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Computer stops outputting signal to monitor

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#1 saultime


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Posted 12 June 2011 - 11:23 PM


HP m8120n
Windows Vista 32 bit
Intel 2.40 ghz
3 GB ram
Nvidia GeForce 7350 LE graphics card (it's what came with the computer)

Hello everyone.

I've been experiencing a problem with my computer for several days now, and it's getting worse. What happens is after the machine has been on for a while (and particularly if I have more than one major application open) the monitor suddenly says "no signal" and turns off. But the computer continues to run just fine, as best as I can tell, and I can even access my shared media on the hard disk wireless through my PS3 with no issues. Although because there's no video, I still have to force a shutdown by holding in the power button to turn the machine off. Then, if I wait for a while (sometimes several minutes, sometimes overnight -- it depends on how busy I am) I can restart without issue and the video outputs to the monitor just fine. Although whenever I've tried to shutdown and restart immediately after the screen goes dark, I get no signal. But the computer seems to boot up just fine, and I hear the musical sound cue that tells me windows is loading -- but no video signal. Eventually though (usually after a few hours) I get "no signal" and the monitor switches off. And sometimes this is preceded by an audio cue -- the same sound you get whenever you disconnect hardware, like a printer or an ipod. But not always. And I have tried unplugging / plugging the monitor back in.

I am hoping that this is just a failing, overheating video card (I think its built-in fan died long ago) but I've never had a video card fail in this way (usually the machine won't even boot). I am pretty certain that the rest of my computer's inner workings are clean and cool. I routinely clean dust from the fans and the heat sink over the CPU. Do you think it's just the video card, or does anyone think it could be a failing PSU / CPU or memory? Is there a way to narrow down the problem? I don't mind picking up a new video card, but I'd like to know what the problem really is first.

Also, for what it's worth, since this problem started, my computer has been VERY sluggish after startup, but it eventually stabilizes.

Thanks for your help.

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#2 keyboardNinja


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Posted 14 June 2011 - 04:18 PM

I'll bet it's the video card overheating, like you said. That would explain why it takes some time for the issue to occur (heating up) and also why it takes time to go away (cooling down). If the built-in fan died, it probably overheats pretty quickly.

My sister's old Dell Latitude D620 would do this if you let it get too hot, except the screen would turn a solid color (green, red, etc.) instead of just going blank.

Edited by keyboardNinja, 14 June 2011 - 04:18 PM.

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