Forum Thread

Dell XPS m1330 screen issue: GPU or LCD display?

Bhavesh 135 28 May 27, 2010 at 11:29 AM
Hello all,

I purchased a Dell XPS m1330 in December 2008.

Would this be an issue of an LED backlit LCD failing? or faulty graphics processor unit?

Everything on the laptop worked fine until April of this year, when I would see distortion in the middle of the screen (flickering of the pixels...seems like it's just cycling between colors and gives off a shade of pink).

You can still see the contents of the screen, it's just distorted. It occurs more in areas that require color (areas that are white, as in a blank word document distort much less).

It gets worse with time: it used to start after 15-20 minutes, now it starts within seconds of starting the laptop. It only occurs on a 1-1/2 inch vertical segment in the middle of the screen. Once it's in full swing, you can barely read the screen contents. It just flickers black/white/mixed colors

The time it takes for the distortion to start is closer to 30-45 minutes if I leave the screen brightness all the way down.

There is NO distortion if I connect an external monitor.

I have googled and found that the nVidia GeForce 8400M GS were sold/shipped with faulty graphics processor units (GPU), and Dell offered to extend the warranty on the laptops to replace these issues, but I wasn't aware of the issue while the warranty extension was available to me, so they will not fix mine under warranty. Also, the signs and symptoms of this issue is lots of vertical lines followed by a restart, which I do not experience.

Since it doesn't occur on an external display, I'm guessing it's just a screen issue. But if anyone knows GPU or the 8400M GS better, maybe they could shed some light on the issue.

Thanks in advance.

Computer specs:

XPS M1330 Laptop: Intel Core 2 Duo Processor T7250 (2.0GHz/800Mhz FSB, 2MB Cache)
Certified Refurbished
Shipping Material
Resource DVD
MEDIADIRECT 3.3 Software
MEDIADIRECT 3.3 Software
Operating System Label
Documentation
160 GB Free Fall Sensor Hard Drive (7200RPM)
Dell Bluetooth 5 Button Travel Mouse
Shipping Material
Software
4 GB DDR2 SDRAM 800MHz (2 DIMMs)
8X DVD +/- RW w/dbl layer write capability
65W AC Adapter
Genuine Windows Vista Home Premium
128MB NVIDIA GeForce 8400M GS
Processor Label
Dell Travel Remote Control
Bluetooth Wireless Card 355
Integrated 2.0 Mega Pixel Web Camera
Notebook Keyboard
13.3 inch WXGA Slim and Light LED Display
Microsoft Works 9.0
MEDIA DIRECT 3.5
6 Cell Primary Battery
Fingerprint Reader Touchpad
Image Restore Software
Roxio Creator DE
Tuxedo Black
Service Software
Intel 4965AGN Wireless-N Mini Card

12 Comments

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#2
Sounds like the screen, but wouldn't be surprised if the culprit was the GPU. There seemed to be quite a bit of problems with the Nvidia's on the 1330.
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#3
My guess is the GPU, if it were the screen I think the problems would be consistent and not a gradual change.

It sucks that Dell won't help you, that laptop is less than a year and a half old. How were you supposed to know you needed to sign up for some warranty extension? It should be offered to everyone.

I suggest you call tech support, ask for a supervisor, and tell them there's no way you could have known you were supposed to do that, and it's Dell's responsibility to help you since they sent an admittedly faulty product.

If they say no, ask to talk to someone else. Keep pushing and I bet you will get someone willing to help you.
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#4
GPU failures are extremely common in the XPS M1330. I was given a dead M1330 which had Intel graphics and the problem was with the power circuit on the motherboard. I bought an as-is, used nvidia motherboard from ebay (P/N PU073, D057F, K984J, or CX062) and it has these vertical lines on the laptop's display and eventually freezes up, but if I plug the laptop into an external monitor (through VGA) and switch to that display only while it's booting, I can use the laptop just fine. I have occasionally seen some corruption on the external display.

I then bought a replacement motherboard with Intel graphics (P/N GM848, X635D, CX061) and everything in the laptop works fine including the display. Unfortunately, full-screen Hulu is extremely laggy with the onboard Intel X1300 graphics so I bought a 2.1GHz T8100 to replace the 1.66GHz T5450 to see if it would help, but I haven't gotten it all back together yet.

Some people have claimed to have fixed this GPU problem by using a heat gun on the GPU to reflow the solder. I tried it and it worked for a day then failed again. This was even with the recommended copper shim installed between the GPU and heatsink.

Search for "(CX062, PU073, K984J, D057F, GM848, X635D, CX061) -photo" on ebay to see all M1330 motherboards. I'd recommend trying to get one that is Certified Refurbished and sealed from Dell instead of a used one or one that was supposedly refurbished by the ebay seller. Also watch out for the cheaper listings which require you to send your laptop in if you plan to do the repair yourself.
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Last edited by dhc014 May 27, 2010 at 12:18 PM
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#5
it's a LCD issue. I had that same issue for a week. I also have the nvidia chipset GPU

first the tech replaced the heatsink.. problem came back.
he than replace the mobo problem came back
yesterday he replaced the LCD and it seems fine (but it's only a day)

call tech support. it's most likely a LCD issue.

try this: power off the system.
hold on to the D button and power on. you should see a screen test.
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#6
Your warranty for GPU issues is automatically extended by one year. There was no offer period. Don't let them BS you. Here is the post about it. However, if it is an LCD issue, this extension does not cover it.

http://en.community.dell.com/dell...dwide.aspx

Quote :
Dell will offer a 12-month limited warranty enhancement specific to this issue. For all customers worldwide, we plan to add 12 months of coverage for this issue to the existing limited warranty up to 60 months from the date of purchase
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I once prayed to God for a bike, but quickly found out he didnt work that way...so I stole a bike and prayed for his forgiveness. Angel Not
#7
I know someone who has a m1330 that has been fixed 4 times for the bad nvidia cards put in them. and it sounds just like your issue.
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#8
sorry about the delay, was busy with school

but I just called dell technical support and the tech told me that there is no warranty extension, and the aforementioned link was made by a customer, not by dell, so there isn't anything they can do

can anyone confirm this issue is from dell directly?
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#9
Quote from Bhavesh View Post :
sorry about the delay, was busy with school

but I just called dell technical support and the tech told me that there is no warranty extension, and the aforementioned link was made by a customer, not by dell, so there isn't anything they can do

can anyone confirm this issue is from dell directly?
If you have the Nvidia chip in the M1330, there most definitely is a 1 year warranty extension for GPU issues only. I have heard about many people being told there isn't. Here is the link to where Lionel Menchacha gave the details. He definitely is not a customer.

http://en.community.dell.com/dell...tails.aspx
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#10
I tried to contact Lionel Mechacha, and it took a few weeks for him to respond, but he didn't get back to me after I sent him my service tag.

Regardless, fed up with Dell, and sick of waiting, I found a new LCD for $109 shipped on fleabay and picked it up.

it only took10 mins to install it, and voila, the problem went away!

Since the laptop was a refurb, the previous screen had a plethora of scratches, so it felt like having a clean windshield installed.
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#11
The extra year of warranty was to cover the GPU, not the LCD.
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#12
Nvidia reaches a settlement with faulty GPU's http://www.engadget.com/2010/09/3...ing-apple/
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#13
Quote from LiquidRetro View Post :
Nvidia reaches a settlement with faulty GPU's http://www.engadget.com/2010/09/3...ing-apple/
Wow - nice!
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