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    Angry Single-pixel Lines in Dell Inspiron Screen?


    As a bit of backstory, I've never worked hands-on with a laptop before. Somehow, I ended up with one as my primary computer. Please save the 'lolz get a real computer' comments until after you've given your expert opinions.

    Recently, some vertical lines have appeared in the screen. It has not been bumped, jostled, thrown, or dampened. It's a very spoilt little machine.

    I don't have a spare monitor to test for a screen problem, but I might be able to jack a friend's when he gets back from vacation.

    As far as I can tell from previous experience, I think the video card may be going. To be honest, I'd be much happier if that were the case, since I imagine screens are much more costly.

    Has anyone else ever had this happen? Does anyone have any idea what's up?
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    Devshed Supreme Being (6500+ posts)

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    Hi Tentacular and welcome to Dev Shed.

    It could be a number of things. It could be dead pixels on the screen (although, for them all to be dead in a vertical line is a little slim), it could be due to a wrong driver, a jolted graphics card or could be the ribbon connector going faulty.

    Have you tried to upgrade the drivers in the first instance ?
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    sometimes it can be the pins around the edge of the screen, it can also be the cable connecting the screen, because your saying its multiple vertical lines i would guess its probably the ribbon cable that is faulty or loose

    also sometimes with those vertical lines you can press near the edge of the screen where the line ends and make it work, if that's doesn't work then i would first call dell, if its still under warranty they will fix it, otherwise you would have to open it and try to fix it, be be aware that laptops are a lot harder to work with then a desktop, so only try it if you are very conformable with working on computer hardware

    Comments on this post

    • aitken325i agrees
    • Tentacular agrees : Tentacular agrees, and thanks for the help!
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    Talking


    Ack. I see this had to be moved, eh? That's what I get for browsing in multiple windows.

    The thing would have the audacity to go crazy after the warranty wore out.

    I've tried the screen poking and driver upgrades before I tried DevShed, but they don't seem to be helping. It was worth a try, though.

    The worst thing? If this thing was a desktop, I would have already gotten into its guts and tried more things, but I've never opened a laptop before. I'd feel safer taking it to my mate's shop than I would filleting it myself.

    I'm going to pursue the ribbon cable possibility, if only out of the hope that I won't have to pay to replace the card.

    Thanks for the help, guys.
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    Devshed Demi-God (4500 - 4999 posts)

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    you can't replace the card, you replace the motherboard
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    It might also be heating of the card. In any case, you will end up replacing things..
    For your more complex hardware related problems, visit DevShed's sister forums: DevHardware
    If you don't already know about it, please checkout our guide to Folding@Home . Join DevHardware team and help cure diseases. Your support is valuable and much appreciated. *
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    Single pixel lines on Dell Inspiron screen


    Hi Tentacular!
    Yes I also have an Inspiron (9300) and I also have lines on the screen. Like you, this machine has been cossetted and really looked after - never moved - always working on mains etc. etc. I'm not a "fiddler", I don't tweak and I don't play games. This is strictly a workhorse, bought at Dell's suggestion purely for the screen. It is now 17 months old. A couple of weeks back there was one pale blue line; the next day a second appeared; the third day brought the third line in a pale violet colour. Very pretty but very annoying. Now today in comes the fourth.

    My first action was to call in my engineer who told me the screen was duff. At my suggestion he rang Dell who talked him through several checks (including taking it apart to check the cable) and they confirmed screen failure.

    An argument has ensued with Dell over this failure as I am not a happy bunny! Far from it! They then rang me with a special offer - they would fit another screen with 3-month warranty for 380. What's this - a refurbished screen from some other unfortunte Dell user? No thank you. Bigger argument followed and they reduced the price to 270. Talk about adding insult to injury.

    A couple of engineers I know have told me I can get a plug-in flat screen monitor for about 140 and that would work well.

    BUT IT SHOULDN'T HAVE HAPPENED AT ALL. Sounds very much like a design fault to me (or built-in fault) and I shall continue to hound Dell over this until they do something.
    Their Manager told me "we can't just give our equipment away to anybody who asks"! My reply: Who would want it??

    Another annoying little thing which has happened from new - it refuses to bring in updates for virus protector. Hours spent with McAfee to no avail; bought Norton, which stopped working after a couple of weeks. Now on my third VP.
    Give me strength! They should pay us for having to tolerate their continual run-around.

    Best of luck with yours. I'd love to hear of anyone else with the same problem. Maybe if we could join forces we might get somewhere. Incidentally, one engineer I spoke to told me "oh yes, they're noted for that!" Cold comfort indeed.

    KBO
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    Same luck here, warranty ran out in April and the sreen has like 20 lines comming from top to bottom. The screen also is split, image on left 70%, a 5% black line and then 25% of the right side is the right most piece of the original screen image, VERY ODD.
    The screen has the lines and the split even at the BIOS boot sreen, so it is not an OS problem. I took apart the small top cover, above the keyboard and it is not the cable. I am going to take it to work and try the screen from another laptop, if I am lucky to find a soul with a similar model.
    It seems like a big flaw from DELL, no coincidence that these units sold last year and they are breaking now. Talk about a "disposable" laptop... funded by the customers!!!
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    Dell Screen


    I couldn't agree with you more. Sounds to me like they bought a cheap bunch of screens (Phillips?) and so they are all expiring at the same time. Rather like the exploding battery fiasco. Mine has only 8 vertical lines at the moment, but anything else could happen any time. Don't trust it for one moment and spend half my time backing everything up.

