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Author Topic: Intermittent monitor problem  (Read 2933 times)

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Online OniyaTopic starter

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Intermittent monitor problem
« on: February 27, 2018, 04:03:11 pm »
Mr. Oniya's computer has developed a strange issue.

If he shuts the machine off, then comes back and restarts it, the computer doesn't seem to send a signal to the monitor - which promptly goes back to sleep.  If he leaves it in this state, it eventually starts a two-beep pattern:  One longer than the other, alternating.  Once this starts, a hard reboot of the machine will start it up 'normally'.  I've told him that he should take it to the local shop (it's well out of warranty), but his 'solution' is to just leave the thing on.  (I'm fairly certain that I'll be getting complaints that his machine is getting sluggish before the week is out.)

Anyone have any thoughts as to what the problem could be?  I'm guessing the graphics card might be at fault.

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Re: Intermittent monitor problem
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2018, 07:21:34 pm »
Typically beeps like that indicate a hardware issue. The beeps are a 'code' to tell you what part of the hardware has gone wrong. One long, one short beep on start up can indicate a memory problem. But from what you've put it's not just two beeps then no more??  Might need to google the specific BIOS you have and it's error codes to get a clearer idea of what's going on. I'll ask my Hubs when he's home if he knows (he should, it's his job xD )

Online OniyaTopic starter

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Re: Intermittent monitor problem
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2018, 10:06:40 pm »
Yeah, I've noticed that a lot of computers seem to have moved away from the standard 'Power On Startup Test' that I'm familiar with.  The first I heard about the beeps was Monday morning, when Little Oni came into our room in a panic because 'Daddy's computer won't stop beeping'.  Sunday late was when it first had the unresponsive monitor.  He went downstairs to handle it, but really didn't give me any useful information about the beeps.  (Are we talking aggravated cicada? Persistent cricket? Stoned cardinal?)  Just - 'I turned it off and then back on and it started working.'

This morning, I came down and heard the beeps myself.  Restarted, got it to the Win7 login screen, and did a normal shut-down.  Found out that he'd shut it down earlier, turned it on and had the monitor problem, and was 'waiting for the beeps to start' so he could do that - but ended up going to bed before it started, and I hadn't woken up yet for him to tell me.  (He works the night shift, so we frequently 'cross' sleep schedules.)

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Re: Intermittent monitor problem
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2018, 10:44:37 pm »
Is his motherboard new enough to have status LEDs for the slots on it? Some newer boards have failure state lights so you can see immediately what's acting up.  Reseating the vid card might be a good idea, as might cleaning its fan and heat sink. It's very unlikely it's an overheat error, since it's on startup, but you never know. Also obvious things like making sure any onboard video hasn't gotten turned on in the BIOS by accident.

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Re: Intermittent monitor problem
« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2018, 11:31:21 pm »
The issue could be with the computer, the monitor or the cable. This kind of thing could be due to a blackout/power failure. It could also be due to a Microsoft update or similar. It could also be as simple as the source setting on the monitor. Have you tried substituting them?

Try a different monitor, a different computer or swapping the cable (between DVI, SVGA or HDMI).

That way, you can isolate the problem and focus on a known quantity. You may also find that a different monitor or output works just fine.

Online OniyaTopic starter

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Re: Intermittent monitor problem
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2018, 11:49:35 pm »
We don't have a lot of spare tech lying around.  The best I could do for a substitution - that doesn't involve tearing up half the living room - would be to plug the monitor into the laptop.  I was going to try this before finding out that the monitor had resumed 'talking' to the tower unit, which seemed to indicate that the problem was somewhere upstream from the monitor/cable.

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Re: Intermittent monitor problem
« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2018, 11:56:27 pm »
Leave it for now then. Though, next time you have the issue, look for a source button on the monitor. You should be able to cycle through the source(s) easily enough and that will let you know if the computer is outputting an image to the monitor in a way the monitor is not expecting. And you can always go back to the initial source in any case.

You can also easily try your display settings on the PC to see if it detects a monitor.