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Dell Inspiron 1545 - Screen "Melt"


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#1
HappyMommy

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Hi everyone! First let me just say that I've been a lurker on these boards for a good year+ now. Second let me say I have tried so many combinations of things that, unless you want all the details, I don't know that it's worth boring everyone with. :)

I have a Dell Inspiron 1545 that I've used iAtkos v7 to install Leopard onto. It works wonderfully but I have suffered with the common issue of not being able to get anything but 1024x768, ultimately making it so I'd rather put my Win7 drive in than use the Mac install. I finally decided yesterday it was time to try again and I have gotten further than ever before. I used the myriad of pinned threads in this section of the forum to get here. Ultimately what seems to have worked was the AppleIntelGMAX3100FB.kext shared here in combination with the replacement DSDT.aml however I also had it working at one point with the DSDT.aml that installed with iAtkos.

I've searched and read so much over the past 24 hours on this topic and I can't find anyone quite having the same issue as me which is why I'm posting a new thread. Apologies in advance since I know there are SO many on this topic.

As I type this I am in 1366x768 (which is where I want to be) but I gaurantee that on my next reboot I'll have my issue again. My issue I lovingly refer to as my screen "melting." I get the grey screen with the apple followed by the solid blue screen but when it goes to bring up my desktop the screen does this odd thing I can only describe as melting. It's a mix of white and grey colors with vertical lines and the colors slowly move around the screen. The white merges in and covers the grey in the center very slowly and then eventually more grey moves in to cover the white etc. I've attached the only photo I could get (sorry I know it's not great - the horizontal lines you see are only visible in the picture, not on the screen). After this happens, when I reboot, my screen flickers like mad for a few minutes, even in single user mode.

I've tried two installations, one with applying the update to 10.5.8 first before the kext etc. and one without doing squat after the base install before installing the kext. The part I don't get is that it will work fine on the first reboot after installing the kext in most cases. Note I have had this same experience without running the brightness patcher I found in one of the pinned threads as well but I run it anyway.

When I boot verbose I see a couple things that stick out to me: 1) "Invalid firmware backlight setting" 2) "Family Specific Matching Fails"

The backlight thing sure seems to make sense to me based on the odd melt issue which is what lead me to try the brightness patcher to begin with (even though it was in a thread on HP laptops).

So... any thoughts folks? I know this probably isn't the most helpful post but honestly I'm not even sure where to start with providing information so by all means let me know what you need and I'll provide it. For now, I'm refusing to reboot my laptop. :)

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#2
Alex Chin

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As I type this I am in 1366x768 (which is where I want to be) but I gaurantee that on my next reboot I'll have my issue again. My issue I lovingly refer to as my screen "melting." I get the grey screen with the apple followed by the solid blue screen but when it goes to bring up my desktop the screen does this odd thing I can only describe as melting. It's a mix of white and grey colors with vertical lines and the colors slowly move around the screen. The white merges in and covers the grey in the center very slowly and then eventually more grey moves in to cover the white etc.


This is very bad. What you are describing is a loss of signal drive to the column and line drivers of the TFT panel. This is very bad (for the panel). In English, the display has loss synchronisation (signal), but it is not powered down/turned off.

Technical: A TFT panel has liquid crystals which need to be driven by an AC voltage. This (along with timing and display data) is provided by a properly functioning video card and video driver. If the signals do not conform to what the panel needs, some panels just turn off, go dark. The proper sequence should be powering down of the line and column drivers, followed by removal of power to the drive.

Some panels get 'stuck' in a stupid state where the line and column drivers are still energised, and worse still, without clock. This means DC gets applied to the TFT transistors. If left in this state too long (I'm guessing minutes), the liquid crystals can be come damaged. In other words, a chemical change occurs and depolarises the crystal. This is a bad thing. It's permanent, and will damage the display permanently.

In my experimentation, with bad signals/timing, I usually kill the power with a hard power down as quickly as possible - when I see signs of this 'melting'.

I would not recommend leaving the screen in this whited out state for long.

Regards,

Alex

#3
HappyMommy

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Thank you Alex for that response! I fairly sure this was pretty bad for the screen so that's exactly what I've been doing (powering it off as soon as it happens). Last week I booted out of a complete shutdown 3 times in a row without it happening and with the OS loading in 1366x768 so I thought I was good to go but alas a 4th booth proved otherwise. What I don't get is why would this happen so randomly. Any thoughts? It's puzzling to me that I followed all the steps and somehow I haven't found another single person with the same issue. Just my luck right? :)

#4
Alex Chin

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Thank you Alex for that response! I fairly sure this was pretty bad for the screen so that's exactly what I've been doing (powering it off as soon as it happens). Last week I booted out of a complete shutdown 3 times in a row without it happening and with the OS loading in 1366x768 so I thought I was good to go but alas a 4th booth proved otherwise. What I don't get is why would this happen so randomly. Any thoughts? It's puzzling to me that I followed all the steps and somehow I haven't found another single person with the same issue. Just my luck right? :)


Not really. I had a similar problem with a HP2510p (also GMA X3100). The panel on the HP was not as bad as yours though, I believe it just froze white, but the clocks were still enabled. So there was no panel damage.

I noticed a pattern that I could get the resolution I wanted about 50% - 70% of the time. The other pattern I noticed was that on every cold boot (I mean cold, where the machine was off overnight), it would not get the correct resolution. After it warmed up, then there was a much higher probability of getting the resolution I wanted.

Troubleshooting showed that the EDID was picked up (128 bytes), but in the cold case, it was wrapped round. Ie, all 128 bytes were there, and the bytes were correct, just the wrong order.

I think there was also a pattern where the EDID was always incorrect in the same way, and I fixed it by a manual EDID override. If you look around the forums, there's a way to fix an incorrect EDID with /System/Library/Display/Overrides

That worked for the cold boots and the remaining 20-30% of the time where it wouldn't pick up the correct resolution.

Regards,

Alex

#5
HappyMommy

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Thank you SO much Alex for your response and sorry it's taken me this long to say that. I wonder if the manual EDID override will work for me. It's been since April that I've put the OSX drive in because I was so afraid of killing my display. What I'm curious of though... if I plugged an external monitor in and sent the display that way, would I potentially get around the issue in general (while saving the display on my lappy)?

 

Also if you happen to know where that post is to fix an incorrect EDID I'd be very appreciative. I keep searching and maybe I'm just missing it! :)

 

Thanks again!







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