Dell Inspiron 14R SE (Screens goes blank, Windows 10 still working)


Dec 12, 2017

I'm posting this in case it can help somebody.

When I turn on my laptop, the screen goes blank (black).

I used my laptop normally, no installation of anything, just work and surfing when it happened.

If I waited for a few seconds it showed the Login screen then blacks out again. So I know Windows 10 is running, as occasionally, the HDD light also kept blinking.

It's impossible to log in, as about two seconds later the screen blanks out again. Then login screen appears a few seconds and then blacks out again, so on and on.

It's so frustrating I thought the laptop has some huge hardware failure after years of great service and it's time for a replacement.

1. Tried using external monitor (HDMI and VGA ports)- failed
2. Removed battery, unplugged, pressed power button for 2 minutes - failed
3. Replace CMOS battery - success

The solution for me was by replacing the CMOS battery.

There was no indicator of Date/Time going wrong in Windows previously.

Note : On Dell Inspiron 14R SE, the battery is under the motherboard, you will have to totally disassemble the laptop to reach it. Look at Dell's website to find the Service Manual on how-to dissassemble it and view on Youtube how to unplugged the clipped cables.

Good luck.


Dec 12, 2017

On startup it shows black, then the login screen shows for about two seconds and blanks out again. In and out. I still have the problem after about 2 hours of using the laptop. Ran the diagnostics but doesn't show any kind of problem.

Well if it is turning black and staying black, try the first set of options below. If, however, it is going out, then back to the beginning like it is restarting the process, try the second set of options.

Options Set 1...

Try these...

Option 1 ...

1. First, while the computer is off, connect an external monitor.
2. Next turn on the computer and allow it to fully load.
3. Once loaded, press the "Windows Key" + "P" to open the "Easy Display Switcher".
4. In here select "Computer only".
5. Now shut down the computer and disconnect the external monitor.
5. Disconnect the external monitor
6. And finally restart the computer.

Option 2 ...

Make sure you wait until the computer would be fully loaded before trying this, and not try it right away like you would to say get into BIOS. This needs you to actually be where you would be when Windows Explorer loads.

1. Press "Shift" repeatedly until the "sticky keys" window shows up.

2. Now click the the link there that will lead to the "Ease of Access Center".

3. Next click "Cancel" on the the bottom right corner of the "Set Up Sticky Keys" window.

4. From here you want to click "Control Panel" on the upper left corner (it should be right beside the "Make Your Computer Easier to Use" title.

5. Locate the "Computer Settings" menu and then choose the "Recovery" icon (make sure that your view of this is by either large or small icons for easier access).

6. Now click and open "System Restore".

7. Here you want to click next on the bottom right corner (a few times) until the button "Finish" shows up and then click it. (Just follow everything prompt that the window says which will lead you to recovering your previous system, in a certain time.

8. The computer will now do the work it needs to and then reboot.

If that doesn't work, you can try the following...

You can also try doing the Ctrl+Alt+Delete and see if you can get "Task Manager" to show.

If the "Task Manager" windows shows, then choose "New Task" and then type in EXPLORER. If the desktop shows up then you need to go into "Start", "Programs", then "Accessories" and finally "Command Prompt". (Or you can do a search for CMD.)

Make sure you load the "Command Prompt" with Administrator access. Then when it loads type in....


It will do a file check.

To learn more about "SFC" visit this link at Microsoft...

Option Set 2...

Note: If this problem started after an update (or system reinstall), please make sure the laptop is not connected to the internet in any way before you use the following instructions.

Try the following...

1. Power off the laptop.
2. Power on the laptop.
3. As soon as you see the rotating loading circle, press and hold the Power Button until the computer shuts off.
4. Repeat this process a few times until you see the "Preparing Automatic Repair" screen.
5. Now you want to let the laptop boot to the "Automatic Repair" screen.
6. Click "Advanced Options" and then select "Troubleshoot".
7. Here you want to select "Refresh your PC", if you do not wish to erase data, or "Reset your PC" to erase all data and restore your system.
8. From here just follow the screen instructions until the recovery is completed.

NOTE: You will need to get into the "Advanced Options" in order to get the "Refresh Option". This choice will keep your data, but any programs installed will be lost.

Do not do a "Reset" as that will wipe all data you have on the laptop.

Another version of this is the following...

1. Power off the laptop.
2. Power on the laptop.
3. When screen turns black, hit F10 and ALT repeatedly until the computer shuts off.
4. You shouTo fix the computer you should choose the second option listed.
5. When the next screen loads, choose the option "Reset Device".
6. Now choose which ever type of reset you wish.
7. Your coputer should now restore itself to "Factory Settings".

NOTE: If you get a message saying "Error Resetting Device", then you should have the computer looked at by the manufacturer (if still under warranty) or by a tech.



Dec 12, 2017

Thanks for your patience, really appreciate it. I will try them starting from option 1. Luckily I also did manage to video it :

I was using the laptop at that time, put my phone to start recording when it happened. Pressing the power button started Windows again.