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Thu Jan 17, 2013, 09:33 AM

Dead monitor? Or graphics card?

Last night while watching a video, the screen on my 24" Samsung monitor went black. And not that projected black you see when the computer is just starting up. This is as if the monitor was off, yet the power button still shows that it's on (it glows solid and isn't flashing as when the computer is off.)

The computer is a custom build (I didn't build it; don't know how) at least five years old. The graphics card is less than two years old as I replaced it about a year and a half ago when I thought it had gone out (stupid mistake on my part was that I hadn't seated my new ram properly.)

I think the sound is through another card or component as I could still hear the video even with a black screen, and I don't use monitor speakers.

So, do I need to go buy a new monitor tonight? Or has the video card gone out on me? I'm guessing the former, but I don't have an extra monitor with which to test that.

Thanks for any help y'all have
I'm going to go browse MicroCenter now...

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Arrow 29 replies Author Time Post
Reply Dead monitor? Or graphics card? (Original post)
kentauros Jan 2013 OP
NYC_SKP Jan 2013 #1
kentauros Jan 2013 #3
NYC_SKP Jan 2013 #6
kentauros Jan 2013 #9
NYC_SKP Jan 2013 #15
kentauros Jan 2013 #24
discntnt_irny_srcsm Jan 2013 #27
Downwinder Jan 2013 #2
kentauros Jan 2013 #4
Downwinder Jan 2013 #5
kentauros Jan 2013 #10
RC Jan 2013 #7
kentauros Jan 2013 #11
OnyxCollie Jan 2013 #8
kentauros Jan 2013 #12
lastlib Jan 2013 #13
kentauros Jan 2013 #14
lastlib Jan 2013 #22
kentauros Jan 2013 #23
MannyGoldstein Jan 2013 #16
kentauros Jan 2013 #17
demwing Jan 2013 #18
kentauros Jan 2013 #19
demwing Jan 2013 #20
kentauros Jan 2013 #21
kentauros Jan 2013 #25
NYC_SKP Jan 2013 #26
KracevayaKoshka Feb 2013 #28
skorpo Feb 2013 #29

Response to kentauros (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 09:47 AM

1. I would try to find another PC to use to see if the monitor works.

It's just a VGA cable, right?

Ideally, a friend or family member will let you do this, or the local non-chain computer place, or even an electronics store if you tell them you might buy a monitor from them.

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Response to NYC_SKP (Reply #1)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 10:01 AM

3. The cable is as new as the card.

Same with the power supply. I basically rebuilt the thing other than the motherboard when I thought all these other components had gone out. Cables don't go bad that quickly, do they? I could switch it out with the old one as there probably wasn't anything wrong with it, either.

And I really do wish I had local friends that knew this stuff. I'm the "geek" for them! I have no spare monitors or computers. Just the one of each. I tend to get rid of either non-working items or full computers as they're usually completely dead by then

I've never ventured into any of the local computer stores I've seen, and the one that built my computer has gone out of business. I'll see what I can find while I'm at work. I'd rather fix it myself if possible because I know enough to do the simple things like replace cards and so forth. I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to replace the power supply back when I thought I needed to. If I knew more about the main parts, I likely would have other standby computers available

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Response to kentauros (Reply #3)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 10:18 AM

6. It wasn't that I thought the cable might be bad, just to say that your monitor should plug easily...

...into a lot of other PCs or signal sources if it has that classic DB15 VGA cable.

Even a laptop could be used to test the monitor if you had the right adapter (video out to VGA).

Just to see if you could get a picture on it, and if you didn't then your video card would probably be OK and your monitor dead.

Or, if you could find another monitor to try with your PC, to nail down one or the other (video card or monitor).

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Response to NYC_SKP (Reply #6)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 10:29 AM

9. I'd do that,

if I had a laptop. I have only the desktop. The only thing closest to another computer is my Kindle reader

I'm not one for owning a lot of computers. Components, yes, but I usually do fine with just the one computer

I'll see if the older cable still works tonight, and let you know.

