I've got a Dell Latitude D630 and I use it regularly in a PR01X docking station. I have noticed recently that if I undock the laptop while it's powered on, then open the screen, there are loads of coloured artefacts on the screen. The screen then flashes then the screen comes on as normal. The nVidia driver also crashed yesterday when watching a youtube video. Not sure if this is related.
So, I contacted Dell support as the laptop is still under warranty and they asked me to do some diagnostics. I ran the pre boot diagnostics that they requested and when the screen does the display test where is shows a solid colour on the screen, the first 2 colours (White and black) have loads of black flickering lines.
Does anyone know what this could mean? Is it likely to be the GPU or the LCD?
It's likely a failed GPU - for which this nVidia chip is well known. Have Dell replace the mainboard under warranty.
Thanks, that's pretty much what I was thinking to be honest. However, if Dell replace the mainboard, is the nVidia chip going to be the same or will it be a 'fixed' version? My concern is that the laptops warranty expires this year and I don't want to be lumbered with a dudd laptop after the warranty expires, especially if this is a known issue.
nvidia has claimed for a while they fixed the problem -- so you will get what they claim is a "fixed" chip. There are plenty of engineers who've looked at the issue and claim that nVidia never really did fix the problem -- so you will find dissenting opinions out there.
I have had one of these myself. The gal on the phone told me that they cover the replacement of the motherboard, which the video is part of, up to a year from the end of warranty. Luckily I was still IN warranty, and was able to get the little rubber foot thingies too! Mine wear off easily.
You could also ask it they would replace the MB with one of the Intel GMA models. This does not use the nVidia chip and never had the problems encountered by the D620/D630 machines.
To be fair, when I bought the laptop, I paid extra to have the nVidia Dedicated GPU so wouldn't even consider them replacing it with a cheaper Intel part with no refund.
The Dell engineer came last Thursday and replaced the motherboard and the LCD. I then sold the laptop before further issues developed and have now bought a Dell Latitude E6400 with a higher spec for less money that I got for the D630 so I'm happy :)
I work for an IT support company based in London, we provide alot of these laptops to clients and we have come across the problem you have had, alot of our clients use docking stations and various other accessories, and on a few occasions this problem has occured with them aswell.
We pinned it down to being a problem with a failed GPU, which nVidia confirmed and we had the boards replaced.
Dell where more than happy to replace the mainboard for us as the item was still under warranty.