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[SOLVED] Vertical colored lines at boot up

This is a discussion on [SOLVED] Vertical colored lines at boot up within the Laptop Support forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. My Dell 5150 has colored vertical lines on the screen at boot up. I can hear the windows XP login


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Old 01-07-2010, 09:10 PM   #1
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My Dell 5150 has colored vertical lines on the screen at boot up. I can hear the windows XP login tune play but only get vertical lines with a white background showing up on the screen. I hooked up an external monitor and it shows the same. The four lights on the front the left is on the 2nd from the left goes solid at boot up then flashed while windows loads. What can it be? Video card, mother board? How would I check then out?
Thanks for the help,
John

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Old 01-08-2010, 10:36 AM   #2
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If your seeing it on another monitor then it looks like its a graphics problem. The graphics chip is intigrated into the motherboard, so your looking at a new mobo.

Try this first :
Check to make sure your cooling path and fan are not blocked.
Remove and reseat your RAM sticks.
If you can, check to see if all yor heatsinks on the graphics chip and cpu are secure and tight.

Failing all this, the price of a new mobo is probably more than the laptop. Trying to find a good secondhand one may be a challenge.

Sorry for all the negatives dude.

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Old 01-08-2010, 03:58 PM   #3
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Thanks for the quick answer. I will try what you suggested and post back the results.
thanks,
John
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Old 01-08-2010, 09:42 PM   #4
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I took the keyboard off and tightened screws and pushed on the graphics card and the heatsink. then booted it up and the screen came back and it is running. I don't know for how long... I did get the files backed up.
Thanks,
John
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Old 01-09-2010, 01:45 AM   #5
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In most cases its the solder joints on the motherboard that go dry. It sounds like this is fault in your case and not the graphics chip.

There is a radical way you can fix this, its called reflowing the motherboard. I have recovered an Acer 1691 with graphic problems using this approach. The process requires you to remove the motherboard. Its a final solution kind of repair. It has a about 50% success rate.

Heres a video of how its done.

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Old 01-09-2010, 03:03 AM   #6
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Thats a nice trick Night Shift.

A friend has the same problem with her Dell and searching online I see that its a common problem on that particular laptop...its a video card problem.
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Old 01-09-2010, 03:28 AM   #7
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I have come across many problems with laptop black screens, restart cycling and graphic faults and in 80% of the case its the mobo its at fault and not the actual hardware.

You see laptops run hotter than PC's and the motherboard goes through expansion and contraction because of temperature. This in the electronics game is called thermal stress. As this is a physical property the solder joints on the motherboard start to loosen off (go dry) and cause the electronic circuits to go open circuit.

It all comes down to motherboard design and how people operate their laptop. The name laptop is missleading, cos if you put it on your lap, bed covers or carpet the cooling vent at the bottom gets covered and it will run hotter than it was designed for, and reduces its operating life.

Remember reflowing is a final solution.
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Old 01-25-2010, 12:55 AM   #8
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I replaced the video card and put the new drivers in and the dell 5150 now runs like it should. I had it on for about 4 hours and moved it all over the room and no issues. I will use it this week to be sure it is fixed but so far so good. I did run the Dell diagnostics disk and everything passed.
Thanks for all your help.
John
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Old 01-25-2010, 06:50 AM   #9
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I was not aware this model had a removable graphics card, which was good news for you. I wish all laptop manufacturers would fit removable graphic cards. Most lappys have integrated graphics chip, and if it goes bad its a mobo replacement ($$$$$$), unless a remelt is successful (probably <50% success rate).

Good luck John

Steve

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