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Laptop Screen Flickering and Pixel Stretching

by sterling9 / February 5, 2010 10:35 AM PST

So, I have a Compaq Presario F730US with Windows Vista, and recently I've been finding my computer has gone crazy. About three or four times I've found my screen displaying a weird pattern of tons of stretched lines that are multiple colors, but not really rainbow. One of those times I actually witnessed my computer suddenly stretch all of these random pixels and stuck like that. My desktop wallpaper was no longer even close to being discernible.

Now, my laptop has gone past crazy. It's insane. It has happened twice, and I was lucky enough to have my Flip nearby to catch it on video. First my screen goes all black for about five seconds, then whatever was last showing on the screen reappears and starts going... well, just watch the videos I posted to YouTube at the bottom. It's hard to describe. But on top of the screen doing weird things, it is frozen, so I can't do anything and I have to manually hold the power button to shutdown my computer.

Here are the videos. The first happened while I was on Facebook, and the second while I was getting ready to play Heroes of Newerth.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vqgNU2H-4JQ
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5YGJzYJ6vSA

Any help would be appreciated. I've backed up everything I can think of that I don't want to disappear forever, just in case my laptop dies for good.

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Sorry to read you have one of those.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 5, 2010 10:43 AM PST
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So basically my computer is living its final days?
by sterling9 / February 5, 2010 11:14 AM PST

Thank you for your response. What it sounds like you are saying is that my laptop is going to die. Am I right?

I took a look at the forum link you posted, and it says that the Nvidia chip sets that are failing are G84 and G86. Isn't that only the GeForce 8 series? Mine is the 6 series. The post in that forum also mentioned HP software updates for the cooling apparatus, but it seems it's only for Presario V3000's and V6000's. Is the assumption that my laptop's symptoms are essentially the same as these two examples, even though it isn't listed in either?

Basically, the bottom line is, is my computer fated to die? Or rather, is there any way to save it if it is dying? If it truly is a video chip set/ motherboard problem, then the cost to fix probably would be better put toward a new laptop.

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I'm seeing this on
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 5, 2010 11:20 AM PST

Too many dv6000s, dv9000s with 6100, etc series chips. The problem is so wide spread with thousands in pain so please excuse me if I generalize but not research everytime this issue is posted. It's an epidemic issue so if you are anywhere near or inside the warranty, make the call. And why not call anyway.

In closing did this machine get its yearly cleaning noted at http://forums.cnet.com/5208-19681_102-0.html?messageID=3196452&tag=forums06;posts#3196452

I ask because without this yearly cleaning the issue accelerates.
Bob

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No luck.
by sterling9 / February 5, 2010 11:38 AM PST
In reply to: I'm seeing this on

Well, it looks like the warranty was a one-year. My parents bought me this laptop from Staples for Christmas two years ago as of Christmas 2009. So it looks to be long expired. And as for the cleaning... well, let's just say I will make sure that I will be much more educated on laptop hardware care. I guess this will just be noted as a learning experience.

So no more warranty, and no cleaning. Anything else? You have been very helpful by the way. thank you very much. Fast response is great!

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Now that saved your files.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 5, 2010 11:44 AM PST
In reply to: No luck.

And KUDOS plus APPLAUSE for that. Many must learn this the hard way.

Ok, if you are ready, dive in and read the entire discussion I linked to from post 1 to what is there. You'll see links to a book which the author shares bonus material for members and it should take some of the mystery away.

At the top of the Cnet laptop troubleshooting forum is another fine collection about Toshiba dis-assembly. Yes I know you have another make but seeing others open it up helps you see what you are getting into.

There you are. Almost ready to open it up to do the following.

1. Dust and clean.
2. Push gently on all connections.
Bob

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I think I'm ready.
by sterling9 / February 5, 2010 12:00 PM PST

Okay, so this helps a bunch. Wow. Education goes a long way. Well, I guess that's why I'm going to college, isn't it? Haha.

