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What is going on with my laptop screen?
June 11, 2014 7:28 AM   Subscribe

In the past few days I've notice blue vertical lines on my monitor, only in white areas. What is going on? Is it a graphics card issue?

In dialog boxes, the blue line shows up on the right edge of the fields. In photos, there are faint blue vertical lines appearing in bright highlights. The blue lines in images seem to be vibrating or moving kind of like static on a television.

Here's a screenshot from photoshop. The blue lines appear inside the red boxes I've drawn on the screenshot. The blue lines appear in all programs.

What is causing this? I can live with it, even though it's annoying. Should I expect it to get worse?

This is happening on an ASUS G53SX laptop.
posted by msbrauer to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
The fact that I can't see the blue lines in your screenshot would indicate it's something physical with the screen: try changing your refresh rate to something higher (or lower, if it's already high). Also, see if the lines change depending on how 'open' the laptop is, or when gently twisting the cover slightly. Loose wiring can cause odd pixel behavior.
posted by AzraelBrown at 7:31 AM on June 11


Do you see the lines when you hook up an external monitor? That might help rule out the graphics card itself and further confirm a screen/connection wiring issue.

(I also don't see any lines in your screenshot.)
posted by sevenless at 7:53 AM on June 11


I expect that no one else will see the lines, I just provided the screenshot to show where they appear. I've also noticed that they don't always appear. I've seen them for each of the last three days, but right now they've disappeared. Unfortunately, I don't have an external monitor.
posted by msbrauer at 7:55 AM on June 11


I'll put money on a problem in the ribbon cable between your laptop and screen, or the connector on either end. A coworker of mine had an older Mac laptop (titanium powerbook g3, I believe) that demonstrated a very similar-sounding symptom. Try wiggling the screen to see if things get any better?
posted by Alterscape at 7:58 AM on June 11 [2 favorites]


I had a similar problem to this on my Macbook. Flickering vertical pink or green lines that only appear in white areas. Visible on laptop screen, but not on external monitor. Impossible to screen-grab. Went away temporarily if I pressed a certain spot on the bottom of the laptop case.

I can't say if it's similar to your problem (you have a PC after all), but if it is, in my case it required the entire motherboard to be replaced. I never got an explanation from Apple, but my guesses included the video chip de-soldering due to heat, or the connector between the motherboard and LCD screen being loose. Good luck.
posted by snarfois at 8:53 AM on June 11


I had this on my last macbook - only one blue line, visible on white, never went away. I don't remember what they told me was the underlying cause when I took it in to be serviced, but they basically said that it would mean a complete replacement of whatever said part was, which was prohibitively priced - so in the end I decided to live with it. It never got worse. YMMV IANAComputerGuy.
posted by Mchelly at 9:14 AM on June 11


And here's my own askme about this same issue, also on a mac, but I suspect the same culpret. The ribbon cable in the hinge of your case got frayed/worn out etc.

Pixels are composed of 3* sub pixels. I expect you are seeing a defect in the red and or green sub pixels, leaving you with blue. You only notice it when all 3 sub pixels are supposed to be the brightest—when you want white.

Try out Do I have a dead pixel .com. I suspect this problem will get worse.

An external monitor was a temporary fix for me. It wasn't worth the $600+ repair on a 4 year old laptop.

*except for some crazy fancy 4 color monitors with yellow
posted by fontophilic at 12:58 PM on June 11


I can't say if it's similar to your problem (you have a PC after all), but if it is, in my case it required the entire motherboard to be replaced.

I had this on my last macbook - only one blue line, visible on white, never went away. I don't remember what they told me was the underlying cause when I took it in to be serviced, but they basically said that it would mean a complete replacement of whatever said part was, which was prohibitively priced - so in the end I decided to live with it.


Probably not what you want to hear, but me three. Exactly this. It's sporadic enough so I'm just living with it.
posted by Room 641-A at 4:17 PM on June 11


In the UK the motherboard replacement on my 5-year old Macbook was actually covered by a consumer law claim, so didn't cost me anything. You could check whether a similar law would cover you, although the chances are probably slim.
posted by snarfois at 1:28 AM on June 12


The entire screen failed on me a week or so later. It was the graphics card. Took it in to a place after I took it apart to check connections and couldn't find anything wrong. They narrowed it down to the graphics card, which would've been too expensive to replace.
posted by msbrauer at 12:32 PM on July 11


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