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  1. #1
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    Question Is it Windows or my PC?

    Hi new to these parts. In need of some clarity on an issue with my Windows 7 installation.

    Around April of this year, my PC started to display a strange glitch. The left side of the screen was bent inward. Like someone took a shovel to my windows display, and as a result, the left side of the screen is noticeably bent inward. Kind of like a straight piece of notebook paper? That you'd fold in on the left side? It's not ALL THE WAY BENT? But bent enough to make doing any serious graphics work impossible for my small business.

    At the time this all started. I was running Windows XP. My tower model was a Gateway e-4100. So I bought a new e-4100 off e-bay. After hooking it up, I still see the same problem! To move this story along quicker, I had bought 3 Gateway e-4100's (seller refurbished) from E-bay and was am still having the same problem with this left-side-bent-inward display.

    I thought the computers were faulty. So I sent them all back. I have tested different hard drives, sea gate and western digital. Three different monitors (2 CRT's 1 Flatscreen), have taken the PC out of the living room and into one of the bedrooms for testing, have fiddled with the monitor settings for trapezoid, pin-cushion, etc., have checked out the VGA cables which aren't damaged, and then recently. A Gateway e4610 with Windows 7 installed which I ordered from New Egg arrived. Manufacturer Refurbished. SATA Hard Drive. I got it hooked up, turned it on, installed all updates, and STILL THE SAME ISSUE! The annoying bend on the left side of the screen!

    I tested my flat screen with this new unit and the issue persists! I am at my wits end now. Can anyone take a stab at nailing down this problem? I don't know what else to do. I thought my monitor could be the issue but three monitors don't all go bad at the same time. And as of this morning, I even tested an old TFT flat screen monitor I got for Christmas with my New Egg PC, and the issue remains the same!



    To Review:


    Have tested two different operating systems: Windows 7 and Windows XP
    4 different computer towers tested
    Three (now four) different monitors
    Three different hard drives SATA and IDE
    Tested in two different parts of the house. Living Room and Bed Room




    Is this a Windows issue or is it my PC tower? Someone told me it could be EMI interference with my VGA signal. Except, my cords all have ferrites at the end (those small battery-looking things). To null any EMI interference. Plus, I tested outside my living room to account for any EMI stuff. And if that were the case, I believe everything in my house would be acting wonky. But all is good with all other appliances. So two possibilities remain. It's Windows and some sort of run command is needed to rectify this? Or....the intel on board graphics chips in the towers I've bought have all been faulty/bad/damaged.

    I have never used a computer with its own video card. All of my PC's have been intel on board graphics. No express PCI cards. Although the second e4100 I bought, had a PCI express card and that still didn't help matters. So this has to be Windows right? A glitch maybe?
    Last edited by Magik; 2013-06-19 at 16:38.

  2. #2
    5 Star Lounger RussB's Avatar
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    Likely none of the above but rather either the graphics controller card or chip set or driver or maybe a combination thereof.
    What graphics chips set do they have?
    What graphics driver and version is installed?
    Have you tried to update the graphics driver?
    Also verify that the BIOS is up-to-date.
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    Hi Russ. Ok as far as chip sets are concerned. I believe for the Gateway e4610, it's the Intel(R) Q965/Q963 Express Chipset Family

    The graphics driver I am currently running is the INTEL EXTREME GRAPHICS 2 driver. Which Windows 7 updates installed for me. So I assume it's the most current version. And I have not tried to update it beyond that point.

    Now as for the BIOS, tell me more about that. How would I update it? That's what comes up when you're first installing windows right? Considering Windows 7 was installed onto my PC before it was sent to me, I'd assume the BIOS was updated when they laid down the OS to the SATA drive. I also am having this slant issue when I boot in safe mode as well.

    Also are the graphics controller card/video card/graphics card one in the same?
    Last edited by Magik; 2013-06-19 at 18:16.

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    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    I would get a similar computer which has no problem; I would then start swapping parts one at a time with the new computer (monitor, video card, etc.), until the problem moves to the other computer. You will then know what is causing it.

    Unless the computers are either identical or very similar, you won't be able to swap a whole lot; but this method may help you pinpoint the problem.

    I used to work in a school which had lots and lots of identical computers; it was always nice to be able to start swapping parts till I identified the problem.
    Last edited by mrjimphelps; 2013-06-20 at 12:40.

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    Does the display screen appear to be folded back on itself? Is that what you mean by 'bent' or is the left side canted (have a downward, upward slope)? As you have tried multiple towers, it is unlikely to be a BIOS issue.
    your question -
    Also are the graphics controller card/video card/graphics card one in the same?
    In your case the answer is yes. Just for grins - where is your tower located in relation to your monitor and are you using a UPS or power stripe?

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    Quote Originally Posted by winsong02 View Post
    Does the display screen appear to be folded back on itself? Is that what you mean by 'bent' or is the left side canted (have a downward, upward slope)? As you have tried multiple towers, it is unlikely to be a BIOS issue.
    your question -
    Also are the graphics controller card/video card/graphics card one in the same?
    In your case the answer is yes. Just for grins - where is your tower located in relation to your monitor and are you using a UPS or power stripe?


