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Red Vertical Lines on Laptop Screen

Posted on 2012-04-11
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Last Modified: 2012-04-11
I've been doing some online searching and I find very little about my problem.

This is an older laptop pavilion zd7000 running Windows XP. The red lines appear on an external VGA monitor as well so this rules out the actual LCD screen. I have replaced the CMOS battery as one website suggested. Lines appear on splash screen and in bios. It comes and goes while logged into windows. Sometimes a window will be open and the red lines are on the desktop but not on the open window.

Anyone with experience with this? I don't have much time to figure this out and either provide a solution or call it a loss. Could it be a driver issue? Or perhaps something wrong with the onboard graphics card? See attached for image.
red-lines.jpg
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Question by:rbudj
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Accepted Solution

by:
Eirman earned 167 total points
ID: 37834049
> Could it be a driver issue?
Unlikely, unless you have installed or updated graphic software recently.
However there is nothing to loose but time in trying to update the graphic drivers.

> Or perhaps something wrong with the on-board graphics card?
This is most likely the problem

Things to try....
Change the screen resolution (eg 640 x 480).
Reboot and F8 into the various safe modes.
Try the SVGA output if there is one.
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Assisted Solution

by:☠ MASQ ☠
☠ MASQ ☠ earned 167 total points
ID: 37834070
Are the lines present when viewing the system BIOS menu?
It does sound very much like a graphics chipset failure.
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Assisted Solution

by:dbrunton
dbrunton earned 166 total points
ID: 37834123
Second the graphics chipset failure.

Boot from a Live LInux CD such as Ubuntu http://www.ubuntu.com/download/ubuntu/download and see if the problems persist.  If they do it is the graphics chipset.

It has a nvidia chipset and they seem prone to failure.
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Author Comment

by:rbudj
ID: 37834184
At the screen to choose safe mode, the screen is covered with colons:

:  :  :  :  :  
:  :  :  :  :
:  :  :  :  :

The lines ARE present in BIOS and they also appear on external monitor. I am running the Linus CD test now.
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Expert Comment

by:Gajendra Rathod
ID: 37834214
Please follow below steps


    Disconnect all the peripherals from the notebook.
    Disconnect the A.C adapter and also remove the battery.
    Press the power button for 20 seconds.
    Reconnect the battery and the A.C adapter.
    Restart the notebook and check whether it is getting charged or not.

and than

Check for BIOS and display driver update
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Expert Comment

by:Eirman
ID: 37834217
> At the screen to choose safe mode, the screen is covered with colons
This confirms that it is almost certainly the graphics card / chipset
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Expert Comment

by:scraby
ID: 37834247
if lines appear on bios and splash screen then this is a hardware issue (not windows drivers).  i've seen this on an older computer but it's been a long time.  sometimes these types of issues can be caused be external interference or loose ground connections but this will be hard to diagnose in a laptop.  if you really want to dive into this you could purchase and install something like this http://www.villagetronic.com/vtbook/index.html and see where that takes you, but for the price a new laptop may make more sense.  also, in desktops with built in graphics cards (on the motherboard) you have the option to disable the native vga device in the bios but i've never seen this in a laptop so i'm not sure how the villagetronic device handles the built in vga device.

have you tried twisting or torquing the base (where the keyboard sits) to see if you can make the lines come and go.  if you are able to make the lines come and go based on something that you do then that would give you good info, maybe cracked solder joint on the mainboard or such.

i would go to the bios screen and see if i could make the lines come and go based on something that i did, such as twisting the base or putting a cellphone (on a call where xmit power levels are high) next to it or around it.  then based on this you have some clues as to what is going on

hope this helps
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Expert Comment

by:scraby
ID: 37834409
sorry, i didn't see the attached picture.  that looks to me like hardware failure.  see if you can tie something that you do to making the lines appear and disappear.
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Author Comment

by:rbudj
ID: 37834587
I tested the Linux cd and I still have the lines. I too believe it is the onboard graphics card so that will be my diagnosis. Thank you all for your help. I will be back to award points.
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