Knowledge Base

How do I Run Diagnostics on a Dell Laptop LCD?





Having trouble with LCD (screen) of a Dell laptop PC? If your Dell laptop PC has a blank or black screen, fuzzy, blurry, distorted or any other screen abnormalities, running a diagnostic test will help determine if the LCD (screen) of the Dell laptop PC is functioning normally.

Table of contents:

  1. LCD Built-in Self Test (BIST)
  2. Maintenance Guidelines
  3. Safety Instructions
  4. Frequently Asked Questions

LCD Built-in Self Test (BIST)

Dell laptop PCs have a built-in diagnostic tool that helps you determine if the screen abnormality you are experiencing is an inherent problem with the LCD (screen) of the Dell laptop PC or with the video card (GPU) and PC settings.

When you notice screen abnormalities like flickering, distortion, clarity issues, fuzzy or blurry image, horizontal or vertical lines, color fade etc., it is always a good practice to isolate the LCD (screen) by running the built-in self test (BIST).

Method 1 - Run the laptop LCD built-in self test (BIST)

  1. Power off the Dell laptop PC.

  2. Disconnect any peripherals connected to the PC. Connect the AC adapter (charger) to the PC.

  3. Make sure that the LCD (screen) is clean (no dust particles on the surface of the screen).

  4. Press and hold D key and power on the PC to enter LCD built-in self test (BIST) mode.
    Continue to hold the D key, until you see color bars on the LCD (screen).

  5. The screen will display multiple color bars and change colors on the entire screen to red, green and blue.

  6. Carefully inspect the screen for abnormalities.

  7. Press Esc key to exit.

Method 2 - Run the laptop LCD built-in self test (BIST)

  1. Power off the Dell laptop PC.

  2. Disconnect any peripherals connected to the PC. Connect the AC adapter (charger) to the PC.

  3. Make sure that the LCD (screen) is clean (no dust particles on the surface of the screen).

  4. Press and hold Fn key and power on the PC to enter ePSA or PSA diagnostics mode.
    Continue to hold the Fn key, until you see the ePSA or PSA diagnostic screen.
    Note: ePSA

  5. ePSA or PSA will run a series of tests on the PC.

  6. Press N key to enter LCD built-in self test mode when you see the message "Do you see the color bars? Yes/No".
    Note: If you do not respond for 30 seconds, the diagnostics will automatically assume your response as 'No' and proceed to the laptop LCD built-in self test (BIST).

  7. The screen will display multiple color bars and change colors on the entire screen to black, white, red, green and blue.

  8. Carefully inspect the screen for abnormalities.

  9. The PC will restart once the remaining tests are completed.
Note: If you do not detect any screen abnormalities in the built-in self test mode, the laptop LCD is functioning properly. Check the video card (GPU) and PC settings.
If you do notice any abnormalities in the built-in self test mode, you may get the laptop LCD repaired/replaced if it is under warranty by contacting Dell Technical Support.


Test your laptop screen - (00:24)

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Maintenance Guidelines

For best practices, follow these instructions in the list below while cleaning or handling laptop LCD.

  • To clean the anti-static screen, lightly dampen a soft, clean cloth with water. If possible, use a special screen-cleaning tissue or solution suitable for the anti-static coating. Do not use benzene, thinner, ammonia, abrasive cleaners or compressed air.
  • Use a lightly-dampened soft cloth to clean the LCD. Avoid using detergent of any kind as some detergents leave a milky film on the LCD.
  • If you notice white powder on the LCD when you unpack the laptop, wipe it off with a cloth.
  • Do not hold and lift the laptop using the LCD. Hold and lift the laptop by its base.
  • Ensure there are no obstacles (pen, ear-phones, etc.,) before closing the laptop LCD.
  • Do not open/rotate the laptop LCD beyond its design limit.
  • To help maintain the best image quality, use a dynamically changing screensaver and turn off the laptop when not in use.

For more information on maintenance guidelines, refer to the Dell knowledge-base article Dell Notebook - Use and Maintenance Guide.

Warning: Before cleaning the LCD, power off the laptop and unplug the AC adapter.

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Safety Instructions

For displays with glossy bezels, consider the placement of the display as the bezel may cause disturbing reflections from surrounding light and bright surfaces.

Warning: Use of controls, adjustments, or procedures other than those specified in the User Manual may result in exposure to shock, electrical hazards, and/or mechanical hazards.

For information on safety instructions, see the Safety, Environmental, and Regulatory Information (SERI).

For FCC notices (U.S. only) and other regulatory information, see the regulatory compliance website located at www.dell.com/regulatory_compliance.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Click the sections below for more information. Alternatively, click on Show all or Hide all, to expand or close all the sections simultaneously.

To run diagnostics on a Dell monitor, refer to the Dell knowledge-base article How Do I Run Diagnostics on a Dell monitor?

Running a LCD built-in self test (BIST) diagnostic on the laptop LCD is always a good practice to isolate LCD issues.
If the LCD built-in self test (BIST) diagnostic test passed, this indicates that the laptop LCD is functioning normally.
If the LCD built-in self test (BIST) daignostic test failed, for further troubleshooting, refer to the Dell knowledge-base article Common Troubleshooting Guide for Dell Laptop LCD Panel.


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Article ID: SLN131497

Last Date Modified: 05/31/2017 12:42 PM


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