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Electrical Power Interruption Causing Screen Failures (looking For Explanation!)


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#1 Logwood

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Posted 27 June 2006 - 10:22 AM

Every time I experience an electrical power interruption (unfortunately it's relatively often where I live), my screen fails (turns black). When I restart the PC, the weirdest thing happens. On the Windows XP loading screen, the little blue squares become blurry, and after that, the screen fails again. And again and again and again and again. I never get pass the blurry blue squares.


Normally I retsart the computer at least 50 times, turn it off at least 10 times, replug the cabels at least 3 times. Then Windows loads... for a while. Could be 5 minutes, could even be a few hours, but eventually it fails again (screen turns black). *sighs*

At some though (after further rebooting/replugging), it seems to stabilize and once again I get to use Windows indefinitely (or until the next electrical power interruption, anyway). It happened three times so far. This is the third time, and I still haven't recovered from the current one (not sure how long I have before the screen fails again! I hope it's in the stage where it doesn't fail anymore, but pessimistic nature have me doubting it).

By the way, at some point I replace the screen (I have an extra) and cabels, but nada! same exact problem. I suspect it's the graphic card now, maybe it gets a little beaten and takes time to recover every power shutdown? I know, doesn't make much sense... but... really running out of theories here.

Any explanations? or even ideas how to fix it beside my crude routine? I'm seriously desperate, you guys are my last resort.

Edited by Logwood, 27 June 2006 - 10:49 AM.


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#2 pascor22234

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Posted 27 June 2006 - 02:40 PM

I can't tell you what's causing those symptoms, but you need to get a UPS right away. XP doesn't like to be shut down this way and the power failures may be damaging the hardware components. Once you get a UPS and your system is back to normal it should stay that way.

A 600 to 750 watt unit should be fine.

OPTI-UPS Enhanced Series ES1000C 1000VA 700W

Powercom King Pro KIN-1000AP 1000VA 600W

#3 dannyboy 950

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Posted 27 June 2006 - 03:23 PM

The UPS is indeed an exellent suggestion as what you post shows you really need one.
In reality none of your hardware likes being powered off in that manner. Since this has been repeated numerous times the stress on your system is uncalcuable, you may go years without problems or tomorrow it may never start again.

Your vid card and monitor have almost certainly been damaged, just to what degree is unknown.

What you may try doing is when it does go down, leave it down for a hour or so let it all cool off. Then try rebooting it may give you a better boot on the first shot.

Personally I would be saveing up for a new video card that ones time is probably limited.

#4 ArsenalFX

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Posted 27 June 2006 - 03:51 PM

Believe it or not I have seen something similar. I was doing a stint in Pristina, Kosovo and we had frequent power lags (not quite an outage/interuption). 99.9 percent of the systems would come up just fine. The others we thought had blown the power supplies. Well after nearly running out of P.S.'s we accidentally stumbled upon the solution that worked for us.

We unplugged the system from the wall outlet and plugged it into a socket that was not on the same circuit breaker. Powered the system on and then after it booted shut it off and put it back where we got it. Everything worked just fine.

I wish I could tell you why it worked and I really hope it works for you. My best solution would be to invest in a UPS. Even if you were not at home the software that comes with it can detect the power loss and shut down your system properly. Try contacting a buddy at a decent size business. Contact their computer team and ask to borrow (you may have to sign for it or leave a drivers license) an ups to conduct a test before purchasing. Be extremely nice and offer to send a letter to the techy's boss saying thanks for the great service. It could help and you can see if it fixes the problem before actually purchasing.
There are 10 types of people in the world...
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#5 Logwood

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Posted 28 June 2006 - 08:36 AM

Alright guys, I'll see about a UPS. I never realize it comes with an auto-shutdown software that detects power failures!

dannyboy, I actually tried to let off the PC for a 9 hours! but the problem persists.


Are you sure my screen is almost certainly damaged too? I personally suspect it's just the video card, since the symptoms happened exactly in the same manner with another screen I tried. I actually planned replacing the outdated Geforce 4600 at some point later this year (not so early though!). What puzzle me though is that my computer still recovered flawlessly after a two power failures. I'm hoping the power failures are just causing temporary "wounds" to the video card that takes time to recover. I suspected it may be the case first two times, but the last power failure, and the ridiculous length of time it takes me to recover, have me somewhat doubting the temporary side of it.


ArsenalFX, when it happens again I'll be sure to try what you did. Though it would puzzle me even more if the problem is with the electricity.


Edit; thanks for the replies!

Edited by Logwood, 28 June 2006 - 08:36 AM.


#6 pascor22234

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Posted 28 June 2006 - 12:39 PM

Your monitor is probably -not- damaged. Can you beg. borrow or steal another video card to test if yours is failing ?

#7 Logwood

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Posted 28 June 2006 - 03:31 PM

I can, though I don't have one handy, I recently started learning computers in a college, and I could get my computer there for diagnosis. The thing is, ever since last night it seems to have stabilized again. So, 1st time it took me 3-4 hours to recover, second time about 5 hours. This third time, two days!

The thought of the time it would take me to recover from a forth sends shivers down my spine. I'm very computer-reliant, so it really does have a solid grip on my mood. I'll definitely purchase a UPS by tomorrow! no time to flounder with it. Can anyone tell me what's the ideal price for an average UPS? I don't understand why the vary in prices so dramatically if they all do the same basic command. Anyway, I wouldn't mind paying some extra cash if it means I could save time. Comparing prices takes too long, and my nerves won't be able to bear it. Some ASAP input from anyone who understands in it would be very helpful.


As for pinning down the problem-- if it does happens a forth time (which is not that unlikely, trust me) I'll be sure to check it out in my college and naturally -- test a different video card and post here the results.



Thanks for all the comments, you're all great help!

Edited by Logwood, 28 June 2006 - 03:33 PM.


#8 Enthusiast

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Posted 28 June 2006 - 05:55 PM

The siza of the UPS you need depends on how much power your computer and peripherals are using and what you want the capability of the UPS to be.

In other words, do you want to be able to continue to use the computer while the power is off or do you just want the software tht came with the UPS to shut down the computer.

I have mine set to shut down the computer after 1 minute of no power and therefore just need a small UPS.

#9 Logwood

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Posted 29 June 2006 - 05:37 AM

Well, I prefer one with a basic shut-down command. I get the feeling that those UPS that maintain the computer during power outages cost a bundle... I mean, it's not like power outages last for hours and days on end, normally it's just a bleeping second that does it, or a few minutes at most. At least in my case.

Well, should have one by today anyway... again, thanks for all the help.

#10 pascor22234

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Posted 29 June 2006 - 11:58 AM

A very large portion of the cost of a UPS is in the battery. Many UPSs can say they deliver 650 watts, for example. But, what they don't say is how long they can deliver it. 30 seconds ? Or 30 minutes ? There is no standard of measurement as there is with car batteries.

The size of the unit is a good rough measure of capability. Good circuitry requires bulky, heavey components and good duration requires a larger battery.

Expect to pay between $100US and $150US for a quality unit.

#11 Logwood

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Posted 02 July 2006 - 09:25 AM

Heh, that's pretty much the price I payed.

[Edit out a long rant about how it initially didn't work]


Thanks again to all the repliers,


And for Bleeing Computers, being the best.forum.ever. :thumbsup:

Edited by Logwood, 02 July 2006 - 10:47 AM.


#12 Logwood

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Posted 02 July 2006 - 10:41 AM

Heh, I was such a jackass to the tech support and Office Depo. The connection WERE the problem. How are the mighty fallen...




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