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Monitor switching on

Posted on 2003-10-21
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Last Modified: 2013-11-08
Two computers, similar problem:
On each computer when first switching on they sometimes do not always switch the monitor on. On one the monitor stays blank, on the other it is blank for a while then displays garbage.

The first computer has 32Mb on-board graphics (MS6340 m/b), Win98, 224Mb system RAM: it has been stable for a long time; this happened out of the blue and has continued for about 8 months. It may occur on one boot up in twenty.

The second computer has 64Mb Ati Radeon card (new), 256Mb system RAM, Win Me. This has just started to misbehave and may occur also about one in twenty times.

The computers are both 3-4 years old; the monitors have been ruled out, the RAM has been changed.

Apart from the obvious - why?, my question is about the boot up sequence that involves the monitor. I presume it involves a signal from the m/b to the monitor, but why should it lose the signal, and why should the second computer eventually get a garbage signal (all colours, no readable screen).

In both cases the rest of the devices and software load normally: you can close it down in the usual way, you just can't see anything useful.. any ideas on how to narrow the problem down?

JD
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Question by:JohnDecker
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CrazyOne earned 350 total points
ID: 9596824
If you have other video cards around trying using them to test with to see if maybe the cards you are using have developed a defect.
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by:CrazyOne
ID: 9596828
Also check to make sure the cable from the monitor is snuggly plugged into the computer.
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by:CrazyOne
ID: 9596830
>>>the monitors have been ruled out

How did you rule out the monitors? If they are new doesn't mean they work properly.
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by:JohnDecker
ID: 9596892
Cable has been in and out several times, so that shouldn't be a problem

I have tried three different monitors between the two computers and have tried the monitors on other machines - problem only replicates on original machines.

One has on-board graphics, one has a brand new card; it may be the on-board has become defective and the new card started out defective, but isn't it more likely to be a m/b thing? Hence the question about the mechanics of the m/b switching the monitor on - what exactly does it?
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by:philby11
ID: 9596901
Adding to Crazyones' post the garbeled info on the ME box sounds like the graphics card may be dodgy.
Have you tried downloading the latest graphics drivers for each system?
This may sound silly but have you tried turning the monitor off & on when this happens?
Have you had any power surges or blackouts recently that may have spiked the systems?

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by:CrazyOne
ID: 9596946
The one with that has a brand new card does it also have an onboard adapter. If so you may need to disable it to make the card usuable. Some BIOS's automatically disable the onboard adapter then again some dont. Some mother boards to disable the onboard adapter is through changing a jumper setting and others the disabling is in the BIOS.
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by:CrazyOne
ID: 9596958
Also in the one with the new card. Did you remove the drivers of the previous adapter from the Device manager before installing the new card. If not boot to safe mode and remove the old driver and you may need to make sure the driver for this card is the correct one.
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by:mingz
ID: 9597002
When the garbage screen comes out, can you try adjusting the connection of the video card with the monitor cable and see if the screen appear...
This will rule out faulty cables :O
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by:Huseyin1
ID: 9597014
If this is a new monitor that you have coinnected to the old PC, then maybe, just maybe there is not enough power going to the monitor, and thats why itis playing up, what is your PSU specs?

H
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by:Huseyin1
ID: 9597020
what I mean is that when your doing something that consumes alot of power like using the CD ROM something has to give like the monitor.

H
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by:JohnDecker
ID: 9597287
Thanks for the quick feedback:
philby11: Monitor power off and on doesn't work (tried it), as for power surges - where DOESN'T have surges of some intensity. No blackouts though (and the two computers are in totally different parts of town).
Agreed, both graphics may be dodgy, and they each have latest drivers - but this isn't the point, the point is that the software doesn't even load at the opint of failure: failure happens at the start of, or during, POST.
Crazy One: the driver came with the card and I can't find later drivers, and I removed the on-boarrd settings in safe mode as per usual.. but see above
mingz: faulty cables in three monitors?, but will try..
Huseyin1: possibly on one machine(25W), but the other is 400W and their old monitor

BUT - what switches the monitor on? If you look at yours, it seems to happen before the POST, so what exactly triggers it? This must be the failure - maybe not enough power to trigger it?
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by:CrazyOne
ID: 9597304
>>>so what exactly triggers it?

