Screen garbled with vertical lines fading to gray

I have a HP pavilion dv8000. I love my laptop. I have an intermittent problem with my display. Sometimes the picture is fine but, at times the screen is garbled with vertical lines that are multicolor fading to gray. If I apply pressure to the back of the screen the lines would go away, now it’s very hard to make them go away. I will move the screen up and down until I find a good spot, I have to hold that spot until I am done. When I let go the lines come back. I am in no way a PC tech person but, I think that I can make this repair myself.

If you do not feel comfortable taking apart your laptop, I would suggest taking it to the service center. You can damage the laptop if you decide to open it up yourself.

Here’s how I troubleshoot laptops with similar problems.

1. That can be connection related problem. I check connection between the video cable and the LCD screen, try reconnecting the video cable. It’s necessary to take apart the display panel, unplug the video cable from the connector on the back side of the LCD screen and then plug it back in. In some cases reseating this connection helps.

2. If reconnecting the video cable doesn’t help, here’s what I do in this case. While the display panel is still disassembled, I turn on the laptop and wait until image appears on the screen. Then I move the video cable a little bit without touching the LCD screen. If moving/touching the video cable affects image on the screen, it’s possible that there is a problem with the cable. Apparently there’s a short somewhere inside the cable. In this case, replacing the video cable may fix the problem.

3. If reconnection the cable doesn’t help and moving/touching the cable doesn’t change image at all and the only way to get better picture is moving/touching the LCD screen itself, apparently there is a problem with the LCD and it has to be replaced.

29 Responses

  1. John Pilkinton

    I’ve got a Dell XPS M170. The monitor is displaying one of four odd symptoms at different times that distort the image: 1) horizontal “wavy” lines, as if someone had used the equals key and typed lines across the screen; 2) random ascii characters over the screen, like ampersands, smiley faces, and other (maybe Chinese) characters; 3) columns of horizontal “bands” of color; 4) the display will freeze and become garbled and then flicker on and off for several seconds before going stable. These issues are persistent through reboot, on the Dell splash screen, and on Windows boot. I reinstalled Windows and the problem persisted; I replaced the video card and the problem persisted; I tried reinstalling the video driver, which fixed the problem for about ten minutes after which it returned; I’ve tried hooking up an external monitor, but when I try to switch to the external, the problem gets worse and the monitor just flickers off and on. Any suggestions?

  2. David Smith

    I have a Toshiba Qosmio G30. When turning it on the Qosmio screen appears fine, then the Windows screen comes on and has vertical grey dashed lines across the screen. The the the screen goes dark. I can start it in VGA mode fine. While in VGA mode I can reinstall the driver and then the screen works fine after a reboot. But as soon as I unplug and try to turn it on again but to the original problem. Thank you for your help. Toshiba repair shop suggested it is the motherboard and would cost $1500. I think they are just not interested.

  3. John Pilkinton

    This is where I’ve gotten with my garbled screen problem: The company that repairs the computers where I work suggested that the problem sounds like a memory problem or a problem with the motherboard. I replaced the RAM, still no fix. I replaced the motherboard, still no fix. (Well, it fixed the problem for a bit: it was fine until it came back on from standby and I tried to install a communications driver. Could be coincidence.) My next best guess is a faulty cable. Murphy’s law says it will be the cable, since that’s the least expensive part to replace…

  4. Laptop Freak

    David Smith,

    I have a Toshiba Qosmio G30. When turning it on the Qosmio screen appears fine, then the Windows screen comes on and has vertical grey dashed lines across the screen. The the the screen goes dark. I can start it in VGA mode fine. While in VGA mode I can reinstall the driver and then the screen works fine after a reboot. But as soon as I unplug and try to turn it on again but to the original problem.

    You should test your laptop with an external monitor. If the same gray dashed lines appear on the external video, most likely you have a problem with the video card. On a Qosmio G30 notebook the video card is integrated into the motherboard and if it fails you’ll have to replace the whole motherboard.
    You’ll find another discussion dedicated to your laptop here:
    My Toshiba Qosmio G30 suddenly developed the green screen problem

  5. Laptop Freak

    John Pilkinton,

    This is where I’ve gotten with my garbled screen problem: The company that repairs the computers where I work suggested that the problem sounds like a memory problem or a problem with the motherboard. I replaced the RAM, still no fix. I replaced the motherboard, still no fix.

