|XPS Gen 2|
Have you, or is it possible someone else who had access to this computer...
- dropped it, or dropped anything on it, or otherwise exposed it to a physical jolt ?
- spilled liquid on it, or sprayed it with liquid, or exposed it to liquid such as rain ?
Has there been a power failure event that happened recently while the AC adapter was plugged in ?
Any of those things can easily result in damage that requires you must replace something inside your laptop.
Make sure you have installed the video drivers and associated software PROPERLY.
Sound and video "drivers" always have associated files that must be installed properly along with the actual drivers. If you install only the actual drivers, it's likely the device, and/or the other software associated with it, will NOT work properly.
Unless the instructions for installing a device tell you otherwise....
(this ALWAYS applies to video and sound adapters )
You DO NOT install drivers for a device while booting into Windows, if the software for the device has not been installed yet - when Windows detects a generic device or New Hardware while booting, you allow it to search for drivers, it doesn't find any, and it wants you to show it the location of the drivers - CANCEL that, continue on to the desktop, and install the software for the device using the proper installation from a CD or the proper installation file that you downloaded from the web.
The same applies no matter when Windows finds New Hardware !
If you DID install drivers that way,
(The following also applies if you want to un-install previous software, or re-install the same software)
- for video "drivers"....
- go to Control Panel - Classic View - Add/Remove Programs and Un-install the software you installed, reboot, DO NOT install drivers while booting, let the desktop screen fully load.
Install the video software properly by running the proper download you got from the web, or if you have the CD that came with the video card that's in a slot, or if you have the CD that came with the brand name computer that has the Drivers on it, run the video software installation from the installation program on that.
NOTE that since you have no video in Windows when you boot normally, you should boot the computer into Enable VGA mode rather than Safe mode.
You often can't un-install video drivers and associated software in Safe mode,and even if you can, you can't install specific monitor drivers in Safe mode in any case.
The specific monitor drivers for your built in display are embedded in the video "drivers" download you get for your specific model from the Dell web site.
Enable VGA mode loads everything booting normally does except it forces Windows to use default VGA drivers. (If your laptop doesn't get to the desktop screen in Enable VGA mode, you have other problems.)
Safe mode has the same default VGA video, but it does not load a lot of other things that are loaded when you boot normally
NOTE that the Dell web site has TWO video "drivers" selections - your model series can have at least two different NVidia video CARDS, depending on which specific model you have. Choose the RIGHT download.
If you're not 100% sure that you have the 6800 card,
Go here for how to find the Service tag "number":
Use that Service tag number to search for support on the Dell site for your specific model.
In theory, there should then be specific system info that tells you which video card your model has.
You could try searching the web with your SPECIFIC laptop model number (or much less likely, your service tag number) found on the same label on the outside of the case - you may find one "hit" or more than one "hit" which lists the exact specs of your specific model including which video adapter it has.
If installing the proper video software the RIGHT way still gets you no video in Windows when you boot normally......
- are you SURE you can you ALWAYS get Safe mode (or Enable VGA mode) to work when that happens ?
A more common thing that happens after laptops have been used a lot is the LCD display is malfunctioning - in that case, you may get a black screen a short time after you boot in computer when you boot into ANY mode.
In that case, usually your video works fine when you use an external monitor - there's nothing wrong with the video adapter itself.
Laptop no video (or video problems), and battery, AC adapter, power jack T shooting.
See response 1:
DO NOT plug in or unplug a monitor's video cable into / from a video port while the computer is running. Doing so can damage the monitor's circuits and/or the video adapter's circuits.
Some laptops will display on an external monitor without you having to do anything.
If you get no video on an external monitor, some laptops have a key combo that you must press to toggle the display to external video only / built in display video only / sometimes both - see the Owner's or User's manual for the model.
In some cases, if you search on the web, you will find other people have had the same problem with the same model of laptop, brand name system, mboard, or video adapter.
If you're willing to try it....
You MAY need to open up the laptop and examine the video card and the mboard, and try un-plugging and plugging back in the card.
See the Service manual at the Documents link in my previous post.
If you're NOT willing to open up the laptop yourself, have a local place that is authorized to work on Dell laptops examine and evaluate it.
In your case, if your video adapter CARD really IS defective, you can probably buy another one on the web, NEW preferably, or as a last resort, possibly from Dell for more money