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April 1st, 2018 09:00

Inspiron 15 5000, screen flashes red green blue black on start up

I have an Inspiron 15 5000. fairly new.

when i power up it goes straight to flashing red blue green black even before the dell badge can come up.

i have tried restating and holding down he power button for 30 seconds - but nothing helps.

i have tried also pressing F8 to get to the diagnotics page but theres no response.


please help



Community Manager


2.2K Posts

March 3rd, 2022 22:00

If this isn't hardware related as mentioned in the thread (and the system boots after the sequence), updating the bios is a fix for this model (and also other systems listed in the link posted). Please review this support article for instructions and be careful when updating the BIOS, especially if the system is out of warranty. 

From the article:



You may also use the "Get Help Now" option at the bottom right to chat with a Dell technician right away.



9.4K Posts

April 2nd, 2018 03:00

Hi Smalljoe,

Thanks for posting.  Apologies that your system is not performing as expected.

Video distortion can be caused by a variety of issues.  The problem could be with the LCD, the GPU, or the motherboard itself. I see you've tried several different troubleshooting methods, but don't see if you tried the F12 at startup.  Please try that and be sure to run the video diagnostics.  Post back with any error messages and the users here may respond with more assistance.

Otherwise contact Tech support if you still have warranty on the computer.  You can contact Tech Support at 1-800-624-9896  or the out of warranty department at 1-800-288-4410, or you can initiate a chat session .  


3 Posts

April 2nd, 2018 05:00

Hi Dell-Robert P,


Thanks for the help. Unfortunately i cant get to the diagnostics page - pressing F12 doesn't do anything. It just keeps on flashing colours.



4 Operator


6.4K Posts

April 2nd, 2018 09:00

Just making sure you're performing the F12 key steps correctly.....

1. Power off system. Remove all peripherals (except AC adapter)

2. Power on system, quickly start tapping F12  key continuously until you see Preparing One Time Boot Menu in top corner of screen.

3. In Dell Preboot menu, select Diagnostic. After quick test finished, select Video, and then click on Thorough Test Mode. Repot back any error code.   

By the way, I'm assuming windows 10 is on the system....

3 Posts

April 2nd, 2018 10:00



thanks for the detail above - i tried doing as you advise for the F12 reboot.But no Joy, as soon as i press the power button the screen flashes white then into the sequence of colours: red, green blue, black.

Yes i am on Windows 10



9.4K Posts

April 4th, 2018 05:00

Have you tried troubleshooting with Dell Tech Support?  It sounds as though your motherboard may have failed and would need to be replaced.

You can contact Tech Support at 1-800-624-9896  or 1-800-288-4410, or you can initiate a chat session


September 10th, 2018 10:00

Have you tried an external monitor?


I have the same issue with an E7450, but when docked, with separate monitors, it will show video and allow tests to be run.


Pretty sure I have a dying LCD or cable.


Off to Dell to get replacements.

1 Message

April 26th, 2019 07:00

This is for you, and anyone in the future who has such a problem. The sreen flashes different colors at start, because the logic board where the video cable connects, isn't getting a signal from the motherboard. This is caused by a bad lcd screen connector cable. The cable, where it goes through the hinge, is bent back and forth, ever so slightly. And over time makes small breaks in the cable wires. If you can connect to an external monitor, and your laptop boots into your OS without fail, then the problem is not your LCD screen. Replace the LCD screen connector cable, and this should fix your problem. This is something you can do yourself, because there are videos on youtube that will show you how. $15 to $20 for a cable. Easy fix. For all of you, that this helps; Your welcome.

1 Message

July 4th, 2019 04:00

I am having the same problem, but it is slightly different...
When I keep windows key pressed while booting, it boots up normally.
If I don't press windows key, however, the laptop screen goes into the color sequence...
You see, the laptop is working just fine with exception of a single anomaly...

August 13th, 2019 16:00

Same thing here with a client computer. Maybe a BIOS update or something is out/or is needed?

1 Message

May 14th, 2020 13:00

In case others are searching for a solution - I found that the "d" on my keyboard was stuck.  This caused the computer to go into a display troubleshooting mode.

You can check this in your case by unplugging the keyboard ribbon and then starting the computer with either no keyboard or with a usb keyboard.


1 Message

April 7th, 2021 08:00


the pressing D has helped us as it helped us work out an issue on a E5470 and tested it on another machine and User got it at startup.

Maybe replace the keyboard once cleaned to see if the issue goes away

1 Message

May 3rd, 2021 10:00

Having this problem right now. Laptop is exactly ONE WEEK old. None of the suggestions here have worked. This didn’t happen upon startup. I was working with my laptop outside & unplugged for ~2 hours. It worked perfectly fine, until I closed the laptop, brought it inside & plugged it back in. NOW I get the white/red/green/blue/black, and I’m unable to power down the laptop, no matter how long I hold the power button. Somebody help!

July 8th, 2021 23:00

I'm also having this trouble on my mom's laptop (a refurbished Latitude E6520). It booted fine yesterday, she opened her browser, checked email, was deleting some, and the screen went grey. From there she tried:

Force shutdown with power button, reboot > grey screen

Force shutdown, remove battery, reboot > grey screen

Force shutdown, reboot just on battery power > grey, flicker, black

Force shutdown, remove battery, reboot on just power cord > took some time to do anything, then it started cycling colors, roughly three times, and THEN it went to grey, did a single beep several times, and then started a tweedling noise until she forced it to shutdown again, at which point it would only boot to backlit black.

Since then, I opened it up, checked all cable connections, took the RAM out and reseated it, and now the status lights for the wifi, hard drive activity, and power cord being connected aren't even coming on.

Holding D when booting gets it to cycle the colors and then it went to backlit black and stayed there. Held down Fn and booted, the lights for the hard drive and power cable started flashing, it made some of the tweedly noises and then started cycling colors with a single repeating beep. I have an external monitor that might work, it's old enough, but I'll have to figure out where it is and extract it, so I figured I'd ask here in the meantime.

1 Message

August 3rd, 2021 04:00

I got this problem also after my mom's computer rebooting in right then,
d keyboard got bit hard to click and the "e" key, "3" key and F3 key was not working
due to of trying to repairing the d key as possible ,they were gone almost a month and
then now it started to go in this problem then. This always happens into a Computer that has no
CPU on it still. it reboots properly again after an minute or an hour it repaired the keys got lost,
like self repairing system, it's weird how it repaired it self but this is an amazing miracle.
Just try to ReBoot it remove the battery and then just unplug it then plug it again, close the lid of your laptop and then wait for some seconds or minute to be okay. Ff not one of those, maybe the problem as said at the very first page,
I think this is not normal for old laptops tho, I'm using A different laptop but the manufacturer is Dell also
it was Latitude E5430 with an I3 intel,  
but the internal audio, and internal mic did not repaired itself ;-;

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