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  1. #1
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    Question Monitor gets no signal; computer shuts down

    Computer is a desktop HP Pavilion running Windows 7, SP1. This has happened twice in the past 2 days at, I think, roughly the same time of day, mid-afternoon EDT.

    Symptoms:
    • yesterday noticed computer had shut down totally when I was away from my desk
    • today, when at my desk, monitor went to sleep and wouldn't stay on; kept indicating it was receiving no signal
    • this may have happened yesterda, too, before computer itself shut down but I was away from my desk
    • in the middle of checking and re-attaching all monitor cables, computer shut down completely
    • turned it back on and restarted normally (don't know how to diagnose using Safe mode)
    • everything, including monitor, came on - which is how I'm able to contact you !


    More info: according to my disk checker program, the HD is "perfect". There have been no power issues (and the battery backup is working fine).

    Any idea what's happening? Once seems a fluke, but twice makes me very nervous. Given all the bad stuff out there, I worry that something has infected my system. Up until yesterday, no issues whatsoever. I scan at end of each day with MSE (Microsoft Security Essentials) and Anti-Malware Bytes, which has found nothing amiss.

    Any suggestions (or reassurances!) gratefully accepted.

    Thanks,

    Linda

  2. #2
    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    Linda:

    I would make sure that your computer isn't going into hibernate or sleep mode; in other words, make sure that it is set to stay up and running all the time.

    To do this, click Start / Control Panel / Hardware and Sound / Power Options.

    On the left side of the screen, click Change when the computer sleeps. Click the link for "Change advanced power settings".

    Under Sleep, set the following:
    * Set Sleep After to Never
    * Set Allow hybrid sleep to Off
    * Set Hibernate after to Never

    Also, under Display, make sure that all of the entries are set to keep the display always on.

    If this doesn't fix it, you might try reinstalling the video driver.

  3. #3
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    Thanks, Jim, for your prompt response.

    I checked the settings (a whole new place for me!), but they seem fine:
    • Sleep set at 10 minutes for monitor; Hybrid Sleep is On. Monitor has always gone to sleep after a few minutes, which worked because it always came back on when I hit Enter. Today, it wouldn't.
    • Ditto the computer (20 minutes setting): it has "slept" when I'm not working on it for a while, but the power light has remained yellow, switching quickly to blue with Enter.
    • Today, it was no color and the PC was totally off.
    • Hibernate was set to Never already so I left it alone.


    So...not aware of how to check a video card. Would it cause shutdown of the computer as well as the monitor?

    I'll monitor (no pun intended) everything again tomorrow to see if this repeats itself. Unless changing the Settings as you directed and then changing them back might work, I'm not sure Settings is our fix.

    Will keep you posted and am open to any further ideas!

    Linda

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    WS Lounge VIP Calimanco's Avatar
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    Have you checked the monitor to PC connections. A loose connection could cause the problem.
    You don't say which PC you have, so its impossible to know whether you have a graphics card or an on-board chip. If its a card, you can try gently cleaning the contacts and reseating it after checking that its fan is running properly. If the fan has failed, the subsequent overheating causes shutdowns.
    You can get new drivers at the PC manufacturers website. This is worth doing as you've apparently never updated them.

  5. #5
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    Yes, checked all connections first thing.

    PC is HP Pavilion desktop p6620f, purchased December 2010. I installed a new hard drive in 2012: Belarc details WDC WD30 00HLHX-01JJPV0 SATA Disk Device (300.07 GB) -- drive 0, s/n WD-WX61EC1NCS09, SMART Status: Healthy. Does this help?

    I remain very nervous about going inside the case to clean items - installing the hard drive was nerve-wracking for me (good learning, but scary all the same!).

    I believe temperature is okay. My disk monitoring system (Hard Disk Sentinel) shows temperature. However, now you've suggested it as a possible cause, I am going to pay close attention to that item today and post back results.

    Finally, re. drivers, I've always read to stay away from driver updates here. What I've read is that trying to upgrade them (when you're not overly technical) causes more issues than it resolves. Think I'll hold off on that for now, but appreciate another suggestion.

    Thanks for your help and I'll post temperature results.

    UPDATE: checked HD Sentinel history and temps have been running the same, around 91F right through. Highest temp ever was 95 and it occurred some time back, well before this shutdown issue. Also, fan seems to be working fine but I'll keep checking it, too.

    Linda
    Last edited by IreneLinda; 2014-10-22 at 11:23. Reason: Added temp update

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    WS Lounge VIP Calimanco's Avatar
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    This PC has integrated graphics using ATI Radeon 4200. It has a PCI E socket for a graphics card should an upgrade be required. Installing updated graphics drivers is recommended as improvements are regularly added and it will solve any problems caused by missing or corrupt files.

    http://support.amd.com/en-us/download/auto-detect-tool

    As the disk monitoring system probably only monitors the disk temperature, its worth checking the CPU fan and any case fans as the blades can collect a lot of gunge in four years and degrade their performance.

  7. #7
    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IreneLinda View Post
    Thanks, Jim, for your prompt response.

