05-23-2011 06:02 PM - edited 05-23-2011 06:47 PM
Have a 2714-CTO R500 notebook on 64-bit Windows 7 SP1 with a misbehaving notebook screen.
It works fine for a few minutes on boot up, will eventually flicker, starting slow then flickering faster, and eventually will go dark. If you CTRL-ALT-DEL or plug in an external monitor it will reappear and work OK, but with an external plugged in it will still go dark in a few minutes even though I have configured it to remain on at all times in presentation mode.
I do not believe it is hardware based because moving the lid doesn't change the behavior, so a loose cable from motherboard to lid is less likely. Also, I've run the diagnostics to test the display board and screen and both pass fine. I don't believe it's the board.
This problem just started today, and three days ago I did upgrade to version 3.59 of the Lenovo Power Manager (I was using 3.12 version without issue) I also at same time upgraded the Intel Chipset Support for Windows 7 and also the 220.127.116.116 version of the Intel Display Driver for Windows 7 (64-bit)
Thinking an upgrade created this issue, I restored Windows 7 to the system before any of these upgrades, but the system restore didn't elminate the problem. So I've reinstalled the Power Manager, Chipset and Display drivers again to the latest versions. I also am on the latest BIOS.
Thinking this is related to the Power Manager, because the screen goes dark prematurely and is ignoring the settings to remain on at all times (Presentation settings) I have uninstalled the Power Manager again but no imprvoement. I am presently using the Windows 7 power manager set to leave the notebook screen on at all times.
If it is in fact a display cable, it seems strange because I'm not moving the lid plus the flickering and going dark seem timed, that is, the screen works fine and after the same interval of time the problems begin. Seems a cable would be more sporadic.
However, it does the same behavior when starting in Windows Safe Mode, so perhaps it is hardware?
Haven't installed any new software apps; I'm running Microsoft Security Essentials as my virus protection so not thinking this is malware etc.
The notebook works fine with an external monitor; no problems, so the display card and motherboard seem very stable. When I unplug the external monitor, the screen will come back on, but after a few minutes will flicker and/or go dark.
I'm very experienced fixing PC hardware but really stumped on this one.
Any ideas on things I can try with drivers, beyond what I've tried above?
05-24-2011 05:42 AM
05-24-2011 11:00 AM
If it was the GPU then both the internal LCD and the external monitor should fail?
In my case, the external is working just fine, only the LCD is flickering then going dark, so I'm thinking it's not the GPU?
In fact, looking closer, I see the LCD is still displaying the image but at a very very weak brightness. Also, I now notice that on bootup the white Lenovo logo text has a slight pink cast.
This is all starting me to suspect perhaps it's the cable and some conductors in it are broken, such as the sync (that would cause the flicker) or a color signal (that might cause the pink cast.) If the LCD itself was the culprit I suppose it wouldn't work at all on bootup, but it does work OK for 2 minutes or so until it begins flickering and later goes dark.
I may try replacing the cable, it's $45 to buy ($30 part plus $15 shipping) and the tech manual to take the screen apart is a downloadable PDF on Lenovo's site so looks doable.
05-24-2011 11:34 AM
05-25-2011 03:00 AM
06-07-2011 06:43 PM
It turns out this isn't a cable problem. I took the notebook apart and replaced the LCD cable assembly ($50 with shipping from Lenovo) and the problem persists, screen works for a few minutes, then flickers and goes dark. Don't think it's the display adapter -- built onto the motherboard (Intel) and works fine with the external monitor -- so it certainly looks like the LCD screen has failed. If you look closely with room lights low you can see the image on the screen, so that's looking like the backlight is shot?
Not worth replacing, time to get a new notebook...
I've not had good luck with my last two Lenovo notebooks; starting to think about other barnds at this point.
06-19-2011 12:46 PM
Good idea, but turns out my Lenovo R500 flickering/dark screen occurs with or without the battery in. Happens with AC unplugged and running on battery alone.
As mentioned earlier, I am upgraded to the latest BIOS and driver for the Intel GM45 graphic display chip, plus, latest Lenovo power manager driver as well. Running Windows 7.
Since there is a pink cast to the white areas of the screen on bootup (when the screen does run for a minute or two before it flickers and goes dark) one would think it is the LCD screen itself that has failed.
06-06-2012 05:43 PM
I have exactly the same problem. My issue started after loading Win 7 64bit but I only noticed it after installing the correct drivers from the auto detect support site lenovo has. I do not believe it is hardware related since I have run Fedora 17 Linux on the Laptop and never experienced the issue at all the whole time I ran it. I have gone to Windows 8 Consumer preview. I deliberately did not install the driver update for the GM45 Graphics but I did install the Power manager and I have the issue. My PC does not shut off the screen but just gets flickering. It certainly behaves like a bad cable to the LCD but I tried everything to make it flicker under Linux and it never did. Let me know if you come up with a solution.