Not sure but don't rule out the video adapters as the cause. If you are not getting the POST it still can be the adapters.
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by:JohnDecker
ID: 9597448
CrazyOne: sorry, I think I'm confusing you - all works totally normally apart from the monitor, sometimes. All the POST works, the OS loads and it can be shut down as normal (given I am working in the dark, but all the sounds check out: HD, tada sound etc). It's just that the monitors don't kick into life when they should, before the POST, or as it starts. I need to say to the customer that this is either definitely the m/b or definitely the graphics - or at least something definite.
If it was the graphics, wouldn't I get the beep codes firing up?
I thought I had tried everything, but it occurs to me that I haven't let it load and then switched monitors while it is still live.. though I'm not sure what that would prove. I suspect the new monitor would act like the old one, in which case I would still suspect the graphics or whatever kicks it into play at start up.
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by:CrazyOne
ID: 9597491
Yeah generally speaking a beep code is generated if the video adapter is seen as not being present even if it is. If there is a defect in the adapter it may not be one that the BIOS sees so it thinks the adapter is OK. It is difficult to say without testing if it is MB or something else. That is why I suggested testing with a different video card if you can. Then I think by doing that if the problem desists then you know it is the card. If it doesn't desists then the issue may be the mother board. BTW when was the last time the MB batteries on these machines were replaced?
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by:JohnDecker
ID: 9598180
Don't know about the m/b batteries. Not sure where you're going with that..I know I should try a different card, I'm just being a bit tight, money-wise. Still, if it solves the problem.. but why is my own computer (the first one, with the on-board graphics) having a similar problem? Gradual crapping out of t he o/b graphics? Maybe it is coincidence..
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by:trifazic
ID: 9599820
if the computers are in the same house, or neighborhood, the problem, could, and must me, the electrical power...if you are in an area where are a lot of lightnings, this could be an explanation

anyway, this must be the explanation... the only i can think of

the problem is not the hardware, because the simptoms are random, not constant

the problem is instability, which is caused by interferences in electrical power
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by:CrazyOne
ID: 9600790
John MB batteries that are loosing their power can and do cause from time to time weird problems. With the age of these MB's it is quite possible you are dealing with batteries that are about to die.
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by:JohnDecker
ID: 9601791
trifazic: from an earlier post <(and the two computers are in totally different parts of town)>
and, no lightning is not a problem, for some reason here in NZ we get sheet lightning rather than the forked sort. And the symptoms are not really random enough to say it is the power, I don't believe.
CrazyOne, you may be right, it's hard to say. I might lok at renewing the battery in my own - what harm can it do? - but I suspect it might just be the m/b doesn't like the card. But in saying that, why has mine started to fail with no changes to the h/w? I don't know.. I will get another card and battery, but I may be quiet for a day or two.
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by:JohnDecker
ID: 9604279
Interesting development - I have just added a new 17" monitor to my own computer - now it loses the screen in mid-session. Maybe huseyin1 is onto something regarding the PSU - I'll lift the bonnet and let you all know the specs and outcome of changing it..
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by:JohnDecker
ID: 9746556
Both PSUs 350w
Since last talking my own has settled down and the other had a changed card - PCI instead of AGP.
My conclusions: bad connection in my own, 'fixed' by changing monitors (and therefore plug) and either card or connection in other one.
The simplest answers are always the besy, hence CrazyOne's mark. Also another example of why I should not link two disparate events and get carried away..
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by:JohnDecker
ID: 9770508
There is a postscript to this.. another computer (don't ask me why so many) had its m/b replaced, had on board graphics, and new memory. The only thing that hadn't changed was the case, the hdd and the psu. Same problem - no monitor switching on.. I changed the psu - no change until I connected the P4 plug into the m/b, then it worked fine. No p4 plug, no monitor. Why? I don't know, but it's a suggestion for anyone with a similar problem..
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