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My laptop, which recently has been experiencing RAM related problems, is now also having LCD issues. The screen get a vertical rainbow pattern randomly in Windows and sometimes when booting:

Picture of monitor

Is there a quick, cheap fix for the LCD problem? Given the memory issue and now this, perhaps it's time to recycle this 5 year old laptop.

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I agree that the computer is no longer usable given the multiple problems you are experiencing. Salvage the hard drive and recycle the computer. This is especially true given that the computer is some five years old. You may be able to recover the data on the hard drive if you can connect it to another device such as an external hard drive enclosure. I am not aware of any fix for this type of LCD problem. –  DragonLord Apr 20 '11 at 13:46

5 Answers 5

Before you write off the system, consider powering down the laptop, removing the power connector and battery and removing the RAM (it's probably under a flap on the bottom), and then reseating it to see if the problem is related to poor contact or dust/contamination in the connector. Be aware that the RAM can be damaged by static electricity so ground/earth yourself by briefly touching a grounded metal pipe or ground point before starting work and avoid touching the contacts on the memory module/s.

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if the RAM is not connecting properly, it will shutdown the computer or prevent it from booting, it wouldn't cause this. If anything this would be a problem with the screen itself, or the graphics card –  Nate Koppenhaver Apr 20 '11 at 3:43
    
If RAM is poorly seated it can have all sorts of effects, not just shutting down the computer. –  Tog Apr 20 '11 at 6:47

This sounds like a graphics card issue to me. If your computer has graphics processing in the motherboard, instead of a seprate card (like me) then I would just junk the computer or sell it for parts on eBay, but if it is using a seperate graphics card, then I would check the graphics card before just writing off the whole computer.

By the way, RAM usually will not affect the screen. If you are having problems (such as bad connection) with the RAM, more often than not it will just shutdown the whole computer or prevent it from booting. I don't think the RAM has anything to do with it.

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I see a laptop in the picture, I think it's safe to assume he is using onboard graphics. –  maxmackie Apr 20 '11 at 4:18
    
RAM can affect the screen if it is an onboard graphics chip, because it depends on system memory. –  Tog Apr 20 '11 at 6:46

Don't give up just yet. This is probably caused by a bad connection between the display and the graphics adapter. RAM probably has nothing to do with the issue. I suggest you take the laptop apart and make sure the display connector is properly attached.

Also, if you connect to an external display you might have a picture even when the laptop display goes all rainbowy.

I've seen similar patterns randomly with a KVM switch when switching.

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I had this happen with a clients laptop Dell Latitude D620. I noticed the lcd panel right side mount was "wiggly" and discovered a screw was missing. I hypothesized a cable going to the lcd was getting pinched.

I connected an external monitor to it, and pressed the blue function key and F8 numerous times to see if a video signal would appear on the remote monitor. Eventually it did, but it looked even worse than your image. I pressed Alt + F4 to try to exit out of windows (assuming it was at the xp login screen, and the screen image changed to horizontol gray and black blocks, and I could see garbled text at the bottom of the screen, counting up from 50. I let it finish counting to 100 and the system rebooted and the lcd screen on the laptop (not external) came back and showed bios booting (never saw bios before).

I tightened the screws best I could (1 was still missing) and told the client to buy a new laptop, he didn't need the screen dying on him in the middle of a presentation, and I would use this sketchy laptop as leg warmer on cold nights during raid rebuilds :)

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I know on a horizontal black screen at the bottom half of the screen, pushing the lower left side of the screen fixed it. I also have read it could be the graphics driver. Just reinstall the display driver and it might fix it.

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