knowing whether what the technicians said was accurate. So I would like to ask you if you think that a) this is a reasonable explanation for the cause of the problem and b) whether or not the repair would be worth it.

Thank you for reading through my long post - I have tried to offer as much detail as possible - and thanks in advance for any advice you may have.


Hi moobottle
did you find any solution ?? I am also facing the same problem. Please reply
January 31, 2014 9:49:25 AM

phoenixxbird said:
I got same problem as yours and still not get any exact solutions from anywhere.
If you got anything tell me my mail address is manish.phoenixx@gmail.com
and If I got anything I will surly tell you.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I'm glad I found this as I thought the above problem which I have to on my Dell Studio XPS which is not even 3 yrs old is having the same video problems. Several times during a session the video just goes out and the sound isn't any better. I have to clear everything, shred everything, re=boot and I get it back up and working for a few more hours and then - blank screen. I bookmarked this page in case anyone has any data. I did the My Dell PC Checkup and Driver download as recommended by the program Dell puts on the computers when you purchase. Nothing changed -nothing improved. Warranty is over so I'm seeking options for this expensive computer that has poor video and sound issues
!