    I would say folded back on itself. But the fold gives it an appearance of a downward slope. So when you are sitting in front of the computer screen? It kind of looks like a seesaw. Slightly tilted more in the right direction. I have a big wooden workstation. Made out of polished wood. The same stuff a dresser would be made of. The tower sits beneath the monitor on a shelf by itself. Not directly under though. About a foot to the left of the monitor but beneath it. I have UPS turned off in Windows XP. And have everything plugged into a surge protector.

    But let me try and give you a better visual. When I am viewing this forum? You have board titles on the left, and then threads displayed on the right, ok? So as I scroll down the page...the left side of this forum looks as if it's pulling away from the right side of the forum. Like the page itself is literally splitting in half. Sometimes, it'll just tilt. Now when this problem first started, before it spread to the desktop? And it was just confined to a select few websites in my chrome browser window? I used to be able to force the display back to normal by opening a second or third tab in google chrome. That somehow, would tilt things back into proper formation in the first tab. But I know this is not a chrome issue because when I got my new, new egg unit, I hadn't downloaded any new programs onto it prior to noticing this issue...yet again.

    By the way. I switched out the surge protector with a new one last night. No dice. Also turned on the UPS in windows as well. Still no dice. I could tolerate this issue as strange as it is if it were just affecting my desktop. But it's affecting my browser windows as well in Chrome and MSN and IE8. THAT is something I cannot deal with.
    Last edited by Magik; 2013-06-20 at 13:28.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mrjimphelps View Post
    I would get a similar computer which has no problem; I would then start swapping parts one at a time with the new computer (monitor, video card, etc.), until the problem moves to the other computer. You will then know what is causing it.

    Unless the computers are either identical or very similar, you won't be able to swap a whole lot; but this method may help you pinpoint the problem.

    I used to work in a school which had lots and lots of identical computers; it was always nice to be able to start swapping parts till I identified the problem.


    I suspect it's the intel on board graphics chip. Not sure how you can just "swap" that. One e4100 I ordered had a Nvidia PCI express card. And when using that express card, or the intel on board graphics? The issue STILL WAS THERE.

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    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    Yeah, it is a bit difficult to swap a motherboard or onboard graphics.

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    You suspect it could be a model weakness? All of the towers I've bought and returned were e4100 or e4610 in that series of small, briefcase-looking'ish Gateway towers. The one I've had for 12 years and going strong until the vga socket went bad...prior to the first e4100 I bought last fall....was a Gateway ev700 mid-tower. The big, bulky ones.

  10. #10
    5 Star Lounger RussB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrjimphelps View Post
    Yeah, it is a bit difficult to swap a motherboard or onboard graphics.
    It is usually possible to disable the on-board video in BIOS and install an external video board (card) (controller). That is if there is an empty slot.
    Do you "Believe"? Do you vote? Please Read:
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    Are you using the VGA connector on the motherboard or the DVI connector - the issue we are discussing is an old problem, but I am not sure what is causing it. The width of the picture your system is sending to the monitor is wider than the actual screen size or the monitor is stretching the image it is receiving, so on the retrace it looks like it is folded. When you got your new tower (from newegg), what did you do as far as installing applications, drivers, etc? When you adjust your monitor, have you ever tried simply making it narrower and then adjusting its position?

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    Quote Originally Posted by RussB View Post
    It is usually possible to disable the on-board video in BIOS and install an external video board (card) (controller). That is if there is an empty slot.
    That's what was done with the second e4100 unit I ordered. The on board graphics were disabled and a half-height Nvidia card was installed. Using only that card, the display was still slanted.

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    Quote Originally Posted by winsong02 View Post
    Are you using the VGA connector on the motherboard or the DVI connector - the issue we are discussing is an old problem, but I am not sure what is causing it. The width of the picture your system is sending to the monitor is wider than the actual screen size or the monitor is stretching the image it is receiving, so on the retrace it looks like it is folded. When you got your new tower (from newegg), what did you do as far as installing applications, drivers, etc? When you adjust your monitor, have you ever tried simply making it narrower and then adjusting its position?

    I am plugging the cord into the blue-colored vga slot in the back of my tower, so it's definitely VGA. I could switch to DVI, but I've heard DVI displays are not as crisp and bright as VGA. Also which one out of curiosity, would be the DVI slot?

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    Just the opposite on port output. DVI is slightly crisper than VGA because it only gets converted to analog once (at the monitor for image display). The difference is so slight though that you'd have to have them side by side displaying the same image to tell. You may not even have a DVI port but it is wider than VGA with a little dash (-) slot on one end in addition to the pins similar to VGA.

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    Ok my e4100 doesn't have one. I think the e4610 I sent back to new egg has one though. I am thinking of getting a DELL optiplex though for the same price. Maybe the Gateway brand has just faltered. I had the same Gateway computer for 12 years. I never had to replace that one until the VGA socket went bad and I couldn't get ANY display on my monitor. So I actually have not gone NEW COMPUTER shopping officially until last October. So maybe in between then and now, the Gateway brand has just become shoddy. I wonder if I could use my logitech mosue, Gateway Millenium Keyboard, and crt and flat screen monitors with a DELL though.

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