Trouble Determining if LCD broken

Howdy,

I'm having a little trouble determining if my LCD is broken or not, I'm not really having any issue with wiring, my pot is properly managing the contrast and I have power through it, although when I try to get a simple "Hello World!" to run through the LCD it looks like this.


I've run lcd.clear() as well with no effect.

When there is no code at all and the LCD is simply powered, with no connections to the digital I/O ports it looks like this.


Main reason I feel it may be broken is because previously a few days ago it would only put out 16x2 black boxes through the entire screen.

Any insight or feedback would be great before I consider buying a new one.

It looks broken.

Most significantly, the right hand side of the display looks to have different contrast to the left. The RHS is controlled by the "slave" chip - the second blob underneath. It doesn't look like a "Zebra strip" problem either. Possibly a bond wire fault inside the "blob".

estendo:
Main reason I feel it may be broken is because previously a few days ago it would only put out 16x2 black boxes through the entire screen.

So it was working at any time before?

Go buy a new one - if that works, at some later stage you may be in a position with working code to make sure that this one is indeed behaving wrongly and perhaps figure out why.