vertical lines on laptop

al4629740
al4629740 used Ask the Experts™
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I have a Dell Vostro 3700.  I have vertical white lines intermittently on the screen.  When I connect an external monitor, it shows up ok.  

Is there a loose cable or is there a bad monitor or inverter in this thing?
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018
Commented:
It is in the monitor assembly overall because the external monitor is fine. It *can* be a loose cable, but in my experience it is the screen in most cases. Backlight gives light, inverter gives high voltage.

In my machines, a lid includes all 3 parts (joy!).  .... Thinkpads_User
It may be a graphics driver issue.  Try getting the latest driver.

On another note, do you have your laptop's screen resolution set to its native resolution (max resolution)?  Sometimes choosing a resolution other than native resolution causes odd display problems.  Do the lines move around or stay in fixed positions, and if fixed positions, are they the same fixed positions every time you disconnect the external monitor?
THere is a video ribbon cable that connects between your laptop's LCD screen and the laptop's motherboard. There is a slight chance that cable could be fowled, but more than likely, your LCD screen is failing; which is why you only see it on the laptop screen and not the monitor.
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Commented:
If it's intermittent, try moving the lid up and down while watching the screen: could be a loose LCD cable.

This is usually a video card problem - but using on another monitor has eliminated that.
Whatever the problem may be, if you are under warranty you should get support from Dell parallel to support from Experts-Exchange and post their suggestions/dispositions.

Author

Commented:
I have seen this go in and out.  Sometimes it looks great.  Does that mean it could be a cable?  The lines are present from the beginning when I turn the computer on also

Author

Commented:
I am out of warranty.  The laptop is not that old
I would do as ZeelSol suggested, and if necessary, open the laptop and check for loose cables or damage to the cable.  When plugging in the external monitor, you may be affecting voltage just enough to make the problem disappear.  

This may not even be a possibility, but it may be possible to create some sort of "loopback" video cable - they do make these things for purchase.  Maybe if just having some sort of voltage going out the external port may be enough to keep the white lines away.  Shot in the dark on that, though, but it could be a cheap cludge of a solution if you have spare video cables to mess with.

Author

Commented:
ive opened the laptop before and did absolutely nothing other than "poke around"

It fixed it temporarily and then it came back.

Author

Commented:
do you have removal instructions for a vostro 3700 monitor?
In step 14 at this link: http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/vos3700/en/SM/Display.htm

Check the yellow-highlighted cable on the left for damage.

You may also need to take the screen itself.  It may be held together by screws and also be partly snapped together.  Check this cable all the way to where it plugs into the back of the screen.  You may even need to remove the screen from its housing.  Take pictures as you go so you know how to put it all back together.
I could not find their documentation for replacing just the screen itself withing the display assembly (they might want you to purchase entire assemblies from them).  You are on your own figuring out how to disassemble that part if you feel you need to take it that far.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018
Commented:
Changing just the screen on my Thinkpad is a very delicate operation (bezel removed, hinges out, backlight parts out, antenna wires out and so on).

A complete lid is better if you can get one. I got one on eBay at a good price. Dell is likely to charge more.

... Thinkpads_User
I replaced just the screen before from some place like laptopscreens.com or the like - you do have to be careful.  The inverter cable that the new screen came with was too short, and it did not have as many mounting points as the original.  It is risky getting generic replacements, but if you can find no other alternative, it may be worth the risk to save a lot.

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