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Thread: Dell laptop black screen of death

  1. #1
    Master Rocket Man's Avatar
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    Dell laptop black screen of death

    My Dell XPS 13 laptop has just died and I'm wondering if anyone has any ideas what I could try to bring it back to life?

    The F12 key doesn't work so I can't run any diagnostics or restart in safe mode.

    Can't get past the initial Dell screen.

    There is a 'powering up' noise and then nothing happens.

    Any help would be much appreciated.

    Sent from my SM-G950F using Tapatalk

  2. #2
    Master Rocket Man's Avatar
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    Just spoken with someone at Dell support. Seems like the cable connecting the LCD screen to the motherboard is faulty. I can use my laptop with an external monitor.

    According to Dell diagnostics, 2 blinking amber lights followed by 7 white indicates LCD failure.

    Repair cost likely to be around £350!
    Last edited by Rocket Man; 1st June 2023 at 15:38.

  3. #3
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    Ouch! At least you know the cause & depends how often it being a laptop is required vs plugged into a screen.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Rocket Man View Post
    Just spoken with someone at Dell support. Seems like the cable connecting the LCD screen to the motherboard is faulty. I can use my laptop with an external monitor.

    According to Dell diagnostics, 2 blinking amber lights followed by 7 white indicates LCD failure.

    Repair cost likely to be around £350!
    Can you not partially disassemble it yourself and see if the connector has not just come loose? Though they may now solder it on to make it harder for home repairs and thus generate them more money.

    If you're not confident in doing so, I'd check with an independent. It could be a much simpler and cheaper fix than Dell are suggesting.

  5. #5
    Master
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    The screen obviously works as it’s showing the dell spash screen
    Sure this is not a bios/HDD issue
    Try this
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=njAvrRG4hWM
    Last edited by lewie; 1st June 2023 at 17:33.

  6. #6
    Master Rocket Man's Avatar
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    Thanks Lewie, I tried the fixes suggested in that video but no joy.

    I don't have the right tools nor the expertise to tinker with it myself.

  7. #7
    try a local PC repair shop, they will likely ID the part, order it from Dell and fit it for a reasonable price.

    it does not sound like a big deal to fix, probably small ribbon type cables of no great value, maybe £16 parts + labour, something like that would be my guess anyway

  8. #8
    Master IAmATeaf's Avatar
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    Where abouts are you? Iím in NW London, if nearby I donít mind having a tinker?

  9. #9
    Master PhilipK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lewie View Post
    The screen obviously works as itís showing the dell spash screen
    My thoughts as well, and that presumably applies to the cable.

    Either there's a GPU hardware failure (which may be part of the motherboard) which the BIOS bypasses when it's showing the splash screen, or there's a Windows device driver or similar issue.

    You say that you can use the laptop with an external monitor (which suggests the GPU may be OK) - can you run some hardware diagnostics (e.g. Dell's SupportAssist) with the external monitor connected? Also SFC /SCANNOW and DISM.

  10. #10
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    It sounds repairable. If it was mine Iíd have it in pieces. Dell have the repair manuals online so disassembly instructions can be followed. Fiddly plastic jigsaws they are. Gentle pry tools and teeny screw drivers required.

  11. #11
    Master sish101's Avatar
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    Can't see from your profile but if you live a reasonable distance from a TS postcode I'd be happy to meet up and have a look. If it's showing the Dell logo I'd be surprised if it's hardware related.

    Sent through the ether by diddling with radio waves

  12. #12
    Master Rocket Man's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone for your help.

    I'm in SE London. Will see if I can find a local repair shop.

  13. #13
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    A friend of mine undertakes laptop and phone repairs. I can ask him what the cost would be if you like?

    Cheers, Paul

    Sent from my SM-S908B using Tapatalk

  14. #14
    Master Rocket Man's Avatar
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    Thanks Paul, that would be very helpful.

  15. #15
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    Had a similar issue with an XPS 13 I can't recall what the official issue was but the invoice says motherboard support, and was about £250 all in, this was in 2020.

    Sent from my moto g53 5G using Tapatalk

  16. #16
    Master Rocket Man's Avatar
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    Contacted a local company (SysFix) who informed me that they don't repair laptop screens.

  17. #17
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    Exactly whch model XPS13 is it? On some it seems the entire top half has to be replaced.

  18. #18
    Master Rocket Man's Avatar
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    It's an XPS13 9310

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Rocket Man View Post
    Contacted a local company (SysFix) who informed me that they don't repair laptop screens.
    But the screen might not be at fault here, given you can see the Dell logo just fine?

