Monday, January 03, 2011

back online

I was offline for a couple of days there starting new years eve. The display on my monitor wouldn't come up.

The display has been flaky for some time. Last summer the white plug stopped working so I switched to the blue VGA cable. That worked for a few months then it failed a couple of days ago. I bought a 6 foot HDMI cable at walmart for $10 as my video card also has HDMI. Alas HDMI also didn't work.

As a check on the monitor I ran my DVD player into the monitor using the HDMI cable and that worked. I also tried running the PC output both blue VGA and HDMI into the second TV I have next to the computer. Again no display signal. I could see the lights coming on the PC and the keyboard and mouse were lit up so I was pretty sure it was the video card on the PC, especially given that the white DVI had already failed last summer.

I checked the papers and luckily the computer was still under Dell 1 year warranty. I called the number and had my service code ready. The tech was in India it was slightly hard to hear her at times but she was ok. We went through the procedures to confirm yes the monitor is turned on, yes I tried VGA and HDMI, yes I tried again plugging into the tv instead of the monitor.

Then her supervisor had a pretty good idea. She told me to check under the power cable for a connector behind the PC. There was a covered connector and after popping off the plastic cover there it was a VGA connector. I guess that's the one that ships with the PC, I had added a custom graphics card when I bought this PC. I attempted plugging that in and was a bit surprised it worked, I had a display again.

I was a bit worried they would then brush me off with the problem solved. However the Dell support was good. She agreed there is a problem with either the graphics card or the motherboard. They are actually sending a tech to replace both under warranty. She said it should happen this week and gave me a tracking number.

So far so good then. I'll be glad to get the replacement parts I don't want to be down to one display. Hopefully the repair will go smoothly and the system will be back to health. If it goes well I'll check the price and may purchase one more year of warranty coverage.

No comments: