Bad Video Card

My poor little Laptop … something’s gone wrong with it’s video card.

A few days ago I was watching a video on the laptop and something went horribly wrong … the video got completely corrupted.   Even rebooting the system didn’t help.   My initial thought was that my external monitor had gone casters up, so I undocked the system and booted it up.   Video on the laptops display was corrupted too.

Got on another PC and started a chat with Dell hardware support … I was quite surprised that the tech I chatted with quickly picked up on the fact that I was technically competent and didn’t waste my time with each individual mouse click and key press.   He simply said “OK, let’s delete the video adapter from the device manager”.

After we deleted the video adapter and reinstalled the video drivers, the problem seemed to go away.   The tech had me run a few video intensive programs to see if the failure came back.   It didn’t.

Yesterday, however, the problem came back.

Before I got back on a chat with Dell, I took a picture of the video problem with my iPhone and emailed myself the picture.   Figured this would help identify the problem.

I got into the chat with the tech and, once again, was pleasently surprised to find he quickly adapted to my level of technical capability.   He also was impressed by the fact that I could put a picture of the screen on a website.

He had me run a few more diagnostics, but quickly determined that the video card was probably going bad.

He setup a service call (I’m really glad I paid extra to get the next business day, onsite, service contract) and ordered the parts.   Unfortunately, “Next Business Day” from yesterday evening equates to the day after tomorrow.   So my laptop probably won’t be fully repaired until Friday.

Got a call a little while ago from Dell service to setup the actual service visit … there may be a delay in getting the part … but it will be ready for install by Monday.

Update: It took one extra day, but the replacement motherboard was sent out and the hardware tech came out and replaced it. So far the laptop is working perfectly.

2 thoughts on “Bad Video Card


    Sorry to hear about the laptop, but glad that Dell’s customer service has vastly improved. I can remember calling them for a desktop floppy drive replacement and going round and round with diagnostic BS for far too long. I would finally just give up and make background noises for the phone as we went thru the level zero technical support script.

  2. david

    Well, I’m not 100% sure it’s all the customer support that’s improved. I bought the laptop through Dell’s SMB division, so I might be working with tech support specific to that market.


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