Horizontal waves on LCD monitor

My wife's grandparents have a Dell LCD monitor, sorry I don't have access to the model right now, where the entire screen is covered in horizontal waves. It looks there is a heater in front of it and you are looking at the screen through the heat waves. That's my hillbilly description of it anyway. I checked the connections and did a general scan for possible interfering energy sources. Nothing appeared unusual. There have never been any problems and no message or event preceded the malfunction. Everything looked fine in the device manager as well.
I tool my lcd monitor and connected it to the computer and it worked fine, however, upon reconnecting the old monitor the picture was fine. The picture remained fine for several hours but the waves came back. Could this be the video card, the monitor, some mysteriously disappearing driver, a virus or what? They don't want to get a new monitor and have the same problem, same with the video card. Any ideas for a more difinitive test or about what might be the problem??

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  1. You know how you said you tried your monitor? Is it possible to let them use it for a day or so? You said when they hooked their old one back up it worked fine for a few hours, and then the problem started again.

    I would say let them use yours for a day, leave it on through the night, if you dont have the problem with your monitor in the morning, it is the monitor, and then I would say they need to get a new one.
  2. Thats an idea. May just swap and try theirs on mine and mine on theirs. If after a day theirs is working fine on my system and mine is showing lines on theirs I guess I can assume its a video card problem.
  3. Exactly, and if you to put theirs on your computer and you get the lines right away, then its the monitor.

    You can try different cables (e.g. the ones from your monitor), and see if that works, but I kind of assumed you already did that.
  4. If the problem went away after unplugging their monitor, then came back after time, I'd guess it's a heat problem with their monitor. Likely it's failing and needs replaced. (Or at least look into the heat vents in the back of it and make sure it's not caked full of dust bunnies!)

    Would seem to me, if it was a driver/software problem it would occur constantly, and not just over time.
  5. Yeah, I did all that. I'll blow the dust out when I get hold of it tonight.
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