Blank Screen, back light appears to be working, VGA output works - Inspiron 9400 - Video - Laptop - Dell Community

Blank Screen, back light appears to be working, VGA output works - Inspiron 9400


Laptop computer Forums (Audio, General Hardware, Video)

Blank Screen, back light appears to be working, VGA output works - Inspiron 9400

  • Hi, I am having a serious problem that I hope someone can help me with.  A fews day ago I hooked up my laptop to an HDTV (1080P) using VGA cable.  The computer recognized the TV but would output to the 1920x1080 resolution.  I was using Powerstrip to manage the video.  After trying different things to get the TV to work with its native resolution I finally gave up and thinking that maybe the video card (NVIDEA 7900GS) could not support two outputs (my laptop screen is 1920x1200) at the higher resolutions....soooo....I used Vista's "Display Settings" to change the main monitor to the TV and disable the laptop screen.  This however did not work and the most I could get on the TV was 1680x1050, this worked fine and we watched a 720P movie.  After the movie ended I was in a rush so I just shut down the computer and disconneted the computer from the TV.  When I later tried to turn the laptop back on, the laptop screen was completely blank, even the pre-bios prompt, however the LCD's screen had a bit of light mostly at the edges, indicating to me that the backlight works.  When I open Display Settings I see (using an external monitor plugged into the VGA) that the computer indicates that there is only one monitor connected and doesn't even recognize the laptop screen.  It also shows the DVI screen, but it is grayed out as there is nothing connected to the DVI port.  Then I deleted the pstrip.ini file to hopefully reset the computer to recognize the laptop monitor.  That didn't work, so then I UNINSTALLED Powerstrip and tried again, still no luck, screen is still blank!

    How do I get the laptop screen working again!  I could re-install Vista I guess, but don't really want to do that, and not even sure that would solve the problem.  Could I somehow have damaged the video card!  This is very frustrating as I can't even get into the BIOS because the monitor connected to the VGA will only come alive after the login screen appears.  Also tried the Dell diagnostics and it quickly stopped at the following error: Incompatible Video Controller, VESA Function 0x4f02 Returned AX=14F and I have no idea what that means, I Googled it and nothing came up.  I hope someone out there can help me.

  • I have the same problem. At some point my screen started to show up some artefacts. 10 sec after it started bluring then went totally black. Even when I reboot my laptop, its still black. When I plug a VGA monitor, I see a part of the booting screen with lots of artefacts and right after windows loading, I goes black again, as if it was not supporting the resolution change. When I run the diagnostic utility, I get the Vesa Function 0x4f02 returns AX=14f too.


    I think our vid card is toasted :/


    Another thing is that my USB mouse started to some times kinda disconnect. I had to unplug it and replug it to make sure it would work. Not sure it has anything to do with this but we never know! 

  • Yeah, I just experienced a similar problem when I hooked up an InFocus projector  to my Inspiron 8600 (VGA port) for a presentation.  I hit the Fn and CRT/LCD keys and the LCD panel went blank as the projector screen came up...but now I cannot get the LCD panel to work...even after disconnecting the projector, rebooting, etc....I can hook the projector back and the video is on the projector screen, but still no PC LCD...when i hit the Fn-CRT/LCD keys I see a momentary "flash" on the projector screen like it is trying to toggle back to the LCD but nothing the video for the LCD "toast"???

  • Well after being away for awhile (on vacation), came home and finally phoned Dell (my laptop is still under warranty).  I was connected without delay to a real person that could speak english (he was in Utah) and was on the phone with him for about an hour.  He had me do some tests and even take the cover off the power switch and hinges to check for proper connection of the LCD cable to the video card.  After all that, he concluded that the LCD panel had to be replaced and said that they could do it two ways, A. Send me the LCD screen and have me do the replacement myself, or B. Have a tech come out to my house and do the replacement (the warranty covers this).  I chose B.  This call was made on Good Friday, (I was amazed they were available on the holiday) and was told to expect a call from a tech next week.  The tech called this afternoon at 12:45PM and was here (I live 20 mins outside of the city) by 1:15PM and had the screen replaced and the whole thing put back together by 1:45PM and was gone at 1:50PM.  My laptop is now working again, I am elated!  And I have nothing but praise for Dell, so glad I have this extended waranty!  The tech didn't know why the screen failed, just that sometimes it happens.  He said sometimes it is simply a bad connection to the LCD panel (inside the back) but in my case that was not the problem.  I asked him what they will do with the bad screen and he said they will try to repair it, and if they can't then they will "recycle" it.  It sure would be nice to know why it failed, as I don't want it to happen again, but it sounds like it was just a random failure, and not something that I caused.


    Sign me,

    Happy Dell customer 

  • Dannodotcom,

    Glad to hear your problem was fixed by Dell...After discussing with coworkers, I "braved" the task of removing the cover that you described exposing the connection to the LCD screen.  By "trial and error" method, we were able to move wires, push on connectors, etc., enough to get the LCD screen to function again!  Seems like there might be a connection problem near the F8 button...although I expect to have problems down the road, I think it is "fixed" for now....thanks for your definately gave  me the confidence to explore a little and get the LCD panel back on...I am like you though...really would like to know root cause...