Dell Inspiron 1545 - Screen random symbols problem!

MinimalTech

Estimable
Feb 19, 2014
6
0
4,510
0
Hi. I have in my hands a Dell Inspiron 1545-0108 laptop. When I press the power button, the Laptop (sometimes) starts loading the BIOS (Dell screen with blue loading bar) and (some other times) the monitor remains off and it needs to connect the external VGA cable to redirect the signal to an external monitor.

When you finally get signal (and you can see text/graphics in any monitor), the BIOS loading step (Dell screen with blue loading bar) appears correctly (plus the inside BIOS menu). But after that when POST runs then the screen becomes to be unreadable in the most of its space due to exclamation symbols ("!") which appears!

Please see the attached images for better understanding of the problem.

What could be the problem? And where??

Thank you!

1) https://imgur.com/JLOi9rT
2) https://imgur.com/8T4XOxs
3) https://imgur.com/9oj6StN
4) https://imgur.com/Ox8F2YZ
 

BFG-9000

Respectable
Sep 17, 2016
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Generally artifacts like that mean defective vRAM. Photos of the CJFHX motherboard of your 1545 show the ATI HD4330 is integrated onto the motherboard along with two vRAM chips so it's not like you could just replace a GPU daughterboard.

As a replacement board is more than that laptop is worth, the most reasonable solution is to replace the laptop. Unless you have a hot air station and know how to replace BGA vRAM chips, the best you can do is inspect the board for any traces of conductive liquid residue and reflow the whole board (in case it's a cold solder).

It is likely the BIOS only uses a tiny bit of vRAM so the bad parts aren't accessed then.
 

MinimalTech

Estimable
Feb 19, 2014
6
0
4,510
0
I have already order a pair of 2GB DDR2-800MHz RAM before of your answer! You think that this is a vRAM problem, not RAM? In this case a replacement board is not worth it, you are right. Saddly I do not have a hot air station to replace the BGA vRAM chips... The only thing I have to do is to wait 3-4 days to have the memory in my hands and to test it. I will inform you for the result.
 

BFG-9000

Respectable
Sep 17, 2016
167
0
2,010
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Given that your third picture above has a green bar at the top, I'm going to assume you are running Memtest-86+ (and not Memtest-86 which is red there). I don't know how long you ran it for, but the test appears to be running fine with no memory errors.

You have one stick of RAM installed because it says:

Memory SPD Informations
______________________

- Slot 0 : 2048 MB DDR2-800 - Kingston

That is exactly what Memtest-86+ shows while it is running with no errors. It shows a bunch of failing addresses there instead if there are any errors.

About the best you can try is the "oven trick" to reflow the motherboard, in case it's not the vRAM itself but a solder connection to it. This is where you wish it had the IGP like most 1545s, as that ATI isn't any faster than the GMA X4500HD anyway and just uses more battery power.
 
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