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Dell LCD monitor has flashing lines, color distortion; random

I have a 1 yr. old Dell Inspiron 530 LCD flat monitor. Unfortunately, warranty ran out just before we started having this problem, so no technical assistance. (Do they plan these things?!) The screen started getting little horizontal lines through it, sometimes all the way across the screen, sometimes just in little portions. They flicker and seem to steadily grow worse over time, distorting the colors and the visibility, but it is pretty random. Some web pages will look awful, some will show up just fine. Sometimes only a photo on the page is hard to see or distorted. When I scroll down, the flickering, distorted portion seems to follow the picture or the area of the page, rather than staying on the same spot on the screen (does that make sense?). At one point, it got so bad that I quit using the computer. Eventually I disconnected the screen, hooked it up to our other computer, and it seemed to be fine. So, I brought it back to the original computer, hooked it up, and it worked fine again...for a while. Now the same problem is starting to happen again. The problem seems to be worse with colors rather than a white portion of the screen, but is not limited to colors. It also seems to grow worse the longer the computer is on, but that may be in my head. It just seems like times that I've ''given the screen a rest'' it takes longer before the problem starts to occur again. As an example, right now this page I am typing on shows up just fine. I have another window with Google Earth running, and if I open that, it looks a lot worse, with lots of flickering and lines running through it. SP2008WFPt is the model number on the back of the screen, in case that helps. I don't know the exact ''name'' of the screen (can't find the paperwork right now). I have tried changing the resolution and the refresh rate in the past, and that seemed to do nothing or make the problem worse. I also tried messing with the buttons on the front of the monitor, but not really being sure what all of them were for, I experienced an understandable lack of help from that also. I never had success connecting with the blue VGA cable, so I've always used the white DVI cable? Any ideas? Should we just start looking for a new monitor? I am not the most computer-literate, so make any answers clear enough with explanations I can understand.

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  • memcord Jan 07, 2009

    Thanks for the advice. I tried what I could, but, "smooth scrolling" was already checked, I've never been able to get my other cable (the blue one--VGA??) to work at all (I did try that the other day--does something need to be reconfigured or something for the change to be made, or can I just plug it in and start 'er up?--that's what I did), and we have Vista on this computer. Does vista use restore points? If you do a restore point and you have saved things on the computer since the restore point time, will they disappear? Maybe we'd better start looking for a new monitor. :( Thanks again for your help.



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I'm not an expert but I will give you a couple suggestion, who knows might help might not. It's worth shot.
First open your internet explorer, when webpage comes up, go to the top of you screen and click Tools, Internet Options, Advanced, scrool down under the list marked Browsing, put a check in the box next to "Use smooth scrolling." And try it again.
The next thing is try you other cord, it could be your video card.
If it works good on the other computer, chances are, The comupter is the problem.
If the computer has Windows XP on it you could try a restore point.
Go to Start button, Click All Programs, Accessories, System Tools, System Restore, Click on one of the Dates that would be, before you remember having the problem, click next, let the computer reboot. And, see what happens then.
Hope that helps some...

Posted on Jan 07, 2009

  • YosemitySam Jan 10, 2009

    It really does sound like your video card to me. You used it on the other computer? How long did you use it on the alternate computer? What I think happend is, the video card is getting heated up and starting to fail. When you first start the computer after being off for awhile the monitor works fine until the card gets heated up. If you have access to a friend or relatives monitor, try thiers first. You could buy a monitor and still have the same problem. Video card aren't that much, $25 to $35 for a good cheap one. But, putting it in might not be something you wan't to try. Vista does have restore point,

    Go to Start

    Select All Programs

    Select Accessories

    Select System Tools

    Select System Restore

    Click the Next button

    Select the option titled: Choose a different restore point

    Click the Next button

    Select a date and time that you would like to restore your computer to.

    Click the Next button to begin the restoration process.

    In the confirmation message, select Yes.

    It does not delete any saved work, documents, or pictures. But, I would save anything you would like to keep to dsc, or flash ect... Just incase, it is always good to save your work to hardcopy before doing any restores, hardware upgrades, software installs, sometimes things get corrupted.

    As far as any reconfiguring, you should be able to just hook it up and let her go.

    If it is the video card you can order them online at,,, just to name a few.

    If you let me know the model computer you have, I will see if I can help you find a few that will work and send you some links.



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