    In the first comment you mentioned that you have a Dell XPS M170 with some odd video problems.
    Do you have a discrete video card or it’s integrated into the motherboard?

  6. John Pilkinton

    Yes, unlike most laptops, the video card on the Dell XPS M170 is discrete.

  7. Laptop Freak

    John Pilkinton,

    You said: I’ve got a Dell XPS M170. The monitor is displaying one of four odd symptoms at different times that distort the image: 1) horizontal “wavy” lines, as if someone had used the equals key and typed lines across the screen; 2) random ascii characters over the screen, like ampersands, smiley faces, and other (maybe Chinese) characters; 3) columns of horizontal “bands” of color; 4) the display will freeze and become garbled and then flicker on and off for several seconds before going stable…

    You said: I replaced the RAM, still no fix. I replaced the motherboard, still no fix…My next best guess is a faulty cable…

    You said: Yes, unlike most laptops, the video card on the Dell XPS M170 is discrete.

    I think your problem could be related to the video card. Test the laptop with an external monitor attached to the VGA port. If you see the same wavy lines, random characters, bands, etc… on the external video, most likely you have a problem with the video card.

    If both laptop LCD and external monitor have the same video failure, it’s not related to the video cable.

  8. I have the same problem with a customers laptop in my shop. Does any one have a lead on where I can locate used video cards for the xps m170?

  9. Laptop Freak

    Steve,

    where I can locate used video cards for the xps m170?

    I think you can purchase a used video card here.

  10. dadhichi

    i use hp laptop and recently the screen started showing one straight doted line from top to bottom it is there from the time switch on the laptop till i switch off. now from one more line has appered . i dont know if it is realted with the screen or the video card . need help for u guys if it can be solved by my own or i need to take it to some professnal as right now i m in avery remot area it will be very difficult to vesit a professnal for me so plese sugust so messeruse which i can undertake
    thank u

  11. Dixon Loh

    Ok so i have a screen issue, after a few seconds of use, the computer spouts red pixels EVERYWHERE, they are on the words making them look like dripping blood and sometimes there are blue and green, this is getting very annoying.

    It is not a problem with my LCD for i have already tried an external monitor,
    I’ve uninstalled every game i have installed since the problem started
    I have already replaced my graphics card (Nvidia Geforce FX Go5200)
    The temp of the laptop is around 50 and 54 in use and already has these dots so i’m not sure if its a heat problem.

    Please help me
    Thank you

    Dixon

  12. I am having the identical problem with my dv8000. I used my desktop monitor hooked to the laptop. Now the laptop shows the screen as if it is in miniature. Instead of widescreen the laptop screen looks like the desktop monitor screen — sort of a window on the laptop with a black background all around it. I can use either screen as long as its hooked to the monitor. Does that mean that the LCD screen is OK? Would it be possible to use a different resolution and still use the laptop. (altho I love that huge screen on my laptop) The background black area has vertical lines running through it.

    Before I used the desktop monitor, my laptop screen had gone to where I could only see the bottom half of the screen — the top half was a green black (looked like a light was behind it… can’t explain it)

    Is there a way to repair this? Would a new screen work?

    Thanks~

  13. Barbara

    I have a similar problem with the multi-colored lines after logging in to Windows. This occurred immediately after I uninstalled a background software program for My Space.

    The desktop background is black, is displaying the icons and taskbar fine but has four multi-colored lines. From the top, grey, blue, yellow and redish-pink, each light in the center fading to darker on each end. This takes up the top 3/4 of the screen. Right above the task bar there are four blue shaded bars then two grey bars.

    The interesting part that I didn’t see mentioned above is when switching users, the other user’s desktop display is normal. It, therefore, does not appear to be a video card.

    Ran a virus scan, rebooted, still the same issue.

    Any ideas?

    Thanks.

  14. I have Toshiba Satellite 5205 s703 and the display suddenly seemed to fail resulting in low resolution and pink vertical stripes over the entire screen. There are white stripes on the boot up screens also, the screen seems unstable it flickers and white pages turn pink too. I have been able to increase the resolution so that I can just about use it for some tasks.

