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There are two causes. The first is as knossos said, a unproperly seated LCD cable connector, or damaged connector.
Dell also ships 'refurbished' LCDs that have lines and other problems with them, which could be what you got. Or maybe just reseating the connector will resolve your issue . . .
The other cause is that the LCD is failing. It'll start with just a few vertical lines and slow get worse and worse. Dell usually takes the LCDs back and replaces them for free, even if you don't have a warranty - but only if you push them for it.
A small part broke off on my 30 pin connector that I think is just for securing. Could that make a difference?
I bought this from a EBay seller who said he checked the screen before shipping and it was perfectly fine.
It very likely could, particularly if it is on the same side of the cable that the screen is having problems on.
A lot of times the LCDs failing like this is a heat related issue. The specs on Dell LCDs usually have a max temp of around 100-110 deg F which they can easily reach in a 75-85 degree room under normal operating conditions. In fact at work I'm currently working on a heat mod for our monitors to reduce heat related issues and failure rates.If the problem is a heat related issue, even if the LCD had been tested prior it was probably tested on the bench without a case allowing the heat to dissipate easier.If the problem isn't as pronounced on power up and the bar worsens after warming up then I would definitely cite heat-related issues.
Also the thick black line has changed a few colors.
when I put pressure on the right side where it is black, a small rectangular part of it changes colors and then the remaining part stays black.
You should be able to switch those LCD screens around on the systems without a problem. The inverters are, from the best of my knowledge, built into any of the LCD screens.
I don't know very much about LCD screens, but I would *guess* that if the cable was incompatible, it either wouldn't even connect or at least it wouldn't work . . . To have it 80% work seems odd.