Laptops are generally more prone to problems pertaining to their screens than desktop computers. Since that is the case, quite a few laptop users wake up one day to find that there are one or more vertical lines on their laptop’s screen. Unlike a desktop computer’s monitor, a laptop’s screen is actually a part of its body, which is why this problem can be the root of quite a lot of grief. Vertical lines on your laptop’s screen can either be caused by a software problem or a hardware problem. However, fear not as there is a pretty good chance that you will be able to fix your laptop on your own regardless of whether it is caused by a software problem or a hardware problem.
How to find out if the problem is software-related or hardware-related:
Before you actually take any measures to fix the vertical lines on your laptop’s screen, though, you will need to determine whether the issue is software-related or hardware-related. Luckily for any and all laptop users seeing vertical lines on their laptop’s screen, this is pretty easy. All you need to do is restart your laptop and, at the very first screen that you see, press the specific key that gets you into your computer’s BIOS settings. This key depends on your laptop’s manufacturer and can be found not only in your laptop’s user manual but also on the first screen you see when your computer boots up.
Since your laptop’s BIOS is technically not a part of its Operating System, if the problem is software-related, you will not see any vertical lines on your laptop’s screen while you are in the BIOS. However, if you do see vertical lines on your laptop’s screen while you are in its BIOS, the problem is hardware-related.
How to fix the problem if it’s software-related
If you determine that the problem is software-related, the most probable cause is incompatible or outdated display drivers. Thankfully, if that is the case, fixing the problem will be pretty straightforward. All you need to do is:
- Go to the official website of the manufacturer of your laptop’s motherboard or graphics card.
- Navigate to the website’s Support/Downloads page.
- Search for all available drivers for your laptop.
- Download the latest available versions of your laptop’s display drivers.
- Install the display drivers.
Restart our laptop. Check if the problem has been solved once the laptop boots up.
How to fix the problem if it’s hardware related
If you determine that the problem is hardware-related, there are a couple of ways that you can use to try and fix the issue, but both of them require you to open the laptop up by removing its faceplate. A laptop’s faceplate is pretty easy to remove and, once removed, grants access to the laptop’s screen. To remove a laptop’s faceplate, look for the soft, small, circular, black-colored sponge-like things on the screen’s bezel. Remove these sponge-like elements, and you will uncover screws. Unscrew all of the screws you find, set them aside (preferably somewhere safe) and then gently pry the faceplate apart from the laptop’s body. Make sure that you are extra careful and gentle while prying the faceplate apart so as to not break such a fragile part of your laptop.
Method 1: Open the laptop up and tinker around with the screen
Remove the laptop’s faceplate and just tinker around with it to see if you can find the issue. Apply pressure on or relieve pressure from certain points around the screen, especially those above and below the vertical lines to see if you can find the root of the problem. If applying pressure on or removing pressure from certain points around the screen gets rid of the vertical lines, come up with a more permanent solution such as placing a thick piece of cardboard under the point that needs to have pressure applied to it or beneath the point that needs to have pressure relieved from it.
Method 2: Replace the laptop’s ribbon cable
If you can’t figure out what is causing the problem by using Method 1, there’s a good chance that the problem is the ribbon cable that connects your laptop’s screen to its motherboard. Over time, this cable can become worn out and even crack (especially on the hinges because of the laptop being opened and closed), causing lines to appear on the screen. A replacement ribbon cable won’t cost more than $25 and can be easily installed.
All you need to do is remove the laptop’s faceplate, remove the old ribbon cable and replace it with the new one. In most cases, one end of the ribbon cable goes into a port on the laptop’s screen and one goes into a port on its motherboard. In some cases, there may also be a third end of the ribbon cable that goes into the laptop’s inverter. Make sure that you completely remove all of the laptop’s power sources before starting this procedure. Once done, close the laptop up, reconnect it to a power source and boot it up to see if the problem has been fixed.
If none of the methods listed and described above work for you, it would be best for you to have your laptop looked at and repaired professionally, especially if it is still under warranty.