Dual monitors flickering with StarCraft II

By ixmike88
Jun 19, 2011
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  1. As of today (this has never been a problem before), after I have Starcraft 2 open, both of my monitors will start to flicker and eventually leads to non stop flickering until vertical/horizontal bars come out and the audio/video both crash, leaving me to restart (the os/hardware seems to be still responsive/on however).

    I assume that this is a video card related issue because when my video card was overheating, it had similar symptoms. However, applying some silicon paste has resolved this relatively recent issue.

    Video Card: ATI Radeon HD 4770 (Driver Date: 5/24/2011)
    OS: Windows XP 32 Bit
    RAM: 4gb
    Processor: Intel i5-750 quad core 2.66ghz
    Monitor 1: Optiquest Q2201wb
    Monitor 2: Acer B203w
    Resolution: 1650x1050

    When I close SC2 the problem goes away, I assumed this was an overheating issue, but that's not the case. I checked the temperatures of both my video card and processor and they're both around 60 degrees celcius.

    I assume this is a video card problem also because since I have two monitors, if it was a monitor issue I imagine that only the faulty monitor would be flickering, instead of both.

    Software wise, nothing has changed since before this problem (yesterday). Hardware wise, everything's still the same. After googling for a bit, there was a suggestion about having too many things on one outlet, this may be the case for me and as of last night I recently added a small fan to the outlet to help cool the room, but once I thought of this I turned it off and the problem is still here, but I'm not sure if it needs to be unplugged.

    I have also installed the most recent ATI driver, and that hasn't solved it. I have messed with the vertical sync a little bit, both on the ATI Catalyst Control Center and on the Starcraft options itself, the one on the Control Center doesn't seem to have much of an affect, however the Starcraft vsync option reduces the flickering, however I would prefer not to have this option enabled, and it still flickered/froze eventually. My ATI settings are pretty default, no ATI Overdrive or overclocking of anything.

    I have also checked the connectivity of the monitors to the video card, though I have not replaced any cables or hardware.

    If I've tried anything else, I don't remember it :), please ask for more details if necessary, thanks for any advice!
  2. AlbertLionheart

    AlbertLionheart TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,026

    As you have two monitors of different makes and therefore specs this will be a pain to fix, I fear.
    First have a look in msconfig (keyboard window key + R, and type in msconfig and then enter). Check the startup tab and look for any reference to ATI drivers being preloaded - if you see them take the tick out of the box, click OK and restart when prompted.
    If that is no good, come back to us.
  3. ixmike88

    ixmike88 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 26

    Most of them are already disbaled, there was one "CLIStart" that was enabled, I disabled it and restarted and the same problem occurs.

    However, in safe mode, this problem has not occurred yet.
  4. AlbertLionheart

    AlbertLionheart TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,026

    When you edited MSCONFIG did you remove any references in the services section? Remember to tick the box to hide the MS services - you might find some more in there if you didn't look before. ♠

    What happens if you run just the one monitor (either of them)? And does it make any difference switching them around?
  5. ixmike88

    ixmike88 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 26

    There is an ATI Hotkey Poller service, but it's already disabled. I used Driver Cleaner and Driver Sweeper to uninstall the driver and reinstall the new one off the site, but it didn't help.

    I've had no luck with either of the monitors individually, however I used my friends nvidia video card and the problem went away. But it still boggles my mind how this issue does not occur in Safe Mode.

    I tried to system restore multiple times (both in and out of safe mode), but it always says restoration incomplete, with no event log reporting.
  6. AlbertLionheart

    AlbertLionheart TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,026

    The clue here is that another card works. Replace it.
    The reason it does not occur in safe mode is that not all drivers are loaded when you run safe mode.
    System restore is not the smartest kid on the block when it comes to driver installs - I have had problems with that in the past.
  7. ixmike88

    ixmike88 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 26

    Yeah, I have no problem replacing it, I'm just curious how/why this happened, and since it doesn't occur with drivers loaded, is it possible that this isn't a hardware problem?
  8. AlbertLionheart

    AlbertLionheart TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,026

    Could be - sometimes it is a combination of hardware and software but we rarely find out because the way of things today is to chuck it if it fails to work.

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