Dell XPS M1210 Blank Screen Problem – Mystery Solved!

Over a year ago, my Dell XPS M1210 laptop started randomly having the screen go very, very dark — almost black.  This didn’t happen very often at first, but it eventually got worse and worse until finally the screen would just flicker on for an instant during startup, then go dark.

After doing some research, I found comments from other people indicating the problem could be one of two things: a problem with the inverter board for the display, or a defective backlight.  Well, a month or so ago I bought a new inverter for about eight bucks off of eBay and dismantled my laptop, replacing the old board with the new one.  No change.

Then I bought a new backlight for my laptop (again, from eBay, for less than $20) with the intent of attempting to replace it myself.  I couldn’t find any instructions on how to do it — unlike replacing the inverter board — but I plowed ahead and tried anyway.  As of right now, I have replaced the backlight, but have yet to put everything back together.  I’m not 100% sure I’ll succeed, but I haven’t given up yet.

I DO NOT RECOMMEND ANYONE TRY THIS AT HOME.  It’s difficult and it’s too easy to break something.

Anyway, this is what I found when I finally got to the backlight:

Mystery solved!  One of the wires harnessed to the backlight had, apparently, deteriorated.  Taking into account how many people suffer from the blank screen problem, it looks like this is the result of defective manufacture (or design) of the component.

Given this evidence, I think Dell should have to pay to repair anyone’s Dell laptop which has been experiencing the problem.  The problem is simply too common to simply be from normal “wear and tear”.

Armed with this knowledge, I hope potential laptop buyers will think twice about buying a Dell.


I managed to successfully put the whole thing back together again!  The screen lights up properly now and doesn’t go dark anymore.  I didn’t do a perfect job putting the new backlight in, however, and the bottom-middle of the screen has a bit of a bright spot, but it’s not too bad.  At least my laptop is usable now.

So, to reiterate, the initially intermittant and eventually permanent blank/black/dark screen problem on my Dell XPS M1210 laptop was caused by a fault in one of the wire connections on the screen’s backlight CFL.

11 thoughts on “Dell XPS M1210 Blank Screen Problem – Mystery Solved!

  1. So was your laptop just going black im so not computer savy and mine went from lines to blue screen to black any suggestions?

  2. My laptop was just going black (i.e. going very, very dim — not “off”).

    Your laptop problems, Melissa, sound like a problem with the video card, which is something you’d have to end up replacing. That’s just a guess, though; you need to get it checked out by a technician, I think.

  3. 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

    • I did this and it works! Thanks. Make sure no wires are on the motherboard. I just placed my MB on a sheet of alum. foil.

  4. DATE: July 19 2010
    TO: Galaxy
    RE: “Make sure it is an oven and not a microwave oven”

    Dear Galaxy:

    Pursuant to my rights under federal Microwave Oven Protection Laws, I am requesting that you cease and desist communication with others in relation to the comment posted above: “Make sure it is an oven and not a microwave oven”.

    You are hereby notified that if you do not comply with this request, I will immediately file a complaint with the Congolese Trade Union Confederation.

    Very truly yours,

    Sassou Ngouabi
    Online Representative
    The International Microwave Oven Association(IMOA)






  6. ok, so this happen to me also, and oh man do i feel better that its not just my luck. I was on my husbands Dell xps m1210. and the screen went blue tellin me to restart. so i did. and once i did it went to just a black screen. i could hear it turn on but just a black screen. so i took it to the computer shop and they said it wasnt fixable. then i waited a few days to pick it up they left a phone call saying i needed to call and let them know what i wanted to do with it, if i wanted to send it in to the manufactury or just take it home… and im thinkin wait a minute, they said it wasnt fixable. so i just picked it up and now here i am googleing about the laptop and aparently im not the only one with the problem. so im hoping to get advice from these comments and fix his laptop.

    Thank you
    and p.s. i know i cant spell. but that shouldnt matter i just want to get this laptop fixed. its all my husband has to get a hold of us when he is gone.

    • ok i am the anonymous above on june 27, 2011 at 3:05 pm. i read all these comments. and i did the oven one… and it worked!!! its so crazy but it really did. i cant believe it. we were gonna buy my husband a new computer. but i felt so bad and wanted to get it fixed and i did it all by myself thanks to you people!! thank u so much :)

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