I have searched all over and although I have found similar issues they are not quite the same.
The screen started to look bad with small vertical lines on the screen and then the same day it went blank.
I can use an external monitor but still see the vertical lines breaking up the graphics.
If this is a hardware that can be replaced, which one and where to buy, I am comfortable taking the laptop apart as it is a spare now and already took it apart to check connections.
Sounds like a faulty video card or chip.
If you have integrated Intel video, the mainboard must be replaced.
If you have an ATI X1300, X1400 or nVidia 7300 card, it can be replaced but is a proprietary part - you will need to get the card from Dell or a Dell parts seller.
Ebay has a repair manual for $1.00 I bid and won for different dells It is on its way here. Mine is doing the same thing it is blank
sometimes but it was and said no hard drive found reboot no device found hit f1 to reboot know what I did I connected the
battery and charged it for 3 days I plugged it in I took out the harddrive and remounted it I removed the DVD drive and then
charged it but it still has a loose screw and black lines go across the screen hundreds of them. But I got it charged and tried
it again and this time i turned it on windows rebooted I actually reinstalled windows the first time even though the repair
manual says that this is not an erase error at all but it isnt why you remove your hard drive to save your stuff and put a
new dummie into it it dont know. The next time it is charged at this point really well and within 35 minutes the screen does
go black but this time you can take a flashlight and see barely the last screen that I was working on and I have to restart
the computer from turning the computer off incorrectly over time this damages the computer for good.
I am going to connect my dell with another working computer a this one and this is recommended when I get the connection to
do this with this is also recommended I read it all on microsoft and on dell and on windows xp i sure have and had a lot of
paper on the subject .
Better to remove your harddrive it is a video problem we think save your data and put a dummie back up in then get back
up drive ghost or a copy to work with all the time and you wont lose data.
You can run the video test when you turn the computer on before windows boots hit a key and the dell diagnostics screen will
appear get that hard drive out before you touch anything first then insert new hard drive may have to and will have to
install windows or whatever all over again but so save your data and stuff. This dell diagnostic tree will test your video
must interact with the test and will verify if it is your video or not my computer is 20 years old doing this too right now
Dell Diagnostics is F12 key before boot into windows when you see if you see the Dell logo. Happy new year Oh and Im guessing
take the F12 seriously however but Im going to order from Barnes and Noble two books that come with a CD used at a technical
institute in tallahassee florida in leon near florida state university and FAMU . The books with CD are diagnostic disks for 12
month course in PC computer repair . The books and disks are used by repair technicians to diagnose problems with any PC
normally cost hundreds of dollars mandatory for graduation at the technical center. Look up lively technical center in
tallahassee florida. Find the books mandatory for pc repair technician they give you the names of the books and of the author
I went to Barnes and noble on line and typed in this information under search of "used books only" and found them for sale
for $1.99 each . The total cost is about $10.00 if you buy them online at barnes and noble not 500.00. These disks are diagnostic
and 1 is for hardware and the other is for software repair. Im going to order them part of another school I wanted to go to
a hobby. These laptops are ridiculous the problems and the cost is so high you would think that these companies would
offer more support like virus scans and pc doctors and dr. watson is an option and a lot of doctor disks available have to find
them on the web insert the disks into your computer run a scan for problems. The books are mandatory for the 12 month
PC repair technician program at lively technical center near FSU and FAMU in tallahassee florida well worth $10.00 investment.
The recovery for hard drives too high $2,000.00 but in PC magazine I found a CD software application and program that
is $45.00 in the back of the magazine. I lost all my stuff and been about 28 years since I worked with computers really
forgot all I knew about them had i remembered it all It comes up later on i remember months later.
I am experiencing EXACTLY the same issue on an Inspiron 6400 with ATI 256mb X1400.
Showed up first time right before Christmas then mysteriously went away until yesterday.
Most times laptop will not boot to LCD. Now hardly ever posts.
When I connect to an external monitor it will boot into safe mode with yellow vertical lines widely spaced appart through the graphics.
If I boot to WinXP MCE with external it get part way in and give a BSD stating "ATI2DVAG has failed and is caught in an infinite loop OR possible device failure.
I'm betting it's video card as well, and wonder if you indeed fixed your problem with a replacement card.