Screen goes Gray

Asked by Margaret Mackintosh on 2011-07-04

For the past year or more my laptop screen freezes and turns gray. Cannot do anything. Mouse does move. After a few minutes is okay. Sure annoying. Took the laptop to a computer shop. Was told I needed a new hard-drive. $250 later I thought the problem was fixed. Wrong. Continued to go gray and freeze, then got to freezing without turning gray.

My son said to Download Ubuntu 10.04 (which is the one I had), copy to DVD and then install it. Done. After installing, I got a 'Update Manager' window that had 133 files. No problem freezing at this time. Downloaded all those files and now my screen goes gray again. So far only happened once. In this process I have lost all of my pictures (thought my son had put them on a memory stick). Turned out he did, but then he partitioned the stick, which wiped it all and I did not know this or I would of Copied everything to a DVD. If the screen had not started going gray in the first place I would still have all my pictures etc.... My son is going to see if he can get them back for me. He knows lots about computers, so hopefully he can. Not certain what makes the screen go gray, but it does and a new hard-drive did not help. Also lost all my mail contacts etc...

What can be done about unfreezing and ungraying my laptop screen?

Margaret Mackintosh

Question information

Language:
English Edit question
Status:
Solved
For:
Ubuntu gnome-nettool Edit question
Assignee:
No assignee Edit question
Solved by:
peter b
Solved:
2011-07-07
Last query:
2011-07-07
Last reply:
2011-07-06
marcus aurelius (adbiz) said : #1

the programmers made it go grey when something freezes the system. usually a slow internet connection or something that is tying up system resources.

Hi,

Thanks for your fast reply. I do not have the fastest Internet Connection in the world, just 3 MB... But, where I live in the country I am unable to get a faster service. The company offers up to 12MB, but thats around a town. Also there is only one phone company for this area. So I am stuck with 3MB.... What or who would be 'tying up system resources' and how can I correct it?

Sure would be nice if the screen would stop freezing. Actually thought about a new laptop. But, don't really think that is the answer.

Margaret Mackintosh

> Subject: Re: [Question #163747]: Screen goes Gray
> Date: Mon, 4 Jul 2011 19:06:11 +0000
>
> Your question #163747 on Ubuntu changed:
> https://answers.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+question/163747
>
> Status: Open => Answered
>
> marcus aurelius proposed the following answer:
> the programmers made it go grey when something freezes the system.
> usually a slow internet connection or something that is tying up system
> resources.
>
> --
> If this answers your question, please go to the following page to let us
> know that it is solved:
> https://answers.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+question/163747/+confirm?answer_id=0
>
> If you still need help, you can reply to this email or go to the
> following page to enter your feedback:
> https://answers.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+question/163747
>
> You received this question notification because you asked the question.

peter b (b1pete) said : #3

Margaret, some questions and a suggestion

- did you take the laptop BACK to the repair shop (that diagnosed that the hd must be replaced and charged you $250) AFTER the exact problems resurfaced ? did you SHOW them that the problem is still there, unresolved ? did the repair shop offer any warranty re quality of repair ?

if your laptop is within the repair warranty offered and you're experiencing the same problems all over again, just ask them to refund your $250 .

these days for approx $200 on top of the $250 you can acquire a NEW, v good, latest gen laptop. I say this because the problem you're describing is v hard to diagnose correctly - the net conn'n should not be among the causes, ubuntu for sure not; amount and state of RAM may be a problem as well as the overall laptop components health. the problem manifests itself in a very erratic fashion - my personal opinion is that it is hardware related.

peter b (b1pete) said : #4

and, one more thing, the vast majority of problems encountered on laptop pc's is because of heat dissipation - they generate a significant amount of heat that MUST be removed v quickly otherwise this heat compromises the good reliable overall pc performance. it is sufficient that only one of the myriad components present to be out of its designed spec because of heat to render the whole thing to function erratically.

the authorised pc manufacturer repair shops can perform an overall health check of their pc's. did you use a MANUFACTURER repair shop ?

