Laptop display problem

My 6-7 year old laptop’s display was acting weird - that’s my technical term for it. I’m not a hardware guy. The black horizontal lines appeared and disappeared “randomly”. I had to video it and pause the video when they appeared to get this screenshot.
After shutting it down and letting it “cool off” for several hours, the problem isn’t recurring. What seemed possibly software related was the area of weirdness seemed concentrated on the window that had focus and would move around with that window.
Wondering if anybody has any ideas or what you’d call this display issue. Hopefully, not time for a new laptop.
I’m running:
Operating System: Linux Mint 21.1
Kernel: Linux 5.15.0-71-generic
Architecture: x86-64
Hardware Model: Lenovo ideapad 300-17ISK
Device-1: Intel Skylake GT2 [HD Graphics 520] vendor: Lenovo driver: i915 v: kernel ports:
active: eDP-1 empty: DP-1,HDMI-A-1,HDMI-A-2 bus-ID: 00:02.0 chip-ID: 8086:1916
Device-2: Realtek Lenovo EasyCamera type: USB driver: uvcvideo bus-ID: 1-4:3
chip-ID: 0bda:57c5
Display: x11 server: X.Org v: driver: X: loaded: modesetting unloaded: fbdev,vesa
gpu: i915 display-ID: :0 screens: 1
Screen-1: 0 s-res: 1600x900 s-dpi: 96
Monitor-1: eDP-1 model: AU Optronics res: 1600x900 dpi: 106 diag: 438mm (17.2")
OpenGL: renderer: Mesa Intel HD Graphics 520 (SKL GT2) v: 4.6 Mesa 22.2.5 direct render: Yes
All updates/upgrades had been completed and there are no driver updates available.

I have a laptop that sometimes will not power up. If I let it “cool off” for some time it recovers. I have concluded mine has some hardware fault in the power supply.

Just wondering if your issue is similar.
Does the fault occur on battery or on plugin power?
If you think it is overheating, you might try giving it a clean if it has air vents.

Your symptoms point to graphics software.
You might try changing some settings… eg in the browser disable GPU acceleration.
You might try an external monitor if you can arrange one.
You might try another distro… just use a live dvd or flash drive… dont bother with an install
Basically , you need to do a few things, to try and help with a diagnosis.

Do you get the screen effects while it is booting? … or just after Mint runs?



Thanks for the ideas and suggestions Neville!
It was plugged in and is almost always plugged in and running.
If/when it happens again, I’ll test some of your ideas.
Guess I’m just glad the response wasn’t “buy a new laptop NOW” or, you need to switch to Arch. :wink:


What I see on the picture makes me remember of a videocard with a defect RAM.
So this is a laptop, replacing video card is not an option.
The error occurs only when it’s warm, when it’s cool, it works OK.
I suspect, the main cause can be heat expansion and some loosy contact, which makes some connections unreliable - either at cable connectors, or at board solderings.
If it’s cable, you may be to able to fix it on your own: disassemble, clean connections, reassemble.
I’d look for the connection, where the LCD is attached to the motherboard.
If it’s solderings, it’s not fixable at home.
Probably “reballing” is the solution.

It’s a very complex opearation, and it’s not always successful.
Look for a service near you, who can do this thing.
Over here we have a dozen of such service stations, which can do this.
If the operation succeeds, the laptop will work for years long flawlessly.
Well, if not, then look for a new laptop.

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Thank you László!
I appreciate your response!
I was afraid that it might have been heat related. Per Neville’s suggestions, I’ve cleaned the fan area although it didn’t seem particularly dusty.
I guess I’ll have to wait and see if it happens again.

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To me it appear to be loose RAM connection, just remove the RAM, gently clean the contacts with a eraser and clean cloth. I think the problem shall disappear.

Best Wishes


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Hello, it could also be that the display ribbon cable has been damaged due to so many years of opening and closing the lid.


Thank you Ramakrishnan!

Thank you for taking the time to look at my post Sourav!

I have an HP laptop and occasionally get picture breakup as described. It changes with the angle of the lid which suggests ribbon cable problems but it also changes with the attitude of the whole laptop. I wonder whether the attitude sensor is sticking causing an intermittent signal which could cause the display to flicker.

Thanks Clive!
Fortunately, the issue hasn’t recurred.