Fixing bad video on LCD screen

posted in: Screen, Troubleshooting | 885

Here I’m going to post some laptop screen photos showing bad video output. I’ll explain what was wrong with the screen and how I fixed it. I plan to ad more examples as soon as I get new pictures. If you have your own example (and know how to fix it) please let me know and I’ll post it too.

Example 1.

Here’s a picture of Satellite M55 LCD screen I made this morning. I got this video output as soon as I started the laptop. There were a lot of vertical lines, and they were changing color without any pattern. To me it looked like Northern Lights (never seen in real life) :). The external monitor worked fine.

LCD screen no image

As soon as I applied some tension to the screen it changed the pattern. Some horizontal lines appeared in the middle of the LCD.

LCD screen horizontal lines

Here’s the difference. When I torque the screen, the image appears but it’s distorted with some horizontal lines running across the screen.

Reseating the video cable didn’t make any change and the problem was fixed after I replaced the LCD screen.

Example 2.

I took this picture from Toshiba Satellite M65. I think that this example is very typical. One day you wake up, turn on the laptop and see one or a few hair-like vertical lines in different colors.

Laptop LCD vertical lines

When you move the LCD screen some lines might disappear or more lines appear on the screen. A video output on an external screen would be perfect, without any lines. Unfortunately, these lines indicate a screen problem. I’ve never seen this kind of video output caused by a bad video cable or bad FL inverter board. My laptop was fixed after I replaced the LCD screen.

Example 3.

The photo below comes from Toshiba Satellite 5205. The laptop displays identical vertical lines all over the LCD screen as soon as I turn it on. Sometimes these lines are red, sometimes they are blue, sometimes they become wider and change color to white.

Laptop screen vertical lines

The same pattern appears on the external monitor. It displays same vertical lines. When the same video defect appears on both monitors – internal LCD screen and external screen, then most likely it happens because of a bad video card. On some laptops the video card is integrated into the system board, on other models it’s a separate module.

External screen vertical lines

In this example, the vertical lines were caused by a failed video memory on the system board. I’ve tested the video memory with Microscope utility and it failed the test. In Toshiba Satellite 5205 the video memory is integrated into the system board. To fix the problem, I’ll have to replace the board. (We do not have equipment to replace the memory module itself).

Example 4.

Here’s another example of a bad LCD screen. My bad! It wasn’t the LCD screen problem.
Bad reddish laptop screen

As soon as I turned on the laptop, I was getting these reddish marks on the LCD screen but not on the external monitor. Reseating and replacing the video cable didn’t help. The problem disappeared when I installed my test LCD screen. Yes, for some reason I wasn’t able to reproduce the problem on my test LCD screen. But the reddish video appeared again as soon as I replaced the screen. I guess it happened because the system board had some kind of intermittent problem with onboard video or video connector. Long story short, I had to replace the system board and it fixed the problem. Yep, I misdiagnosed this laptop.

Example 5.

Here’s one more example of a faulty LCD screen. The left half of the screen works just fine but the right side is completely white.

Half LCD screen not working

Example 6.

Here’s another laptop with a bad LCD screen. This time it’s a tablet PC.

Vertical stripe on LCD

Example 7.

This screen looks like the screen on the example 1. I hooked up an external monitor and the external video works perfectly fine.

vertical lines

Here’s the difference. When I torque the screen, the image appears but it’s distorted with some horizontal lines running across the screen.

distorted image

After a few seconds the image washes away.

Image washes away

I had to replace the LCD screen.

Example 8.

This laptop displays inverted colors right from the startup. As you see, the Toshiba logo is light green instead of red. The background is light gray instead of black. The Intel logo should be blue on a white background but it is red on a black background.

Inverted colors

When your laptop displays inverted colors as on the picture above, this is an indication of a bad screen. You’ll have to replace the screen.

Example 9.

Here are two more screens. In both cases this problem is related to the LCD screen, witch means the screen has to be replaced.

On the image below you see a white band running from the top of the screen to the bottom. This band appears right from the laptop startup and runs through the logo too.

White band running from top to bottom

On the following image only the left side of the screen is working properly. This problem is caused by faulty LCD screen.

