Weird stuff happening desktop

June 12, 2009 at 06:26:18
Specs: Windows XP, 450/256
Can anyone help me sort out this dilemma pls?
Weeks ago after I had had my new pc for about 4 weeks ( using a yr old monitor), I noycied a couple of strange horizontal lines on my desktop. Not real clear at first just hazy grey/white lines. If my pc was turned off for a while and turned back on again they could barely be seen but would get more and more clear the longer the pc was turned on. ONLY on desktop...couldnt see them on web pages.
So, I switched the monitor involved to my pc problems whatsover. Left it ther over a week.
Put it back on the original pc this week and they were back within 24 hrs.

Could this be my graphics card? My drivers are right. I have a geforce 8100/ nforce 720a. I just looked in my display properties and it says its on 'multiple monitors' why would it say that and could that be the problem?

any help appreciated

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June 12, 2009 at 10:27:43
If it were the graphics adapter or it's drivers you would see the same symptoms on both monitors.Oddball lines are not a normal symptom of problems with either of those in any case
When the lines are present, they would always be there, but you may not notice the lines when the background is mostly white, which is often the case on web pages, but may not be the case for your desktop screen.

Since the 1 year old monitor works without you getting the symptoms on the other computer, and the other monitor works on the subject computer without you getting the symptoms, there's probably nothing wrong with either monitor.

I assume the 1 year old monitor is an LCD or Plasma one. What's the other one??

They're probably not the same model, and if the other one is a CRT monitor, you're a lot less likely to get symptoms with it that you can get with an LCD or Plasma one.

Take a look at (Control Panel -) Display Properties - Settings
What drivers are you using for the 1 year old monitor?

If you're using Plug And Play Monitor drivers for it, those were designed way back before XP was first released and probably have not changed at all since, even with all the SPx updates - they were designed primarily for CRT monitors.
It is recommended that you NOT use Plug and Play Monitor drivers for a LCD or Plasma monitor or laptop display made after XP was first released (2001?), because some settings you can choose in Plug and Play Monitor mode can DAMAGE an LCD or Plasma display!
In most cases, specific monitor drivers for the LCD or Plasma (or CRT) monitor came with the monitor on a CD, and/or you can download the specific drivers for the model from the manufacturer's web site. If you have or can get those specific drivers and load them in Windows, then Windows by default only shows you the video settings that both the monitor and the video drivers support for your model, and any setting you choose will not damage the LCD or Plasma (or CRT) monitor.
If the LCD or Plasma monitor is an el-cheapo (e.g. Acer) , or if it's a cheaper laptop model, it may not come with any specific monitor drivers and you have no choice but to use Plug and Play Monitor drivers - in that case you must be careful you don't choose settings that will damage the monitor - consult the specs for the model and make sure you only use the settings it can handle.

If you have the CD that has the specific moniitor drivers, it may have a selection when you run it that installs them for you automatically, or if you download the specific drivers for it from the web executing the download may install them automatically. If the CD has the specific drivers but doesn't have such a selection , or if you download the specific drivers for it from the web and executing the download doesn't install them automatically, go to Display Properties - Settings - Advanced - Monitor - Properties - Driver and install them there.

Whether you use the specific drivers or not, you can choose to bypass Windows showing you only the settings the monitor drivers support by clicking on a box to remove a checkmark , then it will show you all the settings the video drivers support - that is NOT recommended for an LCD or Plasma monitor, because you can then select settings that can DAMAGE the monitor.

Note that if the monitor has already been damaged, the symptoms may not go away, but they probably won't get any worse if you install the specific drivers, or if you stop using improper Plug and Play Monitor settings the monitor cannot support properly.

Other things?

Set the brightness setting of the display, usually using the OSD settings on the monitor itself, or in Display Properties - Settings - Advanced - somewhere, to the lowest setting that yields you a good display - your LCD (or CRT) display will last longer, and symptoms you may see when the display is brighter than it needs to be are more likely to not appear.

"I just looked in my display properties and it says its on 'multiple monitors' why would it say that and could that be the problem?"