    I checked the settings (a whole new place for me!), but they seem fine:
    • Sleep set at 10 minutes for monitor; Hybrid Sleep is On. Monitor has always gone to sleep after a few minutes, which worked because it always came back on when I hit Enter. Today, it wouldn't.
    • Ditto the computer (20 minutes setting): it has "slept" when I'm not working on it for a while, but the power light has remained yellow, switching quickly to blue with Enter.
    • Today, it was no color and the PC was totally off.
    • Hibernate was set to Never already so I left it alone.


    So...not aware of how to check a video card. Would it cause shutdown of the computer as well as the monitor?

    I'll monitor (no pun intended) everything again tomorrow to see if this repeats itself. Unless changing the Settings as you directed and then changing them back might work, I'm not sure Settings is our fix.

    Will keep you posted and am open to any further ideas!

    Linda
    Linda:

    The reason I was suggesting the setting changes is because when a computer goes into sleep or hibernate mode, the video goes off. Setting it to never go into sleep or hibernate mode is an easy thing to do, and you might get lucky and solve the problem that way. Even if sleep or hibernate aren't themselves the problem, sometimes when you try to bring the computer out of sleep or hibernation, some other problem kicks in, causing the video to stay off.

    Updating the video driver is also an easy thing to do, and it may just fix the problem. You have probably read here that you shouldn't do a "hardware" update when you do a Windows update. Generally that is true, especially if you don't have any hardware problems. But in your case, you do have a hardware problem. So if you do a Windows update and find that a video driver is one of the available updates, you could install just that one item, to see if that solves the problem.

    As far as temperature, the temperatures you mentioned sound very high to me. I recommend that you download a program called Speedfan (http://www.majorgeeks.com/files/details/speedfan.html). It is extremely easy to run, and it gives good information about the temperatures in your computer. Overheating can definitely indicate a video problem.

    Jim
    Last edited by mrjimphelps; 2014-10-22 at 14:31.

  8. #8
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    As far as temperature, the temperatures you mentioned sound very high to me.
    Jim, these are Fahrenheit temps (95F = 35C), so not really high at all.

    Zig

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    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zig View Post
    Jim, these are Fahrenheit temps (95F = 35C), so not really high at all.

    Zig
    I thought about that after I posted.

  10. #10
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    First, thanks, Calimanco, for clarification and link on drivers. As for fan, I will check it again. I know I cleaned it off when I installed the new drive. It was dusty, but not too bad at that time.
    Do you recommend removing the case to do this rather than a blast of canned air? I read something about being sure you hold blades steady with a pencil or similar object so the blades don't spin too fast.

    Second, thanks, Zig, for note re. temperatures - I was getting concerned.

    Third, thanks, Jim, for your reasoned and clear response on sleep/hibernate. Makes good sense. Also appreciate reassurance and explanation re. video driver and when it's needed. I will check when next updating - actually, was just reminded that there "are updates available".

    Of interest: this did not happen today. I have been on the computer less than usual, but the monitor came on right away on Enter and the PC did not shut itself off at all. Weird.

    Will check links and updates and keep an eye on performance and post back.

    Many thanks for all the help!

    Linda

  11. #11
    WS Lounge VIP Coochin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IreneLinda View Post
    ...Of interest: this did not happen today...
    From what you say in your #1 post (PC shutting down, not restarting) I would advise you to have your PC's "Power Supply Unit" (PSU) tested (you might have to take it to a computer shop or maybe you know someone who has a PSU tester).

    In my experience when a PC shuts down unexpectedly the cause is always (well, almost) the PSU has gone faulty.

    The PSU (the mains power cord plugs in to the PSU on the back of your PC) converts the mains power to the different voltages needed by your PC's components, (3.3v, 5v, etc.).

    A PSU to suit your PC should not be very expensive, so if it suddenly shuts down again you should at least have the PSU tested to see if it needs replacement rather than risking damage to your PCs motherboard (bad enough) or hard drive (often disastrous).
    Computer Consultant/Technician since 1998 (first PC was Atari 1040STE in 1988).
    Most common computing error is EBKAC: Error Between Keyboard And Chairback
    AMD FX8120 (8-core @ 3.1GHz) CPU, Gigabyte GA-990FXA-D3 motherboard, 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1866MHz RAM, ATI-AMD Radeon HD6770 PCI-E VGA, 480GB Kingston SSD, 2TB Seagate SATA3.0 HDD, ASUS DVD/RW.

  12. #12
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    Thanks for your suggestion, Coochin. Hadn't even thought of a PSU, but you make sense.

    What I've decided to do is continue to monitor the computer to see if this continues. If it starts to shut down unexpectedly again, I will work my way through the suggestions everyone has made to see if one of them corrects the issue. As of your post, I think I'll start with a PSU test.

    Thanks again to all of your terrific Loungers! What a wonderful place this is for us "not so techies" to get high quality help.

    Linda

  13. #13
    Silver Lounger RolandJS's Avatar
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    Also, some BIOS and UEFI have settings that imitate Windows' sleep, turn off this, turn off that - after set time. I think it was in one of Fred Langa's Newsletters that I learned that BIOS [and now UEFI] and Windows cannot have conflicting settings.
    "Take care of thy backups and thy restores shall take care of thee." Ben Franklin revisited.
    http://collegecafe.fr.yuku.com/forum...-Technologies/

  14. #14
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    Thanks, Roland. I sure didn't know that. Right now I'm still in "crossed fingers" mode, hoping that all continues well.

    Will hunt up Fred's article should my finger crossing not work!

    Linda

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