Dell laptop - screen goes blank after starting Windows

A problem with the Dell laptop video card could cause a malfunction in the video display. The display may work in safe mode but not in normal mode. To rectify this issue with the Dell laptop video card, it needs to be set to auto mode. In a Dell laptop computer, there is no option of deactivating the video card in the BIOS. Proper device drivers need to be installed for the display to work properly. Conflicts in the Windows operating system regarding monitors and video cards can also create the display problem.


When my system starts up, the screen goes blank. I can start up Windows in safe mode but not in regular mode. I have tried putting a new flat screen monitor on the system but that didn't help.


Dell offers no option of disabling the onboard video card in the BIOS, so set it to auto if it is not already. To do this, make sure your monitor is plugged into whichever video output lets you see the boot screens and press F2 (on most Dell systems) to enter setup. Once in setup, scroll down until you see the video adapter options and set those to auto.

Turn the system off after you lose the video. Do this by pressing and holding the power button until it goes off. Switch the monitor cable back to the onboard card and restart. You may not see anything until Windows loads (the opposite problem from when you use a new card). Log onto Windows as soon as you can, and on the desktop hover over the background and right click the mouse. This will bring up the display settings box. Ensure you have the proper drivers installed for the new video card and that the video card is showing up in the device manager [right click on "my computer" then click "manage" then click on "device manager" in the left column. In the right column expand the "display adapters" by clicking on the "+" sign]. If the card shows up with no error icons on it, everything is OK. Once you have the display settings open, click on the "settings" tab at the top. You should see two squares with numbers "1" and "2" in them. This means that Windows 'thinks' you have two monitors - and that is where the conflict lies.

This is the Dell issue. It is probably still using the onboard card as the "primary" monitor card. Click on the monitor it shows itself to be using and the card driving the monitor will show in the Display dialogue box under the monitor area. The option to change uncheck "Use this device as the primary monitor" is grayed out - which means you cannot change it. Click on the other monitor box and see if your installed card appears in the Display dialogue box. If so, right click on the monitor square. If "primary" is grayed out click on "Attached" then right click on the monitor box. Now you should see "primary" is no longer grayed out and it will let you click it. This will set the new card and monitor it is driving to your monitor. Apply your settings and close the Display Properties box. Shut down and plug your monitor cable into the new card and reboot. You should now have video as desired. Go into the Display properties again and if you are NOT using two monitors, click on monitor "2" and uncheck the "Extend my Windows desktop onto this monitor" box. Apply, and happy computing.

Solved by Jerry GCA Tech
Published by aakai1056. Latest update on March 18, 2012 at 10:34 AM by EloiseHorsfield.
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