Dell XPS M1210 Blank Screen Problem

This morning I had a problem with my Dell XPS M1210 laptop. When I opened it up and turned it on, the screen went blank at the Windows login screen. As far as I could tell, the laptop was still running properly, but the screen was just blank. When I closed the lid (which puts the laptop into “stand by” mode) and opened it again, the login screen would flicker on briefly before the laptop screen was once again plunged into darkness.

This is apparently a very common problem with this model, as I learned from the subsequent google searches on the issue. However, a couple of clues led me to what I think is a fix for the problem.

The first clue was that the laptop was not actually frozen; just that it was not displaying anything on the screen. This told me that the computer was not locking up due to a hardware fault or something serious.

The second thing I noticed was that when the screen did appear briefly (on startup and whenever I closed and re-opened the lid), it was running at the wrong resolution. The laptop switches to this lower resolution whenever I plug it into my TV and switch the video output from the screen to the TV. I suspected from this that the video output was quickly switching to a device which I didn’t have attached, resulting in the blank screen I was seeing. However, using the CRT/LCD switch function on the keyboard did not fix the problem. Something else was stuck.

On a hunch, I put the laptop into “hibernate” mode via the keyboard. The screen immediately turned back on, displaying the Windows hibernation screen. I let the process continue until the laptop turned off, then I started the machine up again via the power button.

After returning from hibernation, the laptop screen stayed on and I was able to login and see my desktop. However, it was still running at the wrong resolution. I changed the resolution back to what it should have been — 1280×800 — crossed my fingers, and restarted the machine. Success! Everything was back to normal.

So, I hope this information can help other users who are having this same problem. When you start up your Dell XPS M1210 laptop and the screen goes blank during the boot process, follow these instructions:

  1. After turning on your laptop, wait a minute until your desktop finishes loading after blindly logging in. You may be able to verify that the OS is at the desktop by closing the lid, waiting until the system goes into stand-by mode, then opening it again and watching for the screen to briefly flicker on and back off.
  2. Put the system into hibernation mode by holding down the Fn key and pressing F1.
  3. After the computer has finished going into hibernation mode and has shutdown completely, press the power button to turn the machine back on.
  4. At this point, if you’re lucky, the screen should not go blank during boot up. If it does, you may have to try something else. If the screen does not go blank, then continue on.
  5. Right-click on the desktop and select Properties from the pop-up menu.
  6. In the Display Properties window that appears, click on the Settings tab.
  7. Move the slider in the Screen Resolution box so that it reads 1280 by 800 pixels. If it is already there, then don’t do anything.
  8. Click to Ok button to apply your changes and close the Display Properties window.
  9. Click the Start button on the desktop, select Shut Down from the Start menu that appears, and tell the computer to restart.
  10. If everything goes well, the screen should no longer go blank on bootup!

Some parting thoughts…

  • In the days leading up to this problem, I noticed my laptop’s screen flickering a little after it started up. I don’t know if this was an indicator that something was going to soon go wrong or not.
  • The day before this happened, I was alt-tabbing a lot between the desktop and a fullscreen DirectX game (World of Warcraft) running at the same resolution as the desktop. Maybe this had something to do with it, I don’t know.

UPDATE: The problem came back the next day but the above instructions did not fix the problem this time. :-( Repeated attempts at the above instructions eventually solved the problem again.

41 thoughts on “Dell XPS M1210 Blank Screen Problem

  1. Hi Don,

    I had a similar problem with mine – eventually though it turned out to be the backlight had died in it. Most laptops you can replace the backlight or the inverter in to fix this problem, however the dell XPS1210 apparently has an “all in one unit” which requires teh whole screen to be replaced (approximately AUD$1000 back when it was buying 90 odd US cents. I’d imagine the price has gone up now given the credit crunch!!)

    If any one knows of a cheap replacement screen that would be great as I really do love my XPS but its useless now with a dead screen.

    Cheers,
    -Adam.

  2. I have a buddy who fixes theese all the time. Says it is simply a capacitor inline from the Mboard ot the screen itself. I am going to let him try the FIX on my XPS that is doing the exact same thing.

