So, I was using the computer, it was running fine, then the display spontaneously changed into uniform, vertical stripes, each about a half a centimeter wide. I killed the power, then I restarted, and it was fine for several minutes. However, the problem reoccurred. This process happened several times, each with different output (sometimes random colors instead of stripes, sometimes static, sometimes flickering). The screen soon stopped displaying anything at all upon powering up. The indicator light says the system is on (not sleeping, wifi registering), but the screen is black.
I know it isn't a screen issue because I tried to use second monitor, and it mirrored the Thinkpad's.
Does anyone have any idea what this could be? Also, in the event that this is a catastrophic failure, is there anything I can do to salvage my information?
Model: ThinkPad T60. OS: Ubuntu 12.04
EDIT: I did the aforementioned on both battery and AC. Also, I just tried again starting up again, and the computer started, booted, but what was displayed was segmented by vertical stripes (i.e. I could see the homescreen through the spaces between those stripes).