I've had this exact problem on my Inspiron 1420.
Tried 3 different drivers from nvida and dell all with the same result. (well, one got to the point with a horizontal line across the screen and two blinking dots)
I did a full restore back to factory default and got the black screen again so did a clean install of windows on top and that booted with SVGA as the graphics driver.
I have posted the bootlog for my PC in the video category.