Hi Marcus,

Yes, I did take it back. The shop is in a large town and there was no problem at their place. Got my old hard drive back. Decided that to have them work on it more would be throwing good money after bad. Since it didn't get fixed the first time and we don't have money just to throw away. Don't know if there was any kind of warranty, probably not. Yes, I know about the heat and usually have the laptop propped up off the desk. I have figured that the problem comes from my Internet Server - Windstream. Have contacted them about it. Their answer is that they 'don't support Linux', but they do support Mozilla Firefox which is my web browser. I would go with a different company except that where I live, Windstream IS the only one. Rest don't have service here. Then we are just inside the coverage area, which means we only have 3 MB of service instead of the 12MB that we could get if we lived near a town. As it is we are 25 miles from a big town and 7 mile from a small one. Windstream has underground wire all over the place. Just found out yesterday afternoon that my brother & girlfriend are also having trouble with their computer screen going gray on them and they have Windows on their computer. So guess it is not a Linux problem after all. But, sure wish I could get it fixed.

Margaret Mackintosh

> To: <email address hidden>
> From: <email address hidden>
> Subject: Re: [Question #163747]: Screen goes Gray
> Date: Tue, 5 Jul 2011 04:45:43 +0000
>
> Your question #163747 on Ubuntu changed:
> https://answers.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+question/163747
>
> peter b proposed the following answer:
> and, one more thing, the vast majority of problems encountered on laptop
> pc's is because of heat dissipation - they generate a significant amount
> of heat that MUST be removed v quickly otherwise this heat compromises
> the good reliable overall pc performance. it is sufficient that only one
> of the myriad components present to be out of its designed spec because
> of heat to render the whole thing to function erratically.
>
> the authorised pc manufacturer repair shops can perform an overall
> health check of their pc's. did you use a MANUFACTURER repair shop ?
>
> --
> If this answers your question, please go to the following page to let us
> know that it is solved:
> https://answers.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+question/163747/+confirm?answer_id=3
>
> If you still need help, you can reply to this email or go to the
> following page to enter your feedback:
> https://answers.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+question/163747
>
> You received this question notification because you asked the question.

peter b (b1pete) said : #6

this answer from peter b NOT Marcus.

....'Just found out yesterday afternoon that my brother & girlfriend are also having trouble with their computer screen going gray on them and they have Windows on their computer. ....' this tells pages of your ISP's network; yes, it may be the cause of your problem and, unfortunately, your brother's too.

how do you connect to your ISP's network ?

1 - do you have a modem/router installed and connected to the phone line at your residence ? if yes do you have a WIRED connection between the laptop and the router/modem or is it a WIRELESS connection ? or

2 - do you have a mobile 3G WIRELESS connection ?

if 1 above is your case AND the laptop connects WIRELESS to the router/modem then I'd suggest to disable wireless mode on the router/modem and CONNECT the laptop to the modem by means of a CABLE (it should be cat5 cable also called an ethernet patch cable that has at each end RJ45 connectors; it can be acquired at any computer store for approx $5). after this done see if the problem persists. it would be quite/very interesting to find out if your brother's problem (using win) is still there AFTER he CONNECTS his pc to the modem by means of a WIRED connection.

if the problem persists ON YOUR pc AND YOUR BROTHER'S then you can go without any hesitation after your ISP and tell them with confidence that his network has problems; pure and simple invite them at your place/s to see it for themselves and ask to fix the problem (it is your money and you MUST get what you pay for).

if 2 above is your case then pure and simple change your current ISP with another one that has good coverage of your area. if you're in US then AT&T , Verizon etc may have your area covered too; check with them first and maybe even a live try from your residence can be negotiated before committing.

