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Solved: Monitor Distortion

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Mafsto, Apr 26, 2010.

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  1. Mafsto

    Mafsto Thread Starter

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    Greetings tech guys. I come to you with a problem pertaining to my monitor. As of yesterday, April 25th, my monitor began to show a slight hint of distortion. I thought nothing of it at first till the distortion expanded into one even column on the display. I ignored it at first, being immersed in a game. The column expanded into two. Both columns of distrortion were clear cut and even. Not spreading out of the bounds that that plagued my desktop with.

    I quickly checked for any questionable processes running, but could not find anything out of the norm. This lead me to fool around with the video settings. Sometimes the distortion would clear completely out for a moment, but return seconds later or in an hour when I altered resolution and such.

    The one remedy to get of the distortion I have found to work so far is to unplug the video cable for a seconds and then replug it back in.

    My question is, what is going on? Is my monitor, video card, or cables connecting the two starting to break down?

    My monitor is a HP w2408 wide LCD. My video card is a GeForce 9300 GE. They video card has the most up to date driver at the moment. My OS is windows vista 64 bit. I currently use the HDMI cable to connect the monitor to my computer. It offers the best picture quality over VGA. I did test the VGA connection out to see if it was solely the HDMI connection. What I got from the VGA was a third column of distortion. I am also placing a link here for you to use and see an actual picture of the distortion.

    http://i321.photobucket.com/albums/nn380/Maror/CIMG2733.jpg

    What do you guys think is the problem?

    Also, thank for you taking the time to read this and possibly help me.
     
  2. blueturtl

    blueturtl

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    I say you have a problem with your video card.

    Basis for assumption:
    1) You ruled out the cable by trying another one.
    2) The distortion looks digital in nature and repeats over your analog VGA connection. Analog video errors look very different so this error happens before the signal is even fed in to the cables. Problems with signal over VGA cables often result in unfocused picture, graininess, fuzziness or shadowing... the kind of stuff you'd expect to get using a TV with bad reception.
    3) According to you it just sort of happened one day. Video drivers don't break by themselves. If you didn't update any drivers right prior to this happening, it's probably not a software issue.

    I could be wrong and it could be the monitor. Find out by plugging the monitor to another computer and try using the same resolutions and refreshrates that are giving you this problem now. If the screen is error free, it confirms what I said earlier. If the errors are still present, it's the monitor.
     
  3. Mafsto

    Mafsto Thread Starter

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    Well in terms of the drivers. It had been at least more than a year from my last update. I updated the drivers after the problem started. And when I first tested it out, it was through the VGA connection. The problem persisted and I was missing my high def colors. I've just switched back to HDMI, so far no distortion yet, but we'll see.

    My next course of action will be to wait for the problem to start up, then I will attempt to hook up another monitor. On another note, I did try to screen shot my desktop when the last distortion happened (before the driver update). When the distortion cleared, I checked the screen shot. It did not capture the distortion in the picture. I am not sure if that means something, but thought it was noteworthy.
     
  4. blueturtl

    blueturtl

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    I'd say the fact it's not shown in the screenshot verifies that it's not a display driver problem.

    However like I said earlier it does look like a digital error... it's too precise to be analog. The monitor could potentially still be the culprit. LCDs probably do some digital processing of the video signal and having anything wrong with those electronics could in theory mess up the picture before it gets displayed.

    I still think it's more likely to be the video card though... based on the link below and the fact you said you were playing a game when it happened the first time, it could be overheating or bad RAM on the video card.

    http://www.playtool.com/pages/artifacts/artifacts.html

    Let us know how your test results turn out.
     
  5. Mafsto

    Mafsto Thread Starter

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    First,

    I just want to thank you Blue Turtle for taking the time to help me. I would say we're one step closer to solving this dilemma.

    After reading that link you gave me, I believe the issue is known as a "bus artifact". While my entire screen is not completely taken up by video distortion, the example they provide matches mine the closest. In terms of behavior, yes it was during a game when it first occurred. I then played another for four hours with no problem after I disconnected the monitor and then reconnected a few seconds later. The problem now happens at the most random of times. It was just happening as I wrote this response. All I have open is Firefox. The other possibility could be that it is a "GPU artifact". But this I am unsure of. The bus one seems closer to it. I guess I will try changing my AGP settings and see if that works at the website suggests. The article also goes on to mention that it might be motherboard corruption......are there other symptoms I should be looking for just to make sure it is not that?

    PS.

    Just after I posted this article, the distortion returned. Not only did it return, but it has now expanded into a third column!
     
  6. Mafsto

    Mafsto Thread Starter

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    I decided to hit the HP site up for possible drivers for the monitor. I found these small programs, http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/softwareList?os=2100&lc=en&dlc=en&cc=us&lang=en&product=3551927

    The moment I ran either of them, the distortion would start slowly disperse and then finally die out, leaving my monitor back to normal. The distortion did return, but once again, I ran one of these programs and the distortion is gone. While this does not solve the problem, it's a temporary solution. Would this confirm that the problem is in the monitor?
     
  7. blueturtl

    blueturtl

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    It could... but then again it might not.

    I'd say the best way to rule out the monitor at this point would be to just plug it into another computer. If the symptoms follow the monitor, it's the monitor. You can also try another monitor on your computer. If the new monitor is symptom free, that again proves it's in your monitor.

    The most effective trouble shooting method is to try to rule out one thing at a time. If you start trying many things at the same time, it will make it difficult to determine which of the made changes was the one that fixed the problem.

    If you have a friend with a notebook computer or an extra monitor, this is the time to call him.

    p.s. I'm glad to assist. :)
     
  8. Mafsto

    Mafsto Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2004
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    I finally got my hands on a friend's laptop to perform the final test. It is indeed the monitor that is the problem. On my friend's laptop, a crystal clear picture. When I had the laptop connect to my problem monitor, the screen distortion was there in full swing. I thought I would just let you know so we can finally close this case. :)
     
  9. blueturtl

    blueturtl

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2009
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    Congratulations on solving the case and my condolences.
    Hope your monitor still has warranty. :)
     
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