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Dell Inspiron E1705 (9400) Display Adapter and LCD Replacement

Inspiron display adapter problems

Inspiron display adapter problems

If you’ve ever seen strange graphics artifacts on your computer screen like in the adjacent image, chances are that you have experienced the failure of a display adapter.

If such a display adapter is built into your motherboard (usually called “integrated graphics”), it typically uses a portion of your computer’s RAM memory for displaying video. This can have drawbacks, such as “choppy” video playback speed, or poor video game frame rates.

If you have integrated graphics, repair usually consists of either replacing the motherboard or adding in a discrete video card and disabling the on-board display adapter in the computer’s BIOS.

The Dell Inspiron E1705 is an excellent desktop-replacement laptop computer with its 17″ display and 1920×1200 resolution. One of the nice features about it is that it has a discrete graphics adapter, in this case an nVidia GeForce Go 7900 GS graphics card, with 256MB of dedicated video RAM. This means that it displays motion video and games particularly well. That is, as long as everything is working properly.

At the time of this writing, the Inspiron E1705 is a discontinued model, but the laptop is still under a 4-year extended “bumper-to-bumper” warranty that covers pretty much all of the hardware except the battery. So once Dell became convinced that the display adapter was bad, they agreed to send out a warranty replacement, and they even threw in a new LCD screen to boot!

Here is the display adapter and LCD screen replacement procedure. Note that this content is only intended to serve as a guide, and that by attempting these repairs, you assume any and all risk of damage, a voided warranty, or any other non-favorable outcome that may result. The screw lengths and their locations are critical; incorrectly placed screws can cause irreparable computer damage!

  1. Laptop upside-down Start with the laptop upside-down on a good working surface. The box that contained the new LCD panel was used here.
  2. Remove the battery Remove the battery and set it aside.
  3. Remove the hard drive Remove the 2 screws from the hard drive caddy.
  4. Slide the hard drive and caddy from its slotSlide the hard drive and caddy from its slot. Put the drive, along with the screws, to the side in a safe place.
  5. Remove the CD/DVD drive Remove the CD/DVD combo drive screw and slide it out as well. In this case there is a second hard drive caddy occupying the CD/DVD drive bay. Either way, keep the screw with the drive or caddy and set it aside.
  6. Remove the RAM cover Remove the cover from the RAM memory.
  7. Network adapters cover Remove the network adapters cover.
  8. WLAN adapter cablesCarefully detach the black and white wireless antenna wires from the WLAN module.
  9. WLAN antenna connector close-upNote the WLAN antenna connector details.
  10. Wireless adapter connector detailsAlso note the connector details on the wireless adapter board for reference.
  11. Bottom cover screwsRemove all 12 screws from around the perimeter of the laptop base. Note that the one screw which covers the Bluetooth module (if so equipped) can be left in if desired.
  12. Laptop with lid fully openNow carefully flip the laptop over and open the display fully so it lays flat with the laptop base.
  13. Hinge cover slotLocate the small slot on the right-hand side of the hinge cover.
  14. Removing the hinge coverRemove the hinge cover.
  15. Hinge cover is shown removedHinge cover is shown removed.
  16. Unscrew the keyboardUnscrew the keyboard.
  17. Slide the keyboard towards the hingesSlide the keyboard up about 1/2 inch to access the ribbon cable.
  18. Release the keyboard ribbon cable connectorRelease the ribbon cable connector.
  19. The keyboard ribbon cable connector shown in the released positionThe ribbon cable connector is shown here in the released position.
  20. The ribbon cable is detached from the connectorThe ribbon cable is detached from the connector.
  21. Gently pull out the wireless antenna cable from the laptop bodyGently pull the WLAN antenna cable which is routed in the right hinge area out of the laptop body.
  22. Video cableDetach the video cable from next to the power button and remove it from the slot in the palm rest.
  23. Remove the left hinge screwsRemove the 2 left side screws from the display hinges.
  24. Remove the right side hinge screwsRemove the right side hinge screws.
  25. The left hinge has a special tab on it that engages with the palm restThe left hinge has a special tab on it that engages with the palm rest. Carefully lift out the LCD screen and set the screen aside for now.
  26. Prepare the LCD for disassemblyLay the LCD assembly face up on a soft, anti-static surface. A piece of anti-static foam was used from the LCD shipping box.
  27. Locate the screwdriver slots just above each hingeLocate the screwdriver slots just above each hinge
  28. Begin gently prying the top display bezel outwards to disengage itBegin gently prying the top display bezel outwards to disengage it
  29. Remove the 4 screws from these locations on each side of the LCD panelRemove the 4 screws from these locations on each side of the LCD panel
  30. LCD cover with panel removedHere is the LCD cover with the LCD panel removed
  31. The video cable connector has locking tabs that engage with the LCD panelPress in the locking tabs that engage the video cable connector to the LCD panel connector and remove detach the cable
  32. Detach the video cable from the inverter boardDetach the video cable from the inverter board
  33. The back of the new LCD panel.  Note the red striped tape that says 'Do not touch'.The back of the new LCD panel. Note the red striped tape that says ‘Do not touch’.
  34. Detach the BIOS battery and 2 ribbon connectorsLift the BIOS battery from its holder, and disconnect the LED panel and front media controls ribbon cables. If the battery is left plugged into the motherboard, the system BIOS time will remain after re-assembly. It may be detached at the connector on the motherboard, but the system time and possibly some BIOS settings may be lost.
  35. Remove the 6 palm rest screws that are labeled "P"Remove the 6 screws marked with a letter “P” and set this group of screws aside separately.
  36. Palm rest screw locationsThe locations of the 6 palm rest screws.
  37. At this point, the palm rest should easily detach from the base. If it isn’t, carefully check the screw holes on the top and bottom and make sure that no screws were missed in the previous steps.
  38. Underside of palm rest coverHere is what the underneath of the palm rest cover looks like. Once the palm rest is off, it is a good time to use a can of compressed air to blow any dust of of the processor and display adapter heat sinks.
  39. nVidia GeForce GO 7900 GS display adapterRemove the 4 screws attaching the display adapter to the motherboard. Note that these are captive screws, which means they are attached to the display adapter and don’t come out separately…
  40. Gently and squarely remove the display adapter, taking care not to damage the heat sinkGently and squarely remove the display adapter, taking care not to damage the heat sink. Now would be a good time to use some compressed air to thoroughly clean the cooling fan areas and components. Before you clean a cooling fan using compressed air, make sure you insert a small screwdriver or other small object between the fan blades to keep it from rotating. Failure to do so can overspeed the fan and damage the bearings, motor, or both…

Re-assembly is in the reverse order of dis-assembly. Hopefully, if you have had to perform these steps, you don’t have any “spare” parts such as screws left over…

Contact Cartier Consulting for all of your computer repair needs!

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2 Responses to “Dell Inspiron E1705 (9400) Display Adapter and LCD Replacement”
  1. Dan says:


    This one is worth sharing…

    There is now a class-action suit filed against nVidia for selling knowingly-defective graphics adapters in certain Dell, HP-Compaq and Apple notebook computers. A web site has been set up to investigate your compensation options, and to check if your system is affected and qualifies.

    Visit The NVIDIA GPU Litigation web site for more details…


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