What can I do to slow down or prevent the death of my laptop screen?

Tina December 2, 2010
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My HP Compaq nw8440 laptop screen has started to turn reddish from the bottom left corner and up the left side. When I turn it on, about one third of the screen on the left has a reddish tone, but it gets better as the screen ‘warms up’, then only about 10% and a little more in the bottom left corner are affected.

The left is the ‘hot’ side of the laptop, as this is where the CPU and fan sit, right up by the screen. The fan has been cleaned and the surface hasn’t become very hot since, but the decay has started I guess.

Is there anything I can do to slow this down? Is the screen sentenced to death or is there a chance that it won’t get much worse? What is the possibility that it will stop working suddenly, i.e. should I prepare and get a TFT instantly?

Thank you very much for your help in advance!

  1. Josh Fox
    December 4, 2010 at 3:52 am

    Does the computer rest in the same spot for the majority of the time? If so, check to see if there is anything magnetic near that side and move it away. My wife's old monitor turned to a green tint in the same way you described because a speaker was too close to it.

    If this isn't the case and you think heat is the cause, you might want to check the heatsink and verify that the fan is working properly. If the vent is directional enough, you can use a narrow strip of a tissue to test this by seeing that it blows the tissue consistently. Also note that when cleaning the fan that it's important that the blades don't turn while the motor isn't running because if they turn too fast, such as with a can of duster or an air compressor, it will dislodge the shaft from the motor, or other harmful things, and stop working properly.

    No matter the case, once the display on a laptop starts to fail, it's always a good idea to start looking around for your replacement and start keeping a more regular backup of your important files for easier transfer if it's needed.

    • Tina
      December 5, 2010 at 6:16 pm

      Unfortunately, a magnet is nowhere close. The fan works fine, I cleaned it a while back, before the problems started and just cleaned it again.

      Either way, I guess I am lucky, the laptop has 3 years warranty and I bought it in January 2008. I bought and registered 3 years accidental damage protection, too. So I guess I can send it in to have it fixed. :D

      • Tilman
        December 5, 2010 at 6:25 pm

        Wow, just in time =)

  2. Tilman
    December 3, 2010 at 2:58 pm

    Sorry to hear, Tina, that your laptop is feeling sick :( As far as I know, those are exactly the first symptoms for the approaching death of the display. However, I would assume that the problem gets gradually worse. I don't think that it will all of a sudden stop working suddenly. I don't have any personal experience but that's what I have heard from others in the past. I am not aware of any ways to slow down or prevent its death, except maybe using an external monitor as much as possible in order to switch the laptop screen off.

    I would certainly start looking for a new laptop so that when the display finally dies, you are ready with your research (and price comparisons) to buy a new laptop. On the other hand, if the reddish tone doesn't disturb you, it might take a surprisingly long time before it finally dies, so maybe it will stay "enough" usable for many months or whatever. It of course depends on your needs if this is acceptable for you or not. But I must also say that I would assume that it also depends a lot on the particular model how long it stays in this "pre-death" state. Nobody except god knows how fast your screen will die :)

  3. Anonymous
    December 2, 2010 at 10:20 pm

    First thing I'd recommend is to reset the BIOS by unplugging the battery for a minute or so. Then plug it back in and see if your screen comes back.

    Well then uninstall your graphic card driver (nvidia?) and reinstal again.

    Try connecting a external monitor to your laptop. Just look for the VGA

    connector ( a monitor symbol ) in your laptop and connect it to the monitor.

    Note : If you failed to get display in monitor, then use the proper combination

    keys(like Fn+F5) to get display in the external monitor which is connected to the


    If you notice a display in the external monitor then there is a problem with the

    backlight bulb or the inverter in your laptop.