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Problem with display / screen image

When booting up, more often than not the screen is just fuzzy grey with a few vertical lines here and there which dance about. Sometimes the screen is dark with no image. Holding the PB partially open with the hinge end pointing towards the floor will sometimes get a good picture on screen and gentle handling will keep the picture and the PB is usable.

Does anyone have any idea if this is fixable or if it's more likely to be the video chip? I'd love to get it working again and am quite happy to take it apart.



I have got hold of a mini-DVI to VGA cable and tried to connect to an external monitor (Asus 19" Widescreen) but get nothing. I have tried closing the lid as soon as I press the power button; pressing the Fn and F7 keys; and disconnecting the screen cable so only the external monitor is connected.

The strange thing is, if I wait until the PB has finished booting up, I can press the power button and then Enter and it shuts down just as it should.

I would love to get this working but I fear the worst. Your comments and suggestions are appreciated.

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as the problem changes when you move the computer / lid it is most likely a bad connection. could be broken video cable (flat ribbon) or a bad connection in a connector or a dry solder joint.

Definitely does not look like a bad video chip.

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Thanks for the quick answer Spikey, does the fact that I get a picture occasionally mean that the video chip is good then?

I don't have a cable to connect an external monitor so I can't check the output but will try to get hold of one before I take the PB apart.


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In order to come to a definitive answer, it's definitely necessary to try outputting to an external monitor. If the external monitor looks fine while the laptop's screen is messed up, then the problem is either the screen, or more likely the screen cabling, and the solution is to replace the entire screen assembly, with cabling. You may be able to salvage the screen itself (inside the casing), if you want to go that far. And if the external video doesn't work or appears similarly messed up, then you've got a bad video chip and there's not much that can be done.

You could always reseat the connections related to video inside the laptop and on the back of the screen, in case something is just loose.

It also never hurts to remove extended memory, and reset the PMU and PRAM. I don't expect that would really help in this case, but I see stuff that surprises me daily, and doing that is always a good starting point when troubleshooting a machine.

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Thanks for that, rd. I have tried resetting the PRAM and PMU but the screen is just showing black now. Fingers crossed it's just the cable but I have a sinking feeling that it's the chip. Boo.


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andyinwales will be eternally grateful.
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