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Computer is on but display is blank/blue

When I turn on my computer, I can hear the windows’ chime in my headphones that are plugged into the audio out port and the computer’s power indicator light is on but the screen is blank.

Monitor operational

Check the monitor to be sure that it is plugged in and on.

Monitor connections

Check to see if DVI-I cord is completely connected to the monitor and the Dell FX170. If there is not a loose connection, check to see if the male and female ends of the connectors are not damaged. If any of the connector ends are damaged, they will need to be replaced.

Outdated drivers

A driver is software that allows your computer to communicate with hardware or devices.

Check the Dell website for the Display driver downloads to obtain any needed updates. That website can be found here

Damaged or Malfunctioning video card

If no bad connections or damaged connectors are found, then the imbedded video card may have failed and will need to be replaced.

No sound/distorted sound is coming from the headphones

Nothing can be heard out of the earphones when they are plugged into the computer’s audio output or the sound is fuzzy and plays parts intermittently.

Outdated drivers

If the software for the audio hardware (drivers) is out of date, then check the Dell website for the needed updates. That website can be found here

Malfunctioning headphones

If you cannot hear any sound from the headphones, then try them on a different device. If they work, move on to next step. If no sound is heard, then try another pair of headphones and retest the computers audio.

Malfunctioning audio jack

If the headphones are working, open the case of the device, and check to see if the audio out connector is making connection with the male end of the headphones. Replace any faulty connectors and retest computer’s audio.

Faulty connections to motherboard

If the audio still has a problem, then check the wiring to the motherboard to make sure no wires have shorted out or are loose. Replace any damaged wires or connectors and retest the computer’s audio.

Faulty motherboard

If all the previous steps have not solved the problem, then the sound card is malfunctioning and will need to be replaced.


While running a program, the computer will shut down unexpectedly and is warm to the touch.

Obstructed cooling vents

If the computer’s vents and/or fans become clogged with dust and debris this can lead to an overheat situation. To clear the vents and fans use a can of compressed air blow out the individual vents of the computer using short bursts.

Inadequate amount of thermal paste

The heat sink inside the computer allows heat to be drawn away from the processor. If there is not enough thermal paste between heat sink and processor, it can overheat and turn the system off. To fix: remove the heat sink and completely clean the processor and heat sink of the old thermal paste using an alcohol wipe. Then reapply several beads of a new thermal paste directly in the center of the processor and firmly replace the heat sink on top.

Computer won’t power on

When I press the power button no sounds can be heard and/or illumination of lights cannot be seen from the computer.

Bad AC adapter

If the computer will not power on, check the AC adapter by using it on another computer that uses the same type of adapter. If that computer does not power on, then you have a bad adapter.

Loose connections

If you have verified the adapter as good, open the case and check all connections on the motherboard to make sure there are no lose wires. If there are none and the system still does not power on, replace the motherboard.

Computer does not retain correct time

Every time I turn the computer on the date and time resets.

Time zone settings

It is possible that the settings for the clock are set to an incorrect time zone. This can usually be identified by the minutes being correct, but the hour being incorrect. Use the Date/Time Settings under the Control Panel of the operating system to change the time zone setting.

CMOS battery

Inside the computer is a small button battery attached to the motherboard, this is responsible for the computer retaining certain start up settings, one of which includes the date and time on the system. Typically when there is a bad battery every time the computer restarts you will see the time reset back to 12:00 AM and to a date such as January 1, 1980 (or some such year). Replacement of the CMOS battery should resolve this issue.

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