Laptop Picture Rolls & lines when hinges move

April 1, 2010 at 08:45:56
Specs: Windows Vista
Hello, I was hoping someone could help me diagnose a problem I am having with my laptop display. At any given time, the display picture will roll, have both vertical and horizontal lines running through it. I can get it to stop sometimes if I move the LCD on it's hinges into a different position-or this can sometimes make it worse. I have connected an external monitor and have absolutely no problems on that screen. The problem is only on my Laptop LCD. I have read here about a display assembly possibly causing this kind of problem, but was hoping to be sure before I bought any hardware or tried to figure out how to fix this problem. Can anyone verify that this sounds like a hinge/wiring problem? Are there any specific tests I can run to determine this? Thank you so much for any help.

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April 1, 2010 at 09:39:30
The wiring between the base of the laptop and the display is probably damaged, most likely near or at where it passes through the hinge area. That's a common problem with laptops after it has been used a lot. That wiring is relatively inexpensive and a frequently replaced item. You can do that yourself if you're handy and you have a Service manual to consult, or laptop repair places do that frequently and could do that for you. If the laptop is still under warranty, you can have it repaired for free by a laptop repair place.
You can delay that from happening in the future after that wiring has been replaced by not opening and closing the laptop when you don't need to.

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April 1, 2010 at 18:13:39
Thank you so much for the reply. I was wondering though, what do you mean by "the base" of the laptop? Do you mean that there is wiring running from the main board to the LCD and THAT is where the problem originates? Is this the "base" you are referring to? I am trying to picture where these wires are located. I know that they are literally coming out of the hinges, because I have taken the facing off of the monitor and see the wires coming out from there. If I tap on the wires I can create or stop the lines and rolling on the screen---which ever may be happening at that moment. One part of the wires exiting from the hinge is a thin wire that leads to the Inverter board (I am guessing) right at the bottom of the LCD in plain view, and the second part of that thin wire runs under the screen somewhere between the LCD case and the LCD itself.
If I follow the larger wire that splits off from this thinner one where they both exit the hinge, the larger one runs out from the case where the main board is housed. Can you tell me where you think this wire leads to? where would it originate--from the main board somewhere or from another piece of hardware connected to the main board?
Or is the "base of the laptop" the case itself?

I just want to thank anyone in advance, who may be able to help me diagnose this problem. I really appreciate your time.

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April 2, 2010 at 07:41:15
The base = the bottom part of the laptop that has most of the computer components on it or inside of it. The computer case is what the box most of the computer components are in for a desktop computer is called, but that's not commonly used for a laptop.
There is a small cable with several tiny wires inside it between the video adapter and the LCD display for the voltage inverter and the display - it has a connector you can unplug on both ends - at the video adapter or on the mboard elsewhere, and inside the frame of the lid, probably at the bottom just under the display screen. If the lid also has a wireless antenna for a wireless network adapter, there is a wire or pair of wires for that. If the lid also has a webcam and/or a microphone, there is wiring for that. All of that wiring passes through the hinge area. The more you open and close the laptop's lid, the more likely some of the wiring will eventually be damaged. All of the wiring for things in the lid has a connector you can unplug / plug in at least inside the laptop's base. Usually you must remove the bottom of the base in order to be able to unplug / plug in the connectors inside the base.

If you tell me what the brand and model of your laptop is, some brands have a free Service or Maintenance manual you can look at online or download at the brand's website to see what's inside the laptop and how to properly take it apart without damaging anything. If the brand doesn't have that on their web site, there are often similar manuals that can be found on the web for free or can be purchased for a small fee.

E.g. HP has such manuals online for most HP and Compaq laptops, Dell has such manuals online for most laptops, Acer, probably Toshiba, has no such manuals online but some can be found on the web.

The specific model of a brand name system is shown on a label on the outside of the case somewhere, or it can often be determined by going to the brand name's web site.

For Dell computers, they have a Service Tag number - the specific model can be determined by using that on their site, or can often be determined there automatically by you downloading some software. The Service Tag number should be on a label on the outside of the case, probably on the bottom on a laptop, on the back on a desktop, and is often also shown in the bios Setup.

