G530 Flicker Saga: The End?

Well, I hope everyone has had a great Solstice, and will continue having a wonderful holiday season with Christmas in a couple days.  Up here in NY it’s been pretty rainy and a little on the warm side, with little snow.  Hopefully we’ll have some for the 25th, as that would be fairly appropriate.  And hopefully when the inevitable lake effect comes we’ll all be safe.  If you’re reading this from somewhere out in the western US where they seem to be getting our winter weather, I wish you the best.

Anyway, as you may have seen me post here in the past, I’ve had some interesting issues with my Lenovo G530 laptop.  First, the screen became wobbly and shaky.  Then, it started to flicker.  The first of these was easy to fix, the second very annoying, and almost as easy to fix.  Well, I write now because the dreaded LCD flickering has returned.  Now, it’s been a while since I posted about it last, but in truth the fix lasted for maybe three weeks.  Figuring the cable had come loose, I repeated it, giving me another couple weeks.  Finally, a couple weeks ago I reseated the video cable only to have reliable operation for maybe a few hours before the flashing came back.  It seemed that the work around involved slapping the display repeatedly in certain locations along the sides, which served to jostle the wiring back into place, as well as relieve some of my frustration.  Then last week, after doing this for a while, I got fed up with this.  Here was the result:

Now, you might think that that was a little bit harsh.  But, I disassembled part of the screen and put it back together again.  I figured that somewhere in there something was in a bad position, and just needed to be tweaked a little.  And, it worked!  Since doing this I’ve had no flickering.  You might be wondering what, specifically was the problem.  Well, I still am too – all I did was take it apart and put it back together again, and it seems fine.

Now, given the popularity of previous posts a nice guide is in order.  However, there are a few things to keep in mind before going through this and attempting it yourself:

  • After taking pictures, I realized that I probably could have gotten some better ones for illustrative purposes.  So, I recommend that you take a look at Lenovo’s page with take-apart instructions for this unit.  Also, look over the entire graphic carefully before attempting anything, just to get a general idea.
  • You need to first follow the instructions for getting at the screen hinges, as well as reseating the video cables.  The first of these is more important.  Use it to get at the hinges; don’t tighten them as we’ll be unscrewing them.  The second is less necessary, but I recommend it to have easier access to the cables, and because you may as well reseat those while you’re tearing this thing apart.
  • There are a tone of small screws and such in this.  You probably already know this if you’ve taken it apart before, but it bears restating.  Find a clear, hard surface like a kitchen table to work on this, and keep track of your screws.  It should go without saying that an appropriate screwdriver set is a must (though you’re probably good if you’ve done this before).
  • Be careful when removing the screen bevel (after unscrewing the screws under the little rubber feet).  Use a small, flathead screwdriver and beware of power and data cables, as well as the camera up top.
  • This isn’t a bad time to clean the laptop screen while you’re at it.  I used a paper towel I dampened, and added a drop of dish detergent to it.  Try not to get and soap or water into the sides of the display.  Take another damp paper towel to rinse it.
  • Finally, this procedure is a bit more involved than ones before.  So, BE CAREFUL.  If you aren’t comfortable doing this, seek assistance.  And of course, do this at your own risk; I am not responsible for any damage to your laptop, yourself, or any other possession.

So, here it is:

Good luck.  This may help you, or it may not, but if the flickering has really been getting to you it’s worth a shot.  Overall, if you’re thinking of buying a G530, I’d recommend against it.  It’s pretty nice for a crappy machine, but it is a crappy machine.  But if you’re stuck with one, at least it’s not impossible to take apart.

17 thoughts on “G530 Flicker Saga: The End?”

  1. a paper towel is a very poor idea to clean any screen, the towel contains cellulose which can scratch the screen. Even a TV screen. Only use cotton or a special tissue for screens.

    Besides that , I have no comment on his technique.

    The G530 was discontinued a long time ago, so I don’t think anyone can find a new one. I recommend Toshiba.

    1. I haven’t really noticed anything on the screen from the paper towel (aside from crap that was on there that didn’t come off), but you’re right. It’s probably not a bad idea to have something like a microfiber cloth on hand.

      Yeah, even if the G530 were still being made I wouldn’t recommend it. If you have one, though, it’ll still hang in there aside from things like the screen flickering.

  2. I bought one of these G530’s when they first came out, and there were no reviews to speak of. The screen flicker started about a month before the 1 yr. warantee was up. I took it to a local approved Lenovo shop. The guy had it for 2 days and couldn’t get it to replicate the symtoms – very wierd.
    Anyway, it’s not my only laptop so I let it go until I had time to look into it myself. It is still flickering so I am going to try all the suggestions listed on this site (except the paper towel).
    I thank all of you who had the same problem and shared your potential fixes. I will post if I come up with anything new.
    Thanks again.

