Knowledge Base

Resolving Dell Desktop Monitor Issues


Table of Contents


Article Summary: This article provides information on "Desktop Monitor issues with Lines, Color, Fuzziness or Distortion".

Connecting the Monitor to your Desktop Computer

Video Connector and Cables

  1. Confirm that a power cable is connected to the monitor and a power outlet.
    • Monitors do not receive power through the video signal cable, but instead need their own power connection.
  2. Ensure the video cable is connected to the correct video source.
    • Laptop Computers: In Dell laptop computers all the video connectors use the same video card and additional video cards cannot be installed in the computer.
    • Desktop Computers: Look at the back of the computer (Figure 1) to check for any installed add-in video cards. Usually, integrated video cards are automatically disabled when an add-in video card is installed.
      The monitor must be connected to the add-in video card, if present.

      Figure 1: Video Connectors On the Back of a Desktop Computer
      1 Display Port Connector
      2 Integrated Video Card Connector
      3 Add-in Video Card in Expansion Slot
  3. Ensure that the correct type of video cable is connected.
Note: Use only one video signal cable to connect the monitor to the computer. Only one connection is necessary and connecting more than one can cause problem.

Add-in video cards that use a connector type other than DVI or VGA require a cable adapter, or dongle, to connect to a monitor.
Display Port is a new digital standard for connecting monitors to computers and has the capability to provide a scalable digital display interface with optional audio and high-definition content protection (HDCP) capability. Display Ports usually resemble USB Ports with one side angled.
A Display Port cable should be used if Display Port connectors are available on both the computer and the monitor.
High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) is the current digital standard for connecting all kinds of video devices.
HDMI cables provide the same quality of video signal as DVI. However HDMI can provide sound through the cable but the Video Card has to support the Audio through HDMI function in order for it to work.
Digital Video Interface (DVI) is the digital standard for connecting monitors to computers. DVI connections are usually color-coded with white plastic and labels.
DVI cables provide a higher quality signal than VGA cables. A DVI cable should be used if DVI connectors are available on both the computer and the monitor.
Video Graphics Array (VGA) is the analog standard for connecting monitors to computers. VGA connections are commonly color-coded with blue plastic and labels.
A VGA cable should be used if DVI connectors are not available on either the monitor or the computer.

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Check the Video Cable

  1. Examine the video cable connectors for signs of damage (Figure 2).

    Figure 2: Bent or Broken pins in a VGA Connector.
  2. Make sure the connector is fully inserted (Figure 3).

    Figure 3: VGA connector not inserted fully.
  3. Try a known good video cable with the monitor.
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Blank Screen or No Video

  1. Confirm that your computer is turned on.
    1. Look for the monitor power LED.
    2. Press the power Button ON.
    3. Status of Monitor Power LED:
      • No light – The monitor is not receiving power.
      • Amber/yellow light – The monitor is not receiving consistent power.
      • Green/blue light – The monitor has power.
  2. Check the power connection to your monitor.
    1. Unplug the power cord from the back of the monitor and the wall outlet.
    2. Plug the power cord into the back of the monitor, and then into a working wall outlet.
    3. Press the Power button on the monitor.
    4. If your monitor still does not have consistent power, look for another power cord (If available).
    5. If your monitor still does not have power, contact Dell Technical Support for further assistance.
  3. Confirm that your video cable is connected to your monitor. For more information, refer to Connecting the Monitor to your Desktop Computer.
    If a add-in video card is installed in your computer, the standard video port is disabled. Your monitor must be connected to the port on the add-in video card.
  4. Confirm your video input source.
    Use the Quick Access or Input button to confirm that your selected video input source works with your monitor’s video card.
  5. Run the Built-In Diagnostics for your Monitor to verify the functionality of your monitor.
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Set or Change your Video Settings

By changing your video settings you can change the look of your screen including Icon Size, Font Size, Color depth and Resolution. Follow the below instructions to change video settings in: Back to Top

Adjust the Monitor in the On-Screen Display Menu

  1. Press the Menu button.
  2. Select Menu and then press enter.
  3. Select Auto-Adjust and then press enter.
  4. The display will show a window which reads 'Auto Adjustment in Progress'.
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Reset the Monitor to Factory Settings

  1. Press the Menu button.
  2. Select Menu and then press enter.
  3. Select Other Settings and choose Factory reset.
  4. The display will show a window which reads 'Auto Adjustment in Progress'.
The above instructions might vary between different models of monitors. Refer to your monitor's manual for more specific instructions on How to Reset the Monitor to Factory Settings.

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Run the Built-In Diagnostics for your Monitor

  1. Make sure there are no video cables plugged into the monitor. The monitor should display a message indicating there is no video input.
  2. Press button 1 and button 4 simultaneously and hold them for 2 to 3 seconds (Figure 4).

    Figure 4: Entering Diagnostics Mode of your Monitor.
    Button 1
    Button 4
  3. The monitor should visibly change to the diagnostic mode.
  4. If "Input Source" menu appears, press button 4 to exit the menu.
  5. Press and hold both Button 1 and Button 4 simultaneously for 2 to 3 seconds (Figure 4).
  6. In diagnostic mode, the screen will display a solid color. Press Button 4 to cycle through the colors.
  7. The test cycles from gray to red to green to blue to black to white. The test is over when the white screen appears. Look for any lines, fuzzy color, distortion in the Built-In Diagnostics mode.
  8. To exit diagnostic mode, press Button 4.
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Update Video Driver and BIOS

An out of date Video Driver or BIOS can cause abnormal display issues. Visit the Dell Support Website and input your Service Tag to get updates specific to your computer.

If you need more information on downloading and installing the Drivers and updating BIOS, click here.

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Contact Dell Technical Support

Contact Dell Technical Support for more information.

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Article ID: SLN130763

Last Date Modified: 07/10/2015 08:00 AM


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