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White lines and graphical glitches messed up text characters in my Acer Swift 3 - SF314-54-54Z2

Ironbyte1011Ironbyte1011 Posts: 9Member New User
Hi,

I hit the keyboard area (right side area of the keyboard. That's where the battery is located under the area) of my laptop by accident and as a result, display glitches show up on the screen.

The issue never shows up in BIOS/Windows 10 safe mode/Ubuntu recovery mode (GUI less terminal screen). I've checked and reseated all the cables that I can find under the back cover. The issue still persists if it's connected to an external monitor. I'm able to use it normally only if windows is in safe mode/Ubuntu in recovery mode.
Unfortunately, my laptop's out of warranty now. I'm still looking for a way to sort it out. If anyone had found a solution to this strange issue, please share it thanks.

FAQ & Answers

  • JackEJackE Posts: 17,391ACE Trailblazer
    >>>The issue still persists if it's connected to an external monitor. I'm able to use it normally only if windows is in safe mode/Ubuntu in recovery mode. >>>

    This suggests a graphics adapter issue. It would help to know your full ACER model number especially if it has a discrete graphics chip on the mainboard. Jack E/NJ

  • Ironbyte1011Ironbyte1011 Posts: 9Member New User
    JackE said:
    >>>The issue still persists if it's connected to an external monitor. I'm able to use it normally only if windows is in safe mode/Ubuntu in recovery mode. >>>

    This suggests a graphics adapter issue. It would help to know your full ACER model number especially if it has a discrete graphics chip on the mainboard. Jack E/NJ

    Hey, thanks for the reply. I've ran memtest and prime95 tests. The tests passed without errors beside the display screen still being distorted/garbled. The issue only goes away if Microsoft basic display driver is enabled. WIll post screenshots of what the issue looks like shortly.

    Laptop model - Acer Swift 3 - SF314-54-54Z2: https://www.acer.com/ac/en/ZA/content/model/NX.GXZEA.001
  • Ironbyte1011Ironbyte1011 Posts: 9Member New User
    When a Intel graphics driver is in use.
  • JackEJackE Posts: 17,391ACE Trailblazer
    Not a good sign if it happens in both Win & Lin. Did you try installing each Intel Win updates in safemode to see what happens in Win? https://www.acer.com/ac/en/US/content/support-product/7581?b=1  Jack E/NJ

  • Ironbyte1011Ironbyte1011 Posts: 9Member New User
    edited October 12
    JackE said:
    Not a good sign if it happens in both Win & Lin. Did you try installing each Intel Win updates in safemode to see what happens in Win? https://www.acer.com/ac/en/US/content/support-product/7581?b=1  Jack E/NJ

    Hey, I've already tried installing provided drivers from the Acer support page. The screen still gets distorted unless I switch back to generic Microsoft display driver in Windows. With the basic driver in use, the laptop works 100% without issues. ie. I can watch HD media videos and browse the net on Chrome without issues. I'm stumped now. I've already ran memtest86 on the laptop. Prime95 too. Tests passed without issues. It shows that the CPU + iGPU (Intel HD 620) is 100% stable.

    Basically, if I use a proper Intel driver, the screen would get distorted. When this happen, I have to navigate with difficulty to find and open device manager and then disable the offending driver there to make the issue go away. 
  • Ironbyte1011Ironbyte1011 Posts: 9Member New User
    It was captured via print screen key.
  • JackEJackE Posts: 17,391ACE Trailblazer
    This is looking more like a hardware issue. But there's a few more software approaches we can take to help rule it in or out. First, you might try DriverBooster or similar freeware driver update tools for a compatible updates. Jack E/NJ

    https://www.iobit.com/en/driver-booster.php

    https://www.lifewire.com/free-driver-updater-tools-2619206

  • Ironbyte1011Ironbyte1011 Posts: 9Member New User
    JackE said:
    This is looking more like a hardware issue. But there's a few more software approaches we can take to help rule it in or out. First, you might try DriverBooster or similar freeware driver update tools for a compatible updates. Jack E/NJ

    https://www.iobit.com/en/driver-booster.php

    https://www.lifewire.com/free-driver-updater-tools-2619206


    I've ran DriveBooster to download and install all the latest drivers. Unfortunately, it makes no differences. The screen still gets distorted whenever I re-enable the Intel display driver. I need to take a look inside the laptop again for any loose connectors. I'm thinking of disassembling the motherboard so that I can take a look at the topside of the board. 
  • JackEJackE Posts: 17,391ACE Trailblazer
    Before pulling it apart, you might want to consider the hassle of backing up your personal files and doing  a full erase everything ALT+F10 cold boot factory reset. If a factory reset doesn't resolve this, a hardware failure of some kind is most likely. Unfortunately the way it's behaving in safe & terminal modes on both screens suggests an issue with a chip or its solder connections. Jack E/NJ 



  • Ironbyte1011Ironbyte1011 Posts: 9Member New User
    JackE said:
    Before pulling it apart, you might want to consider the hassle of backing up your personal files and doing  a full erase everything ALT+F10 cold boot factory reset. If a factory reset doesn't resolve this, a hardware failure of some kind is most likely. Unfortunately the way it's behaving in safe & terminal modes on both screens suggests an issue with a chip or its solder connections. Jack E/NJ 



    Hey JackE, Just did a full reset. Unfortunately, it doesn't fix the issue. Intel iGPU 620 is probably damaged but it's built into the Intel CPU die. The CPU alone seems to be working 100% OK. I ran a CPU stress testing tool for 30minutes. No errors were detected there. I think maybe a connection between the CPU and the screen controller is loose. WIll report back after disassembling the motherboard fully.
  • Ironbyte1011Ironbyte1011 Posts: 9Member New User
    edited October 13
    No luck. I've checked the motherboard up close. No visible damages on both sides of it. I've cleaned the heasink and the CPU before re-applying a new thermal paste (Artic MX-4) onto the CPU. After reassembling everything back together and turning the laptop back on, the display screen still get distorted. Same as before. Nothing's new. What are my options? What's the average cost of a new motherboard for this particular laptop (Swift 3 series)? Appreciate  the assistance.
  • JackEJackE Posts: 17,391ACE Trailblazer
    >>>What are my options? >>>
    A solder reflow. Essentially baking the stripped board on an aluminum foil cookie sheet for about 10 minutes in a toaster oven preheated to 425-450*F.

    >>>What's the average cost of a new motherboard>>>
    Google part no. "NB.GXL11.008" . You might also find prices by googling "sf314-54" "motherboard". Average new seem to be near $300. https://www.aliexpress.com/i/32850343105.html

    Jack E/NJ




  • Ironbyte1011Ironbyte1011 Posts: 9Member New User
    JackE said:
    >>>What are my options? >>>
    A solder reflow. Essentially baking the stripped board on an aluminum foil cookie sheet for about 10 minutes in a toaster oven preheated to 425-450*F.

    >>>What's the average cost of a new motherboard>>>
    Google part no. "NB.GXL11.008" . You might also find prices by googling "sf314-54" "motherboard". Average new seem to be near $300. https://www.aliexpress.com/i/32850343105.html

    Jack E/NJ




    Hey JackE, I will give this a try. I've ordered a heatgun and an IF thermometer. It may take a week or so for the items to arrive here. Will report back the outcome of my reflow attempt.
  • JackEJackE Posts: 17,391ACE Trailblazer
    Way to go!! Good luck with it. Yes, please report back. And where you aimed the gun. Jack E/NJ
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