PC Random Grey Screen with lines

slippinjimmy54

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Joined
Oct 18, 2020
Messages
10
Hi guys!

I'm new here and I'm having some seriously annoying problems with my Dell Inspiron 3558 Windows 10 PC. See here:
Suddenly my PC started randomly going grey with vertical lines across. When it happened, the PC was still completely responsive. If I was playing music using the speakers, the music kept playing and touchpad movements were still indicated on the now grey display as a movement of the vertical lines. I also noticed that it usually happened when on battery power.

It was fixed by closing the lid and reopening it or putting it to sleep and waking it back up. Essentially, it was fixed by anything that made the screen turn off, even a timeout. At first it wasn't very frequent, but over time it became very frequent and I worked around it by closing and reopening every time it happened.

I did the LCD BIST test and it worked fine. I updated my graphics driver, and BIOS. Nothing changed. Then, something interesting happened. While booting, before starting to load windows, it happened. So I ruled out driver issues and software issues, right? It looked like a hardware issue, so next, I drained the residual charge on the PC, and left it off for 2 days with the battery out. After the two days, I powered it back on, and it seemed fine, but for only a day which, by the way, was much longer than it had ever gone without going grey since it started having the issue. This raised some questions for me, but I'm no guru so i didn't know what to conclude.

Then, I was finally able to test it out on an external monitor ( wasn't physically able to do it before for some reasons) and so I waited for it to go grey and it did and I connected it to my TV via HDMI and the display was fine on the TV and still grey on the PC.
I handed it to a technician and he said it was the video cable, which he replaced. He then returned it to me and It worked fine for a day and then it happened again.

Again, I'm no guru and correct me if i'm wrong but all my observations led to me ruling out the video card, RAM, motherboard and software related issues. I think it's the LCD. What do you think?

Any form of help and insight would be hugely appreciated, this has been a real pain in the neck.

Looking forward to your replies!
 
Joined
Dec 21, 2016
Messages
760
I handed it to a technician and he said it was the video cable, which he replaced. He then returned it to me and It worked fine for a day and then it happened again.
Unless you have opened the lid too far since it sounds like the video ribbon has come loose and rather than being replaced it was only reconnected, problem with this being that if the connection was loose in the first place opening and closing the lid again would again pull the connector from the socket.

A "how to" video for checking/replacing the video cable here
 

slippinjimmy54

Thread Starter
Joined
Oct 18, 2020
Messages
10
Unless you have opened the lid too far since it sounds like the video ribbon has come loose and rather than being replaced it was only reconnected, problem with this being that if the connection was loose in the first place opening and closing the lid again would again pull the connector from the socket.

A "how to" video for checking/replacing the video cable here
HI! Thanks for the reply friend. I will look into this.

What do you think about the issue not occuring for a day after leaving the laptop off for some days and turning it on in relation to the problem being the video ribbon?
 
Joined
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Messages
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Was the lid of the notebook closed when it was not in use for those couple of days?

Video cables/ribbons can become loose through nothing more than the lid being opened and closed when used on a regular basis so care must be taken not to open the screen too far as this will definitely pull the connector out, they are not very robust I`m afraid.

You are welcome btw :)
 

slippinjimmy54

Thread Starter
Joined
Oct 18, 2020
Messages
10
Was the lid of the notebook closed when it was not in use for those couple of days?

Video cables/ribbons can become loose through nothing more than the lid being opened and closed when used on a regular basis so care must be taken not to open the screen too far as this will definitely pull the connector out, they are not very robust I`m afraid.

You are welcome btw :)

yes, the lid was closed and I did this twice and both times, when I powered it on, the issue didn't occur for around a day.

Guess my work around of opening and closing the lid wasn't really a work around lol
 
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Messages
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It is possible that the cable is a little too short or tight meaning that a good contact is being made and lost as and when the notebook is used - cools down/heats up and contracts/expands.

If safe to do so, the next time that you use the notebook, when going for a break or finished for the day, close Windows and power down as normal but leave the lid open until you need to use the notebook again and see what happens when you next boot up.
 

slippinjimmy54

Thread Starter
Joined
Oct 18, 2020
Messages
10
It is possible that the cable is a little too short or tight meaning that a good contact is being made and lost as and when the notebook is used - cools down/heats up and contracts/expands.

