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Funny Laptop Display windows 7

Posted on 2011-09-27
Last Modified: 2013-11-08
hi all,

a really weird error.

recently a laptop given to me was overheting so i did what i sually do and took it apart and put new thermal compund on it.... after i did this i installed windows 7 and all was fine.

i then proceeded to install windows 7 drivers for the graphics card and the graphics went all distorted in the top left like a box and lies etc, it does this even with external display.

i have replaced thermal compund with thermal pads now and this does not solve the trick, bare in mind that before i replaced the compound the machine worked 100%

i have installed 3 different versions of win 7 and all do this at driver stage including the factory restore!

what could be the problem?

the machine is:

Acer Aspire 5542g
ATI Radeon 4200HD
Athlon II X2M300

thanks in advance

Question by:gaa18
  • 3
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  • +4
LVL 88

Expert Comment

ID: 36708239
such artifacts are usually caused by bad graphical memory. If the RAM for the video card is shared with the system RAM, use memtest86+ to make sure your RAM is fine. You'll find this tool on the UBCD:


If it isn't shared, but the video card of your Laptop isn't integrated into the mainboard, you can try replacing the card with a good one, maybe you can find a replacement on ebay.

In some cases it can also be caused by bad solder points on the GPU, and in such cases reflowing the GPU might help. Check the site below on how to reflow:

LVL 92

Expert Comment

ID: 36708247
you can test if it does the same when booted from a live knoppix cd (other os and drivers) : http://www.knoppix.org/      
this will show if it is hardware or not

Expert Comment

ID: 36708250
hi, if you run a stresstest on the computer how does it react? Im thinking you might have damaged somthing.
Netscaler Common Configuration How To guides

If you use NetScaler you will want to see these guides. The NetScaler How To Guides show administrators how to get NetScaler up and configured by providing instructions for common scenarios and some not so common ones.

LVL 69

Expert Comment

ID: 36709321
If everything looked fine before you installed the drivers, then it sounds like a driver problem.  Try installing a different driver.
LVL 10

Accepted Solution

Mohammed Rahman earned 500 total points
ID: 36709713
At times people tend to apply thick layer of paste (this doesnt mean you dont know how much paste to be applied). I would suggest you to check the paste again and make sure its a thin layer applied evenly acroos the chip and the heatsink is screwed firmly. (While tightening the 4 nuts, count the rotations. This will ensure that the sink sits on the chip without leaving any minor gaps)

Not good way of applying paste:

Correct way of applying thermal paste:

LVL 92

Expert Comment

ID: 36710375
i alway use a small drop and smear  that with a business card, or plastic card

Expert Comment

ID: 36814402
If you boot it to safe mode and the screen is fine then you know it is a driver.  If you are really paranoid find a bootable cd and boot to it and see if the distortation is in the same place (win7 install, memtest, etc.)

If it is still persistant than you have a hardware problem.  It could be on the video card or anything along that path to the display (inverter, lcd scree, lcd cable, vid card itself, etc)

You may have disturbed something else when you opened the case or the damage may have already been done from the overheating.
LVL 88

Expert Comment

ID: 36814632
That isn't correct. When it runs without the specific driver or in safe mode, that doesn't mean it has to be the driver. In safe mode or with just the standard VGA driver the card will only use it's most basic functions, there won't be any hardware acceleration etc. An partly defective card will often function without issues that way. The driver enables all it's functions and that is what often causes issues.

The same applies with liveCD's. They will normally not have the driver enabled for that specific card, and so chances are good that you will also not have any issues with a LiveCD running on a defective card, as it just can't use all it's features.

Expert Comment

ID: 36814661
Rindi, I think we are in agreement- I think I am just misunstanding the situation.  I thought when he installed windows 7 it was auto installing a video driver.  I was suggesting that he test the vga driver vs. the specific video card driver.

Arran, where are you with all this, can you post an update?

Author Comment

ID: 36915636
still stuck with it :( i think it is the card unfortunalty....

if i left residues of original compound on there could this affect it?
LVL 88

Expert Comment

ID: 36915715
Yes. You have to remove all traces of old stuff.
LVL 92

Expert Comment

ID: 36916168
you can always install speedfan, to monitor the temperatures : http://www.almico.com/speedfan.php

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