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inspiron 8500 flickers and shut down


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Problem: My laptop screen flickered (kind of hung state) and the machine shut down. When I manually rebooted it, the fan didn't turn on, and the display was completely white. The bar that loads the bios didn't show up either.

So first thing I did was opened the fan cleaned it and put it back in and restarted the machine. The machine started fine this time, but the resolution was different. it became 1280x1024. I usually use 1600x1200. However, i used it for 20 odd minutes and the display flickered and shut down again. When I rebooted white screen again. I started the comp after 2 days. It started well and i used it for 10 minutes and same flickering and machine shut down.

Tired, I finally disassembled the machine. I unscrewed the graphics card and put it back in, and started again. No luck. The white screen came. I left the machine on for some time and ensured the fan was working, and subsequently rebooted the machine. the machine started up fine and used it for 40 mins before the flicker and shut down. When the flicker happens, the screen goes completely dark, but fan keeps running.

I am at the end of my wits to try new things? Can't tell if my graphics card is messed, if it is then how could the machine run intermittently. Is it possible that mother board is screwed? Any help would be nice before I go and order a graphics card. Also would be nice to know what are the compatible graphics card. Dell site doesn't list geforce FX700 to be compatible with 8500. however i've read other posts around here on items selling on ebay, they say its compatible.


Nvidia Geforce 4200 go

Inspiron 8500 (2.0 ghz)

ram: 128 + 512 (my machine has had this ram for some time and i've used it for a yr)

also the machine is entering its 5yr of usage


http://neodon.blogspot.com/2006/06/dell-la...autopsy_29.html <-- this guy had similar probs found his gc defective


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Guest st3powers

Funny. This post describes my problem and recent efforts to a T. I also have an inspiron 8500 with the allegedly problematic nvidia ge force go 4200. Some Dell service reps swapped the video card out with a working one and claimed this solved the problem, but then demanded $300 for the new video card (yikes). So I bought a replacement video card on ebay (same make allegedly, although it says Rev A05 as opposed to Rev A02 on my old card), but the new one is not working at all (flashing white screen, then "garbled fence"). Could be a compatability issue or maybe just got scammed with a broken card.

Of course I'm one year past warranty so feeling a bit screwed.

Interesting how my old video card does also work fine for a few minutes before apparently getting too hot and causing screen problems and/or shutdown. It is hard to tell whether the problem is a) the video card only, :) the motherboard only, or c) both are partners in crime somehow. By the way, the first time this happened, I left the laptop on standby in a case and it got real hot. Could this have fried some kind of voltage/heat regulator in either the motherboard or video card?


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  • 2 weeks later...

any luck fixing your machine?

I've ordered a 128 mb Quadro FX 700. once i install it, ill post again about my experiences, but i am feeling very nervous. have spend 110 bucks on a used GC from ebay, hope i dont get scammed.

also my machine is beyond warranty, so i dont think i can even send it to dell, theyll just charge a ton.

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Bad news today, my friend. Just to recap, I paid the Dell guys 70 bucks for one hour of work since my laptop was out of warranty, and he claimed that swapping in a working video card solved the problem. A bit skeptical, I tried to find out how long they actually had the laptop running with the new card, and they said "Long enough to run all the diagnostics, which takes awhile. And it passed." So they advised getting a new video card. Then, still fearful of throwing down only to find this is not the problem, I did so anyway and bought the stock card, Nvidia Gforce 4200 go, off a dealer on ebay for ~$60. This is the card I spoke about in the last post as being a potential dud. I'm pretty certain now that was the case. How do I know?

Because after it didn't work at all (i.e. not even for the 20-30 minute teaser period), I got frustrated and just bought another one ebay for $100, one that had been tested for functionality and came with a one week warranty from the ebay dealer.

Well that second potential replacement card came today, and I tried it, and it did exactly the same thing as my original "broken card"- run fine for 20-30 minutes, then garbled screen and/or shut down, followed by no ability to restart unless a substantial cool down period occurs. Now I'm out $70+$60+$100 based on incorrect Dell expert advice and am pissed. Plus all the wasted time and effort.

This is not merely a video card issue. I think we're talking motherboard. And getting new laptops for that matter. Let me know if you have any new insights. I'm gonna chew out the Dell guy tomorrow in person and see where this gets me. If nothing else, crapping on him might at least make me feel better.

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Ok. looks like bad news here too, bro.

So I got my new 128 mb nvidia quadro fx go700 from a dealer on ebay for 110 bucks. i installed it and i was too excited to see the machine work fine. it started fine, ran for 10 minutes and simply shut down after that. (this is not the same problem i was having before replacing the video card) so i think i got scammed for a video card that gets too hot and shuts down every 10 minutes. but i think one thing is clear, i am not having any motherboard issues, then it wouldn't behave differently with two different working graphics card. ie. 2 different graphics card giving me 2 diff kind of problems.

anyway, on with my story, i figured may be the machine was shutting down everytime windows was trying to install the standard drivers. so, my biggest challenge was to keep the machine running long enough to upgrade the drivers for the new video card. i got that done. now i just need to see if the machine shuts down on its own or not, if it doesn't i am good to go, if it does, then i am done. *another GC maybe?*

if you read my earlier posts youll see that my problem was machine not starting at all and white screen appearing and occassionally starting fine. now with the new video card the problem is frequent shutting down (almost every other 10-15 minutes). the ebay dealer i think scammed me, he said in his sale post that the video card pulled out from a working unit, ran on xp for 10 mins and no problem. (very sneaky wording there with the 10 mins, i guess he meant video card only runs for 10 mins at one sitting). if this frequent shutting down continues, then i am gonna have to resell this video card, get a *good* one, cuz i know my machine is working fine.

let me know where i should go to get my video card (incase this one turns out sour as i describe) i called dell they say they dont sell it. bas%@#$s.

oh btw my new video card says REV01. where as my old one said REV02. looks like i've just downgraded the bios for my GC. heh. and yeah i feel sorry about you. its frustrating and waste of money. I also got a new laptop but would be damn happy if my old also becomes healthy.

Edited by pepphell
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