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A laptop monitor started showing turquoise after getting cold out in the car. Sounds like a hardware problem.

My Asus laptop has a turquoise color. I turned it on yesterday after it had been in a cold car for several hours and now everything that should be white is turquoise!

In this excerpt from Answercast #92 I look at a case where cold has changed the colors on a laptop screen.

Laptop monitor started showing turquoise

Yea, this isn't terribly surprising. This isn't a software thing. This is probably a hardware issue with your display.

Displays, especially laptop LCD displays can in fact, be temperature sensitive. Normally, that rectifies itself as soon as the computer warms itself up. But it sounds like this laptop may not be doing that.

Unfortunately, it can manifest as many different issues - with laptop screens and LCD screens in general. It can manifest as a color shift, so that a color shows up that you're not expecting.

It could be anything from an actual problem with the LCD electronics, to the connector that actually connects it to the PC's main board in another part of the laptop.

Screen hardware problem

So, ultimately this boils down to a hardware problem and your choices are fairly limited:

  • You can live with it - which to be honest is probably what I'd do given that the next two options aren't really that appealing.

  • The second option is to have a technician look at it. Unfortunately, that's going to get expensive fairly quickly - especially if a repair is even possible.

  • And third, of course, would be to replace the laptop which seems rather extreme for something that seems as simple as this.

External monitor

So ultimately, I'd probably end up living with it as long as I could. Unless color is important for what you use that laptop for - in which case you could certainly plug in an external monitor to the laptop and use that instead... I suppose as a fourth option.

But that really makes a bunch of assumptions about exactly how you use your laptop; where you use your laptop and whether or not having a second monitor around is even a viable solution for you.

(Transcript lightly edited for readability.)

Article C6292 - February 4, 2013 « »

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Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

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4 Comments
Texas Mike
February 5, 2013 10:38 AM

Computer video (actually, all video) is comprised of RGB (Red, Green, Blue) video. Combining red & green gives you Yellow. Combining red & blue gives you Magenta (purple). And combining green & blue gives you Cyan (turquoise). So, really, you're missing Red, or reduced red. I've never seen this to be a video card problem, although it's a rare possibility. Most of the time, it's a broken or bent connector (in the case of desktop monitors and cable), or the electronics inside the monitor. Outside of replacing the cable (for external monitors), there's not really much for an average person to do except repair or replace the display. OR, as Leo said, live with it or hook up an external monitor.

gnat
February 5, 2013 7:55 PM

water can stay inside the tiny recesses of a notebook computer for a LONG time, and even the tiniest drop can cause a short.

i would have a competent technician take it completely apart and dry it thorougly with compressed air.

kptech
February 6, 2013 2:44 PM

You mentioned that your laptop had been in a cold car for several hours before turning it on.

During cold weather, your laptop, or for that matter any electronic device, should always be allowed to come up to room temperature before powering on. As soon as you bring your laptop indoors, it begins to warm up causing moisture from the surrounding air to condense on internal components. If you let it warm up first, the moisture evaporates back into the surrounding air. If you power up cold, the moisture could cause shorts that can cause permanent damage to electronic components.

I know that doesn't help this time, but it may prevent future occurrences.

J. Servis
February 6, 2013 7:24 PM

I don't think extreme temps had a thing to do with it, otherwise all electronics would cease to function after having been exposed to minus freezing temps. Take auto electronics as an example. My Ipod doesn't change colors on the screen after being left in the car over night. Nor does my Laptop after having been left in the car for a few days in the winter time.
If this were the case, the screen itself would freeze & break. It would have to be chalked up to a matter of co-incidence in this instance I'm afraid. I mean, really, think about it.

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