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  1. #1
    Junior Member Chikara's Avatar
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    Default Troubleshooting display issues

    Hi all,
    I need some help please to help troubleshoot an ongoing problem I've had for a long time.

    The problem: Every so often, seemingly at random, my display goes black/standby. There is no BSOD error message or anything like that, I will be doing whatever task I am doing, then all of a sudden usually without warning the monitor goes blank. (Same as what you would see if the monitor was still on after you shut the system down). The monitor status light, which is blue when on/working normally, changed to orange (standby). This might go weeks without happening, or somethimes a few days apart.
    It seems to me that the monitor has lost it's signal from the PC. No mouse or keyboard activity can solve it, so the only way to solve it is to force a reboot each time.
    I am pretty sure the PC has not frozen, as I can still see the hard drive light come on and off. So I think the PC itself is still functioning, the problem seems to be with the display / graphics card. I am sure it's not the monitor, as I had to replace my monitor last year and it would do this with my old monitor also.

    I'm not doing anything demanding usually when this happens. The most recent occasion, I just had Firefox, Outlook and a Music Player open only so it should not be a load issue on either CPU, RAM, or heating.

    ONe thing I also tried... I used VNC (it's like TeamViewer) to remote into it, from my phone. I thought if it's only a display issue, then this should still work, which at least will let me do a regular shutdown/reboot. But I am also unable to connect using VNC, or any other remote software in this situation. Even though normally, I can.

    I have already tried doing a full clean uninstall/ reinstall of my graphic drivers, and that has not solved the problem.
    I've also tried changing the power settings to the graphics card (3D settings is the only place I see this setting) between optimal power / adaptive / prefer meximum performance, that seems to make no difference either. (maybe there's some other setting elsewhere)?

    I assume this is either a driver issue (but seems unlikely after having this happen with so many different driver versions, and after doing the clean uninstall), or maybe it could be a physical hardware problem with the graphics card? Is it possible to troubleshoot more to isolote and confirm this?

    Windows Reliability Monitor doesn;t show anything except that Windows was not propery shut down (caused my me having to force reboot via power button)
    Bios etc is also up to date.

    I don't know how to find or interpret the WIndows Event Viewer logs or even where to look.

    Help please!

    My specs:
    Win 10 Home, kept updated with Windows updates
    MB: Asus Maximus VIII Hero
    i7-6700K
    RAM: 16GB
    GPU: GeForce GTX 970 (connected to monitor using DisplayPort)
    PSU: Corsair AX 860

  2. #2
    Computer Technician wainuitech's Avatar
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    Default Re: Troubleshooting display issues

    Seemed you have covered most of the bases.

    I have already tried doing a full clean uninstall/ reinstall of my graphic drivers, and that has not solved the problem.
    Was that a plain uninstall from the OS OR a COMPLETE uninstall using a program like "Display Driver Uninstaller " , a normal uninstall DOESN"T get them all out, MANY components are left, DDU really gets it all out

    https://www.guru3d.com/files-details...-download.html Download links are near bottom of the page.

    What you can try as well is when it goes out, disconnect the cable from the graphic card to the monitor, then plug it back in. When you disconnect the cable it "should" pop up with a message saying No Signal. If it doesn't come back on when you plug it back in the try the monitor end.

    Could be a faulty cable.

    Also try a different port on the graphic Card if there's one available.

    The comment
    The monitor status light, which is blue when on/working normally, changed to orange (standby).
    Sounds like its more power / signal related than drivers.

    Could also be a BIOS problem, maybe theres a an update the latest for that Board, latest is Version 3802 https://www.asus.com/nz/Motherboards...HelpDesk_BIOS/

    The graphic card my be failing as well or try removing the graphic card, blowing out the PCIE socket and re-seating the card or even trying another slot on the board.

    The problem with Intermittent faults, unless you you can make a fault happen, sometimes its try one thing at a time and see if the problem goes away.

  3. #3
    Junior Member Chikara's Avatar
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    Default Re: Troubleshooting display issues

    Thanks for the quick reply Wainui.
    To answer your questions:
    1) Yes, it was a complete uninnstall of graphic drivers. I used that exact same program in fact, DDU.
    2) Yes my BIOS is fully updated, I have that latest version 3802

    Yes intermittent faults are very frustrating as I can't repeat it in demand.

    Is there anything buried in any windows logs that would indicate if it's hardware related (physical graphics card) vs software related (drivers) or not? I had a look in the windows logs but really I don't know where to look.

    I don't have a spare displayport cable, but that is a good suggestion to try. I could also try using the HDMI instead of the Displayport connection.
    I didn't mention before, but I should just in case it's relevant, the card and monitor are GSync capable so GSync is turned on. Could that maybe affect it?

    Another thing I was thinking to try...not sure if it would help. I am working from home, but I can probably get my work monitor sent to me at home. I was thinking if I tried setting up both monitors at once, maybe one from HDMI and one from DisplayPort, that might help to isolate? As if it's a cable or output port problem, presumably one monitor might show this problem but the second one would still work?

