You may not. But in the interest of fault-diagnosis: How many pixels wide is the line? Is it permanent whenever the monitor is displaying, regardless of the display-type fron the machine? Is it the very top row, or further down? L
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First step: Try another monitor. If the problem follows the monitor, it's in the monitor. If it stays with the computer, the problem may be your video hardware, in which case replacing that card is usually the simplest solution. Luckily, LCD monitors are getting fairly cheap these days, so if it really is the screen and simply re-seating the cables doesn't solve it, a replacement won't set you back _too_ far. (CRTs are a glut on the market. Want a decent 17" IBM monitor? Just pay shipping...)
That's not good :( Generally it means there is a break in the connection between the controller hardware and the physical screen itself - sometimes they come loose, sometimes they degrade, etc. It's not something you can easily diagnose or fix yourself. The cables are extremely fragile (as are their connectors). You can try massaging the edge of the screen (the frame, not the visible lcd portion) to try and see if you get that line appearing again. If all hope is lost, it's worth a try to take it apart, unhook all cables from their zif sockets (do not force anything, they are zero insertion force) and see if reseating the cables works.