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Screen problem or something more serious?

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My laptop works fine for a few minutes but then it suddenly stops responding and the screen becomes corrupted.

The screen dissolves into a pattern of blurred vertical lines which look like wrinkles in cloth. These wrinkles are usually coloured green but sometimes fade to grey or purple. Sometimes the whole screen fades to black or white and then the wrinkles reappear. At the same time, horizontal lines keep appearing and advancing jerkily down the screen in front of the wrinkles.

After I’ve turned the laptop off, it refuses to boot for a while. When I press the power button, the fan whirrs and the hard drive LED lights up, but the screen doesn’t come on and the hard drive makes no noise, which suggests that it isn’t actually working.

When the computer does eventually boot up, it works fine for a few minutes but then the screen goes crazy and the cycle begins again. The period for which it works before becoming corrupted decreases every time.

I’ve tried reseating the monitor cable where it attaches to the motherboard, but this hasn’t worked. I’ve also tried hooking up the laptop to another monitor: when the laptop screen became corrupted, the other monitor went blank (i.e. power LED flashing but screen entirely blank as if receiving no signal).

On the face of it, this looks like a monitor problem, but why should the computer stop responding to commands when the screen gets corrupted, and why does the computer refuse to reboot for a while after it’s happened?

Any help would be most appreciated. Thanks.

Hewlett Packard Pavilion zt1171, purchased 2002
Intel Mobile Pentium III-M 1.06GHz
Seagate Momentus 40GB HD422 (new in June)
Transcend 512MB SDRAM (new in September)

Windows XP Home
Microsoft Works Suite 2002

Edited by gc649, 29 November 2006 - 06:48 AM.

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