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2 Bronze

XPS 8300, displays white or black screen

My 9 year old XPS 8300 desktop suddenly displayed a blank black screen when online yesterday. I was using the BBC iPlayer and the sound continued. After a short while there was a brief screen of text and it rebooted into safe mode. When I went back into the normal mode everything seemed fine. But when I reopened Firefox it started to open the BBC website and the screen became distorted and again crashed this time to a white screen. Again it rebooted and once in safe mode I did a scan disk. Nothing apparent showed up. Went back into normal mode and tried IE which seemed ok but sluggish. Tried Google Chrome and that was alright for about 5 minutes but again went to a black and them blue screen and rebooted. While in windows I did look at the Event Manager but that did not list anything apart from saying about the unexpected shutdown. My feelings is it might be the graphics card on its way out. Or over heating as the last few days have been particularly hot. Any other suggestions?

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25 Replies
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7 Thorium

Re: Computer displays white or black screen

Did you run the diagnostics to see if hardware has failed?

Time to start thinking about a new computer.

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2 Bronze

Re: Computer displays white or black screen

Is that the Dell diagnostics? Will try that as well. I must admit I had been thinking of upgrading quite soon anyway. Pity the new range of XPS don't offer the same range of customising the PC as they did in the 8300 days.

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8 Krypton

Re: Computer displays white or black screen

Version of Windows?

In addition to running diagnostics, test this monitor on different PC or different monitor on this PC.

Do you have an add-in (AMD or NVidia) video card or only use Intel HD Graphics 2000? If you have an add-in video card, physically remove the add-in card (see service manual) and connect the monitor to either the onboard VGA or HDMI port. See if that works. NOTE: Unless/until an add-in video card is removed, the onboard video ports will be disabled.

If that doesn't help, consider overheating or possibly a power supply issue. So make sure all fans are clean, turn freely and are working. Use canned air to blow out all the dust from motherboard, fans, heat sink, case vents, etc.

Then consider that the thermal paste between heat sink and CPU dried out and has to be replaced. Service manual shows how to remove/install heat sink and lots of youtubes on cleaning top of CPU and bottom of heat sink and applying new thermal paste. NOTE: Do not remove CPU from its socket.

Ron

   Forum Member since 2004
   I'm not a Dell employee

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2 Bronze

Re: Computer displays white or black screen

It's windows 7. I did try the dell diagnostics. This caused the fan(s) to go at great speed and the whole screen glitched with lots of colour dots. And the computer shut down. On rebooting there was no display whatsoever. I opened the computer up and cleaned all the fans, heat sinks and boards with a canned air. But still no display. I them replaced the graphics card with an old one from a older Dell. Got the display back and booted up. But still crashing when doing even simple applications like displaying photos in the slideshow. Where after a few photos you get corrupted images and them shut down! So does that suggest the processer is dying or perhaps the hard drives? The system was set up as Raid 0 over two 1tb drives when I got the computer from Dell. So assume if one disk dies the whole computer will malfunction or not boot up? Funny enough with all these issues I have never had any bleeps when I boot the computer up. Guess a new computer is the only real option. Pity as I like windows 7 and know a lot of my favourite programs won't work on 10.
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8 Krypton

Re: Computer displays white or black screen

Have you verified your monitor isn't the problem? Do that before going any further. Test it on another PC or a different monitor on this PC, using the exact same video ports on PC and monitor as when you see the problem.

Are all the drivers up-to-date, especially the video drivers? With the old card semi-working, I'd start by updating the video driver and chipset driver first. Drivers on Dell's support page are not recent, so go to the Intel Download Center and use its app to scan your hardware for updated drivers, and install those, if any.

Then go to either the AMD or NVidia website and look for updated drivers for whatever video card is currently installed.

And it still might just be overheating, either CPU or GPU, or RAM.

RAID0 is very risky, so back up all your personal files on external media ASAP!

And you'd be surprised what apps will run under Win 10 64-bit. After you install an old app, set its compatibility mode in Win 10 to run like it would under an earlier OS, eg Win 7. I have apps installed and working normally on this Win 10 PC that were originally released for Win XP and for Win 95.

Ron

   Forum Member since 2004
   I'm not a Dell employee

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2 Bronze

Re: Computer displays white or black screen

I did try my old Dell monitor on the 8300 when it had stopped booting up and since. Before I swapped the graphics card over there was still no display. And now I am getting all be it intermittent access to windows it has shut down on the other monitor as well. So I think the monitor is ok. I have backed all my files over the years once I realised how risky Raid 0 is. I am a bit surprised that Dell sold them set up like that! 

Pleased that compatability mode works. As in the past with windows never found it that great!

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8 Krypton

Re: Computer displays white or black screen

Might also be a failing power supply, if not heat issues...

Ron

   Forum Member since 2004
   I'm not a Dell employee

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2 Bronze

Re: Computer displays white or black screen

Could a failing PSU kill a graphics card as the one fitted originally is now completely dead! And this older one I have fitted works but still crashes without warning! I left it on this afternoon and it was still on when I came in some hours later. Moved the mouse to open a file and it rebooted!

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8 Krypton

Re: Computer displays white or black screen


@Fly-Catchers wrote:

Could a failing PSU kill a graphics card as the one fitted originally is now completely dead! And this older one I have fitted works but still crashes without warning! I left it on this afternoon and it was still on when I came in some hours later. Moved the mouse to open a file and it rebooted!


If it's over- or under-powering the GPU, it could. 

Or the GPU is over-heating.  Are all the fans working? You could install something like Speccy (free) and minimize it to taskbar to monitor CPU, GPU and HDD temps. Just mouse over the icon on the taskbar

That crash might be a video driver issue. Have you reinstalled (updated) the video driver?

Ron

   Forum Member since 2004
   I'm not a Dell employee

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