Article ID : S700023613 / Last Modified : 22/07/2019Print

VAIO - Troubleshooting for lines/spots on the display

    This article enables you to determine the cause of
    • bright or dark spots
    • vertical or horizontal lines
    difficulty rating Difficulty rating:
    time needed Time needed:
    10 minutes activity

    Bright or dark spots in the image

    These spots can have various causes, but have the common characteristic that the image is completely visible. To identify what the cause of the spots in question is, proceed as follows:

    1. Shut down the computer normally and wait for it to be completely off
    2. Search for the spot or spots you noticed on the display, change your position relative to the notebook and use reflected light to see if the area where you noticed spots does look different than the rest of the display.
      1. If you cannot see the spots without the display being on, there are two probable causes:

        1. The spot or spots you noticed could be part of the image that is being displayed.
          Please verify if it is really visible independant of the content being displayed.

          Figure 1 - Image with color gradient

        2. The spots you noticed may be areas that are illuminated more or less than the rest of the display by the display's backlight. A LCD display itself is not luminous and requires illumination behind it to function normally. The display's backlight which may be one more more flurescent light bulbs or LED clusters is never perfectly even. Variation in brightness visible on a dark screen is normal.

          Figure 2 - Backlight 

        No action can be taken for either cause, since it is either the displayed image itself or the display design and not a fault.

      2. If you can see these spots without the display being on, there are two possible causes:

        1. Damage to the surface coating of the screen, either by scratching or by use of chemical cleaners.

          Figure 3 - Damaged surface coating

        2. Impact damage or pressure damage to the display

          Figure 4 - Impact damage

        This damage is due to improper use of the display and is not covered by the VAIO's warranty. Please contact VAIO support if you want to arrange a repair.

    Vertical or horizontal lines on the display

    To verify if lines in the image (see example below) are caused by a hardware problem, please proceed as follows:

    Figure 5 - Vertical Lines
    1. Shut down your VAIO if it is powered up
    2. Start the computer by pressing the power button once
    3. Press the F2 key repeatedly when you see the VAIO logo on the screen to enter the BIOS
    4. You should see a screen similar to the example below.

      Figure 6 - BIOS main tab

      If the lines are visible while this screen is being displayed, the cause of the problem is a hardware issue. This may be due to minor impact damage on the display or a problem with the connection between the graphics card and the display.
    5. To leave the BIOS after this test, use the arrow keys to navigate to the Exit tab, choose Exit and confirm with the Enter key.

    More generally, for such or similar issues, The first thing to check, is whether the issue appears only in Windows, or also in the BIOS.

    The problem appears both in Windows and in the BIOS

    Note: the BIOS is a pre-boot environment, which can be accessed by pressing the F2 button multiple times directly after starting the VAIO.

    This is a hardware issue which may require a repair.
    Please contact VAIO support to determine further steps. Your VAIO's serial number will be required to view contact details.

    The problem does not appear in the BIOS, but only in Windows

     The issue may be caused eg by a corrupted graphics driver.  In this case, appropriate troubleshooting steps include:

    • Reinstall the graphics driver.  Reinstalling a separate driver can be done through the VAIO Recovery Center options.
    • Check for driver updates. Especially graphics driver and BIOS updates are related to this.
    • If the problem started recently, restore the system to a date before the problem started.
    • Check Device Manager for
    • Run a complete system recovery.  Instructions for this can be found in the Troubleshooting and Recovery Guide that came with your VAIO.  It can also be located in the Documentation section.

    If none of the above steps solved the issue, please contact VAIO Link for support.  A repair may be required.

    The problem appears only in a specific application

    Check system requirements of the application, and compare with your VAIO's specifications if the program should work.
    Check if the application is compatible with your Operating System.
    Check on the application's homepage, whether there is an updated version which may solve your specific problem, or whether there is a known issue for certain environments.

    NOTE: if you feel like your display-related problem is not covered by this article, please do not hesitate to provide detailed feedback, and we will assess if the content of the article should be updated.

    Depending on the cause of the problem, this may not be covered by the VAIO's warranty. Please contact VAIO support if you want to arrange a repair.