Troubleshooting screen flicker

I was going to title this article, "The case of the flickering LCD" but I figured I just title it something simple and to the point. Plus, that title kind of sounded like the article might be related to some criminal activity or some Sherlock Holmes type is what happened:

I recently came across an HP laptop that had an LCD that would flicker after a few minutes of being turned on. It was on a docking station, plugged into a power strip with the original A/C adapter for the docking station. So I began trying to troubleshoot the issue and began narrowing down what I could to determine if there was a power issue or an LCD issue. It really could only be either one of those problems, there is not much else that can cause a screen to flicker.

So, I first decided to troubleshoot the power situation. I removed the laptop from the docking station and at the same time, decided to plug the laptop directly into a wall outlet with the original laptop A/C adapter (not the docking station one). Result: LCD still flickers. The only common item at this point is the laptop. I tried another wall outlet, no help. I tried another A/c adapter, LCD still flickered.

Next step, I took the laptop to a completely different area in the office.....guess what, it stopped flickering. (Don't get too excited yet). I proceeded to get with our office maintenance to have them check the cubicle for electrical issues. They actually came back to tell me that they found some loose wires which they repaired. (Again, don't get too excited). I tried the laptop again at the client's desk....LCD began to flicker again, but not right away like before.

To make a long story short......when the laptop was at my desk, it did eventually flicker, it just took longer. Not sure why. After waiting 45 minutes or so, it did begin to flicker. So, my last option was to assume that there was an issue with the LCD. One interesting thing is that the laptop LCD NEVER flickered while it was on battery power!!! Very interesting and HP had no idea about this.

The solution that HP stated they repaired was the LCD, a fan (not sure which one) and they replaced the laptop battery. Luckily, all of this was still covered under warranty.

Do you have any laptop LCD flicker stories?


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