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Old 06-07-2006, 06:38 PM   #1
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Question What is happening to my monitor?

Today, just as I walked in from work, I noticed my monitor doing something it has never done before. It consistently gets dull, blurry (hard to read text), then it "snaps" into clarity. . .only to start the cycle again. I am in Linux MEPIS 3.43 as I write this, but it also does it in Windows (I have dual boot).

Here are my specs: 1st hd is Windows XP, with a separate FAT32 partions for data storage. GRUB is loaded on MBR. 2nd hd is Linux MEPIS 3.43 with about 6-8 gig root, 2 gig swap, and the rest (60 gig) as home. Nvida GeForce 5200 (I think, and 128 mb). I have a WinTV 150 TV Tuner that I use to watch TV in Windows. I have had this in my computer for several weeks with no problem, but I have been leaving the TV running for days at a time in the past week. My monitor is a 17 or 19 inch CRT Dell (Trinitron). It has always given good performance. . .I don't know why it is acting weird.

My questions: 1) What is happening to my monitor? 2) What are my options?

Old 06-07-2006, 07:20 PM   #2
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Can be a few things.
Monitor going bad. Reason they just do. Lighting, power surges, electronics failing.
Video card going bad. Same reasons for monitor.
Possibly a power supply going. Causing power fluctions.
Cable is not fully seated or broken pins or wire almost.

First unplug and plug back in all cables.
Second try testing with a different monitor.
Thrid change out video card. Or put in another machine
If that works fine then down to power supply or motherboard.

Old 06-08-2006, 01:22 AM   #3
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I'd guess that either the cable between the video cable and the video card is not seated properly, or that your monitor is nearing the end of its useful life.

As Brian1 mentioned, if you have another monitor you can use, hook it up and see if the behavior continues. If it doesn't, but then returns as soon as you re-attach the original monitor, then that would be clear evidence that the monitor itself is the culprit. If so, you'll eventually need to replace it.

Personally, my own rule of thumb is that most PC equipment has a useful "service lifetime" of 3 years, and a "hardware lifetime" of 6 years. What I mean by this is that just about any PC component should enjoy at least 3 years of being considered pretty respectable and reasonably up-to-date, but after that point it starts to look old and feeble even though it might still work just fine. After about 6 years though, most PC components are either so inferior to their current counterparts that continuing to use them just doesn't make sense, or they just physically malfunction.

For illustration, I'll use two personal examples:

A. My first PC was purchased in Feb 1996, for IIRC about $2800. It boasted a Pentium 133Mz CPU, 16Mg of RAM, and a 1.6G drive. It seemed fine, until about 1999 or so, when it seemed way too slow to really be effective, so I quadrupled the RAM to 64Mg. That seemed fine, until about 2001, when the hard drive failed.

B. My next PC was home-built, and purchased in Jan 2003 for about $1500. It boasted a P4 2.4Gz CPU, 256Mg RAM, and and 80G drive. It seemed fine, until about 2005, when it seemed pretty slow, and I quaded the RAM to 1G and tripled the total storage capacity by adding a second 160G drive while demoting the 80G drive to secondary status, thus taking the total storage from 80G to 240G. I figure I can get about another two or three years out of this machine, but after that it'll be time to upgrade, assuming things don't just die before then.

Old 06-09-2006, 05:45 PM   #4
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After a few hours. . .

. . .my monitor returned to "normal" and has been "normal" since then. Perhaps I should not leave the TV running if I am not using it. Thanks for your responses!
Old 06-09-2006, 06:21 PM   #5
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thats a good idea ven if you not at the computer lol saves on the electricity bill
Old 06-09-2006, 09:23 PM   #6
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My old CRT monitor would "snap" every once in a while. I figured it was going bad, since my dad told me that the flyback transformer is what often fails in monitors. Sure enough, one day, the snapping got worse, and soon, I got to see it go bad. It sounded like a firecracker. That's something to think about (meaning don't leave your monitor on unattended )
Old 06-10-2006, 02:56 PM   #7
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