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April 7, 2010 at 20:01:25
Dear Tubesandwires, I can't thank you enough for your detailed reply! I wasn't expecting so much help-I should have checked back sooner! I love this website! In answer to your question, my model is an ASUS N50VN. As to your reply, I think I understand what you are explaining. I have had my laptop disassembled (the top only) and I am familiar with the camera wires, the wireless wires, the microphone wires and the the inverter board at the base of the LCD. I have seen the bundled wires I think you are referring to and they are included in that bundle. They are wrapped together and go in a bunch (along with the wires exiting one side of the inverter board) into the left hinge. I don't see how they are crammed in there-- the bundle is very big, wrapped in black cloth tape and it DOES move as I open, close, and adjust the LCD on it's hinges. This is when the rolling and lines/colors appear on the screen. I have already seen that the camera wires are broken---at the top where they plug into the little camera board (not good ASUS! no wonder I have no color in my video!)
I understand you to mean the "base" as in the mainboard and the case? It sounds as if you mean that these groups of wires go through the hinge and plug into the VIDEO card? is that what you mean by video "ADAPTER?" I have an NVIDIA GEFORCE card if that helps. Not having opened the laptop up where the mainboard resides, I don't have a crystal clear understanding of where everything is. I have repaired my Toshiba when I've needed to, so I can visualize to a certain extent. I also understand you to say that the wires from the inverter board included in that assembly plug into something on the mainboard as well?
If you think replacing the wiring assembly would not be too hard, I will try doing that. Do you think I will have to get the assembly from ASUS? If I cannot find it there, is there somewhere else you can refer me to where I could find just what I need for this model?
Again, I am so grateful for your time. I love to repair my own computers because it helps me understand how they work and it saves me money. Thank you for helping me to do both! :)

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April 8, 2010 at 08:43:44
The term CARD is frequently mis-used.
Almost all computers have at least one video adapter, a.k.a. display adapter (that's what Windows uses in Device Manager), or graphics adapter - some standalone video chip or video capabilty built into the main chipset circuits that produces the video, but it is NOT a video CARD unless it is on it's own separate printed cicuit board or module and plugs into a slot on the mboard, or on a laptop, it may plug into some other connector attached to the mboard, and a CARD is REMOVABLE

Most laptops, except for a few high end ones that are a LOT more expensive, DO NOT have a video CARD. A CARD is REMOVABLE. Usually the video adapter is built into the motherboard and cannot be removed.

The same applies to other adapters built into the mboard - "onboard" adapters - network, sound, usb, firewire, bluetooth adapters,etc.,etc.

As I interpret it, technically, anything you plug into ports on the outside of the case is NOT a CARD either !

This problem regarding wiring that passes through the hinge area affects all laptops.

If you search on the Asus web site, they may have a free Service or Maintenance manual or similar you can look at online or download for your model or model series, that will tellyou what you need to know. If they don't have that, you can often find such on the web, for free, or for a modest fee, or, sometimes, merely enough info for you to be able to unplug the wiring to the display etc. in the lid properly inside the base of the computer. I haven't opened up many laptops,but the ones I have opened up
- require you remove the bottom part of the base case to be able to unplug that wiring from the mboard
- had the voltage inverter inside the the lid under the bottom of the display - it could also be inside the base.

If you find a Service or Maintenance manual or similar you may find the part number for the various wiring / wiring bundles in that, and if so, you can search on the web using that or those part numbers.
If not,most laptops have more than one possible mboard that can be installed in the same model series case, and may have more than one possible part number for the wiring / wiring part number. There MAY be part number labels attached to the wiring /wiring bundles If not, you may need touse your specific modelnumber,not the modelof the series,tofind the proper part number you need.

If you can't find the info you need, replacing the wiring to the lid and replacing a voltage inverter, is a job laptop repair places frequently do - any place that is certified to repair Asus laptops will be able to do it for you, or they will be able to order the proper parts for you.

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April 14, 2010 at 13:41:51
Thank you for the lesson on "adapters" and "video chips". I have built desktop computers, installing "cards," for video and other devices and I assumed laptops contained the same. It makes sense that the terms would be different. I will take your advice on how to obtain the correct wiring assembly for my laptop. I appreciate your time and your answers and for all of the information. I feel more educated and have some direction as to what steps to take next in fixing this problem. I am very grateful to you, Tubesandwires!

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April 14, 2010 at 18:56:40
You're welcome to our help.

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