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  1. #1
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    Monitor problems - maybe?

    This has probably been discussed at some point but I am facing the following problem and need some good instructions! <IMG SRC=http://www.wopr.com/S/smile.gif alt="I can always count on expert help from the Lounge!!">.
    Hardware involved is a Win98 with a Gateway VX700 monitor and Nivida TNT2 adapter driver. My friend has very light gray lines running horizontally through her screen. They are more pronounced when there is a display box or program display open. This started with no apparent cause. I have tried degaussing, changing refresh rates and every other thing regarding the display properties but still the lines show. We reinstalled the adapter drivers and that didn't help. Started in safe mode to see if there were more then one of anything that could cause problems, but nothing unusual there. When we reboot back into regular mode, the screen is decent until we reach the windows desktop and then the mess is there again. I haven't tried another monitor yet, but I believe I have one upstairs that we can use for a test. But is there anything else here that I may be missing. And if the test monitor behaves the same as the original, is it safe to assume that the video card itself is on the blink? I don't have extra parts on hand to experiment with so I am wondering what the logical thing would be to do for this situation? <IMG SRC=http://www.wopr.com/S/scratch.gif alt="That's my story, and I'm sticking to it!">
    <img src=/S/thankyou.gif border=0 alt=thankyou width=40 height=15> for any and all help!!


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  2. #2
    Uranium Lounger viking33's Avatar
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    Re: Monitor problems - maybe?

    The sub monitor is always good to try. but have you tried to run dxdiag,exe from the run menu? It's a good test of the graphics capability of your system and should show any video or monitor problems it picks out.
    Does sound like the video card though. You also might check if something nearby is creating interference, like a fan or a small electric motor, which can generate local interference.
    BOB
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  3. #3
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    Re: Monitor problems - maybe?

    <hr>if the test monitor behaves the same as the original, is it safe to assume that the video card itself is on the blink<hr>
    Yes - I would. I had a video adapter go south in exactly the same way. Here's something else to watch: does it do this when the machine is competely cold, at startup? Or does it get worse as the system reaches normal operating temperature?
    -Mark

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    Re: Monitor problems - maybe?

    Are there two faint horizontal lines? If so, there's a very good chance this is normal. The lines are caused by the tensioning wires that hold the aperture grill in place. It's well known to folks who own Sony monitors but only recently appears in newer monitors sinces Sony's Trinitron Invar mask technology patent expired recently. I do believe the VX700 uses this technology. The good news is, it's a great monitor just like the Trinitron TV's flat on the vertical and terrific corner to corner resolution. Mac users are familiar with this as well, a number of the high end Mac monitors were manufactured by Sony.

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    Re: Monitor problems - maybe?

    Are there two faint horizontal lines?
    -----------------------------------------------
    Brian -I wish there were only two faint lines but we are not so lucky! We have several interspaced horizontally on the screen. I will try running dxdiag,exe as Viking suggested to see what it tells me. And I will be trying a test monitor to see what happens with it. Mark - I cannot say whether this problems develops as the computer warms up as my friend hadn't mentioned this but I will ask when I return to help her.
    I am getting a little ahead of myself but if I should need a new video card, what should I consider when making a choice? She isn't into games or anything high definition, she will just want to be able to see a clear picture once again. Since the present card is a Nvidia, I guess it would make sense to stay with that brand since it is compatible with the rest of her hardware?
    Thank you for the info. I'll let you know how it turns out! <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>


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    Re: Monitor problems - maybe?

    Well, I suppose that explains who really manufactured that DEC monitor that I had back when they were still around and were paying my wages. <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15> I didn't realize those two faint lines were patented, I always hated them - although I did learn to live with it.
    -Mark

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    Re: Monitor problems - maybe?

    OK, so we know it's not the design of the monitor that creates those lines. To test the system from a cold state to warm, here's what I suggest: make sure the unit is powered down completely for at least one hour prior to checking. Boot up the system, and pay attention to the display - particularly during those first few moments; the video adapter's chip will heat up very quickly. If you see the lines/interference before the Windows boot process starts or during the splash screen (the Microsoft logo displayed during boot), it's almost definitely hardware. If the lines don't exist at first and start to appear (perhaps getting worse), same conclusion - but reboot and watch the screen for interference again. If, on a warm system, the lines appear only after the Windows desktop appears, it's more likely that it's the software - drivers, perhaps. At this point, you would then swap monitors and see if the interference persists. If it goes away, it's the display itself; if not, you've reduced the possibilities to the video card or its software.

    Next step: download and install the very latest Nvidia drivers from their website. Nvidia recommends that you remove existing drivers before installing new ones, and I agree that this is a good practice (but I'm also lazy at times and don't bother). Whether you remove the previous drivers or not, make sure no anti-virus software is running when you install the new drivers. Perform the same steps listed above and observe the interference.

    As for new hardware, I am a dedicated Nvidia fan. ATI's latest products are also winning rave reviews, but since I've found a product line I like, I don't have much experience with the latest ATI offerings. For your friend's use, there are a few Nvidia based cards that would fill the bill and not break the bank. Best Buy here in the US sells the Geforce 440MX series, which are fine for moderate gaming and daily use. I use a Nvidia Geforce4 Ti 4200 and have been very pleased with its performance - I'm not really a gamer, but I feel it's the best value. It's a more capable card than the MX series, costing a little more - but is also one step further from planned obsolesence. I'll have to leave it to the ATI fans to chime in with their experiences, but if NVidia is what's in there already....I'd just stick with the same, and not for brand loyalty.

