BSOD on my Laptop

The BSOD problem had been giving me hassles since I purchased the laptop in 2010. I would get this screen, Fig 1, about once every few months initially, until recently, when it was occuring on a daily basis. I tried many things to try and rectify the BSOD problem. From memory checks, HDD tests, ram card reseating, uninstalling all USB drivers and reinstalling with new and disabled services, to various registry cleaners, disc cleaners, and virus scans without success. I ended up taking the laptop to the local PC repairer, where they found the HDD was on its way out. So I replaced the HDD with a new one of higher capacity. It didn’t resolve the issue though, as another BSOD happened not long after. Replacing the HDD did, however, resolve the crash dump error along with a critical hibernate fault where the hibernate function stopped working about 6 months after purchasing the laptop. Well, with all the known tests exhausted, I concluded the BSOD must have something to do with the motherboard, so I decided to replace it. Replacing the motherboard worked OK for a while, but another BSOD appeared within a month.

Fig 1. BSOD screen on my ASUS laptop

This is a typical BSOD screen. The physical memory dump failed due to the faulty hard drive. The laptop is an ASUS N61Jq with a Windows 7 Pro operating system. One thing I did notice was that days prior to each crash, a slight screen flicker would occur at boot up but disappear once the system had loaded. Also, I noticed that over time the flicker would get progressively worse. Sometimes on the day of a crash, there were these horizontal venetian like appearances, Fig 2, on the screen or the screen would go completely gray at boot up, but these would also clear away once the laptop had fully booted.

Fig 2. Venetians on my laptop screen

The screen at boot-up would look like this or go grey. It was at this point that I decided to look into why the screen was behaving in this way. I didn’t suspect a screen flicker to be causing a BUGCODE_USB_DRIVER error, but decided to investigate it anyway. So, I dismantled the laptop along with the screen. After taking the screen surround apart, at the back was a screen cable connector, which I disconnected and then cleaned thoroughly. During assembly, I anchored the cable connector to the screen body with tape to hold it firmly in place. The laptop booted up without the flicker, so I thought that at least the flicker issue may have been resolved.

Fig 3. The screen cable for my ASUS N61JQ laptop

Unfortunately, about a month later, the flicker returned, got progressively worse, and another BSOD happened. I repeated the screen cable connector cleaning process a few times with similar outcomes. So I finally decided to replace either the screen or the cable, and I settled on the cable because it was the cheaper option. Again, I took the laptop apart, disconnected the original cable, and this time replaced it with a new one, Fig 3. The boot process was flawless, and the screen was flicker-free and BSOD-free. And now, three months later, not a hint of a screen flicker or BSOD. So there it was – a faulty screen cable all along, causing the system to crash and having been doing so for well over 3 years.

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