Laptop: Dell Inspiron 17R-3D-SpecialEdition (Dell 7720 base) | 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 RAM, 2GB GDDR5 GeForce GT-650M 128-bit GPU | 17.3" 1080p 120Hz nVidia3DVision display, Core i7 3rdGen CPU | 1TB 4500rpm HDD + 512GB SSD boot + 32GB mSATA SSD + 4TB external HDD + inbuilt BluRay writer
Issue: Laptop gave 8 beeps at startup with nothing on screen. (LCD failure) After trying a few times and reseating the charger pin made it work. Diagnostics showed no error.
Sometimes, when playing some 4K-HDR content on MPC-Black Edition using madVR (or playing some graphically intense game) for long times, the nVidia graphics driver would crash and restart. But the GPU/CPU temperatures never got above 75 degrees Centrigrade. (I use CoolerMaster Notepal 3 aluminium cooler) Sometimes the Windows Explorer would crash and restart out of the blue, but I ignored it.
Then it started to get worse. I had to try like 15-20 times power on, power off to get it started. power on with pressing ''D" showed colors on screen, and that way it took lesser tries than normal.
Then I didn't use my laptop for a few days and it took me like 1 hour of tries to get it started. And now, I didn't use it for two weeks, and now I've spent like 12 hours trying to get it started, but nothing. Just 8 beeps.
I've disassembled it all, cleaned the motherboard, checked and reseated all cables, took out heatsink and CPU, reapplied cooling paste, even took out the display panel to check if there was any cable loose. There wasn't any.
I put it back together, and tried checking in midway before closing it all. Taking out RAM and CMOS battery gave different 2- and 5-beeps stating the missing parts. But putting them all back together gave 8-beeps again.
I tried using only power cable (no battery). I tried pressing power button for 40 seconds without battery to discharge everything - multiple times - and then starting again using both power cord + battery and power cord alone, with and without using "D"-press before boot. I tried booting after taking out/disconnecting all the Hard Drives, BluRay Drive and SSDs. I tried booting after leaving only one boot-SSD inside.
I tried connecting a second monitor via both VGA ports and HDMI - it showed no response. But that is expected because I regularly use 2 or 3 monitors and secondary monitors never respond before the Windows Logon screen. I don't know if there's a way to switch the display to external monitor before booting the laptop itself...
The laptop used to under warranty but after 5 years, Dell refused to renew it further so I'm stuck with fixing the problem myself, because replacing the motherboard alone would cost me the price of today's mid-range gaming laptop. I wanna make this one work. Even if I have to discard the primary display, it's fine as long as I get a second monitor to work.
In a nutshell: Display is fine, it shows colors. All cables are fine. Still it doesn't start up and only gives 8beeps. Before it was intermittent, now it just refuses to boot.
Though it shows colours, the LCD could still be defective. However it could also be a GPU failure.