Problem with garbled screen

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Information about the problem of a randomly garbled screen.

Problem description

The symptom is a totally garbled screen (on the internal display) as seen in these pictures.

This happens directly after starting up: even the BIOS splash screen is unreadable. The screen can stay garbled for a number of boots and then (seemingly random) it will be just fine right from the start.

It has furthermore been reported that there might be a relation between the temperature of the ThinkPad and the garbled screen, so that the display starts working fine when the ThinkPad has reached a certain temperature (like after 5 minutes of being powered on).

Affected Models

  • ThinkPad T40, T41

Affected Operating Systems

  • all

Status

It is probably a problem of the graphics circuitry. In any case, it's a hardware problem and warranty will apply.

Solutions

You can have IBM fix the problem if your ThinkPad is still in warranty.

One reported workaround is suspending to ram after powering on and leaving it on power. This way the screen might still be fine after wakeup. The moment when you cold boot again, keep the laptop at the garbled boot screen for about 5 minutes, then do a normal reboot and press your thumbs.