    • I have an Dell XPS M1210 same problem which Capacitor is it on the Mother Board it has a number could you please send me an email. jbuffo@redshift.com

      I am a Techician I repair Vending Machines and do some Circuit Board level repair.

      Thank You
      Joe
      Vending Tech Services

  3. Hi all,

    I have a similar problem, but slightly different.
    Whenever I charge my system and leave it for hybernation and start again, soon after the DELL logo appears, the system ask whether to start in safe mode or normal.
    When any of the option is choosen, it goes to windows start up and screen goes blank.

    No clue what happens after that.
    I need to manually switch off and then login to get the screen.

    Can any of you help me??

  4. Hi,

    I have similar problem in this morning with XPSM1210.
    Yesterday night I shutdown my laptop and when I powered on today morining, I can see only blank screen. I can here the sound from hard disk reading.
    I waited about 20 minutes, I cannot see any thing on the screen
    When I press the Power button, its turned off immedaitely.
    Could ypu please any one help me to resolve this problem.

    Thanks for your help.

    • I have the same problem. My XPS M1210 screen suddenly goes black. It works well with an external monitor. The problem is not wrong resolution. I have the same quetion as PD. “How can I understand if the problem is with inverter?”

  5. Same thing is happening to my 1210. Glad to hear its fixable since its my lifeline. Check out whats happening to mine….

    computer turns on fine and everything, but screen is just black. i did find however that if i shine a bright light or flashlight on it i can see and actually use it, although it sucks holding a flashlight and squinting.

    so im guessing its the backlight? any ideas? dont really want to buy a new screen…..

  6. Tengo un XPS 1210, la cual ha tenido problema con video desde cuando parte la bios las letras se revientan se ven como en 256 colores o como con cleartype pero mas fuertes, cuando llega al escritorio las imagenes se ven como en 256 colores, aun estando a 1280*800.
    he realizado pruebas desde la salida VGA con un Monitor externo LCd y funciona perfecto. y por ultimo un amigo tiene el mismo con tarjeta nvidea cambie la pantalla mia y el cable al otro laptop y funciona perfecto y realize el proceso inverso en mi notebook y daba el mismo problema. por lo tanto debe ser video la pregunta es tiene solucion alguno mi problema o es necesario cambiar la placa.

  7. For those who are looking for the Inverter part # it’s IV14123-T

    I’ve had to replace it twice now on my XPS m1210.

  8. Hi,

    I have same problem, but little different.
    My xps m1210 was run perfectly.few days back when played a NSF on this, suddenly system was freezed.
    and i manually switched off and switched on again, it was worked nicely. then after it happened twice when i browse.

    After i checked with my friend and he reuqest me to remove the memory which is in down side.
    then it work as before nicely with 512 MB (inbuilt) memory.

    After two days when i switch on the system, window was loaded and suddenly appear the blank screen in WHITE and i switch off and on manually. then after i format the windows and installed a fresh copy to it. again i faced the same problem in last night.

    I can not imagine what is the wrong with this? in my life, this is the first time i’m facing this kind of WHITE SCREEN problem. if it is a hardware problem it should appear the BLUE screen.

    I checked with some IT guys and they told if this kind of problem will appear on software faults. but they also little confusing about this WHITE SCREEN.

    Please advice me on this regards if any body have any idea about this.

    Please………..

    • White Screen happen to mine to.

      It weird have done a clean install and hope it fixs it, but it might not as you have said.

      Heeeelp! Please!

  9. Muhammad says:

    It seems XPS M1210 has a serious bug with its screen. Last night, it was working fine. Suddenly, the screen shows straight vertical lines, it clickered. I restarted my machine. Even before starting windows, the system shows these vertical blue lines. The lines are were 1/2 centimeters apart from each other. They covered the whole screen except the DELL logo. Then when the DELL logo disapeared, normally a blank screen comes before windows starts. This time the screen was full of zeros. Then windows started to resume. Then it went bank again. I forced it to turn off. Then I tried booting into safe mode with networking. It works just fine. Those lines do not exist in the low resolution safe mode.

    I think DELL really should pay us back for this or fix it. Someone should go to court.

