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06 March 2006 @ 09:41 am
a technical question for the hivemind  
At home, either my monitor or my video card is crapping out. The symptoms and conditions are:

  • Usually when I start up, it works fine at first. If I stay on and the computer's in constant use, it continues to work.
  • If I leave it long enough that the screen saver kicks in, I can't get the picture back. (I've got screen saver set to kick in after 90 minutes, maybe two hours right now, but that's not ideal.)
  • At that point, if I turn the monitor on and off, I'll get a half-second of image before it fades.
  • If I turn off the computer and restart immediately, I get the initial Windows logo, and the cursor shows up briefly, but the screen remains black when it's fully up.
  • If I wait several hours, I can usually get it to start fine again--but the time frame is inconsistent.

    Any thoughts? I can take it into a shop for diagnosis, but if it's something I can just replace myself--either the card or the monitor--that'd be easier.
    astolatastolat on March 6th, 2006 05:50 pm (UTC)
    It could be the monitor or video card or a software/os issue. Have you tried upgrading the drivers for your video card to the latest version? Start with that, as the simplest possible solution.
    Anna S.eliade on March 6th, 2006 05:55 pm (UTC)
    Awesome--thank you! I will try that. :)
    peasant_ on March 6th, 2006 06:43 pm (UTC)
    If it's the monitor, they sometimes respond to being hit.
    tabaquitabaqui on March 6th, 2006 06:47 pm (UTC)
    Until you actually figure out the problem? Turn off your screen saver. You don't actually *need* one - the pixel burn-in thing has long been solved, and that's what they were for. If you use it to hide stuff...uh...i guess minimize is your friend, but i'd just turn it off until you work out the underlying problem.

    Good luck! Sorry i have no *real* help.
    Nick: Daniel Jackson as Karlancoconutboi on March 6th, 2006 11:01 pm (UTC)
    That depends on how old her monitor is though. Mine is about a year and a half old, and it had pixel burn after about a month. They fixed it or gave me a new one and it's been fine since then.

    But yeah, dont know where I was going with this. Best of luck in the fixing dear.
    Lumenara Dhahm: quantumlumenara on March 6th, 2006 09:09 pm (UTC)
    Are you using an LCD or a CRT monitor? I had a CRT crap out on me last year, and the image flickering is a good sign that the monitor is on the way to doing so. There should be some diagnostics on your system that you can run (for both the video card and the monitor), although the best test is to just plug in another monitor, if you can.

    If you can give me any more specifics, I can run it by my techie friends.
    tovalentin on March 7th, 2006 06:35 am (UTC)
    Is it running hot? Do you vacuum it regularly? Is the fan working okay? Because heat'll kill your 'puter faster than anything, and the fact that it starts up okay after a few hours--maybe after it's had a chance to cool down?--might be an indicator.