I have a Dell Vostro 1700 laptop with the 256mb nVIDIA 8600m GT graphics card. My laptop lost the ablility to display to an external monitor using the vga on the motherboard. Naturally enough i began to investigate this issue. i tried windows xp and vista business with various drivers including the ones supplied by dell. No luck. The monitor detects that there is a signal to be recieved but it only displays a black screen. Likewise the computer detects the monitor and can tell what the monitor is.
I decided to run it in diagnostics mode where sure enough the the vga doesnt work either. From this i know it is not a driver issue as their own program and would have built in drivers. The Laptop LCD works fine however the external vga output does not.
I researched on the internet a bit and found that no video is a sympotm of a failing graphics card and many of the manufactures have had problems with the nVIDIA GeForce 8600m GT graphics chipset. I contact dell support who inform me that there are no know issues with the model i have but that there are issues with the next model the 1710. When question they finally admit that it is the same graphics card in both machines but are unwilling to help and so pass me off to customer services.
Has anyone else had issues with this laptop as dell are denying that it affects this computer but affect its successor which has the same parts?
I'm assuming you've done all the simple stuff? Reinstall the video driver package from the nvidia website, use the appropriate keyboard function command to cycle video output modes, visit the nvidia-specific video control panel (if installed) to enable that output, etc.
Yes it was the first thing i though off. I actually went completely overboard and did a clean install of the operating system to ensure that there would be no conflicts. i tried the Dell drivers which are seriously out of date with no sucess. i also tried the more uptodate nvidia drivers still no luck. i even tried installing windows xp but no luck.
I then used the onboard diagnotistics tool (pressing the fn key and power button). It loads the diagnotistics program which is idenpendant from the operating system as it is emembed on the leptop. In pressing (fn + f8) will change the display from the laptop lcd to the external monitor if and only if a montior is connected. The laptop screen goes black and then the monitor detects a signal by coming out of sleep mode but only displays a black screen.
device drivers are so that the computers operating system can "talk" to the hardware.