How to Run a Diagnostic Test on a Dell Monitor

Summary: This article provides information about built-in self test (BIST) and self-test feature check (STFC) diagnostic tests available on Dell monitors. Learn how to run a diagnostic test to See more

Article Content


Symptoms

If your Dell monitor is showing a blank or black screen, fuzzy or blurry image, flickering screen, distortion, color fade, horizontal or vertical lines, or any other screen abnormalities, running a diagnostic test will help identify 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
Cause

For display or video issues on Dell laptops, see the Dell knowledge base article How to Run Diagnostic Test on a Dell Laptop LCD

If the monitor diagnostic test has passed, or to learn more about troubleshooting display issues on a Dell monitor, see the Dell knowledge base article How to Troubleshoot Display or Video Issues on a Dell Monitor.

WARNING: Before you begin following the instructions listed in this Dell knowledge base article, read and follow the Safety Instructions.
Resolution

Self-Test Feature Check (STFC)

Dell monitors provide a self-test feature check (STFC) that allows you to check if the Dell monitor is functioning properly. If the Dell monitor is connected to a computer, but the monitor screen remains dark or it shows a blank screen, the self-test feature check (STFC) helps verify if the Dell monitor is functioning normally.

NOTE: The self-test feature check (STFC) helps check if the Dell monitor is functioning normally as a stand-alone device. To diagnose further for screen abnormalities like flickering, distortion, clarity issues, fuzzy or blurry image, horizontal or vertical lines, color fade and so on, see 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 the computer and the Dell monitor.
  2. Unplug the video cable(s) from the back of the computer. To properly run a self-test feature check (STFC), remove all digital and analog monitor cables from the computer.
  3. Turn on the Dell monitor.
    1. A floating dialog box appears on the screen (against a blank or black background) if the monitor is working correctly. This floating dialog box also appears if the monitor cannot identify a video signal. If nothing appears on-screen, the monitor may be faulty. Run the Monitor built-in self test to verify.
    2. 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, see the User Manual of the Dell monitor for model specific information.
      NOTE: In the 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 the computer and the Dell monitor.
    If the monitor screen continues to remain blank or black, check the video card (GPU) and the computer settings as the monitor is functioning normally.

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

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

Illustration of a Self-Test Message on DisplayPort(DP)
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 is an inherent problem with the Dell monitor or with the video card (GPU) and computer settings.

When you notice screen abnormalities like flickering, distortion, clarity issues, fuzzy or blurry image, horizontal or vertical lines, color fade, distorted image, and so on, it is a good practice to verify if the monitor is working normally as a standalone device by running the built-in self test (BIST).

NOTE: The 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.

For Dell monitors manufactured in 2020 and later:

NOTE: For select Dell monitors with a joystick, see the How to run built-in self test (BIST) on a Dell monitor with joystick section of this Dell knowledge base article. This is applicable for Dell U, P, E, C, and AW series monitors with a joystick. See the User Manual of the Dell monitor for model specific information.
  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 computer. The Dell monitor will enter self-test mode.
  3. Press and hold Button 4 for 4 seconds, until a pop-up menu appears.
  4. Press Button 1 or Button 2 to select the diagnostic tool and use Button 3 to confirm. A gray test pattern will appear at the beginning of the diagnostic program (Figure 4).
    NOTE: The picture of the front panel buttons (Figure 4) is for illustration purposes only. The actual placement of front panel buttons may slightly vary. See the User Manual of the Dell monitor for model specific information.

    illustration of front panel buttons
    Figure 4: Illustration of Front Panel Buttons (English only)
  5. Carefully inspect the screen for abnormalities.
  6. Press Button 1 on the front panel again. The color of the screen will change to red.
  7. Inspect the screen for any abnormalities.
  8. Repeat Step 6 and Step 7 to inspect the screen in green, blue, black, white and text screens.
  9. The test is complete when the white screen appears.
  10. Press Button 1 to exit the built-in self test diagnostics.

For Dell monitors manufactured between 2016 and 2020:

  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 computer. The Dell monitor will enter self-test mode.
  3. Press and hold Button 1 for 5 seconds. A gray test pattern appears (Figure 5).
  4. Carefully inspect the screen for abnormalities.
  5. Press Button 1 on the front panel again. The color of the screen will 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 notice any screen abnormalities in the built-in self test mode, the monitor is functioning properly. Check the video card (GPU) and computer settings. However, if you noticed any abnormalities in the built-in self test mode, contact Dell Technical Support for repair or replacement options.
NOTE: The picture of the front panel buttons (Figure 5) is for illustration purposes only. The actual placement of front panel buttons may slightly vary. See the User Manual of the Dell monitor for model specific information.
NOTE: For Dell monitors manufactured before March 2016, follow the instructions How do I run built-in self test (BIST) on Dell monitors manufactured before 2016 in the FAQ section of this article.

