Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I am running 11.04 Desktop 64bit on my Thinkpad X220 which is brand new. I ran Windows on it for a few days and that seemed to run fine. It's still on there on a separate partition.

Ubuntu installed OK, with no major issues except that my screen gets garbled at irregular intervals. The way in which it gets garbled is not consistent -- see example screens below -- and I have found no way to reproduce it.

It never happens straight after bootup, it seems to mostly occur after a day of work. I can keep working, everything responds like there is nothing wrong, except I can't see what I'm doing anymore. Needless to say this is hyper annoying. Before I send the laptop back to get it repaired or replaced, I would like to try and find out if this even a hardware problem or if it's traceable to Ubuntu. It does not seem to happen under Windows but then I rarely boot into Windows.

garbled screen example 1 garbled screen example 2

share|improve this question

Long time ago I had very similar problems with some videocards - both times it turned out to be a symptom of the videocard dying. It was Windows 98 and then XP, but the picture was very similar.

As I remember, a temporary fix for this was to switch display to text mode and back. In Ubuntu you can do this by pressing Alt-Ctrl-F1 and then Alt-Ctrl-F7

share|improve this answer
Thanks for that, it did not work for me - although I did learn two new shortcut keys ;) – mvexel Sep 7 '11 at 15:32

I have a similar problem with 11.04 on my X120e. It gets fixed by entering screen-off mode and then coming back to normal. That is, I run xset dpms 3 4 5 wait 6 seconds until the screen is thoroughly off, then move the mouse to bring the screen back and run xset dpms 300 301 302 to return to a normal 5-minute screen-off time. I have no idea why it works, but maybe it would work for you too.

share|improve this answer

I had filed a bug but this is not resolved. None of the suggestions above work for me.

More recently, I see that after hibernate on my laptop has this garbling. It wasn't there earlier.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.