Laptop screen flicker - overheating?

  wednesday 13 10:00 21 Feb 2012


I have had my laptop for about 3 years, and it has served well through extensive audio editing and gaming, and had never overheated on my once, but when my girlfriend started playing sims on it, she had the laptop on the bed blocking up all airflow causing it to overheat and conk out 3 times.

It has now started overheating on the odd occasion, and recently the screen has started flickering after prolonged or frequent use, or if I use a power consuming program (games etc). It doesn't appear to be a graphical glitch as the picture itself appears normal and there's no graphical slowdown, but the on screen picture itself starts jumping like made horizontally until I tap the computer itself, which seems to fix the issue temporarily, or sometimes if I close the program I was using.

My guess is that the processor needs the thermal paste replacing, and I regularly clean out the fan the best I can without dis-assembling the entire computer, which is what I would have to do to get to the processor, which is why I am reluctant to do so without knowing exactly what the issue is. My question is though, what could the problem be? Is it most probably the thermal paste needs replacing, or could it be a more serious problem?

  onthelimit1 10:20 21 Feb 2012

I would have thought more likely to be the graphics chip on the way out - thermal paste normally lasts for (almost) ever if the CPU isn't disturbed.

  T0SH 14:57 21 Feb 2012

The most common causes of laptop screen flicker relate to

Screen connector or ribbon cable faults

Faulty screen inverter or connecting cable issues

You can often get clues to the fault from where you tap to do a short term fix

If it is in the upper half rear of the screen it is most likely to be the first option above

Lower front would indicate the other

Cheers HC

  wednesday 13 19:25 21 Feb 2012

Thanks for your responses, it sound more likely to be screen inverter / connecting cables, and after looking to try and find a video of what it looks like that seems to be the more common case. I'll have a look and try cleaning the area out and checking connections.

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