  4. #4
    Junior Member Chikara's Avatar
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    Default Re: Troubleshooting display issues

    Wainui, how about the fact that when I use VNC or TeamViewer, from another device to try and connect, that also fails once this display issue has happened?
    Do these type of remote access problems need a working graphics card/cable etc for the remote deive to connect?
    I used to use TeamViewer, but moved to VNC once TeamViewer started wrongly thinking I was a non-personal user.

    I always thought as long as you had the right software set up on both devices, all you needed to connect was an internet connection. I thought in theory it should still work, even if the device connecting to has no monitor plugged in at all. Maybe I am wrong. Does this part of my troubleshooting help narrow it down at all?

  5. #5
    Computer Technician wainuitech's Avatar
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    Default Re: Troubleshooting display issues

    This answer is going to be all over the place sorry, had a couple of "nice happy drinks"

    Anyways -- You dont need a monitor to show the display, Will show in a remote liek Team viewer or VNC.

    MEANING I use a different remote these days its called "Remote Utilities" https://www.remoteutilities.com/download/ Its free for upto 10 Connections ( scroll down) https://www.remoteutilities.com/buy/licensing.php

    I use it to control all the servers in the workshop as well as the media Center, Apart from the media Center they run headless ( meaning no KB/mouse or Monitor),

    Heres a very quick Video showing its usage https://streamable.com/4ezoew

    so with that in mind, its only the output display to the monitor, the remainder of the system should be working fine.

    Logs -- You already got reliability monitor, the other one you can look at is eventvwr (Windows Event Viewer) look in Application" or "System"

    Really the only options for failing I can think of off the top of my head are, assuming its not drivers which by the sounds its not are:

    1. Monitor cable ( cheapest option top replace)
    2. Graphic Card
    3. Motherboard (Possible PCIE Socket)

    The fact the LED changes color indicates its still getting power, just lost the signal or going into some sort of sleep mode, which shouldn't happen if its in use.

    You can always try to "make it fail" Stress test it with something like Furmark and enable it's log https://geeks3d.com/furmark/ or Passmark https://www.passmark.com/products/burnintest/index.php Stress it to the max BUT these tests may all pass, and still not cause the problem to replicate.

    Might be like one customer whose Dell PC played up for months off and on, couldn't replicate the problem and completely random, couldn't track the problem, couldn't make it fail -- in the end I said lets hope it fails completely At least we can then sort out where the actual problem is.

    Said that because it was going to be expensive changing (and purchasing parts) over several months hoping to hit the right component -- it flew through EVERY stress test, hell even ran two at once and its still didn't falter. Changed almost every part with spares. ( keep in mind it could go for weeks without a problem) When it DID finally fail it was the Motherboard.
    Last edited by wainuitech; 06-06-2020 at 07:12 PM.

  6. #6
    Junior Member Chikara's Avatar
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    Default Re: Troubleshooting display issues

    Hi,
    Yes this is what makes me think this problem is not cable or port related. When this issue occurs, I cannot use the remote software to connect in. It just gives some error to say it cannot connect, even if I am at home on the same LAN from my phone.
    If the problem was cable or port related, I thought i should still be able to connect.
    Maybe this means its a physical graphics card or even MB issue?

  7. #7
    Computer Technician wainuitech's Avatar
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    Default Re: Troubleshooting display issues

    Sorry mis-read about the remote access when it blacks out.

    Could be a motherboard problem as the Ethernet port and Graphics are all around the same area. Check the LED's on the Ethernet port when its out compared to going, when going there should be one solid and one flashing indicating traffic / Connection. What I would normally do is finding out the IP Address ( unless you know already ) and ping it when it blacks out. If no response then that's a rather good sign its a board. Personally wouldn't be using a phone to fault find.

  8. #8
    Junior Member Chikara's Avatar
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    Default Re: Troubleshooting display issues

    Hi,
    Yes the use of the phone was not really to troubleshoot, just more to let me do a graceful shutdown, rather than a hard shutdown which could cause flle corruption.

    I will follow your suggestions next time this happens. From your info, it sounds more likely that it's the MB. Is there any software that can monitor MB components and behavour, and detect if there is a problem?

  9. #9
    Computer Technician wainuitech's Avatar
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    Default Re: Troubleshooting display issues

    The problem with most monitoring software is the logs can be lost if a crash is caused.

    Try the stress test software in earlier post, it may or may not trigger the problem.

    My opinion ---- Losing the Graphics on their own shouldn't cause the Network to drop unless the common connected component ( motherboard) is failing.

  10. #10
    Enterprise IT Consultant chiefnz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Troubleshooting display issues

    Have you tried:

    The graphics card in the other x16 slot? If it happens in the other slot then maybe an issue with the GPU and if it doesn't maybe the main x16 slot is dodgy?

    Removing the graphics card and just run off the onboard graphics from your i7/motherboard? If it doesn't happen then it's likely your GPU but if it does then maybe a motherboard issue.

    Asus PRIME Z370-P
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