Knowledge Base

Resolving Laptop LCD Issues


Table of Contents


Article Summary: This article has instructions to troubleshoot Laptop LCD Issues.

Laptop LCD Screen is Black or Blank

  1. Check the A/C adapter's power indicator light, if none, try it on a working A/C outlet or with a known-good A/C adapter.
  2. Press the power button and check for any lights on the computer, if none, refer to Dell Knowledge Base article Resolve No Power, No POST, No BOOT or No Video Issues With Your Dell Computer.
  3. Adjust the brightness of the LCD screen, while the computer is on.
  4. Test the Laptop LCD in the System Setup (BIOS).
    • Turn the computer off.
    • Power on the computer and press the F2 key until you see the System Setup (BIOS).
    • Look for lines, distortion, or any other video issues you have observed within the System Setup (BIOS).
      Some older Dell computers use an alternate key sequence instead of to enter System Setup. These key sequences include:
      • Ctrl +Alt +Enter
      • Delete
      • Fn +F1
      • Fn + Esc
  5. Run the Laptop LCD Built-In Self Test (LCD BIST).
  6. Try to boot into Enable VGA Mode.
    • Turn the computer off.
    • Power on the computer. When you see the Dell logo appear on the screen, press the F8 key until you see the Windows Advanced Boot Menu
    • Using the Up or Down arrow keys, highlight Enable VGA Mode. Press the Enter key.
    • Check if the video is seen in this mode of Microsoft Windows.
  7. If video is seen in the BIOS or the LCD BIST passes, proceed to the next step, else if the video is still not seen in the BIOS or the LCD BIST Contact Technical Support.
  8. Connect to an external monitor (if available),for more information on the different types of external monitor ports that may be available on your computer refer to Types of Display Ports.
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Adjust Laptop LCD Brightness

To Adjust the LCD Brightness hold the Fn Key and Repeatedly Press the Up Arrow to increase the brightness or while holding the Fn Key and Repeatedly Press the Down Arrow to decrease the brightness.

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Lines, Fuzzy, Color or Blurry Issues

  1. Verify that the BIOS and Video Drivers are installed. For more information refer to How to Use the Drivers and Downloads Website.
  2. Test the LCD in the System Setup (BIOS).
  3. Run the Laptop LCD Built-In Self Test (LCD BIST).
  4. Set or Change your Video Settings.
  5. Connect to an external monitor (if available), for more information on the different types of external monitor ports that may be available on your computer refer to Dell Support Website.
  6. Check for visible damage to the LCD.
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LCD Screen Cracked, Broken or Other Damages

Check for visible damage to the LCD. To identify any damage not visible to the naked eye, ensure you run Laptop LCD BIST on the system.

If the LCD has damages which is not covered by any applicable statutory warranty, limited hardware warranty and/or Dell-branded service, including Complete Care / Accidental Damage service, there may be a cost incurred by you for the replacement of parts.

For more information on Out-Of-Warranty Repairs visit the Warranty Services web site.

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Laptop LCD Built-In Self Test

To run the Built-In Self-Test perform the following:

Method 1

  1. Turn the computer off.
  2. Press and hold the D key while pressing the power button. This will start the Laptop LCD BIST.
  3. The screen will display multiple flashing colors. Look for lines, distortion, or any other video issues you have observed.
  4. The laptop will restart when the test is finished.

Method 2

  1. Turn the computer off.
  2. Press and hold the Fn key and power on your laptop while holding down the Fn key. This will start the Dell Pre-Boot System Assessment.
  3. Your computer will now run a series of tests.
  4. When your computer displays a series of horizontal and vertical color bars, it will prompt you with a pop-up message "Do you see the color bars? Yes / No
  5. Press the N key to enter the Laptop LCD BIST. Note: If you do not respond for 30 seconds, the diagnostics will automatically assume your response as a 'No' and proceed to the Laptop LCD Built-In Self Test.
  6. The screen will display multiple flashing colors. Look for lines, distortion, or any other video issues you have observed.
  7. The laptop will restart when the test is finished.
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Touchscreen Troubleshooting

Here are some articles that can help you with Touchscreen troubleshooting.

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Types of Display Ports

High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) is a technology that provides an interface for any audio/video source and an audio output/video monitor. It supports standard, enhanced or high-definition video and also multi-channel digital audio on a single cable.
To setup HDMI, connect the HDMI cable to the system and television. Press Fn + F1 to display the image on the television.
Mini-DisplayPort is a miniaturized version of DisplayPort. This interface is primarily used to connect a video source to a display device such as monitor.
To setup Mini-DisplayPort, connect the DisplayPort cable to the system and television. Press Fn +F1 to display the image on the television.
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.
Digital Video Interface (DVI) is the digital standard for connecting monitors to computers. DVI connections are usually color-coded with white plastic and labels.
DDVI 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.

HDMI and Mini-DisplayPorts provide 5.1 channel audio support. When HDMI and Mini-DisplayPort cables are connected at the same time, there will be no display on the LCD.

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Keyboard Shortcuts

For information on using keyboard shortcuts when you can't see where the cursor is, refer to Microsoft Knowledge Base article Keyboard shortcuts for Windows.

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Related Videos

My Laptop Display Won't Turn On

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How to Run the Laptop LCD BIST

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Troubleshooting Touch Screen Issues in Windows 8

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Article ID: SLN127964

Last Date Modified: 03/23/2015 08:13 AM


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