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Why are BOTH of my monitors' back ights shutting off?

Last response: in Computer Peripherals
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March 6, 2011 11:34:08 PM

I have Windows 7 Ultimate x86. One day last week, I left my computer for a few minutes and came back to a dialog box saying Windows Explorer (or maybe it was Internet Explorer) encountered a problem and needed to close. I clicked close and my monitor (LG Flatron W2453V) shut off. However, I noticed that I was still able to see the faint appearance of objects on the screen which lead me to the conclusion that my monitor's back light was off. I shut the monitor off then back on, but the back ight went off after about 3 seconds. Rinse and repeat about 10 more times until frustration sent me into a frenzy.

So I plugged in another older monitor I got in 2007 (Samsung SyncMaster 225BW). Same issue. I could still see the faint shapes of windows and even read some large text if I strained my eyes. The thing is that I don't remember this monitor ever doing this at all. Thinking it was my video card (nvidia GTX480), I swapped it out with my old nvidia 8800 GTX. SAME ISSUE. I then tried both video cards in a different PCIE 16X slot. Same issue.

I took my LG into work the next day and tried it there only to get the same shut-off issue, so it's obviously the monitor at this point. However, the very unlikely coincidence that Windows 7 crashes on its own at the exact same time both of my monitors decide to go into power save mode has me wondering if PC monitors can be affected by viruses. I know it sounds crazy, but it seems perfectly plausible. After all, if a monitor can get a firmware update, why can't it acquire a virus? I'd like someone to set me straight on that one.

Right now, I am able to use my Samsung monitor, but I have to polish its knob pretty good by performing random combinations of rebooting my PC and disconnecting/reconnecting the monitor cable from the monitor to get it to stay on.

Is there some sort of self-diagnostics I can perform on these two monitors? What do any of you recommend I do about this? I am about to order a new monitor, but want to explore other options first.
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March 8, 2011 1:21:17 PM

Firmware viruses are not unheard of, but firmware updates usually require a USB or RS232 cable connected to the monitor - I don't think they're supported over DVI, HDMI, or VGA cables. Also, I checked the online manuals for both monitors you mentioned, and neither makes any mention of the firmware, let alone it being updatable. The best alternative explanation I can think of at the moment is that your video cable or video card went bad in such a way as to cause electrical damage to the monitors.

Self-diagnostics tends to be limited for monitors. Usually some sort of image will appear if you turn on the monitor without any video cables connected. However, it might be better to take the monitor(s) to a local computer store where they can open it up and examine the circuit boards, etc. Also examine your video card and cable. If they somehow caused damage to the two monitors you mention, a newly bought monitor could get damaged similarly.
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March 15, 2011 12:11:00 AM

MauveCloud said:
Also examine your video card and cable. If they somehow caused damage to the two monitors you mention, a newly bought monitor could get damaged similarly.


Thanks for the reply. I actually forgot all about this post.

Well, I am currently using the aforementioned Samsung, but I can only get it to stay on after about 10 straight minutes of repeatedly turning it off and on. Now it's on and bright as ever and, when it's on, it stays on. I even had it on this past weekend starting Friday at 6pm all the way until Sunday night at 11:30pm. However, when the monitor is off or goes into power save mode for a few hours straight, I have to play the jump start game for about 10 minutes to get it to stay on. So, for now, I disable all powersave options to keep everything from hybernating and keep the monitor on with a screensaver.

This is what I will have to do until I get my replacement LG. The electrical damage theory of yours makes sense and I hadn't thought of it, but I wonder why I am still able to use this monitor if such damage did indeed occur.
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