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Old 08-18-2008, 10:39 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Unhappy Monitor goes black when anything changes

Dell Dimension 4600
3 Gg RAM
Dell LCD monitor
NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200

I've had this computer for about 5-6 years and this problem just started yesterday - no changes that i know of prompted it:

Any time there's a change on screen (app launching, start menu opening, a flyout menu opening, any kind of video stream, opening windows explorer, etc - basically anything), the monitor goes black until the 'process' is complete, then it comes back on. no error message. the monitor is still on, just a black screen. i can use the computer in Safe Mode just fine, and I also plugged the monitor into another computer and the display was fine, so I feel pretty sure that it's not my monitor. i updated the graphics card drivers, but that didn't seem to have any affect.

Any help would be really great. I appreciate it!
thanks
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Old 08-18-2008, 11:06 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Monitor goes black when anything changes

Reduce the Frequency and refresh rate of your monitor. Sounds like you have the settings on too high and the monitor cannot handle the resolution/refresh rate.

Reduce both and see if that helps.
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Old 08-18-2008, 11:20 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Monitor goes black when anything changes

Thanks for the reply. In control panel > display > settings > advanced > monitor, there is only one choice in the screen refresh rate and it is "Use Hardware Default Setting".

how do i change frequency and refresh rates?
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Old 08-18-2008, 11:23 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Monitor goes black when anything changes

Right click on your background and go to properties (or personalize in Vista). Then click the settings tab and reduce the resolution to a lower setting. Then i would go to advanced, click on the monitor tab and reduce your refresh rate. Reduce both settings enough to where you aren't getting the same issue, once that happens you can 'tweak' them a bit to find the highest refresh rate / resolution your monitor/card can handle w/o blacking out.

Let me know if that doesn't work.
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Old 08-18-2008, 11:39 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Monitor goes black when anything changes

Okay - i changed the resolution to 1024x768, and changed the frequency to 60 hertz. It didn't work. i'm still having the same problem. thanks again.
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Old 08-18-2008, 11:56 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Monitor goes black when anything changes

Go lower. I would put the settings as low (or close to) as they can go. At that point if you are still having issues we know it isn't that and it is a hardware issue (not settings).
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Old 08-18-2008, 12:26 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Monitor goes black when anything changes

done. resolution and frequency both down as low as i can go. problem persists. thank you.


Update: actually, the problem got a little better with the new settings. it is still happening, but less so. I just went back up in resolution 1 notch and it got worse again.
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Old 08-18-2008, 01:30 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Monitor goes black when anything changes

Replace the video card with an extra, see if that fixes it. I think it is a hardware issue.
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Old 08-18-2008, 01:38 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Monitor goes black when anything changes

Hi - thanks for the advice. i thought it might come down to that. I don't have an extra laying around, so do you have any recommendations for what card to buy? i might be limited on what i can get based on the age of this computer, but i don't know enough to know i'm limited to.

thank you kindly.
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Old 08-18-2008, 01:54 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Monitor goes black when anything changes

No problem. If you don't have an extra to try, see if perhaps you can borrow a friends. The issue here is i don't want you going out and purchasing a video card when in fact that isn't the problem. I think we've proved it IS the problem, but you can't ever be 100%. It seems to me like there is a memory issue in the video card, and when there are applications that really need some ram (or processing power from the card) it cuts your video card out.

So MAYBE, just MAYBE we could try a few others things. I would first increase your paging file on your system. Then I would see if you can possibly use another power supply (i'm thinking maybe when you need extra processing power there isn't enough to go around, so it is cutting off your video card). I realize that may be a stretch, but worth a shot if it saves you money on going out and purchasing a card.

Can you give the exact specs of your PC.
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