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Acer Nitro 5 AN515-51-55WL - Lines on screen, possible hardware issue

Thw0rtedThw0rted Posts: 20Member Troubleshooter
edited September 15 in Nitro and Aspire Gaming
I have a Nitro 5 (AN515-51-55WL) that we bought last November.  A few weeks ago it started showing some flickering black horizontal lines that cover the bottom inch or so of the display.  They appear when the computer is turned on, and usually start to disappear over time.  They go away from the top down, covering less of the display, until I can't see them anymore.  I booted to the UEFI / BIOS screen and still see the lines, so I'm confident it's not a software problem.  The laptop has not been dropped or damaged.


For reference, it's a US warranty but we bought it overseas on a US Army base, and would be getting it fixed here in Germany.  We have an extended warranty through the on-post store but I figured they'd probably like us to try to get support from the manufacturer first.

Best Answer

  • JackEJackE Posts: 17,398 Trailblazer
    Accepted Answer
    >>>picture on the TV is perfect.>>>

    Then it's likely either the LCD, its inverter board or its mainboard connection, not the graphics adapter.Jack E/NJ

«13

FAQ & Answers

  • JackEJackE Posts: 17,398ACE Trailblazer
    After the lines all disappear, what happens when you close the lid and immediately lift it back up again? Jack E/NJ
  • Thw0rtedThw0rted Posts: 20Member Troubleshooter
    JackE said:
    After the lines all disappear, what happens when you close the lid and immediately lift it back up again? Jack E/NJ
    Sorry I never got back about this, I did test this and it does not cause the display to change.  It does eventually fix itself, but open/closing the lid doesn't make that happen any faster.  I also tried a battery reset (30 seconds pressing the reset button with a paper clip without power, wait 5 minutes, plug back in) but that also made no difference.

    First we stopped using it for a month or so, then it stopped doing it at all for a while, then it was doing it but my daughter was off school for the summer so she didn't want to send it in and be without her "fun" computer.  Now that she's back in school I'd like to get it fixed.  Do I have to send it in for service?
  • The Acer service center in Germany can check the device for free and then you can choose whether or not to fix the device. However, there seems to be a problem with the edp cable. Can you check these two points?

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  • Thw0rtedThw0rted Posts: 20Member Troubleshooter
    Wow, thanks for such a quick response!  I'm comfortable poking around inside the system but want to make sure I don't invalidate the warranty.  Is it OK for me to open the system?
  • JackEJackE Posts: 17,398ACE Trailblazer
    Before you go poking around inside, does HDMI out to a TV screen show the same behavior? Jack E/NJ
  • I suggest you contact Acer technical support in Germany and ask how the international warranty works. However, I believe they will not accept, because the international warranty would only be valid if you were traveling outside the home country of the device, ie you should live in the United States. Also, as I informed you before, the Acer service center in Germany usually do a free device check as well.
    Check out colleague jacke's suggestion as well.
    Oi! Eu não sou sou a cortana! Mas estou aqui para ajudar! Hi! I'm not the cortana! But I'm here to help!
    Se você gostou da minha resposta, marque como solução clicando em sim! If you liked my answer, mark it as a solution by clicking on yes!
    Aceite somente a resposta que ajudou a solucionar o seu problema! Please accept only the response that helped to solve your problem!
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      egydiocoelho Trailblazer
     
    ProductKey clique aqui para descobrir o serial do windows! click here to discover the windows serial!
    Para usuários da comunidade inglesa, espanhola, francesa e alemã, usarei o google tradutor! :)
    For users of the English, Spanish, French and German community, I will be using google translator! :) 
  • Thw0rtedThw0rted Posts: 20Member Troubleshooter
    OK, I will try the HDMI hookup next time it happens.  I bought it on an American military base in Germany with an aftermarket warranty through the store, so I'm talking to them now about what they'd like me to do if it needs repair.  I'd just as soon fix it myself, but I want to make sure I don't shut myself out of (3rd-party) warranty repair in the future.
  • Thw0rtedThw0rted Posts: 20Member Troubleshooter
    Still working on warranty service with my aftermarket warranty people. Just as a data point, I did hook it up via HDMI and the picture on the TV is perfect.
  • JackEJackE Posts: 17,398ACE Trailblazer
    Accepted Answer
    >>>picture on the TV is perfect.>>>

    Then it's likely either the LCD, its inverter board or its mainboard connection, not the graphics adapter.Jack E/NJ

  • What did the tech support say? Haven't fixed the problem yet?
    Oi! Eu não sou sou a cortana! Mas estou aqui para ajudar! Hi! I'm not the cortana! But I'm here to help!
    Se você gostou da minha resposta, marque como solução clicando em sim! If you liked my answer, mark it as a solution by clicking on yes!
    Aceite somente a resposta que ajudou a solucionar o seu problema! Please accept only the response that helped to solve your problem!
    Detection tool click here to find the serial number or partnumber of your model!                                                          

               
      egydiocoelho Trailblazer
     
    ProductKey clique aqui para descobrir o serial do windows! click here to discover the windows serial!
    Para usuários da comunidade inglesa, espanhola, francesa e alemã, usarei o google tradutor! :)
    For users of the English, Spanish, French and German community, I will be using google translator! :) 
  • Thw0rtedThw0rted Posts: 20Member Troubleshooter
    edited September 9
    I went straight to the store warranty people and got tied up in paperwork for 3 weeks, I'm going to call them tomorrow and try to straighten it out. Sorely tempted to at least try the cable as suggested above first, though...

