PC boots but screen is black

By Westy989
Sep 19, 2009
  1. Hi,
    I own a Dell XPS 720, i have had it for about 2 years now and have had no problems. Today i was using my computer as normal i went downstairs to answer the phone. When i came back upstairs the screen was black but the computer was still running. I tried bringing the desktop back but it had frozen i ended up having to turn it off by holding the button in.
    When i restarted the computer the screen is still black i dont get anything come up at all, the computer sounds fine like its starting normal but i have nothing at all on the screen. Ive had a check of the cables for the monitor which are fine. I dont have a clue what to do because i cant do anything with it. I have checked the video card and it looks like its working fine.

    Please help !

    Thanks alot
  2. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +9

    Difficult to tell without more work. There are 12 different video drivers posted for that machine.
    You could have a failed video graphics card, failed driver, failed hard drive, failed memory module, Failed monitor, a very dirty CPU fan or cooler from dust, fiber, or pet hair, or an infestation.

    You start by seeing if it will boot to a screen you can see while in SAFE MODE. Once that is done, you remove all memory modules but one, and boot. Then change modules, and boot. Remove the hard drive and boot with another

    First, to boot in Safe Mode, press the <F8> button repeatedly once per second as soon as you press the <ON> button. If you get anything that you can see on the screen in a very low resolution, you may have a bad video graphics card.

    But there remains a lot to be done in tracking down the cause.

    Video graphics cards for that model start at $32 and go up to $500, so you should start searching what is possible with your machine.

    It maybe useful for us to have a great deal more information on your computer: Hard drive brand and size, installed memory, cpu, etc.
  3. Westy989

    Westy989 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for the reply,

    I tried pressing F8 like you said and it has no effect at all the screen is just completley black nothing comes up its so strange. A few things happened before
    this like the night before this happened i was playing nfs underscover and it crashed and went too the black screen and i had to restart, then it happened again when i tried to play left 4 dead it came up with the black screen and i could do nothing so i restarted again and now nothing comes up at all even tho the computer sounds fine and stable. I have had a little look inside the case and it has been cleaned of dust not long ago and the video card appears to be running.
    I will tell you the specs thats i know but i cant turn the pc on to see exactly what it is so im going from memory.

    CPU: Intel quad Q6600
    Ram: 4GB
    Hard drive: 2x 320gb
    Video card: Nvidia 8800 GTX

    I will try and look up the rest and let you know.

  4. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 6,964   +355

    If you hear the Windows start sound/music but the screen is black, my feeling is there is something wrong with the graphics card itself. This happened a couple of times to me and each time I replaced the graphics card with a test card and the problem was fixed. Most recently my Nvidia 8800 Ultra failed in the way you described.
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