    Did you report it to Dell, and if so, what reply/brush off did you get from Customer Service?

    I have now bought a flat panel monitor to plug in, and that appears without lines. It was el-cheapo, has better quality that the Dell screen (but with the same resolution) and reading the literature, it says the guarantee will be limited to 3 years if proof of purchase is lost. Dell take note! Still think they should do something for us. We are just the tip of the iceberg I think. There must be many more Inspiron users who haven't found this site, or have just accepted the rubbish Dell have told them. Going to write to Dell's CEO now and air my grievances. Don't suppose it will do any good but it will make me feel better!
    KBO
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    lines on the screen


    Hi,

    I have got the exact problem with my insiron 9300 that is more then 1 year old, I`ve got vertical lines on the right part of the screen is going to be like the fiasco with the batteries but I think we are too little yet. If you go to dell site on the forum there is few pwople there too with the same problem and the administrator just answer one time sayng "stick external monitor if works is the laptop monitor folty 700$.
    What do you think can we do??
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    Devshed Supreme Being (6500+ posts)

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    There's really not all that much you can do without changing parts. Is very poor service that these are all starting to happen when the 1yr warranty is passed.
    Last edited by aitken325i; September 27th, 2006 at 11:46 AM.
    The No Ma'am commandments:

    1.) It is O.K. to call hooters 'knockers' and sometimes snack trays
    2.) It is wrong to be French
    3.) It is O.K. to put all bad people in a giant meat grinder
    4.) Lawyers, see rule 3
    5.) It is O.K. to drive a gas guzzler if it helps you get babes
    6.) Everyone should car pool but me
    7.) Bring back the word 'stewardesses'
    8.) Synchronized swimming is not a sport
    9.) Mud wrestling is a sport
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    Maybe if we are a lot we can get it replaced for free like for the batteries but I think we got to be thousands and more..........
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    Devshed Supreme Being (6500+ posts)

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    Originally Posted by gabriel79
    Maybe if we are a lot we can get it replaced for free like for the batteries but I think we got to be thousands and more..........
    Yeah, that would take a lot of complaints. But even then, would they change the screens ? They have to change 'exploding batteries' as they could be dangerous to people.

    A call to Dell won't harm matters though, you never know how many people are in the same predicament.
    The No Ma'am commandments:

    1.) It is O.K. to call hooters 'knockers' and sometimes snack trays
    2.) It is wrong to be French
    3.) It is O.K. to put all bad people in a giant meat grinder
    4.) Lawyers, see rule 3
    5.) It is O.K. to drive a gas guzzler if it helps you get babes
    6.) Everyone should car pool but me
    7.) Bring back the word 'stewardesses'
    8.) Synchronized swimming is not a sport
    9.) Mud wrestling is a sport
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    Hi All,
    Don't know what we can do, but sure feel we ought to do something. It is possible to go to the Small Claims Court, and probaby win, (in UK) but personally I wouldn't want to do that.

    I have written a stinky letter to Dell UK saying in short that I have found this happening to many others, and it is obviously a manufacturing fault which they have a duty to rectify. (But I added a whole lot more about lack of service/non operational quality control which allowed this problem in the first place etc - all my many grievances.) So far this 9300 has cost me about 2,000 including new plug in screen, and endless engineer calls over the course of its 17 month life.
    If anyone wants to follow suit, and I really hope you do, I have written to
    Mr Josh Claman, Vice President and Manager UK,
    Dell Campus, Bracknell, Berks RG12 1FA.

    I am not anticipating much from him, so after a reasonable time I will also write to Michael Dell, Chairman of the Board and CEO, Dell Computer Corporation, One Dell Way, Round Rock, Texas 78682.

    They keep hiding behind the 1 year guarantee, but from an article in last month's computer active, it seems that doesn't hold water. Here's a bit from it which I quoted to their Customer Relations Manager:
    "The Sale of Goods Act states that goods must not have inherent faults (those
    present at the time of purchase and design faults that cause problems later in the product's life). Durability, or the reasonable life expectancy of a product, is harder to define, but a judge would be influenced by factors such as the item's cost and how it had been used."

    "The Sale of Goods Act states that goods must not have inherent faults (those
    present at the time of purchase and design faults that cause problems later in the product's life). Durability, or the reasonable life expectancy of a product, is harder to define, but a judge would be influenced by factors such as the item's cost and how it had been used."

    As we all know, the 9300 was one of their most expensive laptops and sure should have had a life expectancy of more than a year. Nuff said.

    KBO
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    Devshed Supreme Being (6500+ posts)

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    Sounds like you are right on top of this here. If you don't mind, can you let me know how you get on with your letters to Dell ?? I'd be very interested to know what happens.
    The No Ma'am commandments:

    1.) It is O.K. to call hooters 'knockers' and sometimes snack trays
    2.) It is wrong to be French
    3.) It is O.K. to put all bad people in a giant meat grinder
    4.) Lawyers, see rule 3
    5.) It is O.K. to drive a gas guzzler if it helps you get babes
    6.) Everyone should car pool but me
    7.) Bring back the word 'stewardesses'
    8.) Synchronized swimming is not a sport
    9.) Mud wrestling is a sport
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