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Odd Screen Flicker/static

Posted on 2006-11-18
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Last Modified: 2010-08-05
Hi all,
  I have an interesting problem and would appreciate your help in diagnosing it.  I have a Toshiba Satellite A-105 and the screen is flickering in an odd way.  Sometimes, the screen will seem to pulse between full color and not so full color.  The pulsing isn't drastic, but it is noticeable, especially on darker images.  I would describe the pulsing as almost like a light pixelation that comes in half second intervals.  

Sometimes, however, the bottom portion of the screen will get a zigzag/wave effect and will be very noticeable.  Interestingly, the problem seems to go away if I turn the screen off for a period of time or unplug the AC power.  The screen isn't touched very much between pulsing and not pulsing, so I am hesitant to say that it is a loose connection-- and the fact that it seems to get worse the longer the laptop is on may also be very telling.  

Any help you can give me will be very appreciated.

Also, in case it matters, I am running a Mobile Intel 915GM/GMS, 910GML Express Chip  (128MB) running at 60 hertz with a 1280*800 resolution  
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Question by:johnkirin
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Expert Comment

by:keola75
ID: 17996558
Try to increase your refresh rate up to 75Mhz or above.  Do it progressively one setting at a time and see if this helps.  Also check your cooling fans to make sure they are running.  To be honest with you, it really sounds like you might be experiencing a bad display, or soon to be.

-Keola
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Expert Comment

by:keola75
ID: 17996575
Forgot to mention to check to see if you have any other electronic devices around or near the system (i.e., cell phones, cordless phones, speakers, etc.).  These can cause you interference in the weirdest ways.

-Keola
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Author Comment

by:johnkirin
ID: 18192170
If there are any other takers on this question, I would appreciate it.  I still have the problem.
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Accepted Solution

by:
rindi earned 500 total points
ID: 18193722
On a laptop display the refresh rate doesn't matter, as LCD's don't really use refresh rates. For that reason there is usually only one possibility in the settings, 60Hz, for driver compatibility reasons. An active LCD display has all the pixels addressed at the same time.

Your problem is probably something to do with the backlight. Either it is getting bad or the inverter is going bad. The inverter is a small pcb within the display assembly that produces the high voltage necessary to drive the backlight, similar to what the starter does for fluorescent lamps. These inverters are cheap and easy to replace, but you'd have to open the display's cover to get to it so you can check for the exact part number to google for. Also, if you open the cover make sure you have removed all power sources from the laptop, you are dealing with high voltage.

The backlight is more difficult to replace and is also more expensive, here it is usually better to get a complete display for replacement.
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Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 18273701
According to the EE rules you should only give a grade C if you replied to all the posts.

http://www.experts-exchange.com/help.jsp#hi73

I'll reopen the Q so you can close it properly,

Thanks,
rindi,
EE Cleanup Volunteer
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Author Comment

by:johnkirin
ID: 18273765
Sorry about that, did not do it on purpose.
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Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 18273769
No problem
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