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PC Image Goes Dull with Broken Lines


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#1 Bigfatcat

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Posted 02 November 2008 - 02:12 PM

Hey everyone,

My brother is having a problem with his computer at the moment. He has an old eMachines5240 which has been quite reliable and has been using quite an old CRT for a while now. The other day however all of a sudden the image on the monitor went extremely dull. He restarted the computer and the image returned back to normal only to go extremely dim again after about 10 minutes. We assumed his monitor was overheating or something along those lines but we were in for a surprise. We swapped his monitor for my new 20'' LCD TV and the same happened.

What also seems weird is that the problem is occuring completely randomly - after two minutes of turning his computer on, after half an hour, or even after four hours. Not to mention the fact that he managed to play quite a demanding game for a further two hours before the image died.

We then thought maybe it was his graphics card, we took it out and the problem still occured, he then restored his computer to a time before the problem first happened to no avail. He spent the whole next day trying to figure it out but ended up instead restoring his computer to factory settings. Nothing fixed the problem!

I then wondered if I could simulate the dull image on my own monitor and it turns out a very similar, or even an identical image effect can be achieved by reducing the brightness, contrast and gamma to lowest settings all at the same time. The only difference seems to be that on my brother's image there are broken horizontal red lines at the top of the screen.

What we have tried so far:
What i have done so far..

- Tried another monitor
- Tried it without the graphics card
- Swapped out RAM
- Rebooted to factory settings
- Adjusted the refresh rates, resolution, color properties.
- checked all connections
- cleaned all components and checked for visual damage

The relevant specs:
Nvidia 6800GS 256mb PCIE
P4 2.93Ghz
1.5mb RAM PC3200

Temperatures at BIOS:
Processor Zone Temp: 45 to 52c
System Zone 1 Temp: 34c to 37c
System Zone 2 Temp: 34c to 37c.

He can't afford a new monitor or any new components but we were hoping we could minimise the possibilities down to a few so that when he can afford to buy out the problem he can do it quickly and with low costs.

We'd really appreciate any help anybody can offer,
Thanks in advance,

Regards,
BFC

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#2 hamluis

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Posted 02 November 2008 - 03:33 PM

Hi :thumbsup:.

Seems like you've totally ignored the power supply, which is the weak link in many a system.

I'd try switching it out for the few seconds it will take to confirm/refute it as a contributor.

If the original PS is in there, it's probably due for a change. Those eMachines systems are not noted for having quality power supplies in some systems.

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=e...mp;aq=f&oq=

Unrelated, but you might also mention changing the CMOS battery.

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=A...mp;aq=f&oq=

Louis

#3 Bigfatcat

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Posted 02 November 2008 - 04:06 PM

Hi :thumbsup:.

Seems like you've totally ignored the power supply, which is the weak link in many a system.

I'd try switching it out for the few seconds it will take to confirm/refute it as a contributor.

If the original PS is in there, it's probably due for a change. Those eMachines systems are not noted for having quality power supplies in some systems.

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=e...mp;aq=f&oq=

Unrelated, but you might also mention changing the CMOS battery.

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=A...mp;aq=f&oq=

Louis


Thanks very much for the reply Louis and thank you also for a different idea, I've asked so many other people who seem emphatuated with the idea that it's a graphics card issue despite the fact that this happens without the graphics card installed.

Anyway, you're right about the quality of eMachines - not great, but my brother purchased a new (although very cheap and unrecognisably branded) 500w PSU just a month or so ago, although I did warn him that weak-branded PSUs weren't to be trusted.

The problem now is that we have no spare PSU, his old one died and mine is currently in use! :huh: However, I will try to sort something out regarding that.

Are you thinking maybe that the PSU is randomly 'flopping' and stops supplying enough power to provide the monitor with Brightness, contrast and gamma?

One more detail that I've just remembered, my brother currently has his computer plugged directly into his 28'' flatscreen tube TV - (it's not an LCD, just a regular tele) and the problem is not occuring although being a regular tele it is unable to output the computer image in a readable state.

#4 hamluis

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Posted 02 November 2008 - 05:11 PM

Well...I like consider power suppplies first...and I have 2 systems, so momentarily switching one or both is not a big deal.

You don't even have to tighten the screws, just put it in place so that it won't fall onto the motherboard.

When things go wrong, I normally consider (in some semblance of order): connections, PS, RAM, hard drive. If I get a number of different errors, it's RAM or CMOS battery.

Louis




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