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paulb
20-05-2008, 08:51 PM
Hi
I have a intermittent problem with my screen suddenly going black and the only way I can get my screen up again is to reboot. However, if I catch the onset of blackness right at the point it happens, eg by moving my mouse, I can sometimes get the screen back. This seems to happen more often when the computer has been turned on for a short time and less of a problem when it's been running awhile.
I have a Pentium 4, 2.53 MHz processor, ASUS motherboard, Nvidia Ti 4200 with AGP8 graphics card and Windows XP.
I recently installed SP3 but the problem was happening before I installed this. I have downloaded the latest drivers from Nvidia but nothing has helped.
Is my graphics card dying or is there another solution?
Thanks
Paul

wainuitech
20-05-2008, 09:09 PM
When it turns black is it gradual, eg 3-5 minutes or all of a sudden ?

haven't got it set to turn off Monitor after a certain time have you, right click the desktop/properties/screen saver/power button.

Greg
20-05-2008, 10:04 PM
My guess its hardware related. Are you sure all the connections are nice and tight? And yeah it may be your vid card is on the way out, or the monitor. First thing I'd try is borrow a substitute monitor to eliminate that possibility.

pctek
21-05-2008, 09:56 AM
haven't got it set to turn off Monitor after a certain time have you, right click the desktop/properties/screen saver/power button.

Disable hibernation too.

dugimodo
21-05-2008, 10:28 AM
this can sometimes be a sign of an overheating graphics card, if you are comfortable opening up your pc check to make sure the graphics card fan is running and the heatsink is not full of dust.

A Ti4200 is an old card even compared to your system specs so it could be that it's wearing out. Some versions had problems with power regulation circuitry due to the different voltage specs of various AGP versions ( 2X, 4X, 8X etc )

paulb
21-05-2008, 10:28 PM
Thanks everyone
I've tested the connections and no problems there. Power Save moded turned off so shouldn't be a problem there.
The screen suddenly goes black, not gradually.

paulb
21-05-2008, 10:29 PM
ignore this - i wanted to delete but can't see how

Agent_24
22-05-2008, 12:19 PM
Funny how moving the mouse sometimes gets it back - maybe it's screensaver or powersaving causing a problem?

I would also check the video card for dust and make sure the fan is still spinning..

PCgirlie
22-05-2008, 12:26 PM
Okay, this happens to me as well and it is very frustrating. I don't have Windows XP but Vista. I thought it was maybe a Vista problem as I never experience it before. But now I see it happens on XP as well.

I've been researching for days to come up with a solution and have downloaded everything I can think of that may help. Hmmmmm......

Trev
22-05-2008, 01:53 PM
A couple of years ago I had a similar problem. The monitor would go black and the monitor power light would start flashing tilling me it wasn't recieving the video signal. After a reboot everything would be alright for a week or so until it happened again. I solved the problem by getting a new power supply for the computer. Went from a 350w one to a 430w one.
:)

paulb
22-05-2008, 09:25 PM
Thanks guys for all the suggestions.
I just can't believe it's dust on the graphics card as the problem is so intermittent.
And the power supply has done well for about 4 years so why would that suddenly not be sufficient?
Any other options?
Thanks

Greg
22-05-2008, 09:29 PM
You'd be surprised at how many strange problems can be caused by a failing PSU. Getting a replacement is a good logical step, because even if it's not the problem you'll at least have a backup. You can get a decent priced unit from DSE.

Trev
22-05-2008, 09:52 PM
I bought one of these.
http://www.dse.co.nz/cgi-bin/dse.storefront/483535ec0cb072dc273fc0a87f3b0717/Product/View/XH9032
:)

bones
22-05-2008, 10:49 PM
I have Vista at work and had a similar problem. Sometimes when I went to hit the calculator button on the keyboard I would get the sleep button instead( appointment for eye exam coming up), and no way could I get it to wake up except by rebooting(which gave me an error message..."Windows shutdown unexpectedly"...or similar.
After a bit of googling it seems Vista sucks on the sleep side of things. I now have it set to never hibernate or sleep. Possibly a bios or software setting is sending it into sleep mode.

bones
22-05-2008, 10:53 PM
Hope that eye appiontment is soon. Now see it was PCgirlie with Vista not paulb. My bad.:o

Agent_24
23-05-2008, 01:38 AM
Thanks guys for all the suggestions.
I just can't believe it's dust on the graphics card as the problem is so intermittent.
And the power supply has done well for about 4 years so why would that suddenly not be sufficient?
Any other options?
Thanks

All PSUs contain aluminum electrolytic capacitors which are notorious for bad behaviour. This isn't helped by the fact that cheap PSU brands use capacitors which are underrated for the task (notibly in heat tolerance) and which over time and with high loads in current/temperatures can change value in capacity and ESR rating and can even start leaking electrolyte (all 3 generally come as a group deal)

While the PSU may still work, it's overall capacity is reduced and can no longer supply the same amount of power it did when it was new.

The other problem with PSUs when they go bad like this, is that the capacitors start being unable to filter ripple as well as they used to, and this can cause problems with the rest of your hardware (and is a very good candidate for intermittent or random problems)

4 years is quite a while for most PSUs

feersumendjinn
23-05-2008, 01:40 PM
I have Vista at work and had a similar problem. Sometimes when I went to hit the calculator button on the keyboard I would get the sleep button instead( appointment for eye exam coming up), and no way could I get it to wake up except by rebooting(which gave me an error message..."Windows shutdown unexpectedly"...or similar.
After a bit of googling it seems Vista sucks on the sleep side of things. I now have it set to never hibernate or sleep. Possibly a bios or software setting is sending it into sleep mode.
Has your work installed SP1, that was one of the fixes that was (supposed to be) included.

jammer
25-09-2008, 04:27 AM
My screens (I have 2 monitors connected to my computer) started going black right after I updated my nvidia video card driver. It happened 4 times in 3 hours just this morning. So I rolled back my driver and it has now been 2.5 hours without my screens going black.

Nyuuji
25-09-2008, 08:53 AM
I also had a similar problem of the screen suddenly just going black, but could see the pc was still humming along nicely. So I replaced the 7900GS in there with a new Gigabyte 9600GT 512HP silent card. Now it works sweet.
I know I should have done a bit more (did update to latest Nvidia drivers) in trying to eliminate other possible faults in order to find culprit before replacing card, but wanted to upgrade anyhow, and this gave me an excuse.