How to Troubleshoot a Dell Monitor

By Amber Keefer

A monitor screen is the part of a desktop computer that displays data. But it can be utterly discouraging when the computer boots up, and you find yourself sitting there looking at a dark screen. Most times monitor problems are easy to fix. But in some cases, when a computer monitor won't come on, it can take a bit of detective work to find the cause. Fortunately, you don't have to be a technical expert to solve some of the most common monitor problems.

Things You'll Need

  • Additional data cable

Step 1

Make sure that the desktop computer is receiving power. If it is, you should see lights on the computer's tower case. You should also hear fans running inside the tower when you first turn on the computer and boot up. You may even hear a beeping sound.

Step 2

See if the power cord attached to the monitor from behind is plugged into the surge protector, which should be plugged into the wall outlet. One of these cords may have come unplugged.

Step 3

Turn on the monitor power switch. The power light should come on. Once you confirm that the computer is receiving power but nothing displays on the monitor screen, check to see if the brightness and contrast control settings are turned down too low.

Step 4

Check the data cable that connects the monitor to the computer. The cable could be loose. Turn off the power button on the front of the monitor before securing the cable firmly in place.

Step 5

Unscrew the monitor data cable and unplug it from the back of the computer if the monitor light still fails to come on and you get nothing on the screen. Once you disconnect the power cable from the monitor, and you get an error or a "no signal" message on the screen, the cable may be the problem. The pins on the end of the cable might be bent. Try connecting a new data cable to the monitor to see if that works.

Step 6

Test to see if the computer itself is working. Connect another monitor screen to the desktop. If nothing displays on that monitor, there could be a problem with the computer and not the monitor. Then again, if the other monitor works, you know that the computer isn't the problem. Another way to test the original monitor is to connect it to a different computer. If it still doesn't work, you will probably have to replace the monitor screen.

Tips & Warnings

  • If a monitor comes on when you first power the computer, but then occasionally goes blank, there could be a problem with the display card.

References & Resources