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birdy50

Lenovo g50 faintly flashing black screen, no bootup

birdy50
4 years ago

I bought the laptop back in February of 2015. I've used it maybe 2 dozen times as I'm primarily a desktop computer user. I say this because this laptop shows zero signs of wear and has very little use. So I know it's not program bog down or something similar. It mostly just sits there, unused until I eventually need it for an hour or 2.


2 weeks ago, I tried powering on and noticed that the screen was black with a very faint flicker. It would boot up after about 45 minutes. Worked normal. Next time it took a few hours. Next time it was overnight. I looked through the system log to see if anything looked off, all was fine. I took the opportunity to back up the harddrive and download all the updates from the Lenovo site. I did each one without a restart, but once I got to the next to last one (Bios, then AMD) the Bios update required an automatic restart. Laptop restarted and went back to the flicker. Now I've had it turned on for a day or 2 with the flicker and it never boots.

What I've tried:

  1. Tried booting with just battery and just power cord, no boot, just flicker.

  2. Tried booting connected by HDMI, then VGA to another monitor. No boot, just flicker.

  3. Tried booting without HDD inserted, no boot just flicker.

  4. Took apart the laptop to check that everything was seated properly and nothing looked amiss. All good. Had hoped I could remove the CMOS for a BIOS reset, but it's soldered into the motherboard on this device and I'd rather hold that until I absolutely know that's what I have to do.

  5. Tried One Key Recovery. No boot, just flicker.


(Also of course tried the battery discharge by holding the power down, then powering up loads of times. Same result.)

I think I will leave it plugged in and flashing the black screen to see if it eventually boots to the OKR page, then do recovery and see if I can run a hardware scan. Fingers crossed. Repair at centers is a bit of a moot point as it usually costs about as much as what you pay for the laptop. Unfortunate state of how things work nowdays.

I find it a bit unfortunate that this laptop can have so little use and zero abuse and still have this issue. Sounds like a manufacturing flaw.


Lenovo support says to take it to a repair center, but as I'm fairly savvy with tech I'd like to know if there's anything else I can do myself with this nearly unused laptop giving me fits.

Comments (25)

  • Steve J
    4 years ago

    When you do the batter discharge, make sure to unplug and remove the battery to discharge.

    If you already did that, I might say it's a problem with the video card? Can you boot into the BIOS at all? If so, do you have more than one option for the video card? Try switching to the other to see if anything changes.

    Or the BIOS update bombed and corrupted everything?

  • birdy50
    Original Author
    4 years ago

    Thanks for the response. Definitely took all power out (battery, plug) before discharge. I cannot boot into bios at this time, it stays on the flickering black screen. The past few times it eventually (from 45 minutes up to overnight) boots up and starts windows 8. At present, however, I've left it in its flashing state for over 32 hours and it still never booted. Stayed at flashing.


    Unfortunately, this is one of those models with the integrated GPU. Only one video card option.

    I couldn't be sure the BIOS update bombed everything since the issue was present before I did the update.

    No idea if this means anything, but if I have the battery in and have powered up and it's in the flashing black state, when I plug or unplug the power cord it makes a loud beep.

  • birdy50
    Original Author
    4 years ago

    Well it eventually booted to lenovo splash page, then blue box that said:

    Insyde H20; Secure Flash; Error: Decompress Failed; press any boot to reboot system

    So I pressed a button and it restarted and went back to the flashing black screen.

  • Steve J
    4 years ago

    InsydeH2O is the tool used to flash your BIOS, so that means the BIOS update failed and bricked your laptop. Grab an updated BIOS update utility and file download. Make sure you're using the correct option. If you're grabbing the EUFI update, it needs to be done withing EUFI. If you're using the legacy option, you likely have to switch from EUFI to legacy in the BIOS before flashing it.

  • birdy50
    Original Author
    4 years ago

    thanks for the clarity, Steve. Only problem with that is I am not able to interact with this laptop unless it magically boots itself again. Who knows if it will, and if it will go right back to that same BIOS update failed. The only option given to me if and when it does go to that is to press a key to restart. hmph

  • birdy50
    Original Author
    4 years ago

    And just like that at some point today it booted to windows. Interesting. So I guess I'll just keep my laptop on FOREVER!!!! But seriously. Running a Lenovo diagnostic now. We'll see what happens. I'll post the update in case anyone is in the same boat.

  • mikie_gw
    4 years ago

    If you search the web for screen flickering on your model you probably will find many are saying the display ribbon cables need disconnected & reconnected on the motherboard. Seems popular.

