PC Random Grey Screen with lines

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!
 

Kshipper

Posts: 229   +36
TechSpot Elite
I see you are trying everything that involves not taking it apart. You are going to have to replace that screen. Start by looking up a YouTube video or a IFixit guide on how to change the screen for your model of laptop (Moderate difficulty). Once you have the screen out (Take pictures of cable routing and taped things as you go, so you can tape them back in place) then you can see the actual manufacturer of the screen and part number and you can find a replacement on Amazon, Ebay, Aliexpress etc..

You are probably looking at a couple hours or so of your time and less than a $100 for a screen.

The best way to verify this is the way to go is easy: Find a regular screen for a PC and plug it into the laptops video out port which is going to be VGA on old laptops and more likely HDMI or mini HDMI on newer laptops. You should notice that the 2nd screen works fine when the main screen screws up. That 2nd video port is normally used for projectors or dual screen setups.
 
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I see you are trying everything that involves not taking it apart. You are going to have to replace that screen. Start by looking up a YouTube video or a IFixit guide on how to change the screen for your model of laptop (Moderate difficulty). Once you have the screen out (Take pictures of cable routing and taped things as you go, so you can tape them back in place) then you can see the actual manufacturer of the screen and part number and you can find a replacement on Amazon, Ebay, Aliexpress etc..

You are probably looking at a couple hours or so of your time and less than a $100 for a screen.

The best way to verify this is the way to go is easy: Find a regular screen for a PC and plug it into the laptops video out port which is going to be VGA on old laptops and more likely HDMI or mini HDMI on newer laptops. You should notice that the 2nd screen works fine when the main screen screws up. That 2nd video port is normally used for projectors or dual screen setups.
Hi! thanks for the reply friend.

I had already verified that on my TV via HDMI and I thought the same as you but having run the DELL LCD built in slef test and not having any problems, I started to doubt. Started doubting even more when I realised that the issue didn't occur for a day after I left the PC off for 2-3 days and powered it on after. What do you think of this?
 

Kshipper

Posts: 229   +36
TechSpot Elite
I only speak from experience. I do a good amount of laptop repair in my shop. I agree with you, that it is very inconsistent. I have tired partially closing the lid (thinking loose connection) ....nothing could make it happen but when I had faith that it has to be the monitor I was right 100% of the time. I would change out the screen and the customer never came back in all cases I have seen this.
 
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I only speak from experience. I do a good amount of laptop repair in my shop. I agree with you, that it is very inconsistent. I have tired partially closing the lid (thinking loose connection) ....nothing could make it happen but when I had faith that it has to be the monitor I was right 100% of the time. I would change out the screen and the customer never came back in all cases I have seen this.
Thanks again for the reply!

I have a question! What made you rule out the GPU/RAM ?