    Waiting to hear how this goes.... <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15> and good luck!!
    -Mark

  8. #8
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    Re: Monitor problems - maybe?

    Update on my attempts to rectify this problem!! I ran the dxdiag,exe and it worked just fine with no errors. She had the computer up and running when I got there so I didn't get to test the cold boot theory but gave her a copy of your posts and asked her to try that and let me know what she sees. When we reboot (computer is warmed up) and while it is going through the early screens, the lines don't show until the windows splash screen shows up, then so do the lines. It seems like they are more apparent when a dialog box is on the screen as they tend to run from it but they don't show where the screen is blank. I actually think the desktop itself would look clear if all of the icons were not there. The lines seem to generate from wherever the icons are. Hard to explain. And I haven't figured out how to get a graphic of it to show you!! The test monitor reacts the same way so it isn't the monitor giving us trouble. I didn't get the updated adapter driver downloaded for two reasons, one is that I am on dial-up and I was unable to tie up the line that long yesterday. So I hope to get to it tonight. Secondly, when I checked I was a bit confused by what driver to download? I followed the prompts for a win 98 TNT adapter driver and it took me to this page for Nvidia Detonator FX Driver for Win95/98/Me and says that it is forward and backward compatible. So this is what I want to download??? I figure it is but thought I would ask ahead of time just to be certain!! Timid soul, aren't I?
    It will probably be a few days before I get back to my friend's computer but I wanted to check in and let you know the situation so far!!
    <img src=/S/thankyou.gif border=0 alt=thankyou width=40 height=15> for helping and here's hoping that the good luck shows up!! <img src=/S/crossfingers.gif border=0 alt=crossfingers width=17 height=16>


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  9. #9
    Uranium Lounger viking33's Avatar
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    Re: Monitor problems - maybe?

    Skitterbug,
    That's the Nvidia driver to download and use. Nvidia has a universal driver app that makes it compatible to all of their cards. I have a GeForce GTS and that's also the driver for mine. Just disable any "accellerator" prog and any anti-virus program temporarily until the upgrade is done.

    Bob
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  10. #10
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    Re: Monitor problems - maybe?

    <img src=/S/thankyou.gif border=0 alt=thankyou width=40 height=15> for the explanation and the confirmation that I had the correct driver picked out! I will post back after I try this solution!! <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>


    "Peace begins with a smile. "-- Mother Teresa

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    Re: Monitor problems - maybe?

    It probably wouldn't hurt to turn the machine off, remove the Video Card, make sure the contacts are clean,make sure it's reseated good and see what happens. I have seen Video Cards do some weird things because they have gotten loose are dirty. Anyway, just an Idea.

  12. #12
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    Re: Monitor problems - maybe?

    Thanks Cowboy!! I will do it. Her computer could probably stand to have the dirt blown out of it anyway and I hadn't thought about video card becoming 'unseated'!! Maybe it lost its stirrup!! <img src=/S/laugh.gif border=0 alt=laugh width=15 height=15> <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>


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    Re: Monitor problems - maybe?

    Yeah it could be just a tiny bit loose are dirty and it can cause the picture to fall right out of the saddle, or at least buck a little. Probably wouldn't hurt to check the {reins } cables too.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  14. #14
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    Re: Monitor problems - maybe?

    Just wanted to catch this up to date. After checking out drivers, connections, etc. we made the determination that the card was shot. So we ordered a SDRAM AGP GeForce 2 MX200 Card that would serve the purpose on this computer. It went it great and the monitor is now clear as a bell. My only downside to this is that I was to get a rebate but when I got to the rebate page, I found out that I had to respond within 14 days of my purchase to be eligible. Now that bummed me off because I had just passed the 14th day, so I may not order from this place again. I've had trouble before in getting the free offers, etc. from here. (BTW This wasn't ordered from the Nvidia site and their product is just fine.)

    What I am wondering is if anyone has a good internet site to order from and has had positive experiences with them, would it be possible to share this information? I would really like to have better experiences with web "stores". Admittedly, they are cheaper then the local computer stores who perhaps offer decent service but I would like the web 'store' to do that too. Is this possible or am I living in a 'dream world' <img src=/S/question.gif border=0 alt=question width=15 height=15>
    <img src=/S/thankyou.gif border=0 alt=thankyou width=40 height=15> for any opinions that are shared!!


    "Peace begins with a smile. "-- Mother Teresa

  15. #15
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    Re: Monitor problems - maybe?

    No offense intended, Skitterbug, but I wouldn't "write off" the vendor because of that rebate problem. If you got good product, on a timely basis, and under the terms advertised, the rebate problem could be just a matter that you should have read everything completely so you didn't miss the boat. Maybe that wasn't the case though, I don't know. Answering the question about good internet vendors depends not only heavily on what type of product you're looking for, but terms and conditions of the moment, i.e. specials and such. I usually start with places like Price Watch and then start Googling!

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