Display problems, but not in Safe Mode?

  songbird72884 17:25 09 Nov 2011

For the past couple of weeks, my laptop (a Fujitsu Siemens Amilo PA 2548) has been behaving erratically with regard to its display.

It started a little over two weeks ago when, out of the blue, when I booted the computer, instead of a normal screen I was instead faced with a plain white one, the right half of which gradually faded to a dark grey. After forcing a shutdown and rebooting several times, to no avail, I began to ask around and was told varying things, ranging from it being a problem with the inverter, to a screen problem, to the graphics card. Since then, it had begun to respond occasionally, booting into Windows normally, but I had to keep it in Sleep Mode overnight as it was a shot in the dark as to whether it would boot up again if I shut down completely.

In the last day or two, it's developed a new behaviour in which it will run normally, but then the screen will freeze, flicker, and then suddenly 'jump' as if beginning to work again, only to take on an appearance as if someone has wiped the screen from side to side or top to bottom (or vice versa). After a few episodes of this, it stopped booting normally completely and instead boots (in Normal Mode) to a black screen. The outline of the taskbar appears, though without the clock or start menu, as does the outline of any menus that would normally appear if I click on where I assume anything to be (eg the start menu). Nothing works as such, and the Task Manager doesn't appear at all, which means I have to force a shut down and restart in Safe Mode.

The odd thing is, when I boot into Safe Mode, everything seems to function correctly, though obviously with the usually Safe Mode limitations. I'm pretty much a novice when it comes to this sort of thing, but as I've been quoted £60 just to have a look at the computer, I'd like to have an idea of what may be wrong before I dish out the money, in case it's something I can fix myself.

Thanks in advance everyone!

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 18:16 09 Nov 2011

If OK in safemode then mostly explanation is the graphics driver is corrupt and an update or reinstall of the driver should cure that.

What version of windows?

  birdface 18:19 09 Nov 2011

Can you hook it up to an external monitor to see if you get the same problems.

Or maybe your graphics driver needs updating.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 18:24 09 Nov 2011

mostly = most likely

  songbird72884 18:28 09 Nov 2011

I've updated the graphics drivers (didn't realise until today that the drivers I had and was told were up to date weren't even Nvidia ones, which may have been the reason I've been told they were up to date for 3 years) and am now in Normal Mode, so at least I can boot into that, but I still had to contend with about 5 mins of attempts to boot and being faced with the white screen immediately, so I'm not sure that the graphics drivers are the chief problem.

I'm running it on Windows Vista Home, I believe, with an Nvidia GeForce 8400M graphics card, if that's of any help.

I've also attempted with another monitor, and although it won't work on my other laptop for some reason (neither will recognise the other's screen even though I've checked and they should), a friend checked with his own monitor and was able to bring up the display okay, though that was just after the initial issue, so I'm not sure if it still would.

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