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Old 1st Apr 2007, 22:56   #1
flabber
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A nasty monitor-blinking problem

Hello all

I have this nasty problem with my system lately. My monitor keeps blinking to black and back on again. The monitor (A Dell 20" widescreen) itself is fine though... I've hooked it up to my MacBook, and it works like a charm.

But I can't find the problem... I reinstalled Windows MCE, but that didn't solve the problem. Here's a little list of things I've tried and noticed:
- The blinking doesn't occur when I'm in the login or logout-screen of Windows MCE.
- The blinking usually occurs when I try to do anything in the system, wether it's opening a window or typing a letter.
- Doing a clean install didn't work
- I've installed all the latest drivers (GPU, MoBo and such)

The problem is, while I know my way around building an actual system, I haven't got a clue on how to find out where this problem is coming from. It's not a virus, since I've done a clean install, and ran Avast Virus-software. I also did a complete defragmentation and systemcheck to see if it's a software problem. I have this system for almost a year now, but it started happening about 3 months ago.

Could anyone please help me find the issue please?
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Old 1st Apr 2007, 23:32   #2
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If it still happens after a re-install, and you've tried different drivers, and works fine when you connect it to a different machine, that suggests that it's a hardware failure - your graphics card is dying. Do you have another card you could put in the machine to test?
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Old 2nd Apr 2007, 07:18   #3
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Unfortunately not

My mobo is a DFI Lanparty, one of which I thought had an integrated videochip, hehe. But since I don't have anything to connect my monitor to when I remove the gpu, I guess I'll have to take it to a PC-shop to fix it

I'm going to remove my ram one by one, to see if it's my ram (quietly hoping for it), but if you're right about that videocard, that would be a real bugger (it's the gpu of my PC in my signature)
Is it possible that the blinking is caused by the motherboard, PSU or CPU by the way? I does sound logical that this blinking is caused by the videocard, but if it's possible I would like to be sure before I call the shop where I bought it from, hehehe. (even though I don't have spare parts to remove any of em )

Thanks for the insight though

p.s.: I did a hardwarecheck, but it said everyting works fine. Does the Windows hardwarecheck (i tried SiSoft as well) fail to check videocards?
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Last edited by flabber; 2nd Apr 2007 at 08:34. Reason: extra additional info
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Old 2nd Apr 2007, 11:11   #4
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It could be caused by the motherboard, but if that were the case, I'm sure you'd be seeing crashes rather than blinking. Could you borrow a graphics card from a friend, just to make sure? Easier than trawling all the way to the store and back.
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Old 2nd Apr 2007, 12:22   #5
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Thanks Flibblebot
Yeah, I think that's the cheapest/easiest solution. Buying the cheapest videocard available (30,-) would be easier and cheaper then sending the gpu to XFX, hehehe.

I also thought that it couldn't be the cpu or mobo. Like you said, if one of those were broken, things would look far worse: crashes, a lack of powering up at all... that sorta thing. I guess I'm going to buy myself a "nice" nvidia6100 for testing purposes then
Waiting for the shop and XFX to come to an agreement will probably take forever, and my warranty only lasts for another month. And sending the gpu to XFX will cost me more time and money then to just buy a simple replacement. The shop points towards XFX, telling me that XFX wants to take care of the warranty without the interference of a shop. But the warranty-declaration of XFX clearly states that the retailer is responsible of taking care of broken hardware... don't you just love the law?
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Old 2nd Apr 2007, 12:30   #6
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Sounds like the GPU to me - how long have you had that GT? What memory clocks are you running?

I've run into an issue where if you push the memory too far, you get a random blinking going on, and it only gets solved by a reset. Try that, and try underclocking it if you're running stock, because I really do suspect that's the problem - it sounds identical to the one me and Andi had back in't day.
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Old 2nd Apr 2007, 13:46   #7
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The GT is about 11 months old as we speak, and it runs at the "stock" speed.
XFX OC'd it, but I haven't tinkered with the settings myself But if what you say is true, then perhaps XFX OC'd it a tad too much. And to be honest, I wouldn't know how to reset it, not to mention OC it myself, hehe.

It's this gpu btw (i was mistaken in the GT part, hehe):
XFX Nvidia 7900GS Extreme Edition 256MB DDR3 (PCI-E) *525Mhz/1.55Ghz*

I just got a reaction from the store, and they'll send it to XFX for me (it's still in it's warranty, so I would be damned if I would pay for secure shipping to the UK from the Netherlands, hehe). It'll take about 2 months before it returns/is replaced unfortunately though.
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Old 2nd Apr 2007, 18:40   #8
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Try unlocking the nVidia control panel with coolbits, and notch the mem. clocks down a bit. I suppose it could be on its way out, but I don't know - the GT's used to die after only a few days, maybe yours has gone squiffy over time.

If the store you bought it from will take forever to RMA, do a direct RMA to XFX, they'll be much faster.
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Old 2nd Apr 2007, 18:52   #9
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I could try to lower the clockspeed of the gpu, but I think that'll void my warranty
And sending it directly to XFX would cost me money (i'd have to ship it overseas, and secured), while this card is still in it's warranty, hehe. I think it would cost me about 30 Dollar to send it to the UK from the Netherlands, which is a bit too much for something the store should be doing

I just bought an el-cheapo gpu for testing purposes, and as a temporary replacement. It does suprise me that something like this takes about 2 months though... it's a simple test, repair/replace thing

Oh well, we'll see how it goes Thanks for the info folks, I'll keep updating this thread when the store has some more news for me.
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Old 2nd Apr 2007, 23:02   #10
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Well, I should've know this, hehehe.

The warranty of my gpu was voided the second I installed a Zalman cooler on it... what a bugger. I'm going to try your solution now Krikkit I can't hurt that gpu anymore anyway
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Old 2nd Apr 2007, 23:40   #11
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Well you could fib. It's not like you've done anything hardcore to it, you've only replaced the cooler.

It's down to how you feel about it really - I wouldn't RMA my GPU because I've vModded it and heavily OC'd it to within an inch of its life, but I'd probably do it if all I'd done was replaced the stock cooler (and not damaged the card doing it, of course.)
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Old 3rd Apr 2007, 08:22   #12
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So true Krikkit I ws going to give it a shot even, but after I read the warranty specifications of the store I decided it wasn't going to work. Their warranty specifications specifically state that any alteration on either the inside or outside of the hardware bought at them, will void any warranty given. Talking about a major bummer

I'll probably call them to verify it though... but if not, I'm going to try your downclocking-solution. I've used Coolbits on my new passive cooled gpu, and it works like a charm, hehe. I can OC or DC it in a matter of seconds, and it has a nice "safety" feature on it as well. *IF* this could solve my problem with the 7900, i'm gonna be one happy camper, hehe.
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Old 3rd Apr 2007, 11:55   #13
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You could reattach the original cooler if you've still got it, then take it back to the store.
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Old 3rd Apr 2007, 12:16   #14
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I tried, but the little tiny heatsinks on the chips are glued with some kind of alien material, hehe. They're completely stuck to the chips. In the best case cenario they'd come off, but then it would be nearly impossible to clean them properly without XFX noticing it :P
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