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Dell XPS 420 turns on and all sounds fine but no picture appears??????


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Old 27-10-2013, 22:36
moestavern
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I have a Dell XPS 420 running Windows 7 I was using it today just about to play a game the game was loading then suddenly the screen went blank. So I just thought that it had just frozen so I turned it off left it for a second then turned it back on again. It all sounded like it was loading fine but still no picture on the screen. I have checked the monitor and it is working fine so I opened up the computer and tried to start it again to see if I could see or hear any problems all looked fine the fan on the graphics card was working fine from what I could tell. The graphics card is the only reason I could think of for it not working. Any help would be great.
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Old 28-10-2013, 12:38
emptybox
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It sounds like the graphics card to me.
Does it have the Nvidia 8800 GT card?

First thing to try would be to connect the lead to the other DVI connector.
Failing that, try a different lead.

I'm presuming you don't even see the BIOS screens?
If you can see these, then you could try booting from a Windows recovery CD/DVD or a Linux live CD/DVD/USB, just to see if you get a picture.

Failing all that, it's a case of opening it up and fitting a different graphics card.
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Old 28-10-2013, 14:53
moestavern
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No it's not the original graphics card I replaced it with a different one about a year a go still a Nvidia card. After installing it found out that the graphics card was not supported by the XPS420 but it seemed to work OK so never bothered to change it. Dell said to me that only certain cards work with it. So been looking for one of the cards that that Dell said work with it not much luck as everywhere is saying no longer available.
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Old 28-10-2013, 16:02
PencilBreath
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no output whatsoever? Does the 420 have status lights on it (my dell does)

do you still have the original card you swapped out?
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Old 28-10-2013, 17:06
emptybox
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No it's not the original graphics card I replaced it with a different one about a year a go still a Nvidia card. After installing it found out that the graphics card was not supported by the XPS420 but it seemed to work OK so never bothered to change it. Dell said to me that only certain cards work with it. So been looking for one of the cards that that Dell said work with it not much luck as everywhere is saying no longer available.
It should take any PCI-Express card, but I guess the limiting factor is the relatively low powered power supply unit.
Not sure what the one in yours is, but some say 375w and some 425w.
Should be plenty for any medium powered card though.

Actually the PSU is something else to be considered as a possible fault.
Even if everything appears to be running OK, it might be that one of the power connectors to the card has come loose?
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Old 28-10-2013, 18:55
sandman112
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Doesn't it have an inboard card too, mines is tucked away and can't check but if you go into bios and and have a look if there is an on board card you should be able to enable it and at least prove the rest of the pc is ok
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Old 28-10-2013, 20:20
moestavern
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Doesn't it have an inboard card too, mines is tucked away and can't check but if you go into bios and and have a look if there is an on board card you should be able to enable it and at least prove the rest of the pc is ok
I'm not sure as I said nothing appears so can't enter the Bios menu
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Old 28-10-2013, 20:47
sandman112
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I'm not sure as I said nothing appears so can't enter the Bios menu
Ahhh good point .... My dads dell done something similar the other week but his graphics card was fine thru the bios it wasn't until he hit the windows login that it went funny

Have look on the back for a VGA port on the motherboard, if it's their then plug monitor in to it and pull the pci-e card, bios should change over automatically to the on board given that the pci-e is no longer there
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Old 28-10-2013, 20:51
chrisjr
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If it has on-board graphics there would be a connector on the back panel in the same area as things like the USB, ethernet and audio connectors. Not the one on the expansion slot card. It may be possible to enable any such graphics system simply by removing the slot in card then power up the PC with a monitor attached to the back panel connector.

However from the pictures I've seen on the Dell website I can't see any sign of an on-board graphics connector. So that option might not be available.
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Old 29-10-2013, 11:34
moestavern
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No there is no on board graphics card unfortunately. Can anyone recommend any good graphics cards that will work with the Dell xps420?
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Old 31-10-2013, 09:09
moestavern
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I got a new graphics card still having the same problem turns on but no picture is displayed on the screen.
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Old 31-10-2013, 13:13
emptybox
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I got a new graphics card still having the same problem turns on but no picture is displayed on the screen.
Oh dear.
Perhaps there's something wrong with the PCI-Express slot on the motherboard, or the connections to the card from the power supply?
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Old 31-10-2013, 13:37
chrisjr
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One thing to try.

Have the PC plugged into the mains but turn off the mains at the socket, the mains lead is being used as an earth connection not to supply power for this procedure. Open the case and locate the memory module(s).

Touch a metal part of the case to discharge any static on your body. Remove the memory module(s) and then put them back in their slots. Sounds odd but you'd be surprised how often that cures some problems.

Power up the PC and see what if any effect that has had.

Some Dell PCs I've worked on have four slots in two pairs, one pair coloured black and one pair white. Often just one pair of slots has memory modules installed. On a couple of machines I've fixed they simply refused to boot until I swapped the memory modules into the unused slots (eg from the black to the white pair). Not sure if your PC is like this but could be worth a punt if it is.

The other test to try is to unplug as much as possible from the motherboard, disk drives etc, and see if the PC at least displays the start up screen. If it does then something you have unplugged is preventing it working.

To work out what means plugging stuff back in one at a time till it stops working. Things can get a little complicated if it's a PSU load issue as it might be the number of things plugged in rather than any one device that is causing the issue. That can be a pain in the wotsits to work out!
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Old 31-10-2013, 18:00
Orbitalzone
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All good ideas to try from Chrisjr, my suspicions are the power supply gone bad, any chance you can borrow one to try and see if it cures the fault, assuming nothing else that Chrisjr suggested works?
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Old 31-10-2013, 18:30
chrisjr
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All good ideas to try from Chrisjr, my suspicions are the power supply gone bad, any chance you can borrow one to try and see if it cures the fault, assuming nothing else that Chrisjr suggested works?
You have to be careful with Dell. They have a nasty habit of using propriety PSUs in their PCs. Though more often in their small desktop models. But as far as I can tell they use standard motherboard plugs so even if a borrowed PSU won't physically fit it may well electrically fit.

At least though it should power the PC and indicate one way or the other if the original PSU is OK
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Old 31-10-2013, 21:46
Orbitalzone
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Certainly Dell used to use proprietry PSU's and their smaller micro/slim desktops still do (as any micro desktop generally would) but since around 2003 (ish) onwards they seem to (usually) work as a standard ATX PSU......even their venture into BTX cases/motherboards didn't change things luckily (in fact I'm fixing a BTX Dell right now with a possibly faulty PSU)

But always check before buying a replacement PSU for any Dell
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Old 31-10-2013, 21:54
curiousclive
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It is a slim possibility that one of your memory cards are not seated correctly or faulty. try removing and fitting one at a time and try booting each time to see if screen comes back.
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Old 02-11-2013, 19:01
moestavern
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Thanks everyone for your advice I'll give what you suggested a try and let you know what happens.
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Old 03-11-2013, 16:41
moestavern
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I took out the 2 memory cards and put them in the 2 spare black slots and installed the new graphics card all seems to be working ok now.
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Old 03-11-2013, 16:42
moestavern
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Thanks for all your help lady's and gentlemen.
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