Typical laptop is a solid construction which combines the system unit, the monitor and all cables all together in one same device. It certainly is convenient in terms of portability, but on the other hand any malfunction makes it practically impossible to use it. And stripes at the laptop screen can surely be called one of the most common malfunctions here. When those stripes (vertical or horizontal) appear on the screen it becomes absolutely not possible to work on such a laptop anymore. Stripes may be colored black, gray or they may be colorful. This depends on a reason of this malfunction. In this article we will tell you what should be done in case any kind of stripes suddenly appeared on the screen of your laptop. Also we are going to explain which malfunctions may lead to this problem.
Table of contents: 1. Why there are stripes on the laptop screen: reasons 2. How to detect why stripes appeared at the laptop screen - Matrix and cable check with pressing - External monitor testing - Motherboard cable check - Video card check 3. What should you do if the video card of your laptop is broken 4. What should you do if the motherboard of your laptop is broken 5. What should you do if the motherboard cable is malfunctioning
Why there are stripes on the laptop screen: reasons
It is a graphic chip that is responsible for the image you see on your screen. This chip may be installed on a video card separately or integrated into the central processor. Through a certain cable information is transferred from the chip right to the laptop screen and the whole system is managed by the mother board. As you can see, not much elements are involved in the process of transferring images to the computer screen. This is how it appears quite easy to make a conclusion that the following reasons are leading to the stripes on a screen:
- Mother board malfunction. Actually this problem is the least common. It is extremely difficult to damage mother board, most often it would malfunction because of some manufacturer’s mistake or because of the short circuit, which does not occur that often. In case mother board is destroyed, the whole laptop most likely will refuse to function, but in some very rare cases it is still possible that there are only damaged those components that are responsible for the image on the monitor;
- Video card malfunction. This is a much more common problem that leads to the appearance of horizontal or vertical stripes on the screen of your laptop. Normally if there is a problem with video card you will see colorful stripes on a screen. Also sometimes you may see ripples or some artifacts instead of straight lines. Most often video cart will start to malfunction if the chip on it is overheated;
- The cable is pinched or defective. A certain cable is used to transfer images from the laptop system components to the screen. One side of it is connected to the mother board of a given computer and the other side – to the display. If this cable is pinched, burned out or damaged you will be seeing stripes at the screen of your laptop;
- Problems with the matrix. The most common reason why stripes may appear on the screen is the matrix failure. The screen of any laptop is quite fragile, and even one sloppy closing of the computer cover will be enough to damage the matrix, as a result later on you will be seeing stripes on the laptop screen.
It is worth noting that very rarely the problem with artifacts and stripes appearance on the screen is associated with drivers. Therefore, the first thing that should be done if stripes suddenly appeared on the laptop screen, is to download new drivers for all key components of the computer. You can also try to “roll back” your Windows if the system was updated shortly before the problem occurred.
How to detect why stripes appeared at the laptop screen
Such symptoms as different kinds of stripes at the screen of your computer may indicate a lot of different malfunctions. To eliminate this problem you need to understand exactly what was the cause of it. Professionals at some service centers are able to do it using special diagnostic tools, but actually almost anyone can find out why stripes appeared at the laptop screen right at his own home. When the reason of malfunction is discovered it is much easier to understand if your computer needs a serious repairing or no.
Below we will give a number of diagnostic measures that may let you know what had led to the problem that manifests itself with the stripes on the screen.
Matrix and cable check with pressing
To make sure that the malfunction is connected to the damaged matrix or to the broken cable please follow this simple steps:
- Start your computer and open the most bright and colorful image on the screen;
- Slightly press your laptop screen exactly at the place where you see stripes. Also try to make a tortion test to the screen by slightly twisting it;
- While running tests that were described above you need to carefully watch results. If while you were pressing and twisting the screen of your laptop the amount of stripes became bigger or stripes dramatically changed their color, most likely the malfunction is connected to the matrix or cable dysfunction.
It is worth noting that matrix or cable dysfunction can also be indicated in case colors at the laptop screen are displayed incorrectly. For example in case beside for the stripes at the screen all colors are displayed only in black and white.
External monitor testing
It is quite an easy test that you can run by yourself in case you have also an external monitor that can be connected to the computer through DVI or HDMI cables. This test will allow you to understand if the malfunction is connected to the matrix or cable, or there is another reason for the stripes to appear at the laptop screen.
To run diagnostics you need to connect external monitor to the laptop through a cable and make observation. Based on the results you might be able to make the appropriate conclusions:
If the image on the external monitor is correct (which means there are no stripes and artifacts) you can be sure that the motherboard and the video card of your laptop are not damaged;
If stripes are still displayed on the external monitor as well it means that both – display and cable – are not faulty and stripes on the screen are connected to the motherboard or video card malfunction.
Motherboard cable check
This test you should run in case you made sure that the motherboard and the video card are both fine and the problem may be in the matrix or in the cable. When you open the lid of your laptop cable is moving so in some cases it may get pinched, which leads to the appearance of some stripes or artifacts at the screen. Take a look at the image that is displayed at the screen from different angles while opening the lid. If at the certain angle stripes are changed or disappear at all, it most likely means that the problem is with the cable.
Video card check
It is quite easy to detect that the video card malfunction is the reason for the stripes to appear at the laptop screen. See if the stripes appear at the screen immediately after you turned your computer on or after some time. If they appear in few minutes after your laptop was started it means that the video card chip is overheated or damaged.
Also if the stripes appear at the screen because of the video card malfunction, the screen itself will be black – completely without any images for a while – when Windows is loading.
What should you do if the video card of your laptop is broken
If you suspect that video card is broken first thing to do – make sure that your laptop has no problems with cooling system. This is what you will have to do:
- Make sure that when you start your computer all coolers are working and their speed is good enough. If the stripes are occupying only some part of the screen, try to run the diagnostic utility that determines the temperature of the laptop components;
- Very often dust is a reason for the cooling system to malfunction. So you need to disassemble your computer and clean it from the dust and any other sweepings;
- Replace the thermal grease;
- Try to work on your laptop while installing it on a cooling pad that has additional fans.
While you are disassembling your computer and replacing the thermal paste pay attention to the chip. If there are obvious traces of carbon on the chip or on the radiator it means that the device has been damaged and you need to replace it. Very often it is economically inexpedient to change the video card of the laptop.
What should you do if the motherboard of your laptop is broken
In terms of repairing motherboard is one of the most complicated components of the laptop. To determine which of the mother board blocks is out of order you will need to take your laptop to some service center where it can be checked with the diagnostic equipment.
Most often motherboard malfunction is connected to the oxidation or parching of some elements. Due to the technical process of motherboard manufacturing it is almost impossible to restore it if it was broken.
What should you do if the motherboard cable is malfunctioning
It is the most simple malfunction that may lead to the appearance of stripes on the laptop screen. If you have managed to detect that it is the cable responsible for the problem, you need to disassemble the computer case and inspect the cable for twisting, bending, breaking or burning-out. Sometimes the cable is simply unsuccessfully clamped when you close the lid which causes artifacts on the screen. In this case, if it is not damaged, simply fix it’s position in the computer case.
However, if the cable that is transferring images on the laptop is burned, pinched or has other mechanical damages, you will need to change it. It is possible to find cables for all modern laptops in almost any computer store. If you could not find a suitable cable by yourself we recommend you to contact any service center where professionals will help you to determine which part of the cable is broken and to replace it.