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Dell Inspiron 5100 - can't see BIOS on external monitor

Discussion in 'Notebooks' started by Tom M, Jan 4, 2010.

  1. Tom M

    Tom M Flightless Bird

    Hello all,

    I have a Dell Inspiron 5100 whose screen is shot. I can shine a
    flashlight on it and see the GUI so I know it's the screen and not
    something else. Anyway, I don't really care to replace the screen at
    this point; I'd rather hook it up to my TV as a monitor.

    When I hook the laptop up to my TV via the VGA cord, I am able to
    switch to the external monitor using Fn+F5 (I think, I'm not looking
    at it right now). However, during boot, the external monitor ONLY
    comes on when it gets to the Windows logon screen. It will not show
    the POST or BIOS on the external monitor.

    I can hit F2 during boot to enter BIOS and then navigate the BIOS by
    shining a flashlight on the laptop screen, but I don't see anything
    that lets me kind of "switch" the primary display from the laptop
    screen to the external monitor.

    Is there anyway to switch the entire display -- including POST -- to
    the external monitor?

    Thanks
    Tom
     
  2. BillW50

    BillW50 Flightless Bird

    In
    news:7e10bbca-a18e-48ff-895e-06488b58810d@d20g2000yqh.googlegroups.com,
    Tom M typed on Mon, 4 Jan 2010 11:54:25 -0800 (PST):
    > Hello all,
    >
    > I have a Dell Inspiron 5100 whose screen is shot. I can shine a
    > flashlight on it and see the GUI so I know it's the screen and not
    > something else. Anyway, I don't really care to replace the screen at
    > this point; I'd rather hook it up to my TV as a monitor.
    >
    > When I hook the laptop up to my TV via the VGA cord, I am able to
    > switch to the external monitor using Fn+F5 (I think, I'm not looking
    > at it right now). However, during boot, the external monitor ONLY
    > comes on when it gets to the Windows logon screen. It will not show
    > the POST or BIOS on the external monitor.
    >
    > I can hit F2 during boot to enter BIOS and then navigate the BIOS by
    > shining a flashlight on the laptop screen, but I don't see anything
    > that lets me kind of "switch" the primary display from the laptop
    > screen to the external monitor.
    >
    > Is there anyway to switch the entire display -- including POST -- to
    > the external monitor?
    >
    > Thanks
    > Tom


    Hi Tom! I was just working on my niece's Dell D610. And there wasn't any
    option in the BIOS to toggle the display off of the internal display
    either. Only once Windows loads can you change the display.

    I now have 4 Gateway laptops. And all of them you can change it in the
    BIOS. And the choices are internal, external, or both. You would think
    all BIOS would be this way.

    Btw, your internal display isn't working correctly because the
    florescent lamp isn't lit. It could be a stuck lid switch. Or more
    commonly it could be the inverter or the lamp in the top lid. Unless
    that is one of the ones with LEDs to illuminate the display.

    --
    Bill
    Gateway MX6124 ('06 era) 2 of 3 - Windows XP SP3
     
  3. Tom M

    Tom M Flightless Bird

    On Jan 4, 3:14 pm, "BillW50" <Bill...@aol.kom> wrote:
    >
    > Hi Tom! I was just working on my niece's Dell D610. And there wasn't any
    > option in the BIOS to toggle the display off of the internal display
    > either. Only once Windows loads can you change the display.
    >
    > I now have 4 Gateway laptops. And all of them you can change it in the
    > BIOS. And the choices are internal, external, or both. You would think
    > all BIOS would be this way.
    >
    > Btw, your internal display isn't working correctly because the
    > florescent lamp isn't lit. It could be a stuck lid switch. Or more
    > commonly it could be the inverter or the lamp in the top lid. Unless
    > that is one of the ones with LEDs to illuminate the display.
    >
    > --
    > Bill
    > Gateway MX6124 ('06 era) 2 of 3 - Windows XP SP3


    Thanks, Bill. I was afraid of that. I am thinking about maxing out
    the memory (which is 1 G8) and putting Windows 7 on it (it has a P4
    2.6ghz processor, which is adequate), but I don't know how far I can
    get without being able to see the BIOS very well.

