Sony LCD monitor randomly goes black

August 27, 2010 at 07:54:32
Specs: Windows Vista 32bit, AMD Anthlon 64x2 5600+ 2.9ghz/3GB Ram
My computer monitor randomly goes black when I first turn it on for a few seconds then comes back on. Most of the time this happens within the first three minutes of turning the computer on, and sometimes much later. But it normally only happens once or twice while it's in use (over 6 hour periods sometimes). I'm just wondering what could be causing this? It's seems stable enough afterward and it's never done it while playing games or being under a heavy load. So I really can't figure out what the deal is.

Notes: I just upgraded my GPU and CPU, both should be fine with my power supply I think. There doesn't appear to be any overheating issues, see below:

AMD Anthlon 64x2 5600+ 2.9ghz (heat idle 43c-50c, under max load 63c-67c)
Nvidia 9800GT (heat idle 50c, max load 75c-80c)
3GB Ram
320GB HD
Power supply 600w
3 year old LCD Sony monitor

I'm mainly concerned to know if this issue will get worse over time. As it is now it's tolerable, but annoying still.


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#1
August 27, 2010 at 12:25:34
A system with one 9800GT video chipset on it must have a minimum 450 watt PS, or more important, at least 26 amps at +12v available from the PS. Some PSs have more than one +12v output rating - in that case, add them.
Presumably your 600 watt PS should be able to supply at least 26A (amps) at +12v, unless it's an el-cheapo model.
......

Go into the mboard's bios Setup and make sure Primary Video or Intialize Video First or similar setting is set to PCI-E or similar (I'm assumimg the 9800GT is on a PCI-E X16 card). If that's set to something else, the advanced features the card's video chipset specific drivers support will not work properly in Windows.
........

If your Sony monitor is an LCD or Plasma model, load the monitor drivers for the specific monitor model. If Vista has the monitor set to Generic PnP, you can choose some settings that will DAMAGE an LCD monitor.

When the specific monitor drivers for the model are loaded, Windows by default shows you only the settings both the specific video adapter drivers and the monitor model support - that can be bypassed, but don't do that with an LCD monitor, otherwise you can choose settings that can DAMAGE the monitor.
The specific monitor drivers are on the CD that came with the Sony monitor, if you have that and can find it - there may or may not be a program on the CD that installs them - or can be downloaded from the Sony web site.
After the specific drivers have been installed, or if the CD has the drivers but no program to install them, you must change the monitor drivers to the right one in your Display Settings.

RIGHT click on a blank part of the main desktop screen, choose Properties - Personalize - Display Properties. That window shows you which monitor drivers and video adapter drivers have been loaded.

If the monitor drivers are not specific....

RIGHT click on a blank area of the main desktop screen, choose Properties - Personalize - Display Settings - Advanced Settings - Monitor - Properties - Driver - Update Driver - Browse my computer.... - Let me pick from a list... - Next -

- if you have the CD that came with the monitor that has the specific drivers for the monitor, or a download that has the specific drivers for the model (you may need to run the download to extract them - doing that may or may not also install them automatically), click on Have Disk lower right, Next, and go to where the drivers are - Windows is looking for an *.inf file. NOTE that if the monitor is LCD or Plasma, you should load the specific drivers if they are available, because you can choose settings in Generic PNP Monitor mode that can DAMAGE the monitor ! )
- choose the specific drivers; if there is a list of models, choose the correct one,
click on Close on the Driver window.
click on OK on the Monitor window.
click on OK on the Display Settings Window
close the Personalize window.

- if you have installed the monitor drivers from the CD that came with it by running a program on it that does that, or if you have installed the drivers by running a download you got from the web that ran a program that does that, the proper monitor drivers will already be there in the list - you don't have to click on Have Disk.
.........

Sometimes I've seen it's the specific video adapter drivers version that causes the display to briefly go black, but usually that only happens while booting, not in Windows after it has fully loaded.
You could try loading a newer or older NVidia video drivers version. Sometimes newer versions fix problems people have in certain games.

If the video goes black in Windows only when you're in a specific game, high end games tend to have more bugs in their programming than most other programs, and it's well known that such games DO NOT work properly on all computers that at least meet the minimum requirements for the games. You could try looking on the game maker's web site to see if there is an update or patch you can install that will cure the video problem.


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#2
August 27, 2010 at 13:06:53
Thank you for the reply, I will test this out when I get home. I doubt I'll be able to find the CD though. And the monitor pops off and on like once or twice while it's on for a good 6 to 8 hours and not even when I'm playing games. Honestly, it happens more often just as it starts or when I leave it alone for a while.

I'll let you know how it goes. Thanks again.


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#3
August 27, 2010 at 19:26:00
"Honestly, it happens more often just as it starts or when I leave it alone for a while."

