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Antraman

Purple and flickering monitor

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My son's ASUS 22" primary screen (which has had the occasional flicker and change to purple tint, and which I thought was just loose cable and so had always fixed with a bit of jiggling around) decided tonight to go purple and stay purple.

 

During my troubleshooting to see whether it was monitor, cables, DVI-> VGA adapters or graphics card, I started swapping around connections and some weird things started happening, this final thing ended up being a 1cm black border on the left and bottom of the screen, and the desktop seems to have slid over to the rigfht, so the time is offscreen.

 

He has a 1280x1024 CRT as 2nd monitor, connected to a Radeon 4870 cooled with the Thermalright Trad2 heatsink and 2x 80mm fans, running Windows 7 x64 ultimate with an AMD Phenom 9850 Quad Core and 4GB DDR2 1066 RAM.

 

I swapped monitor connections to see if it was related to one of the DVI jacks on the VGA. The 22" screen kept purple. I changed the cable then it appeared fixed, so I left it. Son came back and re-awakened the PC to find purple screen again. I took off the monitor and connected it up to my machine as 2nd monitor to my ASUS 26"and the monitor was fine. Connected my 2nd monitor (22") to his machine, and all was fine. WTF?

 

Changed it all back, and then the purple had gone, but all the screen resolutions and positions had got messed up so I tried to use the Screen Res adjustments to change it back. I detected the monitors, identified them, but the resolution sliders were all wrong. I gathered the machine got flustered as I was hot swapping the VGA cables over to opposite jacks, and back.

 

I did a restart which I was sure would correctly detect the monitors and their resolutions, and now the secondary CRT is OK, but the 22" primary LCD was offset to the side. I tried detecting and changing resolutions back and forth but it now refuses to centre.

 

I thought, OK, maybe some malware or spyware is playing silly buggers, so did a scan and nothing came up.

 

So now I am thinking the display driver preferences or something have become corrupted from my messing around, so next step is to uninstall graphics drivers and reinstall. Failing that I will do a system restore and see what happens.

 

Failing that, I am going to pull out the video card, give it and the PCIe slots a good clean and burst of compressed air, and refit.

 

If that fails, I am gonna guess the VGA has packed it in.

 

Its now 2am and I am tired so I am gonna sleep on this and attack the problem tomorrow morning.

 

So if there are any suggestions or thoughts anyone might have, I'd be happy to hear them and read it the fixes in the morning, when my head is clear and my stomach is full.

 

Thx in adv!

Edited by Antraman

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nice trouble shooting so far man, as i was reading you were basically going through all the steps i would have pointed out so there is not much left to say in terms of being able to fix it...but i may have an idea as to whats going on.

 

the cables and actual connectors are probably fine, and i doubt that the vga has packed it in, but you never know, anyway it seems remote. my hunch is that it's actually the connections on teh monitor itself, not the plug but just after the plug, the internal connections may be either loose or packing it in. I had a very similar problem with a laptop once, it would flicker and color change and pretty much everything you have explained. turned out that the actual lcd was fine but the connections from the vga to the monitor were stuffed, the actual card was okay and the plugs were okay but the connection system was gone.

 

one other thing you may like to try is using his graphics card in another test pc to see if it's the actual graphics card and not the vga slots or monitor. you say that the monitor itself worked on your machine but then it may have jsut been feeling okay at that time and maybe have given rise to issues later.

 

so it's basically the graphics card or the monitor that are having connection problems. unfortunately to my knowledge there is no way to fix this easily as it is usually a pcb thing or some such where parts are just not available.

 

my recommendation, test the graphics card and monitor on different systems but not together if any non-faulty stuff gives you error then you can bet it's whatever you are testing that has the problem be it monitor or card. if everything works separately then it could be a software problem as you said but i doubt this.

 

if ti is the monitor that has packed it in (now i don't really feel good about pimping my stuff but i figure it may help you a bit maybe) i have a very cheap 22" if you need a replacement quick or don't want to splash out on something new. check my trademart if your interested otherwise disregard.

 

hope i helped a bit :) it's a shame i can't give you a 100% fix ti like this scenario tho :(

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Heya,...I hadn't thought of internal connections on the monitor...it could indeed be an issue since I noticed son sometimes drags his PC out from under the desk to connect headphones, without regard for the other cables...although the VGA connector on the monitor doesn't seem too loose. I might try putting a DVI adapter on the end and connecting it to the DVI jack on the monitor, as that hasn't been used.