    As I understand, inverters are pretty cheap. Do you know is there a
    way to tell it's definitely the problem, or something else?

    Thanks
    Tom
     
  4. BillW50

    BillW50 Flightless Bird

    In
    news:03ad6d3c-7790-41ee-ba2f-67cb0ea887c9@v25g2000yqk.googlegroups.com,
    Tom M typed on Mon, 4 Jan 2010 13:02:18 -0800 (PST):
    > On Jan 4, 3:14 pm, "BillW50" <Bill...@aol.kom> wrote:
    >>
    >> Hi Tom! I was just working on my niece's Dell D610. And there wasn't
    >> any option in the BIOS to toggle the display off of the internal
    >> display either. Only once Windows loads can you change the display.
    >>
    >> I now have 4 Gateway laptops. And all of them you can change it in
    >> the BIOS. And the choices are internal, external, or both. You would
    >> think all BIOS would be this way.
    >>
    >> Btw, your internal display isn't working correctly because the
    >> florescent lamp isn't lit. It could be a stuck lid switch. Or more
    >> commonly it could be the inverter or the lamp in the top lid. Unless
    >> that is one of the ones with LEDs to illuminate the display.

    >
    > Thanks, Bill. I was afraid of that. I am thinking about maxing out
    > the memory (which is 1 G8) and putting Windows 7 on it (it has a P4
    > 2.6ghz processor, which is adequate), but I don't know how far I can
    > get without being able to see the BIOS very well.
    >
    > As I understand, inverters are pretty cheap. Do you know is there a
    > way to tell it's definitely the problem, or something else?
    >
    > Thanks
    > Tom


    Hi Tom! I believe you should be okay without seeing the BIOS. I would be
    a little concern about the 1GB max for Windows 7 though. As I only tried
    it on 2GB systems and I thought it was too slow and swapping to the
    drive a lot. Tomorrow I am going to try it again on another 2GB machine.
    Just a bit beefier this time and a better video card. And I can grab 2GB
    more RAM from other machines here if it needs it.

    As to your lamp problem. There is no easy way to tell. And some lamps
    are really difficult to replace without changing the whole LCD display.
    So the easy way is to find a LCD panel with inverter on eBay or
    something. Sometimes you can get them really reasonable, like for 50
    bucks. Some people like replacing the whole top lid instead. Although it
    doesn't make much of a difference to me. Although I have been in and out
    of them a lot.

    And remember even if you do exchange out the whole top lid, it still
    might not fix the problem. Although the odds are about 9 out of 10 that
    it will. As it still could be the lid switch or motherboard still. Well
    the display cable if that wasn't changed when the LCD panel was
    replaced.

    Another thought is buying a whole used laptop like yours on eBay with
    some other problem. As long as the display works, that would be good
    enough. Plus you have lots of spare other parts too for about the same
    cost for a display and inverter.

    --
    Bill
    Gateway MX6124 ('06 era) 2 of 3 - Windows XP SP3
     
  5. Tom M

    Tom M Flightless Bird

    On Jan 4, 4:33 pm, "BillW50" <Bill...@aol.kom> wrote:
    >
    > Hi Tom! I believe you should be okay without seeing the BIOS. I would be
    > a little concern about the 1GB max for Windows 7 though. As I only tried
    > it on 2GB systems and I thought it was too slow and swapping to the
    > drive a lot. Tomorrow I am going to try it again on another 2GB machine.
    > Just a bit beefier this time and a better video card. And I can grab 2GB
    > more RAM from other machines here if it needs it.
    >
    > As to your lamp problem. There is no easy way to tell. And some lamps
    > are really difficult to replace without changing the whole LCD display.
    > So the easy way is to find a LCD panel with inverter on eBay or
    > something. Sometimes you can get them really reasonable, like for 50
    > bucks. Some people like replacing the whole top lid instead. Although it
    > doesn't make much of a difference to me. Although I have been in and out
    > of them a lot.
    >
    > And remember even if you do exchange out the whole top lid, it still
    > might not fix the problem. Although the odds are about 9 out of 10 that
    > it will. As it still could be the lid switch or motherboard still. Well
    > the display cable if that wasn't changed when the LCD panel was
    > replaced.
    >
    > Another thought is buying a whole used laptop like yours on eBay with
    > some other problem. As long as the display works, that would be good
    > enough. Plus you have lots of spare other parts too for about the same
    > cost for a display and inverter.
    >
    > --
    > Bill
    > Gateway MX6124 ('06 era) 2 of 3 - Windows XP SP3