"...just as it starts ..."

As I said above....

"Sometimes I've seen it's the specific video adapter drivers version that causes the display to briefly go black, but usually that only happens while booting, not in Windows after it has fully loaded."

"...or when I leave it alone for a while."

What do you have your Power settings in Control Panel set to ?
E.g. if that's set to have the monitor shut off after xx minutes of user inactivity, or set so the computer goes into Standby /Hibernate mode after xx minutes of user inactivity, the screen will go black, until you do something that "wakes up" the computer.

E.g. If you're just reading something, the screen will go black after xx minutes.

What do you have your screen saver set to?
E.g. If it's set to a blank screen saver, the screen will go black after after xx minutes of user inactivity, until you do something that "wakes up" the computer.

E.g. If you're just reading something, or if a program is running that takes longer than the the user inactivity time to complete what it's doing and if you're not doing anything else, the screen will go black after xx minutes.

If you have both set, if the inactivity time for the Power setting is shorter than that for the screen saver, you will never seen the screen saver, if it's not a blank screen.

If either or both of those things apply, then the screen going black in Windows is NOT random at all - it's as intended.
............

Do you leave your computer running for long periods of time, even when you're not there or you're asleep?
If yes, WHY? Most people have no valid reason for doing that.


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#4
August 28, 2010 at 08:19:12
I have the power settings totally off for everything since I first got the computer. I can set it to hibernate only by pressing the sleep button on my computer so it's not that.

I tried doing what you said and it started flickering even more when I was messing with the controls on the monitor itself. Once I quit doing anything though the monitor started functioning normally again (normal as in it will turn off and on, on very rare occasions).

My drivers are up to date and I reinstalled the monitor. Does the port for the monitor matter? I have it in port 2 on the graphics card, should I try port 1? I didn't really think that would matter so I didn't bother trying it out.


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#5
August 28, 2010 at 11:16:06
"I tried doing what you said and it started flickering even more when I was messing with the controls on the monitor itself."

I didn't tell you to mess with the settings on the monitor itself.
By the way, don't use Auto settings for an electronic video device after the e.g. monitor or TV is more than a year old or so, unless using that produces a sufficiently good result - the Auto setting goes out of adjustment as time goes by, the same as other settings go out of adjustment.

"....it started flickering even more...."

It shouldn't do that.

Examine the pins at the connector on the end of the video cable - you may need to use something to magnify what you see. If any pins are bent, straighten them by using something thin to do that.
Make sure that cable connector is all the way in the port. Use the screws to lock it onto the port's "nuts" (mounting posts - machine screws with a female threaded hole available).
If you are using a DVI to VGA simple adapter with a DVI port to adapt it for use with a VGA monitor video cable / connector, make sure the screws for the adapter are all the way into the DVI port "nuts", and prop up the adapter / cable connector at the cable connector or the cable just after it so it doesn't hang at an angle and place strain on the the DVI port - e.g. I use two or more zip ties in a loop to do that, hanging from the grille for the power supply fan.

"Does the port for the monitor matter? I have it in port 2 on the graphics card, should I try port 1?"

It might matter.
Sometimes you don't get symptoms when you plug a single monitor into the primary monitor port on the video card, and you do get symptoms when you plug it into the secondary port. That isn't necessarily the primary display as seen in the Display Settings - Windows will often designate either port as the primary display, even when it's not the card's primary port, when a single monitor is connected to the card


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#6
August 29, 2010 at 07:59:25
I know you didn't tell me to mess with the monitor settings itself, but that's what I started doing after trying your ideas. Sorry wasn't clear on that.

I changed the ports and the monitor never messed up yesterday. But it just did it again so I came back here, lol. I'm running out of ideas on this, could it be the monitor is just starting to die?


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#7
August 29, 2010 at 08:06:41
And the screws are tight in my adapters and the pins appear ok. I used the new adapter that came with my new graphics card, I may try using my old adapter that came with my previous graphics card. It's the same kind but the old one never messed up.

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#8
August 29, 2010 at 08:16:04
Ok, I turned off the "auto sensing" on the monitor. My theory is that will either cause the monitor to flicker off (when that happens) and then not auto sense to turn back on. OR it will just stop trying to auto sense allowing it to stop turning off all together. We'll see. lol.

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#9
August 29, 2010 at 08:30:09
Have you installed the specific drivers for the monitor model ?

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#10
August 30, 2010 at 06:36:42
Yes the drivers are all up to date. The auto sense seems to be doing the job though. So far no glitches after a one day trial so that could be have been it. Weird though it never did that with my older graphics card. Perhaps it couldn't "sense" the newer card correctly? Oh well, thank you for your help!

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