Best peter b (b1pete) said : #7

just forgot, there is a pt 3 to the above answer namely

3 - same as 1 above EXCEPT that your modem/router IS CONNECTED to an ETHERNET CABLE (that is the cable that carries TV signals also carries internet data and may carry also voice communications)

if this 3 is your situation then still connect your pc to the modem by means of a cat 5 patch cable as described above and see what the results are (I am v doubtful that the problem will go away, see below)

this for your info - if this, pt 3, is your setup than for sure the TV cable does not have enough bandwidth to carry the load and you experience this kind of problem. in this kind of setup your ISP for sure knows that, it is part and parcel of this kind of network topology. as said before, just invite you ISP to see it happening at your place and gently throw in the conversation the question 'does your network have sufficient bandwidth ?' and see the reaction.

Hi Peter,

I can go wired or wireless. I have a modem hooked to a phone line and a router hooked to the modem, so I am wireless. I can get wired to the modem also if I want to. No, I don't have a mobile 3G connection. Only by way of phone line.

I went and seen my brothers girlfriend this morning and she said their problem has been solved. Her oldest daughter seen that she had all kinds of stuff on her desktop that Julie didn't need. So after she deleted all the stuff, their computer works great now. Unfortunately that is not my problem. Just downloaded Ubuntu 10.04.2, put it on a DVD and installed it on the laptop which wiped out everything else that was on it. Plus the fact that when our son got me this laptop (LinuxCertified) he had the man installed loads of memory space as at the time we had planned on starting our Shell business again. But, then sold all the sea shells, so didn't. Although the screen did not go gray till after I used the Update Manager to install 133 files that was available. Then it started going gray again. Just a bit ago the screen froze. I could type in my password on hotmail, but could not click 'sign in' or anything else. It finally unfroze after a few minutes. Also it did not turn gray.

I have tried to switch to AT&T, since I use them for my cell phone. But, they say they don't have Internet Connections here. I can ask Verizon. Had one of their cell phones but canceled it.

I connect to my ISP server/network by underground phone line. I will see if Verizon covers this area. Really tired of this turning gray when ever it wants to. Usually when I am really trying to get things done. My husband says he can live with it and I may have to also. Hope to get this solved soon.

Margaret Mackintosh

> To: <email address hidden>
> From: <email address hidden>
> Subject: Re: [Question #163747]: Screen goes Gray
> Date: Tue, 5 Jul 2011 17:15:59 +0000
>
> Your question #163747 on Ubuntu changed:
> https://answers.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+question/163747
>
> Status: Open => Answered
>
> peter b proposed the following answer:
> this answer from peter b NOT Marcus.
>
> ....'Just found out yesterday afternoon that my brother & girlfriend are
> also having trouble with their computer screen going gray on them and
> they have Windows on their computer. ....' this tells pages of your
> ISP's network; yes, it may be the cause of your problem and,
> unfortunately, your brother's too.
>
> how do you connect to your ISP's network ?
>
> 1 - do you have a modem/router installed and connected to the phone line
> at your residence ? if yes do you have a WIRED connection between the
> laptop and the router/modem or is it a WIRELESS connection ? or
>
> 2 - do you have a mobile 3G WIRELESS connection ?
>
> if 1 above is your case AND the laptop connects WIRELESS to the
> router/modem then I'd suggest to disable wireless mode on the
> router/modem and CONNECT the laptop to the modem by means of a CABLE (it
> should be cat5 cable also called an ethernet patch cable that has at
> each end RJ45 connectors; it can be acquired at any computer store for
> approx $5). after this done see if the problem persists. it would be
> quite/very interesting to find out if your brother's problem (using win)
> is still there AFTER he CONNECTS his pc to the modem by means of a WIRED
> connection.
>
> if the problem persists ON YOUR pc AND YOUR BROTHER'S then you can go
> without any hesitation after your ISP and tell them with confidence that
> his network has problems; pure and simple invite them at your place/s to
> see it for themselves and ask to fix the problem (it is your money and
> you MUST get what you pay for).
>
> if 2 above is your case then pure and simple change your current ISP
> with another one that has good coverage of your area. if you're in US
> then AT&T , Verizon etc may have your area covered too; check with them
> first and maybe even a live try from your residence can be negotiated
> before committing.
>
> --
> If this answers your question, please go to the following page to let us
> know that it is solved:
> https://answers.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+question/163747/+confirm?answer_id=5
>
> If you still need help, you can reply to this email or go to the
> following page to enter your feedback:
> https://answers.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+question/163747
>
> You received this question notification because you asked the question.