    Thanks, Bill. I think I will give installing Windows 7 a shot,
    despite not seeing the BIOS. I actually installed it on another
    Toshiba laptop with (gulp) 512mb RAM and 2ghz processor. I just
    turned off all the fancy GUI bells and whistles. This machine doesn't
    run a lot of apps and I think it's actually running faster than XP did
    on it.

    I did replace a screen (just the screen, not the lid) on my Inspiron
    E1505, which was a snap. But I knew for sure that old screen was
    blown; couldn't see anything even with a light held to it. Wish I
    could know for sure on this one, if it's just replacing the inverter
    or the whole screen. I can't find a decent screen for less than $100;
    looks like inverters run $15-20.

    Thanks again
    Tom
     
  6. BillW50

    BillW50 Flightless Bird

    In
    news:9abdeff5-9930-4d48-a690-c24dd732e7c6@e37g2000yqn.googlegroups.com,
    Tom M typed on Mon, 4 Jan 2010 13:55:11 -0800 (PST):
    > Thanks, Bill. I think I will give installing Windows 7 a shot,
    > despite not seeing the BIOS. I actually installed it on another
    > Toshiba laptop with (gulp) 512mb RAM and 2ghz processor. I just
    > turned off all the fancy GUI bells and whistles. This machine doesn't
    > run a lot of apps and I think it's actually running faster than XP did
    > on it.
    >
    > I did replace a screen (just the screen, not the lid) on my Inspiron
    > E1505, which was a snap. But I knew for sure that old screen was
    > blown; couldn't see anything even with a light held to it. Wish I
    > could know for sure on this one, if it's just replacing the inverter
    > or the whole screen. I can't find a decent screen for less than $100;
    > looks like inverters run $15-20.
    >
    > Thanks again
    > Tom


    Wow! Running Windows 7 faster than XP with 512MB of RAM. That is
    impressive. I wish I could see that. I have seen Windows 7 appear about
    the same speed as XP, but the CPU is being hit harder and the CPU temp
    is 20°F higher. So maybe I'll see something differently tomorrow when I
    try again on another machine.

    Yeah not knowing if it is the lamp or the inverter. That is a problem.
    And it is about a 50/50 shot either way. So if you want to try the
    inverter first, I would say go for it. Worse comes to worse, you can
    always sell it again. <grin>

    And yes, those are very common prices. Although you sometimes can get
    the displays cheaper than that. Especially if you are willing to put up
    with a stuck pixel or two. Okay maybe three. <grin>

    --
    Bill
    Gateway MX6124 ('06 era) 2 of 3 - Windows XP SP3
     
  7. the wharf rat

    the wharf rat Flightless Bird

    In article <7e10bbca-a18e-48ff-895e-06488b58810d@d20g2000yqh.googlegroups.com>,
    Tom M <thomas.a.meier@gmail.com> wrote:
    >
    >Is there anyway to switch the entire display -- including POST -- to
    >the external monitor?
    >


    Function-F8. That cycles through all available displays : lcd,
    external, lcd+external...

    If I was you I'd buy a used top half of a 5100 and just swap the
    whole thing. It's worth it to avoid mucking around with teeny screws and
    flimsy friction fit plastic parts... Not to mention routing the cables right.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/Dell-Inspiron-5...emQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_0?hash=item2a03d034b2
     

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