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by hughtrimble View Post
    But the screen might not be at fault here, given you can see the Dell logo just fine?
    My thoughts too
    Any mileage in wiping it and selling it - buying something new?
    Can you get into the bios with an attached monitor ?

    Have you pressed down the D button while it powers on?
    Last edited by lewie; 2nd June 2023 at 12:29.

  21. #21
    Master Rocket Man's Avatar
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    The Dell logo appears briefly when I turn the laptop on, then there is no display at all.

    I don't think I'll be buying another Dell!

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Rocket Man View Post
    It's an XPS13 9310
    I've got exact same model.

    If you end up selling as/is let me know!

  23. #23
    Master PhilipK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rocket Man View Post
    The Dell logo appears briefly when I turn the laptop on
    In that case, the screen and cable must be OK and the problem is elsewhere.

    I have 5 or more Dells (including an older XPS13, and the Precision 5820 Tower that I'm typing this on) and they have all been very reliable. Any manufacturer will have a percentage of faults, but I suspect that Dell are at the better end. You can't really extrapolate from a single problem that a whole manufacturer's range should be avoid for ever!

  24. #24
    Master Rocket Man's Avatar
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    According to Dell technical support the problem isn't the screen, it's the cable connecting the LCD screen to the motherboard.

    The laptop is only two years old (out of warranty unfortunately) so this is very disappointing. Not what I'd expect from one of their more expensive models.

    Sent from my SM-G950F using Tapatalk

  25. #25
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    Have you tried thD button ‘test’?
    The cable could have become unseated - does the spash logo come from a different source to the display - a graphics card

  26. #26
    Master Rocket Man's Avatar
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    Yep, tried that. Cycles through colours.

    Sent from my SM-G950F using Tapatalk

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rocket Man View Post
    Yep, tried that. Cycles through colours.

    Sent from my SM-G950F using Tapatalk
    Same issue in safe mode?

  28. #28
    Master Rocket Man's Avatar
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    Can't reboot in safe mode.

    Sent from my SM-G950F using Tapatalk

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rocket Man View Post
    Can't reboot in safe mode.

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    So you can boot normally to a monitor but it won boot into safe mode?

  30. #30
    Master Rocket Man's Avatar
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    Yes, that's right.

    Unless there's some other way to boot up in safe mode?

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  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rocket Man View Post
    Yes, that's right.

    Unless there's some other way to boot up in safe mode?

    Sent from my SM-G950F using Tapatalk
    Try this
    Powe up with the monitor

    Hit the Windows key and the R keys at the same time.
    Type msconfig
    Hit enter, click on boot, select Safe mode, then save and exit, disconnect the monitor then restart your computer.

  32. #32
    Master PhilipK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rocket Man View Post
    According to Dell technical support the problem isn't the screen, it's the cable connecting the LCD screen to the motherboard.
    If they haven't physically seen the laptop, and if it's showing the Dell logo, then I'm not convinced that they are correct.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rocket Man View Post
    Unless there's some other way to boot up in safe mode?
    Are you running Windows 11? If so Settings > Recovery > Advanced Startup

  33. #33
    Master Rocket Man's Avatar
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    Thanks, I can't see an option for safe mode. Tried Startup Repair option under Advanced Options but that didn't identify anything
    Last edited by Rocket Man; 2nd June 2023 at 13:41.

  34. #34
    Someone had what sounds like the same issue as you, recommended things to try within:

    https://www.dell.com/community/Inspi...o/td-p/7698859

  35. #35
    Master Rocket Man's Avatar
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    No joy yet unfortunately.

    Dell flash code (7 white, 2 amber) indicates LCD failure.

    Sent from my SM-G950F using Tapatalk

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rocket Man View Post
    According to Dell technical support the problem isn't the screen, it's the cable connecting the LCD screen to the motherboard.

    The laptop is only two years old (out of warranty unfortunately) so this is very disappointing. Not what I'd expect from one of their more expensive models.

    Sent from my SM-G950F using Tapatalk
    I would escalate at Dell. You have an expectation for reasonable lifespan for an item like a laptop , 4 years minimum I reckon. Regardless of their own warranty .

  37. #37
    Grand Master Saint-Just's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.D View Post
    I would escalate at Dell. You have an expectation for reasonable lifespan for an item like a laptop , 4 years minimum I reckon. Regardless of their own warranty .
    I believe it's 6 in England, 5 in Scotland.