Hi again,

I am using a 568-B CAT 5 cable to go from the modem to the router or from the modem to the laptop. Has a whole bunch of numbers & letters before '568-B CAT 5'... We only use our TV set as a DVD player. Don't watch TV. I can just imagine the reaction to the question you suggested. I am still trying to solve the problem. Hopefully changing to Verizon will take care of the problem. Will see about their coverage.

Margaret Mackintosh

> To: <email address hidden>
> From: <email address hidden>
> Subject: Re: [Question #163747]: Screen goes Gray
> Date: Tue, 5 Jul 2011 18:11:22 +0000
> Your question #163747 on Ubuntu changed:
> https://answers.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+question/163747
>
> peter b proposed the following answer:
> just forgot, there is a pt 3 to the above answer namely
>
> 3 - same as 1 above EXCEPT that your modem/router IS CONNECTED to an
> ETHERNET CABLE (that is the cable that carries TV signals also carries
> internet data and may carry also voice communications)
>
> if this 3 is your situation then still connect your pc to the modem by
> means of a cat 5 patch cable as described above and see what the results
> are (I am v doubtful that the problem will go away, see below)
>
> this for your info - if this, pt 3, is your setup than for sure the TV
> cable does not have enough bandwidth to carry the load and you
> experience this kind of problem. in this kind of setup your ISP for sure
> knows that, it is part and parcel of this kind of network topology. as
> said before, just invite you ISP to see it happening at your place and
> gently throw in the conversation the question 'does your network have
> sufficient bandwidth ?' and see the reaction.
>
> --
> If this answers your question, please go to the following page to let us
> know that it is solved:
> https://answers.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+question/163747/+confirm?answer_id=6
>
> If you still need help, you can reply to this email or go to the
> following page to enter your feedback:
> https://answers.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+question/163747
>
> You received this question notification because you asked the question.

peter b (b1pete) said : #10

just connect your laptop to the modem via the patch cable - no router. see how it goes.

is the modem supplied by your ISP ?

Hi Peter,

I am wired to the modem and the screen still goes gray. So I put a order in with AT&T for a 6 MB Internet Service. Soon as it is installed I will cancel Windstream and hopefully that will take care of the problem. If I have problems after that, I guess I will just have to buy a new laptop. No room for a Desktop computer.

Margaret Mackintosh

> To: <email address hidden>
> From: <email address hidden>
> Subject: Re: [Question #163747]: Screen goes Gray
> Date: Wed, 6 Jul 2011 02:25:56 +0000
>
> Your question #163747 on Ubuntu changed:
> https://answers.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+question/163747
>
> Status: Open => Answered
>
> peter b proposed the following answer:
> just connect your laptop to the modem via the patch cable - no router.
> see how it goes.
>
> is the modem supplied by your ISP ?
>
> --
> If this answers your question, please go to the following page to let us
> know that it is solved:
> https://answers.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+question/163747/+confirm?answer_id=9
>
> If you still need help, you can reply to this email or go to the
> following page to enter your feedback:
> https://answers.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+question/163747
>
> You received this question notification because you asked the question.

So much for a different Internet Connection. I contacted both Verizon and AT&T. Verizon said right out that there was no service here where I live. I chatted to a lady online at AT&T and she checked the coverage and said I was covered here, but after putting my order in for Internet Service, I receive a email from them saying I am out of their territory. So I am stuck with Windstream. That would be okay if the screen would not go gray. So I guess my problem is solved by default, even though it still goes gray. Will say that the problem is solved, even though it isn't. I appreciate everyone trying to help.

Thanks peter b, that solved my question.

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