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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 12th December, 2006, 05:18 PM
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Help with replacing Dell Inspirion 9400 video card

One of our employees (Dana) had a video problem with her Dell Inspirion laptop.
The video just completely stopped working.
She took it to CompUSA and they said the video card is dead.
it an ATI Mobility Radeon X1400 128Meg
It is a refurbished laptop she got when her origional Dell laptop died and was under warranty.
Go figure, to replace your warrantied laptop they give you a used one.
Anyways, it isn't under warranty anymore and replacing the video card is easy.
The only problem is only Dell will sell us a brand new one $300
or I can get one off of Ebay $98
Any ideas on the easiest & cheapest way to resolve this?
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Old 12th December, 2006, 11:22 PM
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If the Seller on eBay has an excellent reputation you might take the plunge.
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Old 12th December, 2006, 11:37 PM
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Yeah, this one does
X1400
he's got 10thousand sells
and a 99.7% feedback.
I'm just hoping it is the video card that is broken and not anything on the motherboard.
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Old 13th December, 2006, 07:53 PM
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I have my fingers crossed for you. Best of luck with the laptop!
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Old 13th December, 2006, 08:46 PM
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I have gotten to the point I don't do too many laptops any more. What a pain.

You can usually find a how to on line on disassembly. Each one is different.
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Old 13th December, 2006, 09:01 PM
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I will never buy a laptop. Not until they are fully customizable like desktops, even then I will still have second thoughts.
There are at least 20 laptops here at my work and someone is allways having problems.
Her first Dell was a nightmare! She had it under warranty and almost everything was replaced from the powersupply to the motherboard.
After all that, it still didn't work, so they replaced it with a refurbished one. And now it is having problems.
I told her what you all said and I think she is going to get the video card off of ebay.
I found installation instructions on the Dell website and it look pretty easy. Plug-n-Play.
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Old 13th December, 2006, 09:23 PM
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Keep us posted Brian.
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Old 13th December, 2006, 10:05 PM
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www.sparepartswarehouse.com

gr they dont do dell
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Old 14th December, 2006, 08:10 PM
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We went ahead and order the X1400 off of Ebay.
When it comes in I'm going to pull out the old card and pop in the new one.
We'll see if it works.
Hopefully it will because I will feel kinda dumb. She knows its a risk to buy anything off of Ebay, but she was still willing to take that risk.
Worst case scenario is that the card doesn't fix the problem and she can sell whats left of the laptop and get her $100 back.
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Old 14th December, 2006, 09:15 PM
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If it doesn't work blame it on us......

Let us know...
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Old 14th December, 2006, 09:44 PM
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Dude, I would never blame you guys.
I come here to learn, then I use the knowlegde to troubleshoot computers.
I take full responsibility for the decisions I make, even the risky ones.

for example: I bought 3 21" HP CRT monitors earlier this year and I still have one, but they are trashed. For some reason though, they looked fine at the sellers house when we plugged them in. But after months of use, they started to get blurry and have artifacts.
I took a risk, and they were only $50 each, but its still been a learning experience and I've enjoyed it.
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Old 27th December, 2006, 11:21 PM
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Allright, I installed the card (after taking almost everything off) and it is working great. The origional card was an Nvidia but I don't know which model.
So she got an upgrade for $100.
Everything worked out GREAT!
I am a little worried about the fan though....
Do the fans on laptops only spin when the component reaches a certain temp?
or are they supposed to spin all the time?
I messed around with AutoCAD on the Inspirion and tried to get the video card a bit hot, but the fan never started up....
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Old 28th December, 2006, 02:56 PM
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Auto Cad is only 2D.

Try a small 3D app and see what happens.

I think the fan will only spin when the set temp is reached to save battery life.

glad it worked out...
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Old 28th December, 2006, 04:51 PM
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I was doing some searching on the internet and I found that Dell Inspirions have a diagnostic in the BIOS that will tell if the fans are functional or not.
So I may have her try that, or bring the laptop back and check it myself.
Should I try google sketch-up.
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Old 28th December, 2006, 04:53 PM
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That or load FAH on it. That will warm things up a bit....
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Old 31st December, 2006, 12:55 AM
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I can confirm that fans will only spin on Dell notebooks when things heat up. The PSA diags (Pre-boot System Assessment) wont tell you much about the fans. You will need to run the 32bit diags, which are normally only installed from factory on a separate partition on the hard drive. If the drive hasn't been blanked and fdisked, then you are good to go. To boot any Dell Notebook into PSA mode, ensure its switched off, then press Fn+power button. When it boots it should say something like diagnostic boot selected in the corner. That will run through some basic hardware checks, hd, mem, video etc. once that has run it will then give you the option of running further diags, if ya say yes, then it will automatically try to load the dell 32bit diags. if you aren't sure if you have the diags on the drive (a remote possibility if its a refurb), then have the drivers and utilities disk ready (the blue one, at least it is in the UK). pop it in and it should load it.
Alternatively, you can put the disk in at boot, hit F12 to get into the "one time" boot menu and boot straight off the CD.
In there there is a specific option to run diags on the fans

woo, glad all the festive drinking hasn't made be forget my job

hth
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Old 31st December, 2006, 03:41 AM
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Thanks Toro for the tips... She ended up calling Dell and they did a Remote Assistance Diagnostic and the fans are working.
She could see them spinning after lifting up the laptop and looking in the vents.
I guess the origional Geforce video card just died. It didn't overheat because the most cpu instensive program she uses is AutoCAD.
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Old 31st December, 2006, 03:49 PM
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no worries bra

anytime ya need help with Dell, give us a shout and i'll do me best if you cant be assed waiting on the phone
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Old 31st December, 2006, 04:07 PM
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Talking

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no worries bra
please stop trying to sell your cheap wonderbra imitations on the forum, ty.
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Old 31st December, 2006, 06:13 PM
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sorry bra

too much time with those cheeky monkey South Africans
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Last edited by Toro; 31st December, 2006 at 06:14 PM.
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