Tech Support Guy banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 20 of 29 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
242 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
About a week ago in the middle of work my 3 1/2 year old laptop video went goofy, I get intermittent vertical bars across the display aprox. 1/2 " wide and 1/2" apart., This problem is pretty constant although it seems to clear up at times.
The bars are generally yellow tinged and are not alway as described above but side by side and filling the display. I can change how they look by jiggling the laptop as well I think.

Sorry for the lousy problem description but the little buggers just wont stay put !

I have rebooted into safe mode and the problem persists. It is much worse in any DOS type screen.
I took the keyboard off in hopes of finding a loose video card but no luck, the problem went away for a bit after I did that.
I also connected to an external monitor with no improvements.

I really do suspect a bad connection, does anyone have a guide to dissasembling one of these beasties? Or give me some friendly pointers?

I would like to get into the guts of it and try reseating the card if possible, but I really don't want to frag my laptop at the same time. (Have no worries crawling into desktops, its just laptops are more errrr crowded inside. ;) )
Service Tag, 3HNNG21
This is the card description from my service tag:
1 4U284 CARD (CIRCUIT), GRAPHICS, ATI TECHNOLOGIES INC, M9, 64MB, COMANECI
Hope this helps.
Thanks a lot in advance.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
242 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Bassetman, yes I did connect an external monitor/display and had the same results.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
51,023 Posts
I would try updating the video driver first, if you haven't done that.

I have an 8600 and have taken it completely apart and put it back together. The only part that is difficult is putting the correct screws back in the right places as there are many of them. There are dis-assembly and re-assembly instructions somewhere because I downloaded them from Dell's website for the 8600. I know you have to take off the keyboard and the LCD and you may be able to get to the video card from there. Not all model had a separate video card--I know the 8600 does and I'm pretty sure the 8200 does as well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
45,855 Posts
I've seen (and had) similar display corruption on ATI graphics.

It's almost always the hardware itself. Not sure what you can do, if anything, on a laptop.

I had to replace the display card on my Desktop Dimension 8200

You can probably find laptop dissasembly instructions for the model on the Dell site (look for the "service manual"), not that I think it will really get you anywhere unless you can replace the graphics chip.

In fact, here it is:

http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/ins8200/en/index.htm#online_documentation

Graphics board removal: http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/ins8200/en/sm_en/vidbd.htm#1084976
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,992 Posts
Well if shaking the display changes the problem I would open it up and reseat the display connector at both ends and see if that fixes anything. Use the manual posted by Rollin' Rog
 

·
Registered
LENOVO t43p AMOUNGST OTHERS
Joined
·
12,970 Posts
Right, you scratch my back etc...
I have a Latitude C840 and my son has the Inspiron 8200. They are basically the same machine and nearly all of the parts are interchangeable.
You got pretty close with taking the keyboard off. That is the first thing to do. I advise you to unplug the ribbon connecting the keyboard to the Motherboard. The ribbon is in fact two ribbons that fit into one plug. The plug is a push fit into the Mobo, ease it out gently from the bottom with a small screwdriver. Now if you fold the screen back so it is almost flat at the back of the machine you can ease up the flat hinge cover/ button bar cover that has lights in it. It is not screwed in, and, once removed you have access to the CPU and the graphics card/ connectors.
At this point you see a funny shaped board usually with a white plastic cover over it that is screwed to the mobo. You cannot actually remove it at this point as one of the screws is hidden under the palmrest bit. But you can check that the screws you can see are firmly screwed in ( but not too tight) You may also like top ush gently on the bottom right of this as the connector is under there. You should also unplug the cable (it has a handle) that runs to the screen and re-seat it.
Put it all back together and be careful not to tighten the keyboard screws too tight as that sometimes caused the video card to twist slightly and disturbs the connector.
Shout you need to replace the graphics card, get the Geforce4 Go one as it is a faster card than the ATI one.
You can download the service manual and the user guide form Dell and they do include these instructions.

Now the bit I would like you to do for me.
Download CPU-Z from http://www.cpuid.com/cpuz.php and run it. I would like to know your BIOS Version and the Stepping and Revision of your CPU. Also, if you know it without taking the CPU out, the spec of the CPU. This will be SL6xx
Thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
242 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hi Dave thanks for your help, and you others as well.
I did try reinstalling the drivers as well as graphics bios and took the unit apart and cleaned it and reseated the graphics card and its cable, all with no success.
I'm shopping for a used geforce4 go right now as a new one is $300 + CAD.

