crazy colored lines on Dell Inspiron N5110 laptop screen (random)

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crazy colored lines on Dell Inspiron N5110 laptop screen (random)
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lmf413
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May 25, 2013 - 9:39 pm
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I've had this Laptop since last July. It started having this problem a few of months ago. Averaged about 2-3 times a week, sometimes more often or not as often. Only thing I could do was use power button and turn it off. After doing remote control with dell tech where I provided a video and still shot hooked up via my iphone (as I said, it is random and can't be reproduced at will), they had me send it in to their repair depot. They reformatted/or replaced the hard drive and reinstalled windows, I received it back with the usual "we believe the issue has been corrected" BS. Within 2 days, it did the same thing. I was pretty ticked that it wasn't fixed and I had to go through the hassle of updating everything and reinstalling all my programs and settings.This time they sent an in-home tech who replaced the motherboard (and of course the video card) and the screen. This was last Monday 5/20. Yesterday, it started again. It's either very tiny thin multi-colored horizontal fast moving lines or large 1-2 in. multi-colored lines moving quickly. I'm beyond fed up. What else could be causing this? I don't do anything out of the ordinary, just email, surfing, etc. Since the warranty was to expire first of July, I purchased a 1 yr. hardware extended warranty.
Has anyone seen this problem before? No one at Dell said they had ever seen it before. The in-home tech even said he was 99% positive it was fixed. If anyone needs to see the video or still shot, I could provide that if someone can walk me through transferring from my iPhone pics to my computer. (sorry, I'm just a grandmother with little tech experience :(
Thanks for any thoughts on this,
Lisa

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Jim Hillier
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May 25, 2013 - 10:03 pm
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Just a grandmother?? My dear lady, that is just another of your many achievements!

Okay, from one grandparent to another,

What operating system are you running?

Had I not been privy to all the history and had you merely mentioned the symptoms, I would have said either faulty graphic card or faulty RAM. Seeing how Dell has replaced the graphic card, that leaves us with RAM. I am assuming Dell didn't replace the RAM?

How many RAM cards are installed in the laptop?

Cheers... Jim

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lmf413
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May 26, 2013 - 1:50 am
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Jim
Hello, fellow grandparent. Yes, Jim, "just" a grandmother with a 2 yr. old grandson and a 2 1/2 yr. old grandson and a 15 yr. old grandson (he's too cool to hang out with us). They do keep me busy! Soon as one leaves, seems the other gets dropped off. Thank goodness my husband is retired because I sometimes end up with both of the toddlers at the same time! Can't turn my back on them for 1 second!
I'm running windows 7 64 bit. It's got 6 GB of ram, but don't know how it's configured. Is it possible that could be the problem? Has an Intel Core i5-2450M Processor.
I'm hoping this may be a one time event since the in-home repair. But I'm not very confident of that being the case. :(

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Jim Hillier
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May 26, 2013 - 3:55 am
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"he's too cool to hang out with us"... LOL. Yes, they do get to that age don't they. Smile

6GB of RAM is a rather unusual amount for a laptop. There are generally just two slots and RAM is available in 1GB, 2GB, 4GB, etc. Perhaps there are two RAM cards installed, 1 x 4GB and 1 x 2GB. As far as I know, having uneven capacity RAM cards should not cause this issue. BUT: were both cards present when you purchased the laptop or has an additional RAM card been installed since?

Bottom line - I suspect faulty RAM.

Try running the laptop with just one RAM card, one at a time. If the laptop runs fine with one card but not the other, you will have identified the problem... a faulty RAM card.

You could also run diagnostics to check if the RAM is faulty or not. There is a tool built-in to Windows 7 especially for that purpose:

Go to Start>Control Panel>Administrative Tools. Locate and double click "Windows Memory Diagnostic". A new window will open; click on the option to "Restart now and check for problems (recommended)". The laptop will restart and the diagnostic tool will run.

There is also a very good free tool called MemTest86 which will check for faulty RAM, available for download here: http://www.memtest86.com/download.htm

Cheers... Jim

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blowman
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November 5, 2014 - 5:31 pm
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I had a similar problem with my Dell Latitude E5420 laptop. I changed the RAM from another computer and put it into this one (2x2GB DDR3 sticks). I tested the RAM with memtest, and it passed a one-pass test fine. However, twice I got system lockups with CRAAAZZZYYY (only way I can describe it) screen flickering of lines flashing all over the place in different crazy colors and stuff. Had to hard boot. I thought it might've been a bad connection to my power source, so I unplugged it, but got the crazy crash again after a while running on battery. I switched the RAM back to the previous set, and the problem hasn't come back. Based on this post, I am concluding that it could be some sort of problem with the RAM, though in my case I would have to say irritability or incompatibility, since the RAM passed a memtest.

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