My replacement cable's still on the way. It was, according to my tracking info, in town yesterday but still hasn't made it to the house (it missed yesterday's pickup) but in the meantime, I took the screen off my laptop last night and found a pretty severe kink in the original cable, under the left hinge. When I put a little pressure on the kink I could feel it strain, like it was fighting me as I tried to straighten it.
When I got done tightening everything as much as I could and put it all back together and restarted, lo and behold, the vertical lines were gone (and almost 24 hours later, are still gone). But the red where there should be black and teal artifacting all over is still very much present.
I'm feeling hopeful that I've finally narrowed the issue down, that it's almost surely not the graphics, and that if a new cable doesn't fix it, then a new screen probably will. Yay.
ETA, some hours later...
Requiem For A Laptop
[poetry I won't be writing goes here]
All of my ETAs just suck lately, don't they? Mercury's in a weird retrograde pattern, I hear.
The video cable was in tonight's mail but made no difference. Luckily a friend had a working spare screen I knew would work in ASAP, so they brought it by not long after I put in - and took out - the new cable. Together we took the old screen off and put the new screen on. I'm not gonna lie, there are so many tiny little screws involved in this process that, including putting the old screen back on at the end, it took about an hour. Luckily it's one of my better vitamin deficiency days so I didn't need my glasses to see all these little fuckers. Normally I would.
Once we had the other screen in solid and tight, we turned ASAP back on. This was the big moment. The screen was no longer red but the normal black upon boot-up, Windows startup and the Windows lock screen. And the sign-in screen - it looked as normal as could be. "Sign in," my friend said, seeming kind of excited at my wide-eyed amazement.
I paused for a second, staring at it, before saying, "Nope, I'm shutting her down. It's done." Why? he wanted to know. "Because she's still got that teal artifacting all over the place. Check this out," I said, bringing him around to look at all the spots I could see teal where the screen, of course, should've been white. The sign-in text box. The battery level icon. The white clouds in the lock screen background picture.
As I had put the old video cable back in before attaching the screen provided to me, I can't say for sure if the damned laptop needed both the new cable and the other screen attached at once to lick the problem completely, and I didn't feel like taking it apart a third time while my friend waited to find out, but as the cable by itself did not make a damn bit of difference, I'll call this at "I doubt it".
So I've got a laptop good enough for, say, your eight-year old to do their homework on if they're not terribly picky about tons of moving red blotches and solid red backgrounds where there should be black on the screen and little teal artifacts and lines running all over it whereever it should be white, grey, or any lighter color or shade. Other than that, it's a well-running paperweight. I mean, I don't know what else to say.
I destroyed the laptop lid and touchpad bezel in the sticker frenzy that swept over me not long after acquiring it - which went something like this but did not come out as glittery, it was more flowers and owls - which is why I probably won't sell it as a laptop, but might part it out, instead. The stickers have mostly pulled off around the touchpad and the remaining finish is three to five shades lighter where they've given up. The top mostly has its stickers but a few have been lost - much to the same effect.
If anyone on my reading list is looking for parts for an older HP ProBook I'll be happy to give a rundown of specs/prices by PM (if you are interested in acquiring it whole, upon request I'll give a complete visual tour, by email, of how bad the screen is. The best I can tell anyone is "the problem's sort of intermittent; you won't see red on every screen or web page - some pages will almost look normal - but most will have some artifacting, no matter how good they might look, otherwise". I have tons of pictures, taken with my smartphone. You might need sunglasses for some of the redder parts!).