    I had to share this with everyone.

  10. My M1210 had a problem with the screen going blank a few months ago. Opening and shutting the lid seemed to sort the problem out. Then the problem seemed to go away after I turned the hibernation option off.

    After a few months not blank screen problems my screen has gone off and I can only use the laptop if I connect it to my desktop screen (when is a portable not a portable? when you can’t move it to any location you want because the screen wont work!)

    I don’t know what I should do to check whether of not it is the Inverter has gone. I have made sure that the screen resolution is 1280 x 800 and taken off the hibernation option.

    Any thoughts or help would be appreciated as I use this laptop a lot in my work which takes me around the country.

    PD

  11. My problem is the same. I have a blank scree while the laptop seems to work. When I connect it to an external monitor, I have a normal and fine picture on external monitor. How can I make sure if the problem is with inverter board?

  12. Xps m1210 Fixed.

    My m1210 got the black screen and after reading a few forums i figured out it is the motherboard. I called the Dell support but I couldn’t convince them to do the repair for me.

    Then out of desperation I followed a crazy crazy suggestion on some forum. I disassembled my laptop. took the motherboard out and put it in the OVEN for 3 minutes each side (315 F)

    Right you didn’t read wrong, oven. What happens the solder dots crack and if that is the case the high temperature helps those cracked solder dots to go back to their original form. Amazing, I am so happy it is been 2 weeks and works perfect, Niceeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee, right. it is really cool. Oven the motherboard and it is fixed.

    Make sure it is an oven and not a microwave oven

    • You’ll be surprised how tough it is to find a simple gas oven around this parts. So tired the solution you put up using a Re-work station (IC removal (the hot air blower) kit). Put the temperature to 350C and heated various areas for about 30secs per area. Since i wasn’t sure where the real problem was, i had to follow the rigorous process.

      The system works fine now. Don have any problems with keyboard keys not working. Really amazing. Hope to watch it for the next couple of days. – note thu that i removed all the black labels on the board before doing the heat to avoid melting them or missing areas i wanted to concentrate on.

      Thanks a lot for the tip.

  13. hi guys try this: in safe mode uninstall nvidia drivers during this the system ask you to restart computer so restart and good luck! for me was working perfect.

  14. my laptop will turn on and i can hear all the normal sounds etc and even blindly login with fingerprint but the screen is just blank.

    I was told it was a motherboard problem, any suggestions?

    cheers

    • I have the same issue, only not to hear anything from the normal power “on”. Call Dell won’t fix this for free because not related to NVDIA problem. The last time i was on it, the screen freeze and that’s the end of it.

  15. Hey. I just wanted to verify with anyone who has ever had problems with the same thing. M1210 blank/black screen. Mine did the same thing. I decided to upgrade to the 700m/710m LCD. Fit was fine. Still had blank screen after change of inverter and the LCD. I tried taking EVERYTHING that can come off the motherboard that can come off, turned the oven onto 350 degrees. Set it on some aluminum on the corners. Baked it for 4.5 minutes, let it cool, reinstalled. I cannot believe it. IT WORKS. I was so sceptic and though what the hell..its not working. Friend of mine said when they manufacture electronics, this is what they actually do anyways. SO PUTTING MOTHERBOARD IN THE OVEN FIXED MY M1210 BLACK BLANK SCREEN! I was scared of putting it in for 6 minutes like someone else did thinking it would melt. It was hot but not near close to melting. Email me if you are scared i’ll throw in some advice. So far its working great.

    • seriously, oven? I have the same problem with my M1210 my nephew was playing a game then he told me that the screen just went blank. Honestly I’m not computer savvy, I can use computers but do not know how to repair it, more or less find where the motherboard is located.

    • Hey all. I want to echo what Gabe said above. My M1210 has been sitting idle for almost 2 years now with the black screen while the computer is working fine. I was unwilling to pay the money to take it to a repair shop and also I work in Africa so I don’t have many options. I decided to take the computer apart (I’ve never done it before) and give the oven trick a try. This afternoon the screen was black. I took it apart and baked the motherboard for between around 5 minutes (2.5 min on each side) and then reassembled my computer. It actually worked!! I can’t believe it. If it starts having the problem again I’ll update this post, but for now it looks great. I too was worried about melting, but I didn’t see anything harmed at all. If you are about to give up on your M1210 then give it a try. It was interesting to take a whole laptop apart anyway.