Only left side of the screen works

Other post related to troubleshooting laptop video problems:

How to troubleshoot and fix laptop video problems
Taking apart notebook LCD screen
Replacing LCD screen inverter
The newly installed screen is not working


885 Responses

  1. i’ve dell studio 1555…for last two days suddenly some color lines come on scree and thn screen becomes blank…after restartting sometimes it run for hours without any problem and sometimes those lines come again and screen goes blank..

    Plz help

  2. Hi,

    My TOSHIBA laptop monitor briefly comes on and then goes blank after 2/3 seconds. The display after connecting the laptop to an external monitor via VGA cable works fine.

    Pls. advise, what could be the source of error – is this an issue with the hardware or some monitor drivers ?

    Thanks

    Ameet

  3. Andrew Thomas

    newly installed laptop screen words are blurry and fuzzy

  4. cj2600

    @ Carlos,

    I’m currently working on a Sony vaio, model vgn-z610y. The problem with this laptop is that when I turn it on, it displays a huge amount of vertical lines of different colors. When I connected it to an external VGA monitor, it works fine. Tried applying pressure to the lcd or moving it, and nothing; the lines don’t move or anything, they just stay there.

    Most likely this is LCD screen related failure but there is a chance of bad video cable.
    You can try the following. Disassemble the display panel and try moving the video cable while the laptop is on. If moving the cable affects video on the screen and lines go away or change somehow, probably it’s bad cable. If moving the cable doesn’t affect the video at all, probably it’s bad LCD screen. Try replacing the screen.

  5. Carlos

    Hey.
    I’m currently working on a Sony vaio, model vgn-z610y. The problem with this laptop is that when I turn it on, it displays a huge amount of vertical lines of different colors. When I connected it to an external VGA monitor, it works fine. Tried applying pressure to the lcd or moving it, and nothing; the lines don’t move or anything, they just stay there.

    We’ll be waiting for the reply. Thanks.

  6. daagar

    My laptop LCD has an issue where anytime I should be seeing solid black, I instead see a wood panel texture. Doesn’t happen on an external monitor, and it is present even during POST. Picture here, since it sounds a bit delusional without some visual evidence: http://i.imgur.com/i6Jhw9j.jpg?1. This is a photo of a screenshot of a standard command window – notice that not only is the command window showing the odd texture, so is any part of the black webpage!

  7. My laptop is showing some ghosting (?), like red and blue. It appears like those screens that you are going to see it in 3D with red/blue glasses. I was getting a new screen but wanted to be sure. This happens since BIOS POST (not just Windows).

  8. i have a dell vostro 1500 with what looks like a bad screen!! the LCD have reddish marks (mostly Waves shape), the external monitor works fine, so i replaced the Lcd, same problem, i replaced the video cable and then tried with 3 different inverters and nothing changed, i thought maybe the new lcd is bad too, so i tried with a 3th screen, still no luck!! i’m thinking it’s something on the Main Board but i doubt it will be the video chip cause the external monitor works fine..any help will be greatly appreciated.

  9. @ Lathan C,

    The image is veiwable but almost looks somewhat scrambled. Theoutput to an extrenal moniter is perfectly fine. I have pictures posted to pic.twitter.com/sdPHfcXA , pic.twitter.com/wUOgMfct , pic.twitter.com/Tx3Xe8ob , pic.twitter.com/wE1BdNpV , pic.twitter.com/evUxIJUf

    If the laptop works fine with the external monitor, your problem could be related to one of the following:
    1. The video cable got loose. Try reseating the video cable connectors on the back of the screen and on the motherboard.
    2. The video cable failed. Try replacing it.
    3. The LCD screen failed. Try replacing it.

  10. Lathan C.

    I have a HP Pavilion dv9617dr. I have changed my HDD and RAM. The laptop is currently running Windows 8 Pro.
    Last week is was typing a word document when the screen flicked and the became dim, extemely grainy, and flickery. The image is veiwable but almost looks somewhat scrambled. Theoutput to an extrenal moniter is perfectly fine. I have pictures posted to pic.twitter.com/sdPHfcXA , pic.twitter.com/wUOgMfct , pic.twitter.com/Tx3Xe8ob , pic.twitter.com/wE1BdNpV , pic.twitter.com/evUxIJUf

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