Finally the computer issue is solved.


A short time ago I posted about a computer issue which had my monitor screen now and then after the system started looking like the picture above. It only happened now and then on startups and I was not really concerned about it. I knew that over time it would get worse and it did......The consensus regarding the issue seemed to centre around the graphics card. I removed my PC from under the desk (easier said than done) opened it up and checked to see if the graphics card fan was working and it was, checked to see if it was seated firmly and it was. I then changed out the DVI-I cable from the PC to the monitor. For a time things seemed to be going just fine until a few days ago. 

I started my PC and when to do somethings while it started and when I returned to the room the monitor was black no desktop was being displayed. I moved the mouse around thinking the monitor went to sleep but that did not fix the issue. I powered the monitor off and on via its power button and nothing. I then restarted the PC and all was ok.  Now I am thinking the graphics card is on its way downhill finally. I restarted the PC several times and once in a while I was greeted with the black screen but not always. I then found I did not have to restart the PC to fix the black screen issue but rather just turn the monitor off and on several times.......interesting.  One time after the PC had restarted and the desktop was being displayed without issue I then started to turn the monitor off and on to see if I could get the black screen issue to pop up. While I was doing this the screen looked like the above picture with just simply turning the monitor off and on again......interesting. I am not suspecting the monitor to be the issue which is cheaper than a sound card. I had the monitor connected via a DVI-I cable so I then removed that and tried an HDMI cable. A very short time later had the same issues again, so it was not a cable issue. I have a second monitor that I use with the Icom 7610 as a radio display. I decided to connect it to the PC and enable my dual monitor option on my video card. This way I can use both monitors at the same time and see if both monitors display the same issue of just the troubled monitor. 

It only took a few restarts before the suspect monitor was black but the smaller monitor was working just fine which confirmed to me it was the monitor all along.  A new monitor was ordered and should be here in a few days. At this point time time the suspect monitor only acts up only on startup or if I cycle it off and on. Once it is working I have no issues with it, I am thinking that over time this is going to change as the monitor gets worse the reason for ordering a new one. This weekend is the CQ WW DX CW Contest and I am hoping my monitor will last me until the end contest. I want to reconnect my other monitor to the Icom 7610 as it is very handy to have during a contest. 

Mike Weir, VE9KK, is a regular contributor to and writes from New Brunswick, Canada. Contact him at [email protected].

8 Responses to “Finally the computer issue is solved.”

  • Elwood Downey, WB0OEW:

    Interesting result, I too would have bet it was the graphics card so this failure mode is good know, thanks for the report. 73

  • Karl WA8NVW:

    Here’s a last-minute suggestion before the contest begins: stray RF can drive the internal circuitry of monitors crazy, especially if yours has a USB port with a physical cable connected for some reason. If your ailing monitor is like most it has auto-signal-detect for both the input selection and screen resolution. Try manually overiding those and force lock them to the proper fixed values. Good luck in your contesting activities, and happy holidays
    de Karl WA8NVW

  • Moe K2JDM:

    Very interesting! Since the 1970’s I have seen very few monitors crap out as compared to video cards. When ever I have to replace a graphics card ( like buying a newer version), I always keep the old one just in case the new one starts acting up. I have replaced a new card with an old one to determine if the monitor is the problem. Then I replace the monitor. Glad you figured it out.

  • Mike VE9KK:

    Good afternoon Elwood and very nice to hear from you, yes I too was convinced it was the graphics card BUT when I connected both monitors to the PC and ran them in dual screen mode I found the suspect monitor acting up and the other monitor was just fine.
    73 and happy Thanksgiving,

  • Mike VE9KK:

    Hello Karl and great suggestion I will give it a go but the issues I was having with the monitor was happening with no radios on at all. BUT….I will be and am now involved in the contest, so I will try your suggestion.
    Thanks and have a great holiday weekend,

  • Mike VE9KK:

    Hello Moe very nice of you to drop by again, I too have never had a monitor fail but the older ones like cars were probably built better. I am glad I did not get a new video card to find out I have the same issue.
    Have a nice long weekend and stay safe.

  • Colin GM4JPZ:

    Hi again Mike, glad to see you’ve found the problem. I was one of those who was convinced it was a graphics card issue. I’m glad you added the detail about the totally blank monitor, as I’ve had the same thing with my 27″ Samsung monitor that is getting a bit long in the tooth.

    A few months ago, the screen suddenly went black, and only came back on again after much fiddling with the cable and switching on and off. It seemed to settle down for a while, then it started happening every time I’d leave the computer on Sleep overnight. On waking it up in the morning, the screen remained black until I’d fiddled with it for a while. Didn’t seem to happen if I turned the computer off completely. It now happens whether I put it into Sleep or switch it off, although it runs fine once it’s decided to work. It’s a relatively minor irritation, but it would be nice not to have the problem at all, so it looks like I’m going to have to bite the bullet and order a new one like you’ve done. Thanks again for sharing this with us.
    73, Colin

  • Mike VE9KK:

    Good evening Colin always nice to hear from you, as for the black screen that just started to happen the other day. I as well have to play around with the power button to get things working. I may use this monitor with my Icom 7610 as once I get it going the monitor is great and as long as it does not take a huge amount of time to come on it will be a nice addition as an external screen for the Icom.
    The new monitor is to arrive on Dec 1 and then I will see about retiring this one as an external monitor.
    Have a good weekend Colin,

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