    • You’ll be surprised how tough it is to find a simple gas oven around this parts. So tired the solution you put up using a Re-work station (IC removal (the hot air blower) kit). Put the temperature to 350C and heated various areas for about 30secs per area. Since i wasn’t sure where the real problem was, i had to follow the rigorous process.

      The system works fine now. Don have any problems with keyboard keys not working. Really amazing. Hope to watch it for the next couple of days. – note thu that i removed all the black labels on the board before doing the heat to avoid melting them or missing areas i wanted to concentrate on.

      Thanks a lot for the tip.

  16. YOU GUYS I HAD THE SAME PROBLEM EXACTAMUNDO AND THEN I DIDNT HAVE TH EPROBLEM ANYMORE WANNA KNOW WHAT I DID I DID THE OVEN THATS WHAT I DID

    I HAV A SPECIAL OVEN WITH A SEE THRU TRANSPARENT WINDOW SO I WAS SLITELY WORRIED THAT THE WINDOW MITE ALLOW EXCESS HEAT FROM THE SUN TO WARM THE MOTHERBOARD

    THAT IS WHY I PUT THE TEMPERATURE TO 320F RATHER THAN 350F

    I COULD SEE THE MOTHERBOARD SLIGHTLY SWEATING BEADS OF MOTHERBOARD FLUID (NOT SURE WHAT ITS CALLED?? THE BIOS????)

    SO I GOT SCARED I TURNED IT OFF EARLY

    BUT THE OVEN WORKED

    IT REALLY DID

    ONLY NOW I CAN’T DIS-ABLE THE CAPS LOCK SMALL PRICE TO PAY

    LITERALLY IT WAS ZERO DOLLARS

    ANDY

    • You’ll be surprised how tough it is to find a simple gas oven around this parts. So tired the solution you put up using a Re-work station (IC removal (the hot air blower) kit). Put the temperature to 350C and heated various areas for about 30secs per area. Since i wasn’t sure where the real problem was, i had to follow the rigorous process.

      The system works fine now. Don have any problems with keyboard keys not working. Really amazing. Hope to watch it for the next couple of days. – note thu that i removed all the black labels on the board before doing the heat to avoid melting them or missing areas i wanted to concentrate on.

      Thanks a lot for the tip.

  17. Seriously, the oven. I tried this two weeks ago and have had zero problems since. I placed the mobo in a 320 degree oven on top of a ceramic casserole to keep it off the metal rack. 2 minutes 30 seconds, flip, another 2 minutes 30 seconds. Let it cool completely. Rebuild. Viola! Works perfectly.

    Now I’ve acquired a second M1210 sold cheap for the same problem. Going to use the oven method. I ran this one through boot diagnostics (available with the F12 key) three times with no issues. After it’s been running awhile, the screen suddenly goes black. I’ll report after the baking effort.

  18. Incredible advice. Who would ever believe it? Actually, I did because I had the exact same problem. I looked for a replacement video card but couldn’t find one. So I threw it in the oven as suggested and holy moly, I put it back together, fired it up, and wham, I got my laptop back. Unbelievable. If you have nothing to loose, try it. I sounds insane, but the idea makes sense. 350 degrees is just hot enough to fuse the loose solder back together to give the circuits a sound connection. Thanks everyone for making this repair possible.

  19. This worked. Although have a dell xps but your solution worked perfectly. Have been racking my brains with Dell support for a few months now and have tried everything including reseting my video card drivers to reinstalling windows. Thank you for the excellent advice.

  20. The Dell black Screen Problem.
    I also had this problem so i went onto ebay and bought this (Dell Latitude D420 XPS M1210 LCD Screen Inverter K02I111.01) I replaced it is just a few mins and now my XPS is working fine.
    )

  21. My DELL XPS M1210 machine is blank and so I think these machines are fake, we need to report this to the government to avoid allowing such machines in the country.

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