I'm assuming the cleaning itself won't take too much time. I saw one of my dorm mates do it when his motherboard failed a couple weeks ago, and it didn't seem too complicated if one knows what they are doing. But I know the reading will take a good amount of time, so I'll probably get started with that tonight or tomorrow morning.

I know you are not saying this will guarantee problems solved or anything, but I hope this helps, and even if it doesn't it will serve as good practice for the future.

Again, thanks much, and I'll post any more questions or status updates to this thread.

Thanks VERY much,
Alex

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Okay. Am I ready?
by sterling9 / February 5, 2010 3:38 PM PST

Okay, so I read the forum link from your first post, all of it, and it will definitely be a good tool in the future, so I bookmarked it. I haven't read the "How to disassemble Toshiba laptops" thread yet, but I found a link for picture by picture (with description) instructions for disassembling my own laptop, the Compaq Presario F730US:

http://www.insidemylaptop.com/disassemble-compaq-presario-f700-notebook/

Before I go into this, I was wondering if it is actually necessary to do all of the things shown in that link just to get to a laptop's fan. Also, at the very bottom it mentions the use of an anti-static wrist strap. For a first-time cleaning, is that really necessary?

Obviously before I do any of this, I should backup my files. I've done my music, pictures, documents, and videos. Could there be anything else that I may need to backup?

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A static free area will do.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 6, 2010 12:59 AM PST
In reply to: Okay. Am I ready?

For years our repair area used SIMPLE cardboard covered bench tops with a quick spray of Downy. If we had carpet it got a spray too. In that work area we never threw a static bolt so I think it was good enough so that when they forget the strap, the other precautions helped.

First or later cleanings all need some thought about static. Only those that don't believe in ESD will write it is not a problem but it is your gear so your choice. I made mine.

-> About backup. We only lose what we didn't backup.

But it is unlikely we would lose the hard drive contents due to a dusting and cleaning. I carry this cable to get at most drives -> http://www.geeks.com/details.asp?invtid=2020

Hope this helps,
Bob

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Seriously?
by sterling9 / February 6, 2010 5:16 AM PST

There are people who don't believe in ESD? Wow. That's all I can say.

Okay, and one last question I think. The link you posted to the hard drive cable, what exactly would I be doing with it? I have a USB plug-in Seagate, ~480GB. What purpose does each serve in backing up the hard drive? Couldn't I just back everything up on my current external, or is the cable you suggested better? (Or is it used for something else?)

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What I use that cable for.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 6, 2010 5:45 AM PST
In reply to: Seriously?

It's for use when the owner forgot to backup. Or left something on the drive. I can use this cable on the drive to gain access even if the host machine has died.

It's not something you need today but it seemed you wanted to know.
Bob

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Good news. And bad news.
by sterling9 / February 7, 2010 2:58 PM PST

First the good news. Yesterday I successfully disassembled my computer and cleaned it. When I reassembled it, it continued to work as before. Just fine.

The bad news. A couple hours later it had another failure. It restarted just fine, but...

Today I was surfing the web most of the day shopping for computer hardware. I think I'm going to build my own computer soon as a replacement. However, even worse news than before is that about an hour ago my computer had ANOTHER seizure. And now when I turn it on, there is definitely power, and I think it is functioning properly, all except for the fact that nothing is showing up on the screen, and on top of that, it periodically restarts itself. The screen is black. Not black like you-can-tell-the-screen-is-on black, but the-screen-is-not-on-black. Is this the inevitable chipset failure?

I am currently posting using my friend's computer until my dad's laptop arrives that I am going to borrow for a bit.

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Which is following the normal trajectory of
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 7, 2010 10:56 PM PST

Look up and read post #2 where I call it out as another one of those. The black screen is typical of the final failure with everything you've written typical of how it progresses.

You gave it a good try but it followed the same storyline as some thousand other machine.
Bob

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