  15. My dv8000 is doing the same thing as the rest of these people could it jsut be the invertor?

  16. Laptop Freak

    Doug,

    My dv8000 is doing the same thing as the rest of these people could it jsut be the invertor?

    If the screen lights up and you can see the image, even though it is garbled or has lines, it’s not related to the inverter.
    If the screen lights up, the inverter works properly.

  17. mecpaul

    Hi everyone, just would like to say that i’ve got a toshiba
    tablet where that symptoms are present.
    1-screen freezing
    2-thin coloured columns that change colour until fade to black
    3- random characters at boot

    I thought it was related with virus; I ran safe mode and start avast at boot after that the symptoms go away; Bu every now and then they come back, but always after some strange event (like mail reading or/ad virus detection, usb pen install) but after i read these comments i’m not so sure.

    Could someone comment my post?
    thx
    mecpaul

  18. hi, I have HP pavilian 9600, it has the problem that when it starts then these lines comes up and never goes away, would it be hardware problem or some virus?
    My laptop used to heat up allot and sometimes used to shut down as well as it has fans underneath and when i sit in bed and place laptop there then it no air goes in and heats up.
    Its fans should have been on side like my sisiters laptop dell which do not heat up bcoz its fans are at sides not underneath!
    pls leave comment. thanks.

  19. I got vertical lines on my Toshiba Qosmio G25. I’m using external monitor.
    So the video card is ok.
    If someone knows the reason, please email me (numbers AT mail.ru), I can replace broken part. The problem is I can’t diagnose the problem.

  20. YESUWAKWA

    My laptop screen has turned into a multicoloured carpet in normal booting and in safe mode. So I cannot do anything but just to open and look with diminished hopes. I removed the hard drive but the same screen appeared withoit it! I was thinking of replacing graphics card but I read here on the internet that guys tried it without success. Is there a better solution? Its a Sony laptop. Apparently Since I bought it the diagnostics said there was a hardware problem. But when i took it back to where i bought they said it was a software and did not want to run diagnostic though the insurance cover was active. They dismissed me and now see!

  21. benjamin

    what should i do to over come this.

  22. Laptop Freak

    benjamin,

    what should i do to over come this.

    To over come what? What is your problem?

  23. I ran into the same problem yesterday. My screen would go from stark white on startup and gradually fade to gray then blue with vertical colored lines. After doing as much research on the problem as I could, I came to the conclusion that my monitor was fried and I needed to replace it. Once I saw the price of a replacement for my Sony VPCF11JFX/B monitor, my hopes were all gone. So, since I believed that the monitor was gone, I decided that taking it apart completely wouldn’t be that big of an issue. Well, come to find out, this problem actually appears to be a loose connection! Problem is, it isn’t actually a cable connection that is loose, it’s a connection from the circuit board behind the screen to the LCD screen itself. By applying pressure to one of the connectors, I was able to restore my screen to proper working condition. It seems that all I needed was a roll of tape, not a new monitor!

  24. My hp zd7000 powers on a green background istead of a black and this sucks.i av try to get the cause but to no success.pls help me.thanks.

  25. nickfreckle

    It sounds like most of you that are having problems have got laptops with faulty Graphics Chips.

    The GPU’s on HP’s do get very hot, and it is a common problem of them cooking, due to poor ventilation around the machine.

    When the GPU’s are imbedded, and they fail, it’s time for a new board.

  26. so my laptop is a samsung , & yeterday i was using it & it was fine but when i went to pick it up & put it somewhere the screen completely changed . it is now like a hundred multi-colored lines going vertical . & across of the lines is a thick black line . & if you put pressure against it , it grows , so its like a huge black dot .. i have no idea what to do to it .. is this a problem that i should just take to a specialists ?

  27. krystal

    I have a hp mini netbook and when i turned it on today the lefy part of the screen is black with different colored vertical lines through it, could someone help me with what the problem may be?

  28. hoyze

    Just 3wiks after i bought an hp650,i was running a CAD program on it wen the screen colour suddenly changed to multicolor.I was so confused cos it’s stil very young to start developing any fault.Wat could be the possible cause of this and how can i fix it.

  29. My LCD laptop screen looks fine if I’m only using it with a battery, do you still think it’s the lcd? The computer has no problems at all if I’m only using the battery and the adapter is not plugged in. Once I plug in the adapter the screen starts to fade. Any advice?

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