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Monitor on the blink...

Posted on 1998-08-16
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Last Modified: 2010-04-27
I'm using an S3 Trio32/64 PCI adapter and my monitor is a generic 1280x1024.  It's worked fine until recently.  Normally, the viewable part of the monitor goes over the whole screen (naturally).  But now, I have a huge margin of darkness on either side of the viewing area.  It's as if the control to contract the horizontal viewing area has been rolled to one side -- that of course, is not the case.  I'm pretty sure the monitor itself is the problem and not the card.  Thanks very much for any help, information or suggestions.
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Question by:plytle
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It may be a number of things :-

1. Setup
Trying adjusting the horizontal size/screen positioning.  There are usually a number of buttons or wheels on the monitor to adjust this.  Depending on the exact model you may have buttons or wheels just under the screen (or sometimes on the size of the monitor).
If it's wheels.  Try slowing turning each one, a little until you see which one affects the annoying setting. Perhaps a wheel has been slightly dislodged from it's normal position.  Usually there are 4 wheels : horizontal size, horizontal positioning, vertical size, vertical positioning.  
If it's buttons.  They may act to adjust each setting individually with +/- or there may be a menu button (usually left most) which lets you adjust positioning (once you get to the menu, you use +/- like setting you're TV up).
The size/positioning are mostly independant of each other, but there is a slight interaction in each direction (changing the horizontal position usually slightly affects horizontal size, so some tweaking may be necessary).

2. Magnetic effect.
A magnetic field next to your screen can screw up the display (by deflecting the electron beam).  If you've got a mains cable, telephone, magnetic screwdriver etc.  near your monitor, move this away (or move the monitor).  Try clearing the general vicinity of the monitor completely.

3. Hardware failure.
Sometimes this does happen.  Usually you loose one color rather than positioning (e.g. all green is lost, and other colors screw up).  If a hardware fault you can try to get it repaired, but unless it's something trivial it's probably cheaper to get a new monitor.  If you have any doubts about it being a hardware problem with the monitor, try borrowing another monitor, and plugging that in instead, if this "fixes" the problem and you've checked the above, then it's a hardware fault.
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