Now to Daves questions:

Stepping = 7
Cpu Revision = C1

Bios Version I got with a little utility I found on Techguy:

Program: eSupport.com BIOS Agent Version 3.55
BIOS Date: 12/10/02
BIOS Type: Phoenix ROM BIOS PLUS Version 1.10 A08
BIOS ID: Dell Inspiron 8200 BIOS Version: A08
OEM Sign-On: None
Chipset: Intel 1A30 rev 4
Superio: Unknown
OS: WinXP SP1
CPU: Pentium 4 2400 Mhz MAX: 2400 Mhz
BIOS ROM In Socket: No
BIOS ROM Size: 512K
Memory Installed: 512 MB
Memory Maximum: 1024 MB
Memory Slot 01: 256 MB
Memory Slot 02: 256 MB

Now the CPU spec, I'm not exactly sure how to obtain this info for you Dave, can you give me some more hints on how to find it?

Thanks again.
DF
 

·
Registered
LENOVO t43p AMOUNGST OTHERS
Joined
·
12,970 Posts
It is written on the top of the processor chip. Don't take it out just to find that for me. You have given me enough already to prove my point to someone.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
That's peculiar.....after searching the web trying to find how to fix my Inspiron 8200 display problem, I find you who has the exact same computer, exact same age, and appears to be exact same problem.

I have yet to remove the keyboard and mess around with stuff inside but sounds like you've had no luck with that anyway.

Dell Technical Support told me they thought it was the video card and would cost almost as much to replace as a new laptop would. I guess they figure it's time I send them some more money.

If you have any luck fixing this, let me know....

Thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
242 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well NLCanuck, I've succumbed and signed up to ebay and purchased a video card for just under 100 CAD hope it will be here late next week, I'll let you know how it turns out. Strange, not 15 minutes ago my video cleared right up, i forgot how nice it is to look at a good display, and then once i posted back to you the video cratered again, sigh.
Thanks for letting me know i'm not alone though.
P.S. Alberta here, how bout you?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
242 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
DaveBurnett said:
It is written on the top of the processor chip. Don't take it out just to find that for me. You have given me enough already to prove my point to someone.
Ok Dave, but if you don't mind me asking..... what's it all about?
DF
 

·
Registered
LENOVO t43p AMOUNGST OTHERS
Joined
·
12,970 Posts
I bought a 2.4 cpu on ebay and it would not work in either my or my son's machine. So I sent it back as faulty and the guy sent another, which also did not work. I just needed proof that that specific chip does work in these machines. You have the same chip in yours.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Hi Justfoo!

Perhaps just a coincidence, but I'm facing the same problem. Bought my system in October 2002, worked flawlessly until yesterday. Now I got yellow lines in WinXP, sometimes the whole screen gets a shade of blue, and the boot mode is completely scrambled, although operational. I completely dissassembled my machine, but it's gotten worse. Screen gets clear after ... well hitting the keyboard is the only strategy that works at the moment. So please let me know if the replacement graphics card works, then I'll do the same and buy one. Good to know I'm not insane seeing these strange things on my screen :( Good luck and greetings from Germany, madhonour
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
242 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Will do madhonour, I am still waiting for the card to show up, I'll post back here on how it goes.
By the way, welcome to Techguy, to you and to NLCanuck as well.
I think you will find this site is a really big help when you're really in trouble!
DF
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
242 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
More useless info...
Haven't got my board yet, but since Madhonours post mentioning banging the keyboard changes things I tried something. I pulled my keyboard and while the computer is running I gently pushed a bit on each of the chips on the graphic board and voila ! clear screen again. Obviously either a loose chip or a bad trace on the board itself I think. I'm curious to know how long before it does it again.
Edit.... pushed with a non conducting rubber pencil tip.... ;)
 

·
Registered
LENOVO t43p AMOUNGST OTHERS
Joined
·
12,970 Posts
I DID tell you that you may need to re-seat the video card. Also the way you tighten the keyboard screws may
affect it. It IS a common problem with ALL Dell laptops.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
242 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Hi Dave, I have reseated the video card.
Still waiting for my ebay video card to arrive and a thought occurred to me:
On top of the existing there is a blue patch of what I think is some heat transfer material, if you look on the bottom side of the keyboard there is a heat pipe that lines up with the video chip.
The Dell manuals make no mention of this at all.
I wonder what I should put in its place? I'm worried about using cpu HT compound like Arctic Silver as that might glue my keyboard to the video chip and make disassembly impossible in future.
Any thoughts? Anyone?
DF
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
242 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Well guys, my new graphics card is in ! Nice to see my screen decently again.
Dave on this GeForce4 440 go card I didn't see the same setup as the ATI card I took out, there seems to be some kind of blanket over this one and hence no place to put Heat Transfer compound I dont think.
Thanks again for all your help ! And to the people suffering the same symptoms... well a new card fixed it for me.
I got it off ebay for about 70 US, much cheaper than what Dell was asking, but then my card is used.
Thanks again, I'll mark this post solved.
DF
 
1 - 20 of 29 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top