HTC Bolt half black screen fixes

The HTC Bolt suffers from a blank screen issue in which the right half of the screen goes blank. It’s a commonly-reported issue. When you wake the phone, you will see that the right-half is black. The issue appeared on my HTC Bolt five months after I purchased it new.

The issue is so pervasive and unexpected a website has been created just for HTC Bolt complaints as well as a petition for HTC to recall the phones.

If your phone is within the one-year warranty, you should contact HTC at 1 (866) 449-8358. They will want to know that you have performed a factory reset. Then, they will ask you to run the Diagnostic tool and perform the proximity sensor test.

To run the Diagnostic tool, dial *#*#DIAG#*#* (*#*#3424#*#*). Perform the P-sensor test (screenshots here). This, of course, won’t fix the half blank screen issue, but you have to perform the test for them anyway. If within warranty, they will email you with instructions on sending them the phone.

It will take eight weeks for the phone to be serviced. You have to be willing to temporarily replace the phone to choose this option. As reported by other owners, a repair or replacement doesn’t resolve the issue. It will probably come back.

If your phone is out of warranty, then you will need to learn how to fix the problem. Here, I’ve collected the various solutions and what worked for me.

The issue

The problem seems to be a video ribbon connector that comes loose. Pressing on the screen seems to be able to reconnect it. Slapping the phone also may help. This loose connector has also been reported on the iPad, so it’s not unique to the Bolt. Why would the connector come loose? An obvious cause would be a good jarring such as from the phone being dropped. More likely, however, thermal expansion is the culprit. The phone gets warm while charging. Once the issue occurred, I would see it every time I removed the phone from the charging cable.

The right-half blank screen issue can be categorized as one of several HTC Bolt screen issues. Others that have been reported include

Touching the top half of the screen causes the screen to go blank



What works

Factory reset. This worked for me initially. Simply going to the menu to access the factory reset option cleared up the issue. So, it seemed as if this would help. However, the problem returned shortly after the reset.

Pressing the screen with your thumb on the right, blank half. You have to find the sweet-spot and it’s not always the same position. This works for a time. Eventually it will cease being effective and further pressing causes the left half to also to black.

Firm slap. Slap the back of the phone somewhat firmly. Slapping the front of the phone may also work. Remember. You are just trying to reseat the video connector. If you feel you are risking damage to the phone you are slapping too hard and the impact solution won’t work.