Problem with horizontal lines across screen on boot

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  1. Steve C's Avatar
    Posts : 6,504
    Windows 10 Pro 64 bit
       #21

    This looks like a hardware fault. Check the cable as suggested or you may have a faulty GPU. What do you see in the BIOS screen?
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  2. SaggyMaggyPoo's Avatar
    Posts : 241
    Win 10 64bit
    Thread Starter
       #22

    Steve C said:
    This looks like a hardware fault. Check the cable as suggested or you may have a faulty GPU. What do you see in the BIOS screen?
    Don't see anything untoward in the BIOS, though to be honest, I have no idea what I might be looking for.

    Currently, the battery has been removed, and we will see how that goes for a while before trying anything else.
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  3. TV2's Avatar
    TV2
    Posts : 1,778
    W10 Pro 20H2
       #23

    Recently I had a laptop here that I was working on that had that problem: the horizontal lines during startup.
    I had determined that when the laptop was running on the basic Windows graphics driver that would happen. When I enabled/installed the Intel graphics driver it went away.

    I was changing and testing various graphics drivers to try and solve a Sleep problem. So as part of this I disabled the Intel graphics device in Device Manager and restarted. That is when I saw the artifacts. They also occurred when I uninstalled the Intel (HD3000) graphics driver in safe mode.

    There are actually 3 graphics 'drivers' in a laptop.
    One is built in to the system board so you can see the BIOS screens before any operating system is installed or initiated.
    Windows has a generic driver that it can use when no dedicated driver is installed or you are in Safe Mode.
    And a dedicated driver is installed to enable all of the features of your processor's graphics.
    (And if you had a dedicated graphics chip in your laptop there would be a 4th)

    It could be that the dedicated Intel graphics driver is not loading correctly and you are actually running on the generic Windows driver.
    (Note; just because this happened on my one laptop does not automatically mean it is what is going on with yours).

    For a first check, find and open the Intel Control Panel for graphics. Check all the settings to see if the Intel driver is actually running.
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  4. Try3's Avatar
    Posts : 8,345
    Windows 10 Home x64 Version 21H1 Build 19043.1052
       #24

    TV2 said:
    There are actually 3 graphics 'drivers' in a laptop.
    One is built in to the system board so you can see the BIOS screens before any operating system is installed or initiated.
    According to the OP's description of the problem, it is this built-in system that is malfunctioning.

    Denis
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  5. TV2's Avatar
    TV2
    Posts : 1,778
    W10 Pro 20H2
       #25

    Yes, agreed.
    But it is curious that on the system I was working on that it went away once the Intel HD3000 driver was enabled or installed.
    I'm wondering if there is some 'hand-off' from the system graphics to the OS graphics, and this is where the artifacts occur.
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  6. SaggyMaggyPoo's Avatar
    Posts : 241
    Win 10 64bit
    Thread Starter
       #26

    Steve C said:
    This looks like a hardware fault. Check the cable as suggested or you may have a faulty GPU. What do you see in the BIOS screen?
    In your earlier post where you mentioned the cable, you said you had to disassemble the whole laptop to deal with this. That would be way above my skillset and confidence level I'm afraid.

    Could you explain a bit more about your 'faulty GPU' comment please. Is this something I can check out further?
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  7. SaggyMaggyPoo's Avatar
    Posts : 241
    Win 10 64bit
    Thread Starter
       #27

    TV2 said:
    Yes, agreed.
    But it is curious that on the system I was working on that it went away once the Intel HD3000 driver was enabled or installed.
    I'm wondering if there is some 'hand-off' from the system graphics to the OS graphics, and this is where the artifacts occur.
    Thanks for your clear explanation, and suggestion. The last boot up there were no lines, and the Intel Graphics Settings says the 'Processor in Use' is the Intel one. I assume this is what you meant? It's in the 'Options and Support/Information Center' section.

    Will have a look next time we see lines on boot up and see if there is a difference.
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  8. TV2's Avatar
    TV2
    Posts : 1,778
    W10 Pro 20H2
       #28

    Another way to check and see which graphics adapter is running:
    Right click desktop > Display Settings > scroll down > Advanced Display Settings
    _
    Problem with horizontal lines across screen on boot-screenshot-2021-02-06-085115.jpg
    _
    Depending on your comfort level, you could perform an experiment and disable the Intel HD 4000 graphics adapter, restart, and look to see if the artifacts happen.
    Go into Device Manager > Expand Display Adapters > Right click on the Intel HD4000 > Disable this device > Restart
    After the experiment, re-enable the adapter.

    The purpose of this would be to try determine if this is a hardware or software problem (hardware being something like a bad cable). If you can determine cause and effect by switching adapters then that will at least point in the right direction.

    This is a common and usually safe test. The laptop should run just fine on the built in Windows driver on restart. But it is always a good idea to prepare for an unforeseen problem in advance. Create a System Restore Point before starting the test, or better, do a disk image backup. That way you have a way back.
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  9. Steve C's Avatar
    Posts : 6,504
    Windows 10 Pro 64 bit
       #29

    SaggyMaggyPoo said:
    In your earlier post where you mentioned the cable, you said you had to disassemble the whole laptop to deal with this. That would be way above my skillset and confidence level I'm afraid.

    Could you explain a bit more about your 'faulty GPU' comment please. Is this something I can check out further?
    Taking the laptop apart was fairly easy since Dell publish free service guides. It's possible for the GPU to have a faulty chip or solder connection. In the latter case you can try baking a separate GPU in the oven since there is a slim chance that will fix a poor solder joint. Otherwise, a new GPU is needed,
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  10. SaggyMaggyPoo's Avatar
    Posts : 241
    Win 10 64bit
    Thread Starter
       #30

    Am closing this thread now. The problem isn't solved but it is so intermittent that it is difficult to ddress. Plus there have been some excellent suggestions regarding hardware checks and replacements, that sadly go beyond my confidence level. Thanks to everyone who offered advice and guidance.
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