Bah - LCD Woes
How frustrating. My Inspiron 9300 notebook, which has been rock-solid for 18 months, exhibited its first problem today. I installed the first EQ2 expansion pack on my notebook today. Everything proceeded normally, as one would expect with a standard software installation. However, once the installer had finished, I noticed a red vertical line extending from top to bottom of the notebook screen roughly 6 cm from the right edge. Thinking it was just an artifact of the installer (the installer uses a red background throughout), I rebooted. To my dismay, the red line was still there. I tried several utilities for stuck pixels, and the line remained.
So, it looks like I'm stuck with a flaky LCD. The warranty for the notebook expired in March of this year (I didn't purchase the extended warranty, regrettably), so I can't get it replaced without shelling out $500. It looks like I can pick up a new WUXGA display for around $300, so that may be an option at some point.
The good news is that the red line is off to the right side of the panel. And, it doesn't appear on white backgrounds. So, most of the time I don't even notice it. I can live with it, provided it doesn't get worse. We'll see.
The problem just got worse. In addition to the vertical red line on the right side, there is now a band of semi-dead pixels about 5cm wide on the left side of the panel. The band has an interlaced look to it, as if half of the pixels aren't working properly. Looks like I may have to replace the panel after all.
Update - 12.09.2006:
Looks like I'm not alone in my panel troubles. A number of Inspiron 9300 users are experiencing vertical bands of dead or stuck pixels like I have. One user has set up a web site to document all of the problems. I'm investigating the possibility of replacing the panel with a lower-resolution (WXGA+) model.