Illustration of Front Panel Buttons
Figure 5: Illustration of Front Panel Buttons (English only)

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Additional Information

Maintenance Guidelines

Follow these maintenance guidelines and instructions listed below while unpacking, cleaning, or handling a Dell monitor.

  • To clean the anti-static screen, lightly dampen a soft and clean micro-fiber cloth with water. We recommend using a special screen-cleaning tissue or solution that is suitable for the anti-static coating on LCDs. CAUTION: Do not use benzene, thinner, ammonia or ammonia based cleaner, abrasive cleaners or compressed air.
  • Use a lightly-dampened soft micro-fiber cloth to clean the monitor. Avoid using detergents of any kind as they can leave a milky film on the monitor.
  • If you notice white powder when you unpack the monitor, wipe it off with a clean micro-fiber 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.
  • While moving the monitor, follow the instructions as described in the User Manual on how to hold the monitor. Do not put any pressure on the LCD screen as it may cause irreparable cracks.
  • 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 the video cable(s) from the computer. 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 (US 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 to expand the sections below for see more information. Alternatively, click on Show all or Hide all, to expand or close all the sections simultaneously.

To run a diagnostic test on the LCD panel of a Dell laptop, see the Dell knowledge base article How to Run Diagnostics on a Dell Laptop LCD?

To run the built-in self test (BIST) on Dell monitors with joystick:

  1. Make sure that the screen is clean (no dust particles on the surface of the screen).
  2. Press and hold Up or Down or Left or Right direction for four seconds until a menu appears on the screen (Figure 6).
  3. Using the joystick control, highlight the Diagnostics option diagnostic icon on monitor and press the joystick button to start the diagnostics. A gray screen is displayed.
  4. Carefully inspect the screen for abnormalities.
  5. Toggle the joystick once again until a red screen is displayed.
  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. To exit, toggle the joystick control again.

illustration of menu options
Figure 6: Illustration of menu options (English only)

NOTE: Picture of front panel buttons (Figure 6) is for illustration purposes only, actual layout of the icons may slightly vary. See the User Manual of the Dell monitor for model specific information.

To run the built-in self test (BIST) on Dell monitors manufactured before March 2016:

  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 7).
  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.

Illustration of Front Panel Buttons
Figure 7: Illustration of Front Panel Buttons (English only)

NOTE: Picture of front panel buttons (Figure 7) is for illustration purposes only, actual placement of front panel buttons may slightly vary. See the User Manual of the Dell monitor for model 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 How to Troubleshoot Display or Video Issues on a Dell Monitor.

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: The instructions to reset your Dell monitor may vary slightly, see the User Manual of the Dell monitor for model specific information.

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

  1. Browse to the Dell Manuals website.
  2. Click Browse all products, and then select Electronics and Accessories.
  3. Click Monitors & Projectors and then Select Monitors.
  4. Identify and click the correct model of the Dell monitor.
  5. Go to the Documentation tab, and scroll to the Manuals and Documents section.
  6. Click on PDF next to the required document.
    • Click on More Languages to view the list of available language options (if required).
    • Click on PDF next to the preferred choice of language.
NOTE: Most manuals and guides are available in PDF format. A PDF reader (Acrobat Reader) is available for free from Adobe. This is an external link

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monitor icon For more information and support for your Dell monitor, laptop or tablet screen, see the Dell Monitor Support site.

