How to Run Diagnostic Test on a Dell Monitor

How to Run Diagnostic Test on a Dell Monitor





Having trouble with a Dell monitor? If your Dell monitor has a blank or black screen, fuzzy or blurry image, flickering, distorted or any other screen abnormalities, running a diagnostic test will help determine if the Dell monitor is functioning normally.

Table of contents:

  1. Self-Test Feature Check
  2. Monitor Built-in Self Test
  3. Maintenance Guidelines
  4. Safety Instructions
  5. Frequently Asked Questions

For Dell laptop PCs, refer to the Dell knowledge-base article How to Run Diagnostic Test on a Dell Laptop LCD

Warning: Before you begin any of the procedures in this Dell knowledge-base article, follow the Safety Instructions.

Self-Test Feature Check (STFC)

Dell monitors provide a self-test feature check (STFC) that allows you to check whether your Dell monitor is functioning properly. If the Dell monitor and the PC are properly connected but the monitor screen remains dark or with a blank screen, self-test feature check (STFC) allows you verify if the Dell monitor is functioning normally.

Note: Self test feature check (STFC) helps check if the Dell monitor is functioning normally as a stand-alone device. To check for screen abnormalities like flickering, distortion, clarity issues, fuzzy or blurry image, horizontal or vertical lines, color fade etc, refer to the Monitor built-in self test section of this article.

Run the monitor self-test feature check by performing the following steps:

  1. Turn off both the PC and Dell monitor.

  2. Unplug the video cable(s) from the back of the PC. To run a proper self-test feature check (STFC), remove all digital and analog monitor cables from the PC.

  3. Turn on the Dell monitor.
    A floating dialog box should appear on-screen (against a blank or black background), if the monitor cannot sense a video signal and is working correctly. If nothing appears on-screen, chances are that the monitor may be at fault.
    Try to reset the monitor to factory settings using the On-Screen Display (OSD) menu.
    For more information on resetting a Dell monitor to factory settings, refer to the User Guide of the Dell monitor at Dell Manuals website.
    Note: While in Self-Test Feature Check mode, the power LED of the Dell monitor remains white.
    Depending upon the selected input, one of the dialogs shown below will continuously scroll through the screen (Figure 1, 2 or 3).

  4. Turn off the Dell monitor and reconnect the video cable(s).

  5. Turn on both the PC and Dell monitor.
    If the monitor screen still remains blank or black, check the video card (GPU) and PC settings as the monitor is functioning normally.

Self-Test Feature Check - VGA Source
Figure 1: Illustration of a Self-Test Message on VGA (English only)

Self-Test Feature Check - HDMI Source
Figure 2: Illustration of a Self-Test Message on HDMI (English only)

Self-Test Feature Check - DisplayPort (DP) Source
Figure 3: Illustration of a Self-Test Message on DisplayPort(DP) (English only)

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Monitor Built-in Self Test (BIST)

Dell monitors are equipped with a built-in diagnostic tool that helps determine if the screen abnormality you are experiencing is an inherent problem with the Dell monitor or with the video card (GPU) and PC settings.

When you notice screen abnormalities like flickering, distortion, clarity issues, fuzzy or blurry image, horizontal or vertical lines, color fade etc, it is always a good practice to isolate the monitor by running the built-in self test (BIST).

Note: Built-in self test (BIST) can be run only when the video cable(s) is unplugged and the Dell monitor is in self-test mode.

To run the monitor built-in self test (BIST):

  1. Make sure that the monitor screen is clean (no dust particles on the surface of the screen).

  2. Unplug the video cable(s) from the back of the Dell monitor and the PC. The Dell monitor should now enter self-test mode.

  3. Press and hold Button 1 for 5 seconds. A gray screen should appear (Figure 4).

  4. Carefully inspect the screen for abnormalities.

  5. Press Button 1 on the front panel again. The color of the screen should now change to red.

  6. Inspect the screen for any abnormalities.

  7. Repeat Step 5 and Step 6 to inspect the screen in green, blue, black, white and text screens.

  8. The test is complete when the white screen appears.

  9. Press Button 1 to exit the built-in self test diagnostics.
    Note: If you do not detect any screen abnormalities in the built-in self test mode, the monitor is functioning properly. Check the video card (GPU) and PC settings.
    If you do notice any abnormalities in the built-in self test mode, you may get the monitor repaired/replaced if it is under warranty by contacting Dell Technical Support.
Note: Picture of front panel buttons (Figure 4) is for illustration purposes only, actual placement of front panel buttons may slightly vary. Refer to the User Manual for product specific information.
Note: For Dell monitors manufactured before March 2015, follow the instructions How do I run built-in self test (BIST) on Dell monitors manufactured before 2015? in the FAQ section of this article.

