My Dell 600M is around 4 years old and the screen now gets fuzzy after being powered up for around 10-15 minutes. The fuzziness is lines that are both horizontal and vertical. It is usually preceded by the laptop getting very hot (sometimes too hot to touch underneath near the RAM.) The process is accelerated when I play video and it is completely stopped when I use the laptop on top of a big cooling fan. When I attach an external screen the fuzziness shows up on both screens. I tried removing a stick of RAM to no avail. I have also cleaned out the parts inside. Thanks for your help.
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Have you updated the video driver in the laptop, there have been cases where the screen gives a variety of symptoms because the driver was outdated, if that fails! as crazy as this sounds do a fresh install of your operational system. I serviced a laptop with a flickering screen, I reloaded windows and got rid of the problem.
There are a few things to consider, and your input has validated this...
If you see this on the laptop and an external monitor, it's not your display screen on the laptop. It sounds like your graphics card.
If your system seems to work for a few minutes, but then fails after a while, it sounds like you might have a heat issue where either the cpu or the video card isn't able to disburse heat well enough, so it corrupts your system, regardless of how you're viewing it.
See if you can use a nozzle attachment from your Vac and **** out the crud, get a can of compressed air and see if you can blow out the vents around the fan and laptop, and then try the Vac again.
I've seen laptops from owners that have "cake" in their vents.
Lastly, consider updating your bios. Go to Dell and put in your service tag and get the updated bios for your machine. Sometimes follow-up versions of bios releases have enhancements to laptop cooling. Dell is notorious for coming out with cooling fixes AFTER the product is released.