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I have a 7 year old Dell XPS13 laptop. Since it was a better than average laptop and I was still happy with the performance, last year I upgraded the SSD and installed Windows 10.

The display occasionally goes crazy. But, it only happens on battery power. And, it usually happens when I move the mouse, it won't happen if I'm not touching it. It always fixes itself after a few seconds. But, moving the mouse again will often cause it to reoccur.

I made sure that the display driver was the latest. A driver issue might behave like this, but why does it only occur when I am on battery power?

Here is a phone capture. My desktop is normally blue. Sometimes the entire screen is severely distorted. It was like this for a few seconds, then it fixed itself.

One possible solution is to get a new battery. I might do this if there was some anecdotal evidence supporting this solution.

enter image description here

EDIT:

Screenshot is OK.

Still happens if power cable is plugged into PC, but unplugged from wall.

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    Unlikely, but... could the physical act of plugging in the battery connector nudge something slightly? Try running with the PS cable plugged into the laptop, but with the PS unplugged from the wall. Also, check power settings under battery vs. AC. – DrMoishe Pippik Mar 27 at 2:22
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    Dell recognized an issue and released an updated graphics driver back in January 2016. I don't know your model number but if you go to Dell's support you could probably find the updates for your BIOS and graphics display. – vssher Mar 27 at 4:51
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    Quick test. Take a photo, also take a screenshot. If the break-up is on the photo but not on the screenshot, you have a hardware issue. It does look like a cable issue to me. – Tetsujin Mar 27 at 8:00
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    Is it even possible that when the battery is plugged in the system heat up a lot and after many years the display cable got damaged. Have you checked temperature while battery is plugged? – DarkBeccio Mar 27 at 8:45
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    If this doesn't happen when the battery is unplugged, you should test your graphics card performance when plugged into AC. I use heaven unigine benchmark. If your screen doesn't show any signs of craziness when doing the benchmark, the problem is probably your battery. – Gašper Čefarin Mar 27 at 9:32

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