How to Run the LCD Built-in Self-Test on a Dell Laptop

How to Run the LCD Built-in Self-Test on a Dell Laptop




Having trouble with LCD display (screen) on a Dell laptop? If your Dell laptop has a blank or black screen, fuzzy, blurry, distorted, or any other screen abnormalities, running a diagnostic test helps determine if the LCD (screen) of the Dell laptop is working properly.

Table of contents:

  1. LCD Built-in Self-Test (BIST)
  2. Maintenance Guidelines
  3. Safety Instructions
  4. Frequently Asked Questions

For Dell monitors, see the Dell knowledgebase article How to Run Diagnostic Test on a Dell Monitor.

For troubleshooting display issues on Dell laptops, see the Dell knowledgebase article How to Troubleshoot Display or Video Issues on Dell Laptop LCD Panel.


LCD Built-in Self-Test (BIST)

Dell laptops have a built-in diagnostic tool that helps determine if the screen abnormality is an inherent problem with the LCD panel (screen) of the Dell laptop, the video card (GPU), or display settings on the computer.

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

Method 1 - Run the laptop LCD built-in self-test (BIST)

  1. Power off the Dell laptop.

  2. Disconnect any external devices that are connected to the computer.

  3. Connect the AC adapter (charger) to the computer.

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

  5. Press and hold the D key and power on the computer to enter LCD built-in self-test (BIST) mode.
    Continue to hold the D key, until you see color bars on the LCD (screen).

  6. The screen displays multiple color bars and change colors to black, white, red, green, and blue.

  7. Carefully inspect the screen for abnormalities.

  8. Press Esc key to exit.

Method 2 - Run the laptop LCD built-in self-test (BIST)

  1. Power off the Dell laptop.

  2. Disconnect any external devices that are connected to the computer.

  3. Connect the AC adapter (charger) to the computer.

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

  5. Press and hold the Fn key and power on the computer to enter ePSA or PSA diagnostics mode.
    Continue to hold the Fn key, until you see the ePSA or PSA diagnostic screen.
    Note: ePSA or Enhance Pre-Boot System Assessment diagnostic test checks the hardware and reports any errors. Make a note of any error codes or error messages, along with the validation code. For detailed reference of ePSA or PSA error codes or error message, see the Dell knowledgebase article Resolve Hardware Issues With Built-in and Online Diagnostics (ePSA or PSA Error Codes).

  6. When you see the message "Do you see the color bars? Yes/No", press N key to enter LCD built-in self-test mode.
    Note: If you do not respond for 30 seconds, the diagnostic test assumes your response as 'No' and go to LCD built-in self-test (BIST).

  7. The screen displays multiple color bars and change colors to black, white, red, green, and blue.

  8. Carefully inspect the screen for abnormalities.

  9. The computer restarts once the remaining tests are completed.
Note: If you do not detect any screen abnormalities in the built-in self-test mode, the laptop LCD is functioning properly. Check the video card (GPU) and display settings on the computer.
If you do notice any abnormalities in the built-in self-test mode, contact Dell Technical Support for repair options.

Video - How to run LCD built-in self-test on a Dell laptop (in English only) - (00:24)

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Maintenance Guidelines

Follow these instructions while cleaning or handling laptop LCD:

  • To clean the anti-static screen, lightly dampen a soft, clean cloth with water. Dell recommends using a special LCD cleaning tissue or solution that is suitable for screens with anti-static coating. Do not use benzene, thinner, ammonia, abrasive cleaners, or compressed air.
  • Use a lightly dampened soft cloth to clean the LCD. Avoid using detergent of any kind, as some detergents leave a milky film on the LCD.
  • If you notice white powder on the LCD when you unpack the laptop, wipe it off with a soft cloth.
  • Do not hold and lift the laptop using the LCD. Hold and lift the laptop by its base.
  • Ensure that there are no obstacles (pen, ear-phones, and so on) before closing the laptop LCD.
  • Do not open or rotate the laptop LCD beyond its design limit.
  • To help maintain the best image quality, use a dynamically changing screensaver and turn off the laptop when not in use.

For more information about maintenance guidelines, see the Dell knowledgebase article Dell Laptop - Use and Maintenance Guide.

Warning: Power off the laptop and disconnect the AC adapter before cleaning the LCD panel.

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Safety Instructions

For displays with glossy bezels, 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 what is specified in the User Manual may result in exposure to shock, electrical hazards, and/or mechanical hazards.

For information about 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 www.dell.com/regulatory_compliance.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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

To run diagnostic test on a Dell monitor, see the Dell knowledgebase article How to Run Diagnostic Test on a Dell Monitor?

Running an LCD built-in self-test (BIST) diagnostic test on the laptop is always a good practice to isolate LCD issues.
If the LCD built-in self-test (BIST) diagnostic test passed, the laptop LCD is working properly.
If the LCD built-in self-test (BIST) diagnostic test failed, for further troubleshooting see the Dell knowledgebase article How to Troubleshoot Display or Video Issues on Dell Laptop LCD Panel. For touch screen related issues, see the Dell knowledgebase article How to Troubleshoot Touchscreen Issues.


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Article ID: SLN131497

Last Date Modified: 09/20/2019 06:31 AM


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