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Blank Screen! Vertical or Horizontal Lines! Help! My Laptop Screen Has Failed :(

Has your laptop screen gone blank or developed lines or bars, or, does it just white out?

The problem in detail

Have you ever had your screen go blank, only to be replaced by coloured vertical lines, yet, when you plug in an external monitor, the original image is displayed correctly?  

Such circumstances are most likely caused by a hardware fault, specifically a problem with either the screen, the graphics adapter or the ribbon cable which connects the two. The fact that a normal image can still be viewed on an external monitor would make the problem indicative of a screen, rather than a graphics card fault. If this is the case, two clear options are available.  

You could either try and locate an external monitor or take the cost effective step of purchasing and fitting a replacement screen yourself.  We offer a wealth of information on our blog to guide you in choosing and fitting a screen. Below are some links you may find helpful:  

  • How to choose a reputable LCD supplier.
  • Laptop screen connector positions explained, (when choosing a replacement screen you may find multiple choices with different connector types.) 
  • How to replace a Laptop Screen. This is a neat 6 min video that gives you the training you need to replace your screen without the expense of a repair shop. 
  • This laptop Screen troubleshooter will assist you in determining where the fault is with your machine.
  • 7 reasons why you should repair your own laptop screen. 
  • Information for people who are thinking about trying to upgrade their current display.
  • Understanding what sellers mean by "Compatible" replacement screens.
  • Understanding what different screen resolutions mean and terms like WXGA, WUXGA, WSVGA, HD and FULL HD.  

Second cause of the problem with corresponding solution

Perhaps your laptop screen is not broken but intermittently turns black, only to be restored by holding down the button designed to inform the machine that the lid is closed. In this instance, the cause may be one of two things. 

  1. The machine’s power settings have been altered so that the screen turns itself off after an extended period sitting idle, in which case, one need only go to the computer’s start menu, locate the control panel and adjust the power settings accordingly to rectify the problem. OR, most likely
  2. There is a problem with the laptop’s screen latch or other elements which connect directly with the operation of the display, (such as the ribbon cable,) faults often caused by extensive wear and machine ageing. A quote could be sought for inspection and repair; however, one may be better served by purchasing a newer model.                              


Other frequently asked questions

How do I connect my laptop to a TV?

A question often heard is how one connects their laptop to a TV so that they are able to watch their favourite TV shows, or share personal videos and photos. This is how it is done: 

  1. Firstly, you need to locate on both your laptop and TV a connecting port-you should see one of the following connections-Composite, S-video, VGA, DVI, HDMI, in   order to connect an external display. You must locate the connector on your laptop which corresponds to the same connecting port on your TV. (As a side note, if you’re using S-video audio will be produced through the laptop speakers rather than the TV.) 
  2. Next you need to configure these settings from your laptop. Click o the start menu, select control panel and then Appearance and Personalization. From the display menu select, “connect an external display” and ensure the display on your laptop is fully duplicated on your TV. 
  3. From the current window you can also adjust the resolutions for both the laptop and the TV (If there is a disparity between them it will lead to image distortion.) Click on the display menu, select the used display and then press the resolution button. Use the slider to achieve the correct resolution. (Using recommended settings will produce optimum results.)  

Now you should be able to view the content stored on your laptop on your TV. 

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