 

So before going to bed, I wiped the old display drivers and reinstalled with Catalyst 10.9's. Funny thing ...after the install the screen went black and came back on at 800x600 resolution. I thought this was part of the install process as it told me the screen may go blank during install....but I then got an error message saying that ATI drivers did not install properly. After a restart, both monitors were detected, back at original resolution, but still the primary monitor was offset to the right. I checked in Everest Ultimate and it informed me that 10.9 drivers were indeed installed. More WTF?...

 

On a whim I cycled through the on screen display options, and found a reset settings option....so I pressed that. The screen shook and shuddered for a second, then centred itself! Woohoo! No flicker, no purple tint...all seemed good.

 

I powered down, then went to bed.

 

Next morning I get up and ask son hows the PC, it looked alright over his shoulder. He said "its OK now..." he had flicker again, and adjusted it himself.

 

So it seems the problem has not entirely been fixed.

 

Next thing I'll try if it becomes a problem again is dropping the VGA in my machine and testing it. No biggie if its VGA problem, I'll pass on my 4890 to him, and look at a 5xxx series card, which I have been considering for a bit now.

 

Thanks for the offer on the monitor...but I am not that desperate...I have a few sitting around here,

Edited by Antraman

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yeah basically to eliminate any issue that may be causing your problem you will have to test the monitor in a faultless system - no problems means your monitor is probably fine. check the graphics card in a faultless system and see what happens. if both are fine separately but are still giving you issues together on your sons system then it may be a driver computability issue. this may not be the catalyst drivers but any other updates you have recently made that may be causing a monitor detection fault.

 

try downgrading the divers to something bellow current or below something from a month or 2 back from when the system was working fine. but it really does sound like an internal connection error with either the graphics card or the monitor.

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I had something similar and thought my monitor was stuffed..............turned out to be dodgy drivers or a conflict.

Reloading the O/S fixed that sucker!

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When the display goes purple, it usually means theres something wrong with the VGA connection.

 

If you're using a VGA cable with it, get a DVI cable (that should fix it, and help your sons eyes a bit...blurry o.O) and try that, I'd say your cord is the problem. Maybe a crack in one of the wires somewhere or something.

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I'm going to assume that you have this monitor connected via vga (as others have pointed out vga sucks and the cheap cables that come with monitor break over time)

also the image being offset is because lcds cant pull a start pixel from vga and need to auto calibrate, there should be a button on the front called "auto" or a option in the soft menu on the screen.

You will find it has nothing to do with drivers

Lcds tend to get a bit funny after playing around with different resolutions.

 

This should fix you up

however it wont fix the going purple every now and again. im 99% sure this would be a broken cable and i would recommend replacing it with a proper dvi to dvi cable.

This image will be much sharper at native res then vga would be anyway.

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thanks for that. I did manage to centre the lcd after discovering the monitors reset option. I tried 2 cables, one a cheapo and the other a bit better I guess, it was thicker and heavier, both gave the flicker etc. Am still to test a DVI as the adapter I have didn't seem to fit. I am tending towards thinking its either a monitor jack or the VGA jack, but will keep an eye on it. It seems to have stabilised for now, so I would rather not touch it for now, since son is in the middle of a Starcraft ladder competition...8-)

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Change to purple tint on analogue monitor would indicate there is attenuation in the Green signal (you've got Red and Blue dominating). The other possibility if it's a CRT monitor, is that magnetic fields near the monitor could be influencing the picture tube.

 

Static fields can cause an offset in the beam deflection -- if near the shadow mask this can cause a beam to hit the wrong colour phosphor. A dynamic field can lead to "shuddering" in the picture. I've seen this quite spectacularly with a cold-cathode fluro attached to the bottom of a CRT -- totally messed up the picture... vertical lines appeared as a wavy sinusoid. I've also seen this caused by a regulated power supply sitting on the back of the monitor, causing the whole picture to shake.

 

In terms of connections, it's quite possible you have a dry joint. In this modern age of RoHS, manufacturers are forced to use silver-based solder, which often doesn't work as well as the old lead/tin-based solder, and so this is a frequent problem. A dab of solder on the offending connector's would most likely alleviate the problems faced.

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update:

 

I switched the cable from the D-Sub input and put on a D-Sub -> DVI adapter, then plugged it into the DVI input on the monitor. Problem has not returned for a couple of weeks. So guessing it was a faulty connection with the D-Sub jack.

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