That's got nothing to do with your problem.

You see two displays there if the graphics adapter supports connecting two monitors, or if it supports connecting one monitor and a TV out connection, or if the graphics adapter supports connecting two monitors and it has a TV Out connection, the second display can be either a second monitor or a TV Out connection.
If you have only one monitor hooked up, and no TV out connection hooked up, only one display is actually enabled, usually the left one. If you hold the cursor over the other display picture it says Not Active or similar.
If you do connect two monitors, or if the adapter supports a TV Out connection and you connect one monitor and that TV out connection, Windows often does not activate the second display automatically - in that case you have to RIGHT click on the display that is not active and click on something to enable it.

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June 13, 2009 at 11:23:35
Thanks for the very informative reply.
I reckon this may be damage from a driver issue then.

I couldnt find my driver cd ( still cant) for my Digimate 1718 LCD - there are none on the internet for it either.
When I click on driver properties both Default monitor and Plug n Play monitor both say drivers are installed etc.
I have no idea how to get hold of these drivers and I expect purely because f that I will need a new monitor soon. Not great after one year.

Thanks again for your help


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June 13, 2009 at 15:10:48
What resolution and color depth are you running? What size is the LCD? Is it a wide screen?

I would update the graphics drivers with another file, even if it is the same version.

Are you using two monitors or one?


I found vendors with that monitor listed. It is 17" 4:3. You should have the settings at 1024 x 768 @60Hz. You can probably run 32 bit color, although the specs don't say.

My mistake I overlooked the color depth. You can run 32 bit color, 16.7 million.

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June 13, 2009 at 15:36:54
I have those settings already thanks. I did roll back driver a few of days ago...reinstalled updated drivers about 3 days ago and lines were there with both.
Thanks for your help

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June 13, 2009 at 15:49:09
Check your case for dust. Blow out with compressed or canned air. Don't use a vacuum cleaner.

I don't think drivers for your monitor will make any difference.

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June 13, 2009 at 16:00:03
I will but there shouldnt be any dust...have only had this pc about 3 and hlf months and its not even used every day

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June 13, 2009 at 16:07:46
Check to verify any fans on the motherboard are spinning.

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June 13, 2009 at 16:10:11
will do that first thing in morning way I have hunch this is an overclocked machine and know little about it...could that cause a heat problem or any problems relating to this? Thanks

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June 13, 2009 at 19:58:23
Yes, overclocking stresses the processor, which can make it run hotter. If the graphics card is also overclocked then it can overheat too.

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June 14, 2009 at 01:04:39
It seems to be running at around 48 49 degrees..this sounds very hot to me!

Also, I forgot to say...about a week before these lines appeared , one day I was browsing the internet and my monitor kinda went blank, like it had turned off...for about literally 2 seconds then came back as normal without me doing anything.


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June 14, 2009 at 07:19:04
What seems to be 48/49 degrees? The CPU? The GPU is what would be the thing to check the temps on.

I am not a gamer so I don't keep up on graphics cards so you may want to start a new thread asking what the best program to check the graphic card temps and what they should be.

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June 14, 2009 at 08:27:18
Thanks....and the monitor turning off like that and back on again in like 2 seconds? What are your feelings on this please? thanks

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June 14, 2009 at 23:55:40
No dust. Fans all working fine....thanks

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June 15, 2009 at 15:20:23
According to the link OtheHill found,
and several other "hits" for Digimate L-1718 I found, the specs that might be related to your problem are:

Maximum resolution 1280x1024
(Maximum) Vertical frequency 75 Hz

I looked at the Digimate site:
They appear to have NO specific info about your model, and are no longer selling it.

How to install the LCD monitor in the operation system?
Click on the > Next boxes.
You install Plug and Play Monitor drivers.
There are no specific drivers for your model, or ANY Digimate monitor model.

Apparently, according to various "hits" I found on the web, your model and all Digimate monitor models are/were relatively cheap to buy - they're what I and others call el-cheapo models - el-cheapo monitor models often have no specific monitor drivers.

