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Dell D600 display problems

#1 User is offline   The Piney Icon

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    Posted 24 June 2009 - 03:26 PM

    I just got a Dell D600 laptop from my brother and when booting it often will have a dark display and nothing seems to happen with disk activity or has a very bright display with disk activity. When I restart by holding down the power button and it does boot up it starts with the "start Windows normally" "safe mode" etc. screen so I'm sure it is starting, just the display has a problem. Any of you familiar with this? I figured I would get your advice before I take it apart and see if any internal issues are obvious. I figure at most I'll re-seat the display cable. and see if that helps.

    The system specs:

    Dell D600
    CPU 1.6GHz @ 600MHz
    512MB Ram
    32MB ATI Radeon Mobility 9000
    Display is 14" XGA

    TIA
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    #2 User is offline   YardDog Icon

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      Posted 24 June 2009 - 07:09 PM

      If the laptop has a VGA output, hook a monitor up to it to see if
      it is booting correctly.
      Sounds to me like the display backlight or inverter is going bad.

      YD
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      #3 User is offline   pcuser Icon

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        Posted 24 June 2009 - 07:52 PM

        Quote

        I figured I would get your advice before I take it apart and see if any internal issues are obvious. I figure at most I'll re-seat the display cable. and see if that helps.

        While you're in there, don't forget to test the switch that shuts off the LCD when the lid's closed.
        If you're afraid of taking any chances then the chances are great that you will never learn anything

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        #4 User is offline   BvF7734 Icon

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          Posted 25 June 2009 - 07:40 AM

          Being as my former employer was a dell shop, I actually saw this a lot. I can't remember the exact cause of the problem but it is failing hardware. I want to place the failing piece as the LCD itself. Does the display at times seem to flicker or go to a certain color? If so, then it def is the LCD. Advice: Either use it in a dock as a desktop with an external monitor or buy another laptop.
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          #5 User is offline   The Piney Icon

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            Posted 25 June 2009 - 10:07 PM

            Well, now I'm thinking it may be more than the display.. I got the system in the mail from my brother and it ran fine for a while then all of a sudden the system crashed and upon reboot the built in Broadcom 570x network card and the IntelPro 2200BG Wireless card were not working. When I checked device manager the 0.2Micro cardbus adapter/connector was also showing as unknown. I tried reinstalling the drivers but that wouldn't work for some reason, it was like they were being detected but as incorrect devices. I re-installed the XP Pro and it worked fine again until after SP3 and a couple other programs were installed, last was AVG. Then whole thing again..

            I took the thing mostly apart to re-seat all the connections that I could get to (display, keyboard, wireless card, etc.) and blow out any dust from the air holes. I put it back together and all seems well but still not quite right.. I don't hear the fan and I put a twist tie into the shroud just enough to see if the fan was moving and it's not moving at all. I'm thinking now about removing the keyboard and seeing if I can re-seat the connector for the fan. I'll do that later tonight or tomorrow night and then reload Windows again.

            .... Just confirmed the fan is not spinning. Took keyboard out and reconnected the fan. Before reconnecting the keyboard I put the battery back in and tried to boot the system. The fan give a small jerk but will not spin up. Anyone know where I can get a replacement fan for this unit?
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            #6 User is offline   The Piney Icon

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              Posted 05 July 2009 - 12:20 AM

              Update... I got a new fan from an Ebay based company for $6.99 shipped. Put it in a bit ago and it's spinning nicely. While I had the system apart I checked the on-board video and noticed that one of the 2 video memory chips has what appears to be heat damage (kinda swollen/melted out on 2 sides). I put some fresh compound on the video and processor heat pipes and put the system back together. It still doesn't boot the first try or so every time but when it does, it's running fine so far...

              I'm reloading Windows again to see how it does. I'll keep you posted...
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              #7 User is offline   turbine_blade Icon

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                Posted 05 July 2009 - 09:19 AM

                I would guess that the D600 is a close cousin to the D610. I have seen several D610 laptops require a new motherboard, including the one I use daily for work. Theese should be obsolete by now, but my company maintains the fleet.

                I would not run a D610 series for long without a dual-fan cooling pad. This series from Dell operate at ridiculous high temperature. I am using an Inspiron 1525 at the moment that does not suffer from a heat problem.

                Good luck!
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                #8 User is offline   The Piney Icon

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                  Posted 10 July 2009 - 12:33 AM

                  After messing around with the unit, I think the motherboard it definitely part of the issue. I found several sources that discuss bootup issues and they seem to be similar, possible BIOS chip issues. I decided to pull the Wireless card and disable the onboard broadcom card in BIOS, which both appear to be connected through the card bus connection and the system is running much better now. I have been using a Belkin wireless G USB and it's working fine.

                  I even loaded Windows 7 as a dual boot on it and that is running as well as the XP. I think a cooling pad would be a good idea. Too bad I didn't get the refurbed Targus kit from Woot last week or the week before, had a 2 fan cooling pad, wireless USB optical mouse, 4-Port USB hub and a couple other items.
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