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Response to kentauros (Reply #9)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 11:33 AM

15. Thanks!

Now I'm curious!

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Response to NYC_SKP (Reply #15)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 11:27 PM

24. Of course, I couldn't FIND my previous DVI cable.

I did test the monitor with a VGA cable and still no go. It's just a dead monitor.

So, I just purchased a refurbished 27", 1920x1080, a resolution I'm not used to (the previous one was 1920x1200. Still, after some tweaking to make the viewing screen fit the actual screen size, I think I like it better

Now to just get another one. And a bigger desk!

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Response to kentauros (Reply #24)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 11:37 PM

27. Glad everything is working

I've been reading along and trying to learn things from the exchange. I've never had to deal with a dead monitor.

I am however addicted to having two monitors. I use a docked laptop with a Samsung xl2270 for work. I work from home. I never want to be without a second monitor. It's like giving up stereo for one speaker.

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Response to kentauros (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 09:55 AM

2. did you post from a laptop or a smart phone?

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Response to Downwinder (Reply #2)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 10:02 AM

4. I'm posting from work.

My problem is my monitor or computer at home

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Response to kentauros (Reply #4)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 10:17 AM

5. Somebody have a laptop you can hook the monitor to?

Edit to add:

Depending on how smart the monitor is, it should be telling you "no signal" if it is the card.

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Response to Downwinder (Reply #5)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 10:32 AM

10. Like I said above,

I'm the "geek" for my local friends and neighbors. And I don't own more than my normally reliable desktop. I don't normally have a need for another computer, other than in times like this, and that's maybe once every four or five years

And the monitor is showing nothing at all. The power light is on, not flashing, as when the computer is off. There's simply no video of any kind, no picture, not even any indication that the monitor is on, other than the power button working.

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Response to kentauros (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 10:23 AM

7. It sounds like the light source for the monitor died.

 

If you look real close in a good light, can you see whatever is suppose to be on the monitor? It will be very dark and kinda hard to see.
If so, you will need a new monitor.

If the graphics card quits, the monitor will usually shut down because there will be no video and the monitor will think the computer is off. The blue power light would be blinking.

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Response to RC (Reply #7)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 10:39 AM

11. I'm thinking that it's the monitor as well.

The power button is on, steady, no blinking. The screen is as dead as if I had it shut off. Now, I'm not in front of it right now as it's my home computer and I'm at work. But, I do remember these details as I had to shut it down when I'd normally have stayed on it the rest of the evening

The whole screen simply went to all black, as if the power had gone out, yet nothing else was off. So yeah, I'm thinking it's the monitor. I vaguely remember when I had all these difficulties two years ago and was getting those other error messages, like "No Signal". However, the monitor was working then and showing such things.

I've never had an LCD monitor go out on me. My previous monitor was a monster 19" CRT, and it's long gone. I just need to find a screen size I'm used to now (1900x1200.)

Thanks for the help

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Response to kentauros (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 10:24 AM

8. I had a bad graphics card (on a Mac.)

The screen was filled with red and green squares.

My friend had an expensive Apple monitor that suddenly went dead. Black, just like you described.

Sounds like your monitor's shot.

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Response to OnyxCollie (Reply #8)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 10:42 AM

12. I think it is, too.

At least with my old CRT, when it went bad, it just gradually got dark over the course of a year. This time, the LCD just switched to black and that was it!

Another problem to remember for future reference

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Response to kentauros (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 10:57 AM

13. Have you tried adjusting any of the other controls on the monitor?

Brightness, contrast, color, sharpness. If you can get anything out of the monitor with those, that may be an indication that it's the video card. If not, I'd assume the monitor is kaput.

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Response to lastlib (Reply #13)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 11:21 AM

14. I tried that kind of thing last night,

but as you need to be able to see those things on the screen, I didn't mess with it much. I feel the monitor is indeed dead. My first dead LCD!

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Response to kentauros (Reply #14)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 07:50 PM

22. if the monitor is indeed dead, you don't lose anything by twiddling the controls.

If it's the video card, you can replace it, then reset the monitor.

