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Old 06-02-2012, 05:00 PM
shamrin shamrin is offline
 
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Default How to diagnose random white screen?

I have a Dell Inspiron 1545 laptop here with a random, intermittent white-screen problem. This is the second time the customer has brought me the computer. When I had it the first time I was unable to replicate the problem, it's now back and...I am unable to replicate the problem.

The symptom is that the entire screen goes white. The machine has to be turned off and a reboot clears the problem. I have:
  • Tested the system fan - OK
  • Tested CPU temps under load (no GPU temps available on this unit) - OK
  • Run graphics card stress tests - no failure
  • Run full system stress tests - no failure
  • Wiggled, waggled and generally abused the lid - no failure
  • Checked the event logs - nothing
  • Checked the driver version - Current
The only time I've seen the problem was the first time I ran the computer. It came up to resume Windows 7 to the user login screen, I switched users and told it to do a restart. As the system was shutting down, the screen went white. My perception is that the system rebooted and the screen stayed white during POST...but I'm a little fuzzy on that now. After a few seconds or so, I shut the computer down with the power switch and it restarted OK. I have not seen the problem since then.

The user is unable to give me any help on what he is doing when the problem occurs to him. I'm looking for ideas on how to recreate the problem so it can be diagnosed. I've got the computer hooked up to an external monitor now so if I can just get a failure I could get an idea if its the graphics card or the cable/screen combo but I can't get the darned thing to fail.

Edit: I set the machine to run a YouTube film and about halfway through the laptop screen turned white. The external monitor was fine. I changed the resolution on the laptop monitor and it popped back to work. I still can't replicate the problem on demand though.
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Last edited by shamrin; 06-02-2012 at 09:58 PM. Reason: add additional data
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  #2  
Old 06-04-2012, 03:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shamrin View Post
I have a Dell Inspiron 1545 laptop here with a random, intermittent white-screen problem. This is the second time the customer has brought me the computer. When I had it the first time I was unable to replicate the problem, it's now back and...I am unable to replicate the problem.

The symptom is that the entire screen goes white. The machine has to be turned off and a reboot clears the problem. I have:
  • Tested the system fan - OK
  • Tested CPU temps under load (no GPU temps available on this unit) - OK
  • Run graphics card stress tests - no failure
  • Run full system stress tests - no failure
  • Wiggled, waggled and generally abused the lid - no failure
  • Checked the event logs - nothing
  • Checked the driver version - Current
The only time I've seen the problem was the first time I ran the computer. It came up to resume Windows 7 to the user login screen, I switched users and told it to do a restart. As the system was shutting down, the screen went white. My perception is that the system rebooted and the screen stayed white during POST...but I'm a little fuzzy on that now. After a few seconds or so, I shut the computer down with the power switch and it restarted OK. I have not seen the problem since then.

The user is unable to give me any help on what he is doing when the problem occurs to him. I'm looking for ideas on how to recreate the problem so it can be diagnosed. I've got the computer hooked up to an external monitor now so if I can just get a failure I could get an idea if its the graphics card or the cable/screen combo but I can't get the darned thing to fail.

Edit: I set the machine to run a YouTube film and about halfway through the laptop screen turned white. The external monitor was fine. I changed the resolution on the laptop monitor and it popped back to work. I still can't replicate the problem on demand though.
Have you removed and reseated as well as tested RAM?
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Old 06-04-2012, 03:31 PM
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I had one with similar problems in last year, it turned out it was a cable getting caught in the hinge.

Paul
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Old 06-04-2012, 03:43 PM
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i've had this problem on dell inspiron desktops with nvidia graphics drivers on win 7.
the problem went away when I uninstalled the factory drivers and let windows install it's own drivers.

Drove one customer batty for about 3 months after he bought it. Dell support was no help for it when he called. All they wanted to do was run system restore.
the next time it happened to another customer I tried deleting the video drivers right away and that fixed it.
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Last edited by ljtechservices; 06-04-2012 at 03:45 PM. Reason: cleared up some details.
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Old 06-04-2012, 03:57 PM
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Did you clean the fan out and regrease the cpu, this is very easy on the 1545.
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Old 06-04-2012, 04:36 PM
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The one thing I did not see mentioned was a screen swap. Have you tried swapping out the screen and keeping an eye on it?
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