Monitor frequently blacks out for 1-2 seconds

January 4, 2013 at 09:42:24
Specs: Windows 7
Recently, my monitor has started blacking out for a couple seconds. It's very random; sometimes, it happens once, then not for a while, but other times it occurs two, three, four, or more times in a row, before going back to normal. As far as power settings, I have it at a 15 min. setting, so I know that's not the issue. Based on my googling so far, I think it could be my video card...? I will say it does happen when I'm playing graphic-intensive games (though this is certainly not the only time it happens). But, if it is the video card, I have to wonder why, because I've had this computer for years, but this problem is recent (few weeks maybe). Do video cards wear out, or is there a virus that can cause all this? Or, does this have nothing at all to do with the video card???

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January 4, 2013 at 11:01:44
Hi Eve, I would try a few simple tests first.

Please note, it is always wise to advise make and model of pc, monitor, whatever, as often this helps.

Presume pc is a desktop. With the power disconnected:-

remove and re-seat video card (blow off any dust with a hairdryer set to cold)
remove and reconnect monitor interface cable (both ends if have connectors)
remove and reconnect monitor power cable (both ends if have connectors)

These actions clean the various electrical contacts, and can cure/have cured no end of problems.

Good Luck - Keep us posted

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January 4, 2013 at 12:38:45
I doubt very much this is a virus.

While you are at it clean the video card edge connectors with a pencil eraser (assuming it is an addon card).

Another quite likely possibility is that the monitor itself is playing up (I had one that did this).

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks

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January 4, 2013 at 13:34:03
Sounds like the video driver is crashing and resetting. First thing I'd do is check GPU temperature under load. The temperature shouldn't exceed ~95C under load. Two programs can monitor GPU temperature:

GPU-Z (GPU temperature only):
HWMonitor (a system monitor)

It's also possible that Windows Update installed a new video driver that doesn't play well with your graphics card. You can check by opening Windows Update and viewing update history. The latest video drivers aren't necessarily the best, especially if you have an older graphics card.

To prevent Windows Update from installing drivers:
-Click start, type Device Installation Settings, and press enter.
-Click "No, let me choose what to do" and "Never install driver software from Windows Update," then save changes.

HTPC/file server | Pentium M 780 @ 2.82GHz | 4GB | Radeon HD5750
120GB SSD + 2TB/3TB/4TB | Blu-Ray/HD-DVD combo drive | Win8 Pro

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