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Sort of a general knowledge question. Have an old HP laptop I'm going to attempt fixing. The issue (as described to me) is that the screen gets squiggly horizontal lines through the middle of the screen. The length of time it takes to start happening varies from an hour or so to almost immediately. No idea if it does this during the POST screens.

My first thought was overheating. This, after all, is an older HP and the heat dissipation in them was usually woefully inadequate. The problem with that is it happens too fast. I'm pretty sure it's impossible for these components, at these voltages, to heat up that quickly.

Then I find out that the screen sometimes flickers instead. So now I'm thinking loose or frayed wire or failing screen.

Here's the tick, though. She (that would be warfacemommy) had her friend look it over extensively. From what I understand, he's some sort of computer expert geekspeaker. It is his evidently learned opinion that "the laptop simply doesn't like Linux". Now, we've all had those irritating little things that come up occasionally. Mouse doesn't work well or Bluetooth gets pissy sometimes. I've never heard of anything, of this magnitude, being a Linux only problem. Hell, I don't think I've ever heard of anything like this even being a software problem, Linux or otherwise.

My question is this, is there a reasonable possibility it is Linux only?

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Solved. It's just a badly written driver paired to an under-powered AMD A6 GPU trying to run Ubuntu 12.04 with Unity. Of course there were problems.

Actually, my question still stands.

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Thinkpads maybe??

Thought I had read years ago where some were having issues with some distros but don't remember if it was the distro causing the issue or the laptop itself.

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If it really is a driver problem, it might be Linux only. Drivers are OS specific.

But....

I'd be inclined to suspect an overheating problem. You can get a CPU to overheat in about 10 seconds, if you give it the "right" job. A factorial calculation of a high enough number is one way. Therefore, I reckon you could get a graphics card to overheat pretty quickly if you knew what you had to demand of it.

Has anyone cleaned the dust out? One could assume that the friend of Warfacemommy did, but is that known for sure, or an assumption. Then, there is likely thermal paste in there somewhere. Is it new enough?

All guesses, but I don't like the idea of blaming Linux on principle. 😉

A mechanical fault (bad cable or what have you) is also possible, but the behaviour doesn't sound like that to me.

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GB, it's a Toshiba. Although I did say HP.

Mick, it's definitely what I said in my second post. I put one of my own OS's in it and ran quite well. Several hours of moderate use with no issues. Today, I'll give a bit of a stress test with some GIMP use.

By the by, it's the same stripped down Mint OS I put on my jump drive several months ago. This modest laptop is handling it far better than the desktops I initially built the OS for.

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Looks like it hated Ubuntu with Unity. You fixing and give back to her after putting through more test runs or keeping for self and her getting another one for you to install a distro on? If giving back and it likes Mint then beef it with what she likes and tell her to forget Ubuntu. Who put that on there? Couldn't had been you. You hate Ubuntu.

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Actually, I did put Ubuntu 12.04 on it. Much against my better judgment. Sometimes people really don't know better than you what they need. With my mother and computers, it's always that way.

I'm holding onto it for a bit. Until I fix my own. Mine needs a new motherboard.

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Ouch. When she gets another one or you give back to her I bet she'll have something different installed on it.

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I'll build something from scratch that I can then duplicate onto all of her computers.

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that sounds interesting. Going to try a LFS?