View Full Version : Whats the smell? Video display gone funny.....

25-09-2004, 10:45 PM
Something was up with my PC this morning after eldest son tried out a new game.

The display is now only covering the middle half of the screen and is also trapezoid in shape ( sides pulled )
I noticed a cooking smell in the room but couldn't pinpoint it at all, checked the video display board, and motherboard with a torch and nothing obvious. All power, case, CPU and display card fans were running.

I noticed on reboot that the microsoft logo in the bottom right hand corner was backwards as it booted. ( haven't reproduced this since )
The monitor appears ok when the splash screen from the motherboard appears as the pc boots but then rapidly pulls in.

I guess that I would be correct in that the video card needs binning and replacing?
It's a 440MX from memory

25-09-2004, 10:54 PM
have you checked the screen adjustments ( there maybe buttons on the screen somewhere).
Before you write off the video card change the screen for another it maybe a bad (dry) connection in the circuitry of the screen or the screen itself my need the last rights

25-09-2004, 11:08 PM
your son wasn't waving an industrial strength magnet around when he was playing it was he?

25-09-2004, 11:23 PM
Its likely the screen.

The boot-up splash screen is low resolution (low scan frequency) while the WIndows display is much higher.

The monitor deflection circuitry may have been over-stressed by being run higher than its design (by the game settings), and has popped some components which screw the display at the higher Windows resolution.

26-09-2004, 09:16 PM
Cheers for the suggestions team,

It is the monitor, as i plugged it into the old PII and the same display occurs, haven't noticed the burning smell, but haven't exactly left it on long enough either.....

Ok it's a 17" flat screen Mag and 27 months old, unknown what the warrenty on this brand is at all.
Is it worth repairing if not?
Do I go the Consumer Guarantees route?
If I buy a new one, whats best these days, CRT or LCD?

I know the LCD's use less power, what other benefits are there?

26-09-2004, 09:56 PM
LCD would be better way to go. Not as big and heavy. Flat screen. No reflections. Way better & clearer picture. Less power consumption. Losts less likely to fault.

These things always seem to happen to people when 'someone else has been using my computer', reason why I, and only I, use my computers (two) and anyone else gets pointed to the computer shop, "If you want to use one, go buy one like I had to!"

Billy T
26-09-2004, 11:05 PM
> Is it worth repairing if not?

Probably not, but you could get a quote (you'd probably have to pay a quote fee).

> Do I go the Consumer Guarantees route?

Unlikely to be successful as it sounds like the damage was caused by trying to operate the monitor outside its design parameters. I am a staunch advocate of using the CGA, but I wouldn't recommend it for this problem unless you were intending to conceal the cause of the fault, i.e. tell porkies.


Billy 8-{)

27-09-2004, 11:27 PM
Hmm the Game he was playing was Midtown Madness two and it was a demo version, so I hardly think it was taxing, he's only 10.
Not exactly pushing the boundaries on the pc as yet.

27-09-2004, 11:41 PM
Not the point.

Nothing to do with how the game is played. Or the age of the player.

The settings for the game may have been stressful for the monitor (scan rate that the game uses).

It may have been higher than your normal use and caused the problem.
The monitor may have had a built-in weakness, and the game settings were the last straw?

Murray P
27-09-2004, 11:56 PM
> The monitor may have had a built-in weakness, and the
> game settings were the last straw?

I know this is just speculation at this stage but, If that is the case the surley there is a case to at least explore. Get you monitor manual, specifications and any brochures or other advertising material fom the time of purchase.

My opinion is, that a MX440 video card would probably not have the output to tax a relatively new monitor, I would expect the cards limits to be reached long before the monitor went fuzzt and/or the game would have been unplayable at those sort of resolutions and (screen) refresh rates. Then again perhaps it was unplayable.

Worth a look.

Cheers Murray P

Billy T
28-09-2004, 10:57 AM
It is not the video card "output level" as such that taxes the monitor Murray, it is whether or not the monitor is asked to operate at scan rates that it cannot cope with, but granted, a 27 month old monitor should be able to handle just about all of the commonly used frequencies.

If pushed outside its limits or driven with an ambiguous signal level that leaves it undecided as to what it should synchronise to, current drain can increase to the point that smoke is emitted. Horizontal scanning circuits are tuned to resonance, and if they go off-resonance the current drawn can increase significantly.

At 27 months there is limited prospect for relief unless the warranty was for 36 months. It is always worth checking though, I tossed out a 30 month old Hyundai monitor some time back without giving it a second thought, then while clearing out some old papers a few weeks back I found the original purchase docs and it had a 36 month warranty. X-(

I felt a bit stupid!


Billy 8-{) :8}

28-09-2004, 12:15 PM
Midtown Madness 2 is hardly likely to stress a 27 month old monitor

30-09-2004, 01:20 AM
I have Midtown madness 2 -- there is only a finite number of display options and NONE of them are non-standard.

I can definitely say that it is not caused by the game delivering a damaging scan rate etc.

If I push my monitor, it just says "Resolution too high", or "Undisplayable scan rate", etc. Same with every monitor I've had since 2000.