    1. My best guess is that there’s someplace where the video cable is getting stressed out. I’d like to take it apart again and really play with the cabling while it’s running, to see if I can pinpoint the exact location. I tried to when I was working on everything in this post, but had no luck.

      Just taking it apart seems to help it for a little while. You may have to repeat a few times, but it does help at least a little. Don’t forget that while you have it apart, it always helps to clean the dust out.

  3. Yes! Thank you so much. I had followed your earlier suggested fixes and while they helped some, the flicker would always resume and drive me mad. I just came across this and it appears to be doing the trick! I also did not see any loose connections though there were two places where the foil (ground?) around the edge of the screen were not over the screw holes so they may have not made good contact with the screws, though I’m not sure that would really be important.

    1. That’s awesome, I’m glad it helped! Just to warn you, though, I’m not sure I can guarantee it’ll be gone for good. I still get it occasionally, and plan to take it apart again soon. My best guess is that the way the laptop is designed, some part of the video cable is getting too much pressure applied to it. But, this is a workaround.

  4. Hi Ben, did you have any further progress with the flickering? I have done all 3 workarounds, and even fully dissembled the screen and reseated the lcd cable in the screen but to no avail.

    1. Well, I’ve found that hitting it above the keyboard in the left corner by the power switch helps, but I’m not sure that’s what you’re looking for :).

      The truth is, these fixes seem to work alright at first, but the problem usually comes back. I’m not sure what else to say, other than that repeating this from time to time should buy you a little sanity. Next time I go through this I’m going to see if I can figure out once and for all which part of the cable is causing the flickering. Until then, though, I’m sorry if this hasn’t helped.

      But if you do mess with it and find something that helps, be sure to reply here (or somewhere).

  5. Have you tried gluing the hinge screws in place? If repeatedly screwing them in works, is there anyway to prevent them from coming loose?

    1. Part of it is the screws coming loose, but something in the laptop’s design keeps putting pressure on the video cable. Since taking it apart and reassembling seems to relax things and mitigate the flickering temporarily, I would advise against gluing them in place. Not to mention, if something else needed work in there it could make things very difficult.

      I would not recommend it. That said, if you do try it, you’re welcome to post back here and let us know how it goes. 😉

  6. Hi. Thank you ben for reviving my laptop!
    May I add something that may be of importance about this G530 model:

    While I was trying for a second time to reset the video connectors I noticed that the smaller one, wasn’t sitting quite right. So, I checkd the pins inside (on the board part). There should be 7 of them, since the plug has 7 holes. There are seven, but the last one is bent! So bent it is certain not to go in the hole! The laptop still functions however, so maybe this is of less ipmortance, none perhaps or ground? If it is ground, then it could explain everything, since the monitor needs it thus the strange flickerings after time, since it need degaussing or something. Please check it and confirm. I think if one more finds this bent pin, we can be leading somwhere!

    1. I just took mine apart the other day as the flickering had returned. I didn’t really find a bent pin as you described, and in fact I think I almost narrowed it down to the larger of the two connectors (the video I believe). It could have been a bent pin there, or just a loose wire, although it seems to me that what you describe could also be the source of the problem.

      I would say that for anyone else trying to fix this, these two connectors are most likely the source of the problem.

  7. The video cable in the G530 seems somewhat similar to the Ideapad S12 which I experienced a similar problem with. The cable is very narrow and is made up of a couple of dozen individual insulated wires which are about as thick a pin and have a metal conductor inside that is about as thin as a hair, really! The video cable goes through the hinge and is twisted back and forth every time the lid is opened and closed. After a while one or more conductors in the point that flexes fractures due to work hardening of the ridiculously thin copper conductors. Now movement of the screen back and forth, and tapping, will make them reconnect again but only temporarily. The only effective way I found to effectively fix the Ideapad S12 was to buy a replacement video cable on eBay. When you disconnect either end of the cable, be very gentle and similarly when replacing. My connectors on the S12 were clear sticky taped together to stop them pulling apart with vibration. I have not looked into getting a replacement cable for a G530 but if it is a common problem part, you will find them readily available (if not cheap, but if you take one apart, you’ll see why).

    I think all the tightening of hinges, re-seating of cables and disassembly/re-assembly (with no fault found) seems to point to this mode of failure BUT I may be wrong, just trying to help.

  8. Well, surprise, surprise, a quick search for Lenovo G530 video cable on eBay throws up a whole page of them! What’s more they are lot cheaper then the $37 I had to pay for a S12 cable.

    1. I think your analysis was pretty much spot on there. From taking it a part, the video cable did appear pretty flimsy – I’m surprised it’s held out as well as it has. Personally, I’m transitioning to a different laptop, so I’m not sure I think getting a new cable would be worth it, but if it fixes the problem that’s awesome.

  9. Thanks for this post, seems to have worked for me (for the last 6 hours, which is better than anything else I’ve tried). If it comes back I’ll probably just replace the video cable, but I appreciate you taking the time to post this guide, it helped a lot.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *