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Online Keighlar

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Monitor Black Screens Momentarily
« on: May 18, 2010, 08:37:46 AM »
My fiance recently purchased an Asus Essentio CM5570 desktop for me. Forgive me in advance for the length of this post, but I'm trying to include all pertinent information.

Secifications:
Processor:
Type: Intel Pentium E5400 / 2.7 GHz
Multi-Core Technology: Dual-Core
64-bit Computing:  Yes
 
Cache Memory
    * Type: L2 cache
    * Installed Size: 2 MB
    * Cache Per Processor: 2 MB

Mainboard
    * Data bus speed 800 MHz

RAM
    * Installed Size 6 GB / 16 GB (max)
    * Technology DDR3 SDRAM

Storage
    * Hard Drive 1 x 750 GB - Serial ATA - S-ATA - 7200 rpm , Standard

Graphics Controller
    * Type Integrated
    * Graphics Processor / Vendor Intel GMA X4500 Dynamic Video Memory Technology 5.0
    * Video Memory 1759 MB (max)
    * Max Allocated RAM Size 1759 MB
    * Digital Video Standard Digital Visual Interface (DVI) , High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI)

Operating System / Software
    * OS Provided Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit Edition


I have this connected to a Westinghouse 22" LCD monitor.  I believe it's 720p, but it's a couple years old and I don't quite remember.  The onboard graphics left tons to be desired, so I installed a 450w psu (from 300w), and upgraded to a nVidia GeForce 9500 GT grahics card with 1 gig of memory. 

Issue:  The graphics look great and respond very well, but I'm getting sporadic black screens that last about 3 to 5 seconds.  Activity appears to have continued as usual when the display re-appears.  I've swapped out monitors, and the issue stays with the PC (though it was with the same model display).  I've checked error logs and see no errors that correspond to the times this occurs.  I've scoured google and cannot seem to find this same problem.  Any insight as to what I'm missing?

TIA!
“You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.”
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Online Marc Haycook

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Re: Monitor Black Screens Momentarily
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2010, 08:47:26 AM »
Did you install the actual nVidia drivers for the card or did you go with the default drivers from Windows 7?
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Online Keighlar

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Re: Monitor Black Screens Momentarily
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2010, 08:52:01 AM »
Well... here it gets a little tricky.  When I first started up the card it auto installed the Windows version of the drivers.  I immediately went to the nVidia website and downloaded their drivers.  Ran them 100 ways to Sunday, but when I check my driver signatures, it still shows Windows "blah, blah, blah" and says I have the best divers installed.  If I point the device driver directly to the driver I want it to use, it still won't use it.
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Online MacGyver

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Re: Monitor Black Screens Momentarily
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2010, 09:57:12 AM »
Stacey take a look at the instructions.  I have a couple of those cards and I think that may be one where I had to install the Nvidia software before installing the card, but I'm not sure.  I don't have one running on a Win 7 box, but on my XP machines they do all show Nvidia as the driver in the Device Mangler.
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Online Keighlar

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Re: Monitor Black Screens Momentarily
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2010, 10:03:01 AM »
Shoot!  I was trying to avoid removing the card, uninstalling all drivers and reinstalling everything.  However, it sounds like that's my only option.  There goes my Saturday.  :023:  The instructions DID say not to accept the Windows drivers when installing the card, but to navigate to the nVidia website and get them from there.  The problem was that I was not given the option to cancel or reject the Windows driver; MS just decided I needed them without my input.

Thanks guys!
“You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.”
Dr Seuss

Online MacGyver

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Re: Monitor Black Screens Momentarily
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2010, 02:09:10 PM »
I hope that resolves your issue Stacey.  Once you remove and uninstall you miight go ahead and do a registry rollback too just to try to make sure you got everything.
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Offline Kumba

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Re: Monitor Black Screens Momentarily
« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2010, 01:05:32 PM »
Try a different monitor cable.

Mine did this for a while and a new cable ended up being the fix.
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Online Keighlar

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Re: Monitor Black Screens Momentarily
« Reply #7 on: May 28, 2010, 01:16:57 PM »
I wanted to get to this last weekend, but home has been.... interesting with my 13 year-old daughter.  I'm going to ATTEMPT to get this all tried out this weekend.  However, with the holiday, who knows.  Since it only happens now and again, it hasn't prompted me to quick action.  Kumba... I have spare monitor cables lying around, so I'll try that first.  I'm a little skeptical only because the timing would have had to be quite coincidental.  It worked fine just exactly until the new graphics card was installed.  Stranger things have happened, I know.  We've all walked into a customer's office to have the power go out, or something completely random happen.  All eyes swivel your way as if to ask, "What did you do?!!"  :)
“You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.”
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Online MacGyver

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Re: Monitor Black Screens Momentarily
« Reply #8 on: May 28, 2010, 01:44:41 PM »
Hey Stacey I had one last thought.  I don't know if this will help, but keep it in mind when you're troubleshooting.

We had a similar situation with an ATI card.  It wasn't doing it regulary either, so I pulled up the Windows Task Manager, went to the Processes tab, and then sorted by CPU usage.  Each time the monitor would flash black, I'd see one particular ATI process jump to the top and then go away, so next I sorted by name and found the process.  In this case, there were two processes named exactly the same thing and as soon as I deleted the one that was jumping to the top, the problem ceased.

Maybe trying a similar search will help you isolate the issue on yours.
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Online Keighlar

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Re: Monitor Black Screens Momentarily
« Reply #9 on: May 28, 2010, 01:50:02 PM »
Ok... this is going to sound like a sassy question, but it's really not!!!  How did you see the process flash up if the monitor is black?    :056:
“You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.”
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Online telemarv

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Re: Monitor Black Screens Momentarily
« Reply #10 on: May 28, 2010, 02:31:20 PM »
Stacey if this started happening when the card was changed...

An obvious check is the cable where it connects to the card, the card may not be seated properly.

My son put a GForce 6600 video card in his PC and the power supply could not handle the extra load. Just another place to look.
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Online MacGyver

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Re: Monitor Black Screens Momentarily
« Reply #11 on: May 28, 2010, 05:43:51 PM »
Ok... this is going to sound like a sassy question, but it's really not!!!  How did you see the process flash up if the monitor is black?    :056:

Actually Stacey it's a REALLY good question.   :011:

I guess your monitor is staying off longer.  The situation on the ATI card was more of an annoying black flash.  The process would pop to the top and then drop back down as other processes came to the top.  That one also had dual monitors, but as I recall it did it on both monitors.
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Online MacGyver

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Re: Monitor Black Screens Momentarily
« Reply #12 on: May 30, 2010, 09:00:32 PM »
Stacey I did just have one other thought.  IF the task manager CPU monitor aspect would help you identify the issue, you could possibly monitor your machine over VNC from another machine.  Even though your monitor was black, there's a good chance you'd still be able to view it from the other computer via VNC.
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Offline WRichey

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Re: Monitor Black Screens Momentarily
« Reply #13 on: May 31, 2010, 08:07:30 AM »
There is also one you do not have to install. Just but the program on your desktop and start it. It will give you a password and loggin id. But you will need an internet connection.

I am playing with it right now and it is very low on the resources. It is called "TeamViewer" and it will achieve the same result as VNC without the actual install.
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Online Keighlar

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Re: Monitor Black Screens Momentarily
« Reply #14 on: June 01, 2010, 09:53:43 AM »
I did manage to find the time to change out the cable this weekend and make sure it's tight, but no go.  I have not uninstalled and reinstalled the drivers yet, but I will have to do it soon.  It's starting to get irritating now.  I can't lose sight of my hit point status while in the middle of combat!   :011:

I do not have dual monitors installed at the moment, but remote monitoring is an interesting idea. I wonder if running a screen capture program would show the task manager during a black-out...  It doesn't help that I'm good enough with computers to be dangerous, but not a pro by any means. 

Thank all of you for keeping up with this.  I'm going to have to get a move on it if for no other reason than to give you a significant update! 
“You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.”
Dr Seuss