Is there any way to fix this laptop screen problem?
May 5, 2016 7:03 AM   Subscribe

Last night, while watching a tv episode, my laptop screen did this. This morning, after installing the most recent video driver and copious shut-downs and restarts, the problem is still here. Sometimes the bottom 3/4 is flickering like it is continuously refreshing at a stuttering rate, sometimes it is still.

At other times the bottom 3/4 mirrors what should be at the top of the screen.

Another relevant point is that I tried to take a screenshot of the problem, but the problem does not show up in the screenshot.

This is a laptop that I purchased refurbished 2+ years ago for about $400. It is no longer under warranty. I live in Puerto Rico, so if it is worth getting repaired, I guess I will have to mail it to Lenovo...

Is my screen doomed? Can anyone guess what the underlying problem might be? Is reinstalling Windows 8 worth a try? Should I upgrade to Windows 10, etc? Does anyone have any suggestions on what I should do going forward? Or am I just wasting time by avoiding the inevitable saving up for another computer? (PS please forgive any typos as it is hard to read on this flickering screen.)
posted by zyxwvut to Computers & Internet (5 answers total)
You could try checking the cable to the screen. Sometimes one side of the connector will come loose and sometimes the cable will go bad where it bends around the hinges. You should be able to youtube a video to show you how to access this if you are unfamiliar.
posted by Yorrick at 7:11 AM on May 5, 2016 [1 favorite]

Yes, it is likely the connector between the computer and the screen. I've seen this happen many times over the years, and the connector is probably just loose. Sometimes, pressing on the top edge of the laptop will re-seat the connector enoug hto carry on normally, but sometimes it requires disassembling the laptop enough to get to the connector itself to re-seat. The world of how-to YouTube videos is definitely your friend here, unless you are already comfortable with laptop repair.
posted by briank at 7:17 AM on May 5, 2016

I replaced a screen on my thinkpad and it look exactly like what happens to me occasionally. On the t410 the connector was at the bottom center of the screen, a tap or gentile press resolves the issue temporarily. So I'd suggest reviewing the replacement instructions for your model to see the connector location.

Opening up the screen is not that bad, do it on a large surface where it's less likely to loose the tiny screws. Taking a photo of every step helps putting it back together. I think adding a small pad of think paper behind the connector to maintain pressure was my plan at one point, but tapping has worked so far :-)
posted by sammyo at 7:37 AM on May 5, 2016

Yeah, this is definitely a hardware and not a software problem. If you decide to repair it yourself, be careful when you open it up — it's easy to break flimsy plastic parts around the screen. My mother managed to break her screen, and the frame around the screen was so molded and sleek that I just felt too intimidated to take it off. I ordered the replacement screen myself from Amazon (after I looked up the number) and I had a computer repair shop do open up the frame for me and seat and connect the new screen. I think I paid $50 for the time it took (20 mins?).

There are great videos online of opening up screens almost every model of laptop, so do some searches.
posted by clone boulevard at 10:28 AM on May 5, 2016

Thank you all. Closing the case and pressing down along the hinge-area has fixed the issue! Thanks for the warnings about opening the frame up, I am hoping it doesn't come to that. It turns out, in this techno-future we live in, banging on the dadgum thing still helps.
posted by zyxwvut at 4:01 PM on May 5, 2016

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