If safe to do so, the next time that you use the notebook, when going for a break or finished for the day, close Windows and power down as normal but leave the lid open until you need to use the notebook again and see what happens when you next boot up.
Thanks again for the info! I would look into it. I have a question though. What made you rule out the GPU/RAM and LCD?
 
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It was fixed by closing the lid and reopening it or putting it to sleep and waking it back up. Essentially, it was fixed by anything that made the screen turn off, even a timeout. At first it wasn't very frequent, but over time it became very frequent and I worked around it by closing and reopening every time it happened.
Closing/opening the lid causing a loose connection to be made and lost, if it were RAM or GPU related opening & closing the lid would be most unlikely to help, the tech will have needed to reseat the RAM meaning that it would not be loose & if it were GPU or driver related you would not be getting video on an external screen when you hooked the notebook up to one.

I did the LCD BIST test and it worked fine.
This 99% rules out your screen as being bad.
 

slippinjimmy54

Thread Starter
Joined
Oct 18, 2020
Messages
10
Closing/opening the lid causing a loose connection to be made and lost, if it were RAM or GPU related opening & closing the lid would be most unlikely to help, the tech will have needed to reseat the RAM meaning that it would not be loose & if it were GPU or driver related you would not be getting video on an external screen when you hooked the notebook up to one.


This 99% rules out your screen as being bad.
Thanks for the reply.

I would like to clarify that the closing and reopening of the lid worked as a workaround because when you close the lid, the screen turns off. Putting the laptop to sleep and waking it back up was also a workaround but it wasn't as fast.
 
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I would like to clarify that the closing and reopening of the lid worked as a workaround because when you close the lid, the screen turns off
It still flexes the video cable/ribbon and the only other thing involved is Windows which would not cause your notebook screen to look the way it does while still providing good quality video on an external screen.

If safe to do so, the next time that you use the notebook, when going for a break or finished for the day, close Windows and power down as normal but leave the lid open until you need to use the notebook again and see what happens when you next boot up.
Still your best option and we could do with knowing any outcome.
 

managed

Allan
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14,387
Have you told the 'tech' that the problem remains ? Whatever was done obviously hasn't fixed it.
 

slippinjimmy54

Thread Starter
Joined
Oct 18, 2020
Messages
10
Have you told the 'tech' that the problem remains ? Whatever was done obviously hasn't fixed it.
Thank for the reply.

Yes I have and basically he's tried everything possible and wants to test with a different screen but I haven't 'OK'd' yet.
 

slippinjimmy54

Thread Starter
Joined
Oct 18, 2020
Messages
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It still flexes the video cable/ribbon and the only other thing involved is Windows which would not cause your notebook screen to look the way it does while still providing good quality video on an external screen.


Still your best option and we could do with knowing any outcome.
Thanks. I appreciate all the help.

A bit unrelated but I read somewhere that it could be the digital signal cable. Is this different from the video ribbon/cable?
 
Joined
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Messages
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Can I ask where you read this.

Your notebook screen gets video from the graphics chip on the MB via an internal video cable whereas digital signal cable are more associated with external video cables, display port and HDMI cables being two such cables.

Have you tried the test that was suggested yet, I`m not asking much for you to do so but you seem reluctant to try it for some reason :unsure:
 

slippinjimmy54

Thread Starter
Joined
Oct 18, 2020
Messages
10
Can I ask where you read this.

Your notebook screen gets video from the graphics chip on the MB via an internal video cable whereas digital signal cable are more associated with external video cables, display port and HDMI cables being two such cables.

Have you tried the test that was suggested yet, I`m not asking much for you to do so but you seem reluctant to try it for some reason :unsure:
I read it on the DELL community forum while looking for people who had similar problems.

I got lost initially when you mentioned 'test', then I went through previous messages, and saw that you said to turn off the laptop at the close of work, leave the lid open, power it on the next day and observe. This is what you mean right? I totally forgot about it. Sorry about that. I'll do it and tell what I observed after.
 

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