    ETA: another data point, today it was almost totally black, got better over time until the last inch or so, then stopped and wouldn't totally fix itself. Let it go to sleep, then when it woke back up, was almost totally black again.
  • JackEJackE Posts: 17,398ACE Trailblazer
    >>>tempted to at least try the cable as suggested above first>>>

    Goferit! Just don't bust anything.    :) Jack E/NJ
  • Thw0rtedThw0rted Posts: 20Member Troubleshooter
    edited September 11
    The good news: I heard back from the warranty people and apparently they're just sending a check -- not sure exactly how much, but I think it's like a prorated replacement cost.  I fully expect to be able to repair this for a lot less than that, even if the panel or inverter needs to be replaced.

    The slightly less good news: I started trying to open the system and it looks like the mainboard connection is not in an "easy" place to get to, so I'll have to remove the entire lower housing.  I assume once I do that, getting to the display-side connection will be easier?  I'm going to look for a guide, but if anybody has a link the recommend handy, I'd appreciate it.

    ETA: notebookcheck's review says you just take off the 2 "user access" panels first, then remove all the rest of the screws and pry with a spudger.  I want to be careful not to damage any clips but it sounds relatively straightforward.

    @egydiocoelho -- the cable you show in the pic above, is it supposed to disconnect by pulling out away from the board, or sliding it along the board towards the corner?
  • Check this videos:


    Oi! Eu não sou sou a cortana! Mas estou aqui para ajudar! Hi! I'm not the cortana! But I'm here to help!
    Se você gostou da minha resposta, marque como solução clicando em sim! If you liked my answer, mark it as a solution by clicking on yes!
    Aceite somente a resposta que ajudou a solucionar o seu problema! Please accept only the response that helped to solve your problem!
    Detection tool click here to find the serial number or partnumber of your model!                                                          

               
      egydiocoelho Trailblazer
     
    ProductKey clique aqui para descobrir o serial do windows! click here to discover the windows serial!
    Para usuários da comunidade inglesa, espanhola, francesa e alemã, usarei o google tradutor! :)
    For users of the English, Spanish, French and German community, I will be using google translator! :) 
  • Thw0rtedThw0rted Posts: 20Member Troubleshooter
    From a couple Youtube videos about replacing the panel (with a higher refresh rate model) it looks like the whole display side is held together entirely with clips, so I guess I just jam a spudger in there and hope for the best.  And it looks like the display-side connection will be accessible only after removing the (clipped in) frame from the front, then unscrewing the panel and popping it out completely.  Is that correct?
  • Yes my friend!
    Oi! Eu não sou sou a cortana! Mas estou aqui para ajudar! Hi! I'm not the cortana! But I'm here to help!
    Se você gostou da minha resposta, marque como solução clicando em sim! If you liked my answer, mark it as a solution by clicking on yes!
    Aceite somente a resposta que ajudou a solucionar o seu problema! Please accept only the response that helped to solve your problem!
    Detection tool click here to find the serial number or partnumber of your model!                                                          

               
      egydiocoelho Trailblazer
     
    ProductKey clique aqui para descobrir o serial do windows! click here to discover the windows serial!
    Para usuários da comunidade inglesa, espanhola, francesa e alemã, usarei o google tradutor! :)
    For users of the English, Spanish, French and German community, I will be using google translator! :) 
  • Thw0rtedThw0rted Posts: 20Member Troubleshooter
    OK that second video is super helpful and gives a lot of great detail.  It might be a few days before I have the time but I'll definitely try this and reseat both ends of the cable.

    If that doesn't do the trick, that means it's the inverter board or the panel itself, right?  Wouldn't inverter board failure be limited to problems with the backlight? In the pics I posted, you can see that there's a sort of vertical stripe effect where the last "good" row of pixels is kind of repeated or superimposed over the rows below them.  The effect is also visible in this pic from a few days ago, showing the problem has gotten a lot worse:


  • Probably! In this case, I believe only by replacing the display.
    Oi! Eu não sou sou a cortana! Mas estou aqui para ajudar! Hi! I'm not the cortana! But I'm here to help!
    Se você gostou da minha resposta, marque como solução clicando em sim! If you liked my answer, mark it as a solution by clicking on yes!
    Aceite somente a resposta que ajudou a solucionar o seu problema! Please accept only the response that helped to solve your problem!
    Detection tool click here to find the serial number or partnumber of your model!                                                          

               
      egydiocoelho Trailblazer
     
    ProductKey clique aqui para descobrir o serial do windows! click here to discover the windows serial!
    Para usuários da comunidade inglesa, espanhola, francesa e alemã, usarei o google tradutor! :)
    For users of the English, Spanish, French and German community, I will be using google translator! :) 
  • Thw0rtedThw0rted Posts: 20Member Troubleshooter
    I've got the system open right now. I reseated the panel side connection and still saw the same problem, though it seemed to maybe improve a bit faster than normal. I have the bottom off now but don't know how the motherboard side of the EDP cable is supposed to disconnect. Does it pull away from the board or along it, towards the corner? I can't find video of this side, and I pulled firmly but gently in both directions without any apparent progress.
  • Check this videos:
    03:08

    02:13 

    Oi! Eu não sou sou a cortana! Mas estou aqui para ajudar! Hi! I'm not the cortana! But I'm here to help!
    Se você gostou da minha resposta, marque como solução clicando em sim! If you liked my answer, mark it as a solution by clicking on yes!
    Aceite somente a resposta que ajudou a solucionar o seu problema! Please accept only the response that helped to solve your problem!
    Detection tool click here to find the serial number or partnumber of your model!                                                          

               
      egydiocoelho Trailblazer
     
    ProductKey clique aqui para descobrir o serial do windows! click here to discover the windows serial!
    Para usuários da comunidade inglesa, espanhola, francesa e alemã, usarei o google tradutor! :)
    For users of the English, Spanish, French and German community, I will be using google translator! :) 
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