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12-21-2015

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3" Black line down laptop Display - W540 - Motherboard, Video Card or Cable?

2020-05-12, 1:54 AM

My W540 has an issue.    I closed the lid and re-opened it the other day and upon re-opening it my screen it now has a 3" black stripe down the LCD screen.   This line is there at every point the laptop is on from BIOS screen (before the OS loads) all the way through Windows loading and shutting down.   It is a hardware issue.   What I'm looking for are some educated guesses as to what this is so that I can narrow down what is broken so I don't end up buying every single piece.  I'm fairly experienced with hardware so I'll throw out what I think it is.   If you've seen this before, or something close to it, please share.    Thank you for your help.   Even an educated guess is great in this case.   

 

Update:  I've noticed a few other things.  I did another diagnostic.   The computer shutdown during it.  I'm not sure what test it failed on.    When it rebooted there were those "staticy" lines over the black line, and across the top horizontally.   I wasn't able to get a picture.    It also appears that when I bump the screen it can make the screen go whacky.   By whacky I mean that when I bump it, I get those staticy red/blue/green/black/white lines through the permanent black stripe I've got.  I also get them around the screen.  So maybe the LCD?   

 

 

My guesses in about this order of likely to not as likely:   

  1. Motherboard has an issue - video out pin went bad.  Maybe the onboard video card had a pin burnout?  - This does not happen on the external screen(s) I have connected.   They all work just fine.  No issues.
  2. LCD - Anyone seen an LCD screen do this when it goes bad?  Anyone seen an LCD going bad cause this kind of issue?
  3. Cable got loose?  - I've never opened this laptop myself.   18-24 months ago a Lenovo Repairman replaced the LCD due to a totally separate issue.   I would guess that in a tight/closed laptop that it would be hard to get a cable to come out partially.
  4. Anyone else got any other ideas?   Anyone know of a way to do a self-test of the LCD screen itself?

 

So just some context with the ID - 10 - T self checklist.   

Is it just the OS or the whole machine?    

The line is there there no matter what OS is loaded or not loaded.   This happens the second you turn it on.   Its like this at the BIOS screen.   It's like this with any OS fired up (Linux and/or Windows).    I do not ever see this flicker when the resolution of the screen changes.   The black stripe is consistent and unwavering.   Those pixels are simply OFF.   

 

When did this happen?

This happened as soon as I re-opened the lid, as in I closed the lid, moved to another room, opened it and this line was there.   Wasn't anything hard or forceful, just a normal close and open.  

 

Have you ever opened the computer on your own and might have bumped a cable?   

I've never opened the machine myself.   It's been about 2 years since it was opened.   About two years ago a repairman replaced the LCD for some other issues.   It has worked fine ever since.  

 

Did you ever notice anything about those pixels over the last 2 years?   Flashing?  Anything out of the ordinary? 

I haven't noticed anything.  Nothing caught my eye.   Worked perfectly as far as I could tell. 

 

Did you run a diagnostic?

I have run the Lenovo Diagnostics a couple of times.   The Video card and the Motherboard all come back just fine.   There are no other relevant errors in there.  

 

Does this show up on all displays or just this one display?

I have two other displays connected, one through the displayport and the other through the VGA port.  Both of those screens work just fine. 

 

Thanks for taking the time to look at this.  All thoughts are welcome.   If I don't get any suggestions, then I figure I'll be buying a new motherboard and a new LCD. 

 

 

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4 Posts

12-21-2015

US

13 Signins

45 Page Views

  • Posts: 4
  • Registered: ‎12-21-2015
  • Location: US
  • Views: 45
  • Message 2 of 2

Re:3" Black line down laptop Display - W540 - Motherboard, Video Card or Cable?

2020-05-19, 21:35 PM

For anyone in the future this was the result:

 

It was the LCD.   Bought a replacement for $60 off of Amazon.  I was able to install it in about 10 minutes.  

 

Tools to install:  You need a screwdriver that will unscrew very small screws.    That's it.   

To remove the bezel on a W540:  It was very easy.   I was afraid I'd break the plastic tabs.  The bezel on my W540 was made such that the plastic tabs don't tend to break at all.   It snapped right off.  I began separating it slowly on the bottom corner of the laptop with my fingernails.   I did not use a tool.  I very careful worked my hands around the plastic bezel.   It came off in about 10 seconds as I slowly moved my fingers carefully around it and unsnapped the bezel.   Like anything, be careful, but it will unsnap rather easily.   No need for a tool.   

 

Here is a video I used to understand what was happening and what I was going to do.  Again, I did not use a tool to remove the bezel like this shows.   I used my fingers to remove the bezel.  Everything else was the same.  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BIc8EajdX2I

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