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Monitor randomly shuts off

Last response: in Systems
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January 10, 2011 9:39:31 AM

my comp recently went bonkers.. i've been trying to diagnose the fault but its been a tall order for me. basically the monitor goes off randomly.. here's the details:

450W ATX powersupply
GF 9500GT DDR3 gfx
Q8800 Core 2 Quad 2.33GHz
Asus P5Q-SE/R Mobo
1TB WDC 7200rpm SATA2
2x 2GB Kingston DDR2 800 memory
Win 7 64-bit Ultimate

2 weeks ago, my comp started to have this problem, where my monitor goes black and the signal is lost. usually, the problem occurred when I leave my comp for a while (the sleep function is disabled) then the monitor will auto switch off after 10 mins. then I can't wake the monitor up by moving the mouse or hitting any keys, so i had to restart.

nowadays, this monitor shutting off issue happens very randomly. the monitor goes black, the signal switches between analog and digital for about 5-6 times and then boom.. all signal lost..

but i realized that probability wise, disconnecting the plug from the socket for >2hrs will give me slightly more up time.. maybe an hour or two longer before the problem happens...
if the monitor blacks out.. i reset it.. chances are it will occur again within the next ten mins..
if the monitor has been blacking out 3-4 times already.. chances are the problem will occur again during boot up... or even in bios
however, if i leave the comp untouched and switch off all power sockets connecting to the PSU for a day, i can probably have it on for 3-4 hours before the problem happens.

then again, all these are probabilistic.

when the monitor blacks out, sometimes the keyboard is still active, ie. i am able to win -> right key -> enter to shut down the comp.. but most of the times it is unresponsive, numlock light doesnt change when i hit numlock

out of 10 times i have to reset the comp because of the black monitor, about once my bios will reset itself to default settings..

this problem of monitor blacking out happens very randomly... sometimes immediately after boot up, sometimes during bios, in safe mode, playing games, surfing the web, watching a movie... etc

initially i found a virus in my gfx drivers (i did a virus scan when the problem first showed up) which i installed from nvidia website about a month before the problem started to occur.. and i deleted it str away and revert to an older version.. anyway.. the problem didn't go away..

there was also once when i booted up in safe mode and the problem occurred.. so im guessing it had nothin to do with the drivers

so i tried opening the casing.. do a dust clean on my heatsinks and mobo and PSU.. problem still didn't go away...

then i tried to readjust my gfx.. unscrew it, took it out for a clean, popped it back in... no help..

i don't know if its a PSU issue but i did a check and my gfx requires 26A on the +12V rail.. my PSU does 30A and has been fine for 2 yrs before this happened...

then i thought it might be an overheating issue, so i opened the casing, and faced a full-blasting fan at it.. problem not solved

changes to note:
starting playing gfx intensive games, such as WoW, sc2 (2 weeks ago)
installed latest nvidia drivers (1 month ago)
installed an additional 2gb ram (2 months ago)

i am at my wits end with these symptoms.. hopefully u can help me with this by pinpointing where the issue most likely is so i can replace that part...

thanks for reading and sorry for the chunk of words
jon

More about : monitor randomly shuts

a b B Homebuilt system
January 10, 2011 9:44:32 AM

Could be the PSU; PSUs can weaken over time, and, sometimes can not supply sufficient power to a GPU or mb.

Is your monitor known good? Do you have another GPU you can try/borrow? (Make sure gpu's aux power is connected and snug..)
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January 10, 2011 10:01:33 AM

whats aux power? my gpu doesnt feed any power from the PSU... it only connects to the PCIE slot on the mb...

my monitor is reliable afaik.. samsung lcd... always trusted in that brand of monitors.. i have placed an order for a corsair gs800 and its on its way..

nope i don't have another gpu to borrow.. should i ask a friend for one? what is the most likely issue here?
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January 10, 2011 10:20:36 AM

Have you tried using another monitor?
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January 10, 2011 10:41:44 AM

i doubt it is a monitor issue because

1) whenever the problem occurs, pressing the reset button gets the screen back on immediately.
2) it works fine when i connect it to my laptop as a screen extension
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January 10, 2011 11:58:02 AM

Did you build the system yourself, if so are you sure all the parts are connected properly? I had the same issue when i built my computer, the gfx card was slightly disconnected and i got a black readout on my monitor when the computers fans were spinning.
Also if this isn't the case try consider buying a more powerful PSU, as capable as 450W may seem your current setup might be quite stressful, especially when playing games etc. so you may have wore it out.
Assure all parts are correctly placed, i consider taking everything out and putting it back together and if not possibly consider purchasing a new power supply.
I hope this was of help and good luck :) .
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 10, 2011 3:02:26 PM

My vote is the PSU is starting to fail, but that's not certain. Given the notes on cooling and time effects, it is also possible the video card is overheating, either because of a fault or because its own cooling fan is failing and running slow or blocked with dust.
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Best solution

a b B Homebuilt system
January 10, 2011 3:58:28 PM

I tend to agree with doc... I am also thinking this because it sounds like you said the gpu is not connected to the psu Quote [my gpu doesnt feed any power from the PSU... it only connects to the PCIE slot on the mb...] Quote
... If I heard that right you might bedrawing enough power off the pcie slot to run the card and not the cards fan or at least not enough to run the fans at speed. I would try connecting the card to the psu if you have the cords. You may ahve damaged the card itself though in which case you may be stuck.
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January 16, 2011 11:05:08 PM

Thanks for the help guys. I first replaced the PSU with a more powerful one but realized that wasn't the problem.
It appears that my GFX has failed me. Probably a faulty memory module on the card or some wiring issue. It is not an overheating issue.

Had my card replaced and viola.. problem solved. Doing fine now with the MSI Radeon HD5770 Hawk card.

Cheers!
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January 16, 2011 11:08:46 PM

Best answer selected by superevvy.
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