Forum Thread

Very weird computer shut down/black screen/boot problem...help, please!

jebobak 456 74 July 1, 2011 at 08:33 AM
I've got a Dell Inspiron 570 that is just under a year old, and it has developed a shut down / black screen / won't boot problem...

It started with a random shut down while I was surfing the net. OK...I rebooted, and got back on. Well, it didn't shut down, but the screen went blank and I couldn't do anything, So, I did a hard shutdown, and left it overnight. The next day I brought it back up in safe mode. Well, within a minute it went blank again, and I had to do a hard shutdown. So, at this point, I am thinking it is not a thermal problem (??). So, I try starting it back up...and I get nothing on the screen (no boot screen, nothing at all), and something is spinning up, then down, then up, then down... Hard shutdown, and try again. This time it sounds like it is booting OK, but black screen. So, I disconnect my video card and plug into onboard graphics and try again. Booting, but nothing on the screen. I try again, and it boots and I have video. I run diagnostics from the boot screen, and it says "MATS test pass, March B test pass", but nothing else happens. I reboot, and go into safe mode, and try running a malware scan, and it flashes a BSD for half a second, then no video. Reboot into safe mode, and now it seems to be staying up.

EDIT: It just lost video again after about 15 minutes...running on onboard graphics. The monitor is showing a signal input, but it is black screen. When it boots without video, there isn't even any input...the monitor remains on standby mode.

I am at a total loss...can anyone help?

I have an Radeon HD 5670 running with only a 300W PSU...not the best idea, but it is a super low power draw and has run fine for almost a year. I haven't pushed the card at all. Otherwise, it is basically stock - Athlon X2 Quad Core 630, 6MB RAM, 1 TB HD.

Thanks!

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#2
Have you tried a different monitor yet?

Have you tried updating the video driver and the monitor driver?

Have you blown out he dust bunnies and checked that all fans are working?
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#3
run malware bytes
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#4
Thanks for the quick replies!

I don't think it is the monitor, as it appears to be acting appropriately and one of the issues is the computer not booting at all. I also don't have another monitor...

The drivers were all just updated last week.

I've got the case open, and when it boots all fans are working fine.

This last time when it stayed up for a few minutes, I was able to get through a Malware scan, and the only thing that showed up was one minor ad file.

I'm beginning to think PSU...although I don't know if that would cause just a screen black out vs. a complete shutdown...?
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Doh
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#5
Quote from jebobak View Post :
Thanks for the quick replies!

I don't think it is the monitor, as it appears to be acting appropriately and one of the issues is the computer not booting at all. I also don't have another monitor...

The drivers were all just updated last week.

I've got the case open, and when it boots all fans are working fine.

This last time when it stayed up for a few minutes, I was able to get through a Malware scan, and the only thing that showed up was one minor ad file.

I'm beginning to think PSU...although I don't know if that would cause just a screen black out vs. a complete shutdown...?
You can get a PSU Tester or use another PSU to eliminate PSU issues.

Run slimdrivers and update any and all drivers... it'll find every driver for your system.
Run Windows Update.

Under a year?...

Call DELL.
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Last edited by boltman2007 July 1, 2011 at 10:53 AM
#6
make sure to send it back to Dell within the year if the warranty is 1 year

if you have multiple RAM sticks, try booting/using using 1 stick at a time.
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#7
Quote from bubbachuck View Post :
make sure to send it back to Dell within the year if the warranty is 1 year

if you have multiple RAM sticks, try booting/using using 1 stick at a time.
Well, just prior to getting this post, I had run a memory test from boot and it locked up at 98% done. I removed all the RAM, swapped it around, and reseated it. I rebooted, and so far so good. I think there might be a bad memory stick, because when I had windows tell me what was there, it said 4 GB instead of 6 GB. However, Speccy saw all the RAM, and now windows is, too. Hmmm...
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#8
Quote from jebobak View Post :
Well, just prior to getting this post, I had run a memory test from boot and it locked up at 98% done. I removed all the RAM, swapped it around, and reseated it. I rebooted, and so far so good. I think there might be a bad memory stick, because when I had windows tell me what was there, it said 4 GB instead of 6 GB. However, Speccy saw all the RAM, and now windows is, too. Hmmm...
the reason i suggested RAM was because I had similar situations as you. Random BSODs, memory dumps pointed at different system files causing the problem, and (most telling) the laptop would sometimes not start after shutting down. Just as an experiment, I removed all RAM and the laptop doesn't power on at all. Since you said you were having trouble even turning on the computer, that rung a bell.

I still recommend trying 1 stick at a time to single out the bad stick(s). memtest86+ is a popular RAM tester. Run each stick overnight (if necessary, a bad stick may reveal itself much faster). RAM usually has lifetime warranty.
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#9
Quote from bubbachuck View Post :
the reason i suggested RAM was because I had similar situations as you. Random BSODs, memory dumps pointed at different system files causing the problem, and (most telling) the laptop would sometimes not start after shutting down. Just as an experiment, I removed all RAM and the laptop doesn't power on at all. Since you said you were having trouble even turning on the computer, that rung a bell.

I still recommend trying 1 stick at a time to single out the bad stick(s). memtest86+ is a popular RAM tester. Run each stick overnight (if necessary, a bad stick may reveal itself much faster). RAM usually has lifetime warranty.
Thanks for the great info! The computer just crashed again after being on for over an hour, but windows self-recovered and didn't completely shut down.

I'm going to do the RAM testing now...
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#10
These type of problems are a process of elimination. One thing I would check is to look at the motherboard and see if you can spot any capacitors that have melted or have overheated. If its a capacitor then the problem will be sporadic til it finally blows.
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#11
Quote from repitall View Post :
These type of problems are a process of elimination. One thing I would check is to look at the motherboard and see if you can spot any capacitors that have melted or have overheated. If its a capacitor then the problem will be sporadic til it finally blows.
I agree. Bad caps can mimic a bad video card and bad memory, as well as give symptoms of a bad power supply. From your description, I would have been trying a different PSU for testing purposes first. But if you have bad caps on the board -- well, it's time for a new board. Bad caps will not be flat across the tops -- they may be rounded up/bulged up. They may be leaning over at a not straight up and down angle and could have rusty/yellowish or brownish "stuff" on the tops or around the sides or bottoms.

Go to badcaps.com and click on "how to identifiy" on the left side to get pics of what bad caps actually look like.
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