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Monitor problem

Posted on 1998-11-15
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Last Modified: 2010-04-27
I have a ProView 15" monitor.

Yesterday, out of the blue, it started freaking out.  Every five seconds, it sounded as if internal switch was being flipped, and every time it clicked, the display became skewed in a different way.  Nothing on the screen is readable, it is just a bunch of horizontal lines.  Occasionally, it would stop doing this and return to normal..but only for 10-20 seconds, then it would return to this cycle.  I attempted to reset the monitor, but this did nothing.  Also, I unplugged the monitor from the computer and turned the monitor on.  It continued to do this.  Therefore I do not think it is a software problem.  Any ideas what happened?  The other day I was experimenting in some obscure graphics modes in DOS (like 640x480x256)...could this have possibly damaged the monitor?  If so, the damage didn't manifest itself until a day later.

I have no access to any of the monitor's controls (as far as I know), because these are menu-driven, and depend on the screen.  I think I will have to RTFM, but if anyone has any ideas on how to remedy this I would appreciate hearing them.  Thanks.
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Question by:scrapdog
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Expert Comment

by:joopv
ID: 1129109
assuming you are running w95:
It could be that there is a piece of software active within your pc that reprograms the video card.  Check all your running programs (press cntr-alt-del) for something that could be doing this.

or

The circuits in the monitor that switch over to different sync frequency's are appearantly not sure what position to take.  This  is more serious as it takes a lot of electronics experience to adjust these circuits.

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by:scrapdog
ID: 1129110
I am using Windows 98, but I know it is not a software problem, since the monitor does this even when the computer is off and the monitor is disconnected from the computer.  My video card works fine with the monitor I am using now.
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Accepted Solution

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jhance earned 60 total points
ID: 1129111
You monitor's control electronics have failed.  The "switch" you hear clicking is a relay used to switch the scan circuitry between different modes.  

If this is under warranty, get it fixed.  If this is no longer out of warranty, get a new one.  Repairing out-of-warranty monitors can be done but it's often more expensive than buying a whole new unit.
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by:scrapdog
ID: 1129112
Exactly what I DIDN'T want to hear.

Do you have any idea what might have caused this, besides a defect?
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Expert Comment

by:jhance
ID: 1129113
It really could be anything.  Most monitors are VERY poorly made and I believe are carefully designed to last through their warranty period.  After that, poof!  Having repaired (or tried to repair) many of these things I've seen bad solder joints, improperly sized components (i.e. 1/4W resistors where a 1/2W res required) that gradually fail over time, circuit board layouts that arc.  You name it.  Another problem with many of these is that many use parts proprietary parts that cannot be cross-referenced and replaced.

What brands are good? I've had excellent results with Sony and NEC.
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by:scrapdog
ID: 1129114
The monitor is only 3 months old...it decided to *poof!* too early.  As far as I know the warranty lasts for a year.  Ha!

Anyway, I only paid $160 for it...this is pretty cheap, I suppose I should have expected this...
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Expert Comment

by:jhance
ID: 1129115
In my experience, most low cost monitors come with a 90-day warranty.  You might be lucky, however.  If it is still under warranty, dump this problem on the warranty provider.  
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