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Response to lastlib (Reply #22)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 11:23 PM

23. When I got home this evening, I tried all the other tests

everyone else suggested, and still, nothing. The monitor was dead, and I just replaced it.

Now, I'll need to get another HDMI cable for my DVD-player in the other room as I stole it to use on this monitor (no DVI connector) as well as a stand, since I like my monitor higher than they seem to make them these days.

I will see about whether the old one can be fixed so I can have two monitors, if it's worth doing that. Otherwise, it will get recycled. It's at least six years old, so maybe it was at its end anyway...

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Response to kentauros (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 01:01 PM

16. Most monitors complain when they have no input

They throw up a "nothing connected" message on the screen. So, I'd recommend...

Unplug the video cable at the monitor.

Pull the monitor power cord from the wall, wait 10 sec, plug it back in.

Turn the monitor back on.

If you don't get a "nothing connected" message on the screen, then it's likely a bad monitor.

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Reply #16)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 01:10 PM

17. Except for the fact that

there is absolutely nothing on the screen. No error message, no "No Input / Not Connected" message, nothing. It is as if the power were completely off, while still powering the lighted power button.

I did unplug the power cable last night, thinking maybe it was either the cable or even the power strip (though the main computer power uses it, too.) Nothing changed. I think, as described above, that the backlight on the monitor has gone out, and so, I'll have to get a new monitor.

Thanks for the additional tests to try. I'll check again this evening and let y'all know

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Response to kentauros (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 01:55 PM

18. Turn your computer off, and your monitor on

if you get the Red/Green/Blue self-test pattern, your monitor is OK. Re-seat the cable, even if it's new. A loose cable is like no cable at all. If you can, swap the cable before you buy a new monitor or Graphics card.

Can you see video in Safe Mode or while rebooting? If you can, your monitor and cable are fine.

What card do you own?


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Response to demwing (Reply #18)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 02:10 PM

19. I don't remember what card it is,

but it was a good one, and it's only about a year and a half old. Yes, I know it could go bad in that time, but I don't think that's the problem.

Now, I can't do any of these checks until I get home (still at work!) but I did check the monitor last night with the computer off. The only thing that indicated there was anything going to it was that the lighted power button was still glowing. Nothing on the screen at all.

When I rebooted, I didn't even see the bios start-up, so no way I'm going to see anything in safe-mode. From the info given above, I strongly suspect that the backlight went out. It happened while I was watching a video. The video continued on (I could still hear the sound) but the screen was as black as if I'd turned it off.

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Response to kentauros (Reply #19)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 02:17 PM

20. if you don't see the startup screens at boot

you've got a bad monitor and/or cable.

Got a flashlight? Turn the system on, let it boot. Hold a flashlight against and into the screen. If you see images, then you are right about the back-light.

Still, reseat/swap you cable out before you spend $$$ on a monitor. You made one "reseat" problem with your memory, don't get caught again

good luck

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Response to demwing (Reply #20)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 02:21 PM

21. Thanks!

I do have another cable that is likely still good (it was the original I swapped out in favor of the new one.) I'll try it and see what happens, as well as the flashlight test

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Response to kentauros (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 11:30 PM

25. Thank you all for your help!

The monitor was dead, at least by the tests y'all gave me. The only test I couldn't make work was the flashlight test. However, as it failed all the others, I was convinced to get a new one. I still have the old one, and will either have it checked by a tech, or recycle it. If it can be refurbished, then I may have that done and save the cost of a brand new monitor.

Oh, the new one is another Samsung, a refurbished 27", 1920x1080 resolution. I haven't yet tested video on it, but that's next. I had to thank everyone here first

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Response to kentauros (Reply #25)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 10:45 PM

26. Bravo!

Glad you like the new unit, kentauros!

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Response to kentauros (Original post)


Response to kentauros (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 04:36 PM

29. Inverter for backlight

Do the flashlight test on your old monitor.
I had a monitor that needed a replacement inverter for the backlight and could see the display using a flashlight.
Replacement of the power inverter, a $19 part fixed the problem.

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