When you repair a laptop, you must make sure each connection to the motherboard remains intact as the laptop is reassembled. The video cable in a Dell D630 laptop can loosen slightly during reassembly, causing screen failure. The inverter and power leads that support the video signal also are easily damaged, and occasionally motherboards are faulty. Some troubleshooting steps can help you determine the cause of failed video, and possibly remedy the problem as you work.
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Things you need
- SVGA monitor
- Small screwdriver set
- Anti-static wrist strap
Turn up the brightness and contrast of the Dell D630 laptop screen, using the keystrokes indicated in the laptop's manual or the brightness and contrast function keys on the keyboard, in case the reason the display does not show is that these settings were adjusted too low.
Connect a standard SVGA monitor or flat panel display to the HDD15 VGA port on the back of the laptop, and attach the monitor to a power source. Turn on the monitor, and then the laptop. This simple test will narrow down the source of the problem as being either the laptop video circuitry if there is still no display, or the LCD panel connection if the external monitor has a display.
As the laptop boots, listen for a series of beeps to determine if the system BIOS is signalling a beep code. If it is, cross-reference the beep code with the laptop manual (See Resources). If you do not hear a beep code, move on to the next troubleshooting step.
Turn off the laptop, and open its case to inspect for a loose or disconnected ribbon cable leading from the motherboard to the Dell D630 laptop's video display. If a cable is loose or disconnected, reconnect it by sliding the small plastic retaining clip straight up about 1/8 inch, and pushing the cable into the socket, then sliding the retaining clip tightly down around the cable to secure it in place. Reassemble and test the video. If nothing has changed, move on to the next step.
Verify the connection between the video display power and signal connections leading from the hinge area to the motherboard. Inspect the cable for any damage caused during the motherboard replacement operation. Replace the cable harness if you find damage. Otherwise, continue troubleshooting.
Disconnect and then reconnect all of the cables that lead to the motherboard, to ensure proper connections between the various components of the system and the motherboard. Reassemble the laptop, and turn it on to see whether this step remedied the problem.
Inspect the dedicated video card, and make sure the card is seated properly by removing and reinstalling it. Test the laptop. Replace the video card if there's still no display.
Remove the laptop video card from the system to force the laptop to use internal video circuitry to determine whether the video card is the problem. Replace the video card if the display reappears when using the internal circuitry, or else use the system with the integrated video circuitry. If the display hasn't reappeared, move on to the next step.
Replace the motherboard with the one you replaced, and check for video. If you have a display using the old motherboard but not with the new one, then the problem is a defective motherboard. Return it to the vendor for a replacement.
Tips and warnings
- The Dell Latitude D630 is among several laptops Dell has said may experience video issues related to the nVIDIA GPU some models use. (See Resources).
- Buy replacement parts from trusted vendors that offer warranties, liberal return policies and free technical support with their purchases.
- If the display works on the external monitor but not on the laptop screen, it may be possible to press "F1," or "F10," or some other key as indicated on the monitor, to enter BIOS and change the display mode to the built-in screen instead of the external monitor.
- Connect an anti-static wrist strap to a grounded object, such as the case of a desktop computer or metal work desk, to prevent build-up of static electricity that could damage delicate components when you are working inside a laptop.
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