05-06-2011 01:08 PM
Over the past year I've been experiencing a gradually worsening problem with the display on my x61t. It seems to get stuck in a mode where the only allowed screen resolutions are 1024x768 and 800x600, and only the top-left 70% of the screen is actually useful - the right and bottom edges are merely repetition of the left and top edges of the useful portion of the screen, respectively. This image demonstrates the problem. I can provide more images if necessary, but this one demonstrates all the aspects of the problem.
As you can see I'm running Windows 7. I also upgraded the RAM to 4GB (2x2GB) and am using a 500GB HDD. Everything else is stock.
I started experiencing the problem about a year ago (before upgrading the RAM or hard drive - in fact, I was even running Vista at the time). It was uncommon and solvable by shutting down, unplugging power, removing the battery for a bit, then putting it back together again. Over the past few months, however, the problem has been occurring more frequently. Worse yet, the easy fix no longer works. I thought it might have been an overheating problem, but now it doesn't matter how long I leave the machine alone or the state I leave it in - in sleep mode, shut down, and even with no power/battery connected - the problem no longer goes away on its own...
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05-11-2011 07:26 AM - edited 05-11-2011 07:27 AM
Sorry for the delay, I didn't get an email when you replied...
I'm not sure, but I think I have SXGA+. I don't have multi-touch, just pen, and my highest resolution is 1400x1050.
No, the problem does not occur on external LCD. Also, if I use an LCD for dual-screening, the problem persists on my main screen without affecting the external screen.
Yes, this problem exists from the moment I boot up, including when I enter the BIOS menu.
FYI, I haven't used my machine since my last post. I put it in sleep mode at that time, and the battery has since died. When I started it up today, the screen was fine. It's almost like there's a secondary on-board battery that needs to be drained, but I'm pretty sure that's not the case...
05-11-2011 08:45 AM - edited 05-11-2011 08:59 AM
That's actually backwards - if the screen is okay, then I can use 1400x1050. Currently, the screen is okay. When it's not okay, I can only use the two resolutions I mentioned in my first post, and I get the strange patterns you can see in the image I provided.
I have no idea what causes the screen to go between the two states. I would think this CMOS battery would have something to do with it, but the first few times I experienced this problem I could easily and quickly fix it by removing all power from the machine for a minute, which I imagine isn't enough time to drain any battery. Only recently does it seem like a secondary battery needs to be drained to get the display working properly, as only recently has it taken many days for it to return to normal.
One other thing I don't believe I ever mentioned: if I reboot the machine, the display problem will immediately occur again. To avoid this, I've been keeping the machine in sleep mode when not in use, but obviously this is only a temporary fix.
05-11-2011 04:49 PM
05-12-2011 08:18 AM - edited 05-12-2011 08:22 AM
The artifacts you mention are from my camera - I shot that picture with my Droid 2. The quality of the image is fine, it's just the strange patterns beyond the edge of the properly-rendering region that I'm concerned about.
Every time this happens, it takes longer and longer to self-rectify. For example, this most recent bug-out took nearly a week to go away, but the previous time the problem occurred it went away overnight, and before that it only took an hour, and before that mere minutes. My guess is that this is indicative of a GPU problem, as wiring problems don't tend to degrade over time like this under similar circumstances, and the screen itself works fine (no artifacts).
It seems the GPU thinks it can only draw a row of 1024 pixels, but the screen is 1400 pixels wide. That explains the width and height of the extraneous regions on the right and bottom parts of the screen, and could also explain why pixels get repeated - the GPU probably cycles back through data used to draw the beginning of the row.
I guess the conclusion being reached is that the GPU is going bye-bye. I understand the GPU is integrated into the motherboard, how hard would it be to fix something like this? Is it even possible?