    This may be of interest...
    Last edited by Saint-Just; 5th June 2023 at 09:26.
    'Against stupidity, the gods themselves struggle in vain' - Schiller.

  38. #38
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    Yup there you go . Two years for a laptop to fail for an internal cable malfunction is nit acceptable . The consumer has a reasonable expectation of lifespan for a consumer device .

    Speak to someone higher up . Warranty limitarions do not get them off the hook. Iíd be after a replacement device or full refund for a failed laptop within two years . Preferably a refund as Iíd never trust the laptop to not fail again when I most needed it .

  39. #39
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    Iím actually surprised Dell didnít just roll over immediately . You must have a kipper blindly following the flowchart on their screen in the call centre.

  40. #40
    Master Rocket Man's Avatar
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    Thank you for your comments about expecting a reasonable life span from the laptop. I'm wondering how best to escalate this with Dell?

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rocket Man View Post
    Thank you for your comments about expecting a reasonable life span from the laptop. I'm wondering how best to escalate this with Dell?
    Call them up again explain you are not happy. 2 years is not an acceptable lifespan for an expensive item like a laptop. Ask to speak to a supervisor. If they start talking warranty tell them under consumer law there is an expectation of a reasonable lifetime for consumer goods regardless of the warranty .

    Suggest a refund or replacement , they may haggle you down to a repair at their expense . Mention Dell being a large reliable company , thats why you bought from them , you could have gone to any other company , apple forvexample and not had this disappointment and time waste.

    Donít back down.

  42. #42
    Grand Master Rod's Avatar
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    Used to be the 'Blue screen of death'.
    They must have changed the colour to black. I suppose blacks more appropriate.
    Hope you get it sorted with Dell.

  43. #43
    Master Rocket Man's Avatar
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    Update, Dell have offered the following:

    "As a one-time exception and a gesture of our goodwill, we would be waiving the engineer charges and assisting you with the replacement of the LCD. You would only need to make the payment for the parts and would not be charged for the onsite engineer service. Given below is the price for the same:

    LCD Part only service (WUD):
    166.57 £ (inclusive of VAT)"

    So that's about half the price I was originally quoted. However it's not the result I was hoping for because I think that the consumer has a right to expect at least three years lifespan for an expensive laptop.

    Do you think it's worth pushing back further with Dell? Thanks in advance for your advice.

  44. #44
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    I would be saying not good enough for a 2 year old laptop.

    Thatís an obvious manufacturing fault . Its a laptop and designed to have a screen that opens . Dell should ensure the components necessary can withstand normal use for a reasonable time frame .

    Mention the expectation of reasonable lifespan , mention that selling a laptop that breaks like this could be construed as selling goods that are not fit for purpose .

    Make sure you speak to someone at a supervisor level who is authorised to make the decision.

    I personally would want a completely new unit or refund rather than a paid for repair .

    Rather than roll over for dell if they blockade I might take them to small claims.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.D View Post
    I would be saying not good enough for a 2 year old laptop.

    Thatís an obvious manufacturing fault . Its a laptop and designed to have a screen that opens . Dell should ensure the components necessary can withstand normal use for a reasonable time frame .

    Mention the expectation of reasonable lifespan , mention that selling a laptop that breaks like this could be construed as selling goods that are not fit for purpose .

    Make sure you speak to someone at a supervisor level who is authorised to make the decision.

    I personally would want a completely new unit or refund rather than a paid for repair .

    Rather than roll over for dell if they blockade I might take them to small claims.
    What Mr D said, absolutely spot on.

    Sent from my SM-S908B using Tapatalk

  46. #46
    Master Rocket Man's Avatar
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    Update: I spoke with a supervisor at Dell today who said that the best they can offer is that I pay for the replacement screen but not the engineer visit (as previously stated).They said that there are no known issues with this particular model.

    I don't think I'm going to get any further with them and I'm not sure it's worth going through the small claims court.
    Last edited by Rocket Man; 12th June 2023 at 14:46.

  47. #47
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    If its £166 for the repair with Dell thatís probably the best you can do . You might well get success at small claims but youíd probably have to get the laptop evaluated at an independent to provide a diagnostic report in court . Small claims is very easy and I doubt Dell would bother to fight it .

    You would likely get a refund including your costs or possibly free repair ( I suspect refund) but it would take a few months .

    As its £166 and the repair will be from Dell themselves thatís probably the pragmatic least hassle course .

    Good job getting them to compromise though .

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