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Monitor not displaying properly

Posted on 2006-06-25
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Last Modified: 2010-04-25
i have the following monitor problem. when the computer boots up there are these wavy lines on the screen and you can barely see anything. however, it works fine in Safe mode. also, i think the surge protector may have been fried during some recent storms in the area. the old monitor, which worked fine, died and the computer wasn't used for about a month or so. we got this new monitor just last week and are having the above mentioned problems with it.

the computer is an old Compaq running Windows 2000 and the monitor is 14" Dell.

any ideas what could be wrong and how to fix it?

Thanks
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Question by:Lou1
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10 Comments
 
LVL 30

Expert Comment

by:callrs
ID: 16979204
Boot into safe mode & reset the display settings to the lowest screen resolution.
Then boot into normal mode  & set the display settings to what you want them to be.
Problem is that the refresh rate & screen resolution may be set too high for the old 14" monitor to handle.

Other workaround: plug a newer monitor into the computer & you should get a good display. Then set the display to the lowest screen resolution & refresh rate. Then plug monitor into the 14".

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LVL 30

Expert Comment

by:callrs
ID: 16979213
>>Then plug monitor into the 14
I mean: Then plug computer into the 14"

Display settings are under "Display" in the Control Panel.
You may have to set the monitor type also: In Display, click Settings, then Advanced, then Monitor. If Win2000 doesn't have the driver for the monitor, you can change the setting to one of the standard monitors - but then be aware not to set the refresh rate too high for the old monitor.

A monitor can be damaged by using a too-high refresh rate.

-----
To boot into safe mode: http://www.computerhope.com/issues/chsafe.htm
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LVL 30

Expert Comment

by:callrs
ID: 16980341
>>we got this new monitor just last week
"New" as in brand new? 14" monitors were made long ago & can't handle high refresh rates & high resolutions.
Is the monitor a flat panel or CRT? If it's CRT then even if it's "new", it may have been made in the late 90's
If it's LCD, then you still need to set the screen resolution etc. to what it can handle.

The monitor works in Safe Mode is because Safe Mode defaults to a safe resolution & refresh rate.

---
A surge, as you mention, may also have damaged some computer component (PCI slot, video card, mb, ...). A surge damaged a PCI slot in my computer once - despite the computer being plugged into a (cheap) surge protector. The computer plugged into the better protector wasn't damaged. The date was August 14, 2003 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2003_North_America_blackout.  All the more reason to have a quality surge protector.

You can try a different video card and/or a different PCI slot for the card.
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LVL 26

Expert Comment

by:PCBONEZ
ID: 16984441
Those lines on the screen are represenative of a monitor trying to run at the wrong frequency.

Go into device manager and make sure Windows doesn't 'think' the old monitor is still there.
If it is delete in and reboot to install the drivers for the newly installed monitor.

Also a 14" monitor may not be plug'n'play.
You may have to manually select it in the windows hardware setup when you reboot.
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Author Comment

by:Lou1
ID: 16986825
actually the monitor is not Dell, it's Acer, if that makes any difference.
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LVL 30

Expert Comment

by:callrs
ID: 16987001
Doesn't matter. What matters is the refresh rate & resolutions it can support.
Is it a CRT 14" one?
Boot into safe mode & set the display settings to lowest resolution, etc...
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Author Comment

by:Lou1
ID: 16993216
we did that. i.e. boot in Safe mode and set the resolution to the lowest possible setting, but that did not fix the problem.
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LVL 4

Accepted Solution

by:
Phreonx earned 750 total points
ID: 16996932
Hello,
sounds like a corrupt video driver file. Since your monitor works fine in Safe Mode then there's nothing wrong with it hardware-wise. Try booting in Safe Mode, uninstall old Video Card Drivers, reinstall latest version [or if you're bold enough try reinstalling the old ones just to see if my point about a corrupt Video Card driver file is right] and please keep us informed.

Hope that helped ;)
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LVL 30

Assisted Solution

by:callrs
callrs earned 750 total points
ID: 16997297
>>we did that. i.e. boot in Safe mode and set the resolution to the lowest possible setting,
Set the Refresh Rate to "Adapter Default" as well. The Refresh Rate setting is either in "Adapter" or "Monitor" in the advanced display settings.
It's set to "Optimal" it may not work on an older monitor.
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LVL 30

Expert Comment

by:callrs
ID: 16997304
On second thoght, set it to 60Hz...just in case the default is higher than that.
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