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Is my laptop videocard dead?

By Ralphmex · 11 replies
Apr 21, 2008
  1. Hello, i´m having problems with my laptop display.
    I have to restart it 10 or more times to get it to work.
    I get black screens, or pixelated patterns, or strange colors and spots, and when i finally get into windows, i see color pixels all over or sometimes some wrong pixels in some areas randomly, or when im working it freezes suddenly too.

    It doesnt seem to be something software related, because i tried everything, reinstalled drivers, updated them, etc.
    The CPU seems to work perfectly, once it starts windows normally, i guess is a videocard issue.

    Im attaching some pictures of what im getting at startup, hope this will help.

    Is my videocard dead? do i need to replace it?


    Attached Files:

  2. Ralphmex

    Ralphmex TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 41

    I forgot the specs...

    Dell Latitude D800
    Pentium M
    512 MB
    Nvidia GeForce4 4200 Go 64 MB Videocard

  3. xXxZxXx

    xXxZxXx TS Rookie Posts: 77

    Their could be something wrong with it. And if thats the case you can't replace just the video card, you have to replace the entire mobotherboard inside. Since laptop video cards are onboard.
  4. stretch37

    stretch37 TS Rookie

    It could also be your ram. try removing your sticks of ram one at a time if you have two - maybe one of them is defective.

    Ram is known to cause artifacts and display problems, although it migh seem like the video card would be a first guess.

    Your video card could also be causing the problem. Try using a program like Rivatuner to lower the clock speed of your video card's VPU. That might help to remove the artifacts.

    your cpu is possibly causing the problems. I would try some underclocking util, or your bios to underclock your CPU a few hundred Mhz......cpu's that are damaged or overheating can cause visual glitches, but it is more likely to cause artifacts accompanied by freezing and other irratic behavior
  5. Ralphmex

    Ralphmex TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 41

    Memory sticks seem ok

    I remove memory sticks one at a time, but get the same exact results.
    The funny thing is that at the very beginning when i turn on the laptop, the images that i posted appear, the black spots and stuff...
  6. buccaneere

    buccaneere TS Rookie

    Have you plugged in an external monitor to the VGA adapter?

    Make sure BIOS display is set for 'both' (native display and external display)', and also try external display alone.

    Also try boot up safe mode and uninstall monitor/display drivers, and allow default monitor display to load (re-boot).
  7. Ralphmex

    Ralphmex TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 41

    I connected external monitor

    I did what you recommended, and this i found:

    - Sometimes in my laptop display windows does not load, and in the external monitor it does load. The laptop automaticly disables monitor 1 (laptop display) if it is not loaded correclty.
    - I still get wrong pixels and strange patterns of pixels in both displays.
    - windowx xp seemed to load easily this time with two monitors, because today i tried like 10 times to enter to windows xp with no success with only the laptop display. But when i connected 2nd monitor windows could load in the 2nd but not in the laptop display.

    Hope this helps
  8. garreg_ddu

    garreg_ddu TS Member Posts: 19

    Have you checked the cables

    I am not sure if this model Dell laptop is the same as mine (1300) in its hardware layout, but there is a known "feature" of some Latitude and Inspiron models where the ribbon cable which connects the screen to the motherboard can work loose or even fracture. Right below the hinge at either end above the keyboard surround, you should see two slots where (with the system powered off) you can GENTLY insert a flat screwdriver bade and GENTLY lift the connector cover off. A ribbon cable should be visible, and you can try to reseat it GENTLY in the socket. If you then replace the cover and power up, the screen may come on properly. If it doesn't, and the cable is not damagaed in any way, then you may have a MOBO or Screen HW failure, which is not easily fixed without a new one .......
  9. buccaneere

    buccaneere TS Rookie

    highlighted in red = you can rule out a problem with connector/ribbon cable to laptop display

    highlighted in purple = you need to find out how to boot with 'VGAsave' (this is XP's backup display driver), instead of LCD drivers. This should allow both LCD and external monitor to display, which will give further diagnosis.

    Try start/rt click my computer/manage/device manager/click '+' next to display adapter/disable Reboot, and post back.

    You might have to disable the display in safe mode.

    Also make sure the bios is still set for synchronized display
  10. Ralphmex

    Ralphmex TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 41

    I get the same results

    I did what you recommend, but i still get exactly the same results, i need to turn on several time for the machine to start up correctly, can´t really tell what is going on, can´t see a direct cause and effect relation, i can only say sometimes the machine starts correctly, sometimes not, sometimes windows xp shows correctly, other times with wrong pixels, artifacts, or the display is black and blinks several times as if it is trying to load the image or something.

    I think it really made no difference in disabling the nvidia drivers.

    Hope this helps, thankx
  11. buccaneere

    buccaneere TS Rookie

    If you have the same problems getting 'safe mode' booted, and the same problems getting into the bios screen, that's not good.

    Hard to tell there, but I think at best, your vid chip is toast. Which means the mobo is toast. Put butter on it........
  12. Ralphmex

    Ralphmex TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 41

    Yeap, some butter should help...

    Well, i guess, it´s a bad videocard, isn´t it?
    the good thing is that i can be removed, it is not in the mobo itself, so i will have to find a used videocard, because it doesnt worth to pay a brand new one.

    i found this one:

    I think ill buy it, i just wanted to make sure that it is the videocard the bad component, and not a software issue. As i said, the CPU seems to work perfectly, i havent had any other problems that will suggest a CPU problem.

    Thanks for all guys, it really helped a lot!

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