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Affected Product

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MDA20, Dell Dual Monitor Stand (MDS14), Dell E157FPT, Dell E1609WFP, Dell E1709WFP, Dell E170S, Dell E1713S, Dell E1715S, Dell E178WFP, Dell E1909Wb, Dell E1909WDD, Dell E190S, Dell E1910, Dell E1910H, Dell E1911, Dell E1912H, Dell E1913, Dell E1913S, Dell E1914H, Dell E1916H, Dell E1916HE Monitor, Dell E1916HL, Dell E1916HM, Dell E1916HV, Dell E1920H, Dell E198WFP, Dell E2009WFP, Dell E2010H, Dell E2011H, Dell E2013H, Dell E2014H, Dell E2014T, Dell E2015Hv, Dell E2016, Dell E2016H, Dell E2016HL, Dell E2016HM, Dell E2016HV, Dell E2020H, Dell E2209WFP, Dell E2210, Dell E2210H, Dell E2211H, Dell E2213, Dell E2213H, Dell E2214H, Dell E2214Hv, Dell E2215HV, Dell E2216H, Dell E2216HV, Dell E2218HN, Dell E2219HN, Dell E2220H, Dell E2221HN, Dell E228WFP, Dell E2310HWFP, Dell E2311H, Dell E2313H, Dell E2314H, Dell E2316H, Dell E2318H, Dell E2318HN, Dell E2318HR, Dell E2318HX, Dell E2414H, Dell E2416H, Dell E2417H, Dell E2418HN, Dell E2420H, Dell E2420HS, Dell E2421HN, Dell E248WFP, Dell E2715H, Dell E2720H, Dell E2720HS, Dell E5515H, Dell G2210, Dell G2410, Dell IN1720, Dell IN1910NWFP, Dell IN1920, Dell IN1930, Dell IN1940MW, Dell IN2010NWFP, Dell IN2020, Dell IN2020M, Dell Dual-Monitor Stand MDS14A, Dell Micro All-in-One Stand MFS18, Dell Monitor Stand MKS14, Dell Monitor Dual Arm MDA17, Dell MR2217, Dell MR2416, Dell Small Form Factor AIO Stand OSS17, Dell P170s, Dell P190s, Dell P1911, Dell P1913, Dell P1913s, Dell P1914S, Dell P1917S, Dell P1917SWh, Dell P2010H, Dell P2011H, Dell P2012H, Dell P2014H, Dell P2016, Dell P2017H, Dell P2018H, Dell P2210, Dell P2210H, Dell P2211H, Dell P2212H, Dell P2213, Dell P2214H, Dell P2217, Dell P2217H, Dell P2217Wh, Dell P2219H, Dell P2219HC, Dell P2310H, Dell P2311H, Dell P2312H, Dell P2314H, Dell P2314T, Dell P2317H, Dell P2317HWh, Dell P2319H, Dell P2411H, Dell P2412H, Dell P2414H, Dell P2415Q, Dell P2416D, Dell P2417H, Dell P2418D, Dell P2418HT, Dell P2418HZ, Dell P2418HZm, Dell P2419H, Dell P2419HC, Dell P2421, Dell P2421D, Dell P2421DC, Dell P2714H, Dell P2714T, Dell P2715Q , Dell P2717H, Dell P2719H, Dell P2719HC, Dell P2720D, Dell P2720DC, Dell P2721Q, Dell P2815Q, Dell P3221D, Dell P3418HW, Dell P3421W, Dell P4317Q, Dell S1709WFP, Dell S1909WFP, Dell S1909WN, Dell S1909WXWFP, Dell S199WFP, Dell S2009WFP, Dell S2209WFP, Dell S2216H, Dell S2216M, Dell S2218H, Dell S2218M, Dell S2230MX, Dell S2240L, Dell S2240M, Dell S2240T 21.5 Multi-Touch Monitor with LED, Dell S2309WFP, Dell S2316H, Dell S2316M, Dell S2317HJ, Dell S2317HWI, Dell S2318H/S2318HX, Dell S2318HN/S2318NX, Dell S2318M, Dell S2319H, Dell S2319HN, Dell S2319HS, Dell S2319NX, Dell S2330MX, Dell S2340L, Dell S2340M, Dell S2340T, Dell S2409WFP, Dell S2415H, Dell S2417DG, Dell S2418H/S2418HX, Dell S2418HN/S2418NX, Dell S2419H, Dell S2419HGF, Dell S2419HM, Dell S2419HN, Dell S2419NX, Dell S2421H, Dell Gaming S2421HGF, Dell S2421HN, Dell S2421HS, Dell S2421HSX, Dell S2421NX, Dell S2440L, Dell S2715H, Dell S2716DG, Dell S2718D, Dell S2718H/S2718HX, Dell S2718HN/S2718NX, Dell S2719DC, Dell S2719DGF, Dell S2719DM, Dell S2719H, Dell S2719HN, Dell S2719HS, Dell S2719NX, Dell S2721D, Dell 27 Gaming Monitor S2721DGF, Dell S2721DGFA, Dell S2721DS, Dell S2721H, Dell Gaming S2721HGF, Dell S2721HN, Dell S2721HS, Dell S2721HSX, Dell S2721NX, Dell S2721Q, Dell S2721QS, Dell S2740L, Dell S2817Q, Dell S3219D, Dell S3220DGF, Dell S3221QS, Dell SE178WFP, Dell SE1918HV, Dell SE197FP, Dell SE198WFP, Dell SE2018HL, Dell SE2018HR, Dell SE2018HV, Dell SE2216H/SE2216HM, Dell SE2216HV, Dell SE2218HL, Dell SE2218HV, Dell SE2219H/SE2219HX, Dell SE2416H, Dell SE2416HM, Dell 24 Monitor: SE2417HG, Dell SE2417HGX, Dell SE2419H/SE2419HX, Dell SE2419HR, Dell SE2716H, Dell SE2717H, Dell SE2719H, Dell SE2719HR, Dell SE3218H, Dell Small Form Factor AIO Stand OSS21, Dell Single Arm Monitor (MSA14), Dell Single Monitor Arm MSSA18, Dell Single Monitor Arm - 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Last Published Date

08 Jan 2021

Version

7

Article Type

Solution

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