  • sofaspud
    4 years ago
    Would a corrupt BIOS allow the thing to boot up at all? I am thinking no.
  • birdy50
    Original Author
    4 years ago

    Sofaspud, that's kinda what I wonder. I ran the LSC diagnostics on the machine- tested everything- motherboard, processor, video card, etc. Passed every single test. I'm baffled.

    Mikie_gw from what I found, the ones who had flickering display due to display ribbons it was flickering while using the OS. My issue is before the laptop can even boot- a very very faint black flicker that you can only see in the right light. No flicker whatsoever once it finally decides to boot up hours or days later after pressing power. The power light will be lit, it's making it's startup noise, but the screen is blank (with the faint black flash) until it eventually boots up. When I check the system logs, none of the time that it's sitting in black flashing state is recorded as running. Only once it boots. (though the power light is on that whole time)

  • badabing2
    4 years ago

    Curious - did you try removing the battery and booting with line power only? Just had a Lenovo that the battery (long since dead) was causing the laptop to shutdown.

  • Elmer J Fudd
    4 years ago

    "Lenovo support says to take it to a repair center"


    This is expert and knowledgeable advice to deal with the symptoms. You know better than they do?

  • birdy50
    Original Author
    4 years ago

    badabing- yep, tried every power option- AC and battery both and singular.

  • birdy50
    Original Author
    4 years ago

    I ran DISM and sfc/scannow and after repairing some things, came out with a clean report on both. Ran LSC again and everything was clear. So far I've not turned it off in a week, so it's remained on and sans the problem. I would imagine if I shut it down it would do the same flicker/flash and not boot for a long while.

    Just an update. Perhaps I could try a system restore.

  • birdy50
    Original Author
    4 years ago

    well, it's back to the flashing screen for a few days now. I'm going to try a motherboard replacement from ebay or CL if I can find a decent price. Quite disappointing for a barely used laptop. I don't think I'll buy Lenovo again.

  • Elmer J Fudd
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    I've bought exclusively Lenovos for the past 10 years for my multi-PC family of home users and I'm a happy customer. I did have a hard disk failure (not Lenovo's fault) and following the advice of Lenovo tech support, I took it to an authorized service provider for a free fix. No complaints at all.

    You may be your own worst enemy. If you don't know enough to determine what the problem is, you're flailing your arms trying different fixes without knowing what it needs. All the same, good luck.

  • mike_kaiser_gw
    4 years ago

    I think the problem is hardware, not software but I have to wonder about the time and effort required to replace a motherboard on a relatively inexpensive laptop, even if it wasn't used very much.

  • Félix M
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    Same laptop, exactly the same problem.

    Faintly flickering before boot. Now doesn't boot anymore, even after a week.

    Very frustrating to read all of this with proper solution in the end.

  • birdy50
    Original Author
    4 years ago

    Just checking back on this- I ended up getting another g50 laptop off ebay for $70 shipped, and swapped out the motherboard from it to my old one as the one off ebays case was rickety and not in as good of shape as mine. Working fine now after a buttload of updates. Absolutely no flickering screen, so my guess is motherboard problem. Disappointing, yes, but happy to have fixed it for less than the cost of a new one.

  • acraftylady
    4 years ago

    Wow good deal. Lucky you know how to do that stuff. Mary

  • birdy50
    Original Author
    4 years ago

    It wasn't hard at all- use this page for step by step instructions and lay out your screws with labels for what they go to, and the order of removal, and you're good to go! Just take your time. https://download.lenovo.com/consumer/mobiles_pub/lenovo_g_z_50_series_hmm.pdf

    I even upgrade the laptop a little bit bc the one off ebay was a 50-80, which has a 2.2ghz as opposed to my 1.7. Same fittings everywhere, so no problem swapping. This one has a removable (not by solder) CMOS too, which I like.

  • Elmer J Fudd
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    Congrats on fixing your PC but I'm not sure your experience is one others may choose to follow. You were guessing as with your earlier steps rather than knowledgeably diagnosing. If it hadn't been the motherboard, you'd have been out $70 and still had a non-functioning PC. Without knowing what the problem was.

  • HU-201808141
    2 years ago

    Had the same problem. I replaced the RAM and it solved the issue

  • Armandt Fritz
    last year
    last modified: last year

    Hii.. I have this weird problem with my lenovo G50 laptop. When I try and tur it on, It seems like it doesn't read my windows from my hard drive. So it keeps flashing a white line in the top left corner of the screen. It's the screen where it's supposed to be showing my windows loading. I tries to use my bootable usb on legacy boot but didn't work.

    Any suggestions?

    This is a picture of what it's doing.. so any help?



  • bengz6westmd
    last year

    Can you get into the setup/Bios? Escape or F10 or something like that.