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  1. #1
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    If a laptop screen goes bad, can anything be done about it?

    My wife's Dell laptop is normally powered offovernight. Today, when she started herPC, the screen looked strange; at first it had a strange speckled color, then displayedmulticolored lines.As her PC poweredup, the part of the screen that looked strange got smaller and smaller andeventually disappeared from the bottom of the screen.The PC now appears to be running normally,and the display has normal colors.I'mguessing that the PC screen itself is started to deteriorate.Is there anything that came be done otherthan just buying a new laptop PC? Is there any way to tell how long this screen will last before it quits completely? I'm guessing that trying to replace the screenwould cost more than just buying a new PC.Thanks for any advice.


  2. #2
    Silver Lounger RolandJS's Avatar
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    I hope you have recent backups of the OS and data partitions on reliable external media. Reason for mentioning: if this laptop is under warranty, and if the problem is only hardware, before sending it anywhere; or if the laptop is out of warranty, before taking it to a local fixit place -- having backups is a great idea. Now, if it's software related...having data partition backups is a real good idea.
    Last edited by RolandJS; 2016-10-08 at 09:23.
    "Take care of thy backups and thy restores shall take care of thee." Ben Franklin revisited.
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    Silver Lounger lumpy95's Avatar
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    It sounds like the display but it could possibly be the video card also. If under warranty, contact Dell support. If not under warranty, see if a repair shop or Dell support can help you to isolate the problem, and if it's the display, then it could be more cost saving to replace the laptop.
    Hope this helps

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    Not wanting to lull you into a false sense of security, but one other possibility is that it's what IT technicians call "One Of Those Things". I've seen a few of those in my time.

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    Does the display change when the screen is moved backwards and forwards - ensuring you do this by holding the lid by the centre ?

    Sometimes the connectors can become loose or the cable worn with opening and closing the lid.

    This was reported as a common fault on one particular make, but can't remember which now.

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    It could be the "display inverter" which is located in the base of the laptop just under the display screen. It isn't difficult to get at but you need to be very careful to do so if you want to consider replacing it. Refer to the manual for your model.

    My son ran into a similar problem on his Dell 1545 laptop. Moving the display section back and forth as mentioned and/or tapping the base of the laptop's "display inverter" location helped restoring the display back to normal many times and eventually stayed at normal after about six weeks.

    The reason I have "display inverter" in quotes is because I don't recall the exact description. Also as mentioned have a system image backup as well as data backuops.

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    WS Lounge VIP Coochin's Avatar
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    Most laptops have an analog VGA display output (some have HDMI). You could connect an external screen to check whether the display problem you are seeing is the laptop's screen failing or a problem with the laptop's display hardware.

    If the laptop's screen is failing you should be able to obtain a replacement screen for considerably less than the cost of a new laptop. But it is safest to remove the screen bezel and the screen "lid" (outer cover) to gain access to the back of the screen. There should be a sticker on the back of the screen w/ the manufacturer's model number, which you could google to find a nearby supplier of replacement screens.
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    Thanks to everyone for your helpful responses. The problem has only happened once so far and it does NOT occur when I move the screen back and forth. In fact, my wife's PC has functioned normally all day today. The PC is not under warranty so there's no help there. I will keep your responses for ideas of what to do if it happens again or becomes chronic. Thanks again for commenting on this problem.

  9. #9
    Silver Lounger RolandJS's Avatar
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    ...and are you making OS and data backups?
    "Take care of thy backups and thy restores shall take care of thee." Ben Franklin revisited.
    http://collegecafe.fr.yuku.com/forum...-Technologies/

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    Update: I connected my problem PC to my TV with an HDMI cable, then turned on the TV and made sure that it's signal source was the PC HDMI connector. Then I turned on the PC. Sure enough, the image on the TV was fine, but the image on the PC had the previously noticed multicolored lines at the bottom of the screen. So it appears that the LCD screen is the problem, not the display hardware. Also, the image problem on the PC disappears after a couple of minutes, so that it seems that the LCD screen needs to "warm up" and then it's OK. I assume that this problem may get worse over time but I'm a little uncertain whether it's worth the effort to fix it now. Any further comments appreciated.

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    That's why I was thinking along the lines of a bad connection with the cabling, but as you have an alternative source in the tv albeit how inconvenient that could be and as it sorts itself out after a couple of minutes - you could leave it until it finally gives out.

    It's either down time now or later for the repair.

  12. #12
    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    I would consider "converting" the laptop to a desktop -- in other words, buy a big monitor, and a good mouse and keyboard, and connect them to the laptop; then just use it at your desk (don't carry it around). You now have a "desktop" machine; and with a nice, big monitor, and with a mouse and keyboard attached, you will feel like you have a new computer.

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    I like mrjimphelps idea a lot.

    Jim Seymour used to have a rule that any laptop over a year old, was not worth repairing. You either got a new laptop or you lived with the failure (assuming that was possible). However that was long ago and well before the current PC era, where advances in the systems have slowed dramatically.

    This is going to be very approximate advice. The screen will be expensive to repair or replace. I'm assuming that this laptop is out of warranty because you wouldn't be asking us if you had warranty coverage.

    Given all that, if the laptop was otherwise in good repair (i.e. forget about the screen problem for a moment), and you were otherwise satisfied with the system, and the laptop is less than about 3 years old, then at least get a quote on a repair cost.

    If any of those items is NOT true, then start shopping for a new laptop. Or just go with mrjimphelps suggestion.

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  15. #14
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    It really depends upon its usage and if it needs to be portable, but there's also the problem of space required for a monitor.

    I recently had the motherboard changed on a 5 year old Win 7 laptop so that I could upgrade it to Win 10 and found the cost to be a lot cheaper than I anticipated.

    You can buy a new screen but first you need to eliminate connections and cable condition and Inverter before you go shelling out on bits you may not need and there's plenty of strip down tutorials available courtesy of Google.

  16. #15
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    I agree with Sudo15 "eliminate connections and cable condition and Inverter"
    --- If the laptop is "old" or the above recommendations aren't feasible for you, use an external monitor if you can while looking around for a modern laptop reasonably priced for your needs.

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