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I can hardly see the screen - video card?


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#1 Trigg

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Posted 14 May 2010 - 01:52 PM

I'm working on a friend's computer and I'm not sure what the cause of the problem is. When the system (Dell Dimension C521 desktop) is turned on, it boots fine and everything works as it should...but the user has to squint and strain to see whats on the screen. I've tried different monitors, as well as different cables but it just keeps doing the same thing. Before I order a new video card, I wanted to make sure that is the most likely cause of the problem. Any help on this is greatly appreciated

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#2 meuchel

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Posted 14 May 2010 - 01:56 PM

does the user need glasses?

why do they need to squint?
blurry?
small?
dim?

#3 Trigg

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Posted 14 May 2010 - 02:07 PM

sorry i wasn't very clear...

The screen is very, very dim or dark making it almost impossible to see. I've checked all of the display settings and everything seems to be fine. The video card is a Nvidia GeForce 6150LE if that helps any. Thanks.

#4 computerxpds

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Posted 14 May 2010 - 02:15 PM

do you have nvidia control panel (right click on the desktop and see if there is an option for nvidia control panel) check the settings in there and if that does not help I would lean towards the card being bad. Also what operating system are you using?
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#5 MrBruce1959

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Posted 14 May 2010 - 02:25 PM

Ok before you replace the video card, have you tried the monitor and the card on another computer?

I have seen monitors where the screen turns dark, roughly how old is the monitor and is it a CRT type?

Also unless the Video processor is still under a warranty, you could try re-flowing the card to see if a solder joint has gone bad.

This procedure involves placing the video card into a pre-heated 300 Degree oven for 10 minutes. Then turning off the oven and allowing the card to cool before moving it.

If you attempt this, please try as best as you can to remove any plastic parts, as those will melt creating a mess.

I do not advise doing this to a card that is still under a warranty how-ever.

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#6 Trigg

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Posted 14 May 2010 - 02:26 PM

XP - I'm currently installing the most recent driver. I'll check for the control panel

#7 computerxpds

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Posted 14 May 2010 - 02:30 PM

ok please do and if that does not work then I would try Bruce's idea. :thumbsup:
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#8 Trigg

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Posted 14 May 2010 - 02:47 PM

ok...installing new drivers didn't help. I tried using the Nvidia control panel and that didn't work either.

The computer is roughly 3 years old. I'm pretty sure the warranty is out of date. I have tried different monitors with the same results on this pc. The monitor I'm currently using works fine with other systems.

#9 MrBruce1959

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Posted 14 May 2010 - 02:53 PM

OK try cooking the video card as I described above, try to keep it level and do not move it while it is still hot. Just turn off the oven and open the door and let it air cool, before you move it and try installing it again.

The proceedure might sound strange at first, but it does work. It's worth a try before purchasing another card. IMO

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#10 MrBruce1959

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Posted 14 May 2010 - 03:01 PM

BY the way just don't put it too close the heat source, the middle rack will do just fine, we're not trying to crack the chip, just liquefy the solder a bit.

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#11 Trigg

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Posted 14 May 2010 - 03:02 PM

Bruce,

I've never been too good in the kitchen...can i put it on the grill?













lol - sorry for kidding aroung but its been a long week

I'll give the oven a try, thanks for your help.

Edited by Trigg, 14 May 2010 - 03:03 PM.


#12 MrBruce1959

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Posted 14 May 2010 - 04:39 PM

No problem, just use caution when you do this, make sure you don't put flammable materials in there along with it!

Keep us posted.

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#13 meuchel

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Posted 17 May 2010 - 10:08 AM

WHOA...dimness is usually your monitor backlighting if it is a flat screen or the tube is going if it is a tube style.
i don't recommend trying to cook your card to fix a dim screen but then again there as been alot of this floating around.

#14 Trigg

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Posted 17 May 2010 - 03:13 PM

Ok so I used the wrong terminology, I'm sorry for the confusion. There is no "video card" but instead a GPU and the monitor connects straight to the MB. I took out the MB to see if there was any type of visible damage and BINGO...there was evidence of liquid on the MB. I'm not sure what kind of liquid or how it got there but it was a dried-up coffee-colored substance. Is this fixable?

#15 MrBruce1959

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Posted 17 May 2010 - 03:33 PM

Okay thanks for the clarification on the GPU.

Someone was saving some coffee for later I guess. :thumbsup:

If you want to try and remove this substance I suggest only using isopropyl alcohol 70% to remove the substance, as this will evaporate rather quickly and won't eat away at plastic parts.

Try dipping a toothbrush into the alcohol and gently rubbing the board, don't pour it on.

After you try this, try the board again, hopefully nothing was shorted out.

Let us know how things went.

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