So, as I mentioned previously, in that case, you are supposed to use Plug and Play Monitor drivers, but you MUST make sure you DO NOT exceed the max specs of your model, otherwise you are likely to DAMAGE the monitor.

How to adjust LCD refresh rate to over 60Hz in the operation system?
Click on the > Next boxes.

DO NOT choose a rate higher than the specs for your model, 75 HZ, or you are likely to DAMAGE it!

DO NOT choose a resolution higher than 1280x1024 - you can choose other resolutions but neither number should be higher than either of those, otherwise you may DAMAGE your monitor!

When you overclock you have to know what you're doing - it's best to consult overclocking related web sites that already have determined settings that work without problems for your particular cpu/brand name system if that applies/mboard model if that doesn't apply/mboard main chipset.

According to the specs you provided
CPU/RAM 450/256
you have a relatively old system.

- there are lots of cards/mboard main chipsets/ other chipsets on mboards that won't tolerate the ISA, PCI, or AGP bus speeds being overclocked any more than a little above standard specs.

- In experiments I did with K6-2, K6-III, and K6-2+ a.k.a. K6-III+ cpus, on Via MVP3 main chipset mboards, upping the core voltage did not significantly increase overall performance, but it sure made the cpu run hotter and heat up faster under load - from that I concluded it's best to not have the cpu core voltage any higher than it's rated spec for those cpus, the value printed on the cpu, unless you determine otherwise from confirmed info you find on the web.

The computer I am typing this on has a Via MVP3 main chipset, and a K6-III 450 cpu.
When I used a K6-2+ 550 cpu on it, I could overclock it to 600mhz, no problem, without it overheating, with a standard heatsink/fan suitable for a 550. (6 X 100mhz - the X2 multiplier on the mboard is intepreted by the K6-2 and K6-III cpus as 6X on the cpu itself).

If your mboard has a MVP3 main chipset, I have lots more info.

"Also, I forgot to say...about a week before these lines appeared , one day I was browsing the internet and my monitor kinda went blank, like it had turned off...for about literally 2 seconds then came back as normal without me doing anything."

That's oddball.
That can be caused by many things....
- two, as OtheHill mentioned, are the cpu is overheating or the gpu on the card is overheating, but in that case it's likely it would have happened more than just once and it will likely continue to do that until whatever it is has cooled down some.

- another is your power supply capacity may be overloaded - if that's your case it will eventually FAIL!

If you still have the original PS for your system
CPU/RAM 450/256
it probably only requires a rec. minimum 200 watt power supply.

However, the relatively recent video card you upgraded to may require that your power supply has more capacity.

Your power supply must have at least the minumum capacity required to support a system with the graphics card you are using installed, or the max graphics card you might install in the future.
(Onboard video - video built into the mboard - IS NOT A CARD!)
You can go to the video card maker's web site and look up the specs for the model - often under system requirements - the minimum PS wattage, and, more important, the minimum amperage the PS must supply at 12v is stated. If you don't find that, any card with the same video chipset including any letters after the model number has very similar minimum PS requirements.
If you want to cover any possible video card, a minimum 600 ot 650 watt power supply will handle any current high end video card, or even a X2 card (two video chipsets on one card) or two cards in two slots.

If you find your PS does NOT have enough capacity for a system with the graphics card you are using.....

In most cases, if your PS is ATX, your PS can be replaced with any decent standard sized standard ATX PS.
(if your PS/mboard is AT, you not likely to find an AT PS that has more than 250 watts capacity)

Standard (PS/2) power supply size - 86mm high, 150mm wide, 140mm deep, or 3 3/8" h x 5 7/8" w x 5 1/2" d , or very close to that, though the depth can be more or less for some PSs.

Don't buy an el-cheapo PS.
See response 3 in this:

Most new PSs have a combo 20/24 "pin" main connector - if the main connector socket on your mboard is 20 "pin" you simply unclip or omit connecting the 4 "pin" connector that makes it 24 "pin"- so, in that case, you don't need to find one that has only a 20 "pin" main connector.

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