Dell monitor - Front Panel Buttons
Figure 4: Illustration of Front Panel Buttons (English only)

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Maintenance Guidelines

For best practices, follow these instructions in the list below while unpacking, cleaning or handling a Dell monitor.

  • To clean the anti-static screen, lightly dampen a soft, clean cloth with water. If possible, use a special screen-cleaning tissue or solution suitable for the anti-static coating. Do not use benzene, thinner, ammonia, abrasive cleaners or compressed air.
  • Use a lightly-dampened soft cloth to clean the monitor. Avoid using detergent of any kind as some detergents leave a milky film on the monitor.
  • If you notice white powder when you unpack the monitor, wipe it off with a cloth.
  • Handle the monitor with care as a darker-colored monitor may get scratched and show white scuff marks more than a lighter-colored monitor.
  • To help maintain the best image quality on the monitor, use a dynamically changing screensaver and turn off the monitor when not in use.
Warning: Before cleaning the monitor, unplug the monitor power cable from the electrical outlet and video cable(s) from the PC.
Caution: Read and follow the Safety Instructions before cleaning the monitor.

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Safety Instructions

For displays with glossy bezels the user should consider the placement of the display as the bezel may cause disturbing reflections from surrounding light and bright surfaces.

Warning: Use of controls, adjustments, or procedures other than those specified in the User Guide may result in exposure to shock, electrical hazards, and/or mechanical hazards.

For information on safety instructions, see the Safety, Environmental, and Regulatory Information (SERI).

For FCC notices (U.S. only) and other regulatory information, see the regulatory compliance website located at www.dell.com/regulatory_compliance.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Click the sections below for more information. Alternatively, click on Show all or Hide all, to expand or close all the sections simultaneously.

To run diagnostics on a Dell laptop LCD, refer to the Dell knowledge-base article How do I Run Diagnostics on a Dell Laptop LCD?

To run built-in self test (BIST) on Dell monitors manufactured before March 2015:

  1. Make sure that the screen is clean (no dust particles on the surface of the screen).
  2. Unplug the video cable(s) from the back of the computer or the monitor. The monitor will now enter self-test mode.
  3. Press and hold Button 1 and Button 4 simultaneously for two seconds. A gray screen appears (Figure 5).
  4. Carefully inspect the screen for abnormalities.
  5. Press Button 4 on the front panel again. The color of the screen changes to red.
  6. Inspect the display for any abnormalities.
  7. Repeat step 5 and step 6 to inspect the display in green, blue, black, white and text screens.
  8. The test is complete when the white screen appears.
  9. Press Button 4 to exit the Built-In Self Test diagnostics.

Dell monitor - Front Panel Buttons
Figure 5: Illustration of Front Panel Buttons (English only)
Note: Picture of front panel buttons (Figure 5) is for illustration purposes only, actual placement of front panel buttons may slightly vary. Refer to the User Manual for product specific information.

Running a self-test feature check (STFC) and/or built-in self test (BIST) diagnostic on a Dell monitor is always a good practice to isolate LCD or monitor issues.
If the self-test feature check (STFC) and/or built-in self test (BIST) diagnostic test passed, this indicates that the Dell monitor is functioning normally.
If the self-test feature check (STFC) and/or built-in self test (BIST) diagnostic failed, for further troubleshooting, refer to the Dell knowledge-base article Common Troubleshooting Guide for Dell Monitors.

To reset a Dell monitor to factory default settings, follow these instructions:

  1. Press Button 3 on the monitor to enter the On-Screen Display (OSD) Menu.
  2. Press Button 1 or Button 2 to highlight Others option in the menu and press Button 3 to select.
  3. Press Button 1 or Button 2 to highlight Factory Reset option in the menu and press Button 3 to select.
  4. Press Button 3 to confirm the reset action.
Note: Reset instructions for your Dell monitor may vary slightly, refer to the User Guide at the Dell Manuals website.

To view or download the User Guide or User Manual for your Dell monitor:

  1. Visit the Dell Manuals website.
  2. Click View Products button under Browse for a Product.
  3. Select Monitors & Projectors and then Select Monitors.
  4. Click to choose the correct model of Dell monitor.
  5. Click on PDF next to the required document.
    • Click on More Languages to view the list of available language options.
    • Click on PDF next to the preferred choice of language.
Note: Most manuals and guides come in a PDF format. A PDF reader (Acrobat Reader) is available for free from Adobe. External Link

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Article ID: SLN128867

Last Date Modified: 11/05/2018 05:29 AM


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