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One for the road

By ravisunny2
Mar 26, 2007
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  1. After reformatting a very old, second hand PC ( Intel celeron), hunting down the audio & video drivers (with a few heart stopping moments, because I’d reformatted before realizing how difficult finding the drivers could be), I thought I had the old PC purring at last (the video was even better than on my own PC).

    I took the PC back to my friend’s place, plugged it in, and got a nasty shock. The screen had suddenly become greenish (and non uniformly). What a downer.

    I had to do a disappearing act.

    I called up my cousin (who has been in the field for seven odd years), long distance, to try to figure out what had gone wrong.

    My cousin asked whether I had any strong magnetic field nearby. I said no. No fields, no massive transformers etc. His advice was to power the monitor on/off a few times, till the hue disappeared. So I conveyed the remedy to my friend, who wasn’t too keen to believe me.

    This may sound, weird, but the only logical reason I could think of, was that I had placed that old PC on a metallic filing cabinet (where it stayed for its three day visit). Some how, some magnetic field had played havoc.

    My friend remained skeptical, and it seemed that the suggested cure wasn’t working.

    Two months later, my friend says to me that he has a problem running a newly installed s/w, and I casually asked whether the PC was ok. Then when I asked about the green hues on the monitor, he said he had fixed it himself. Relieved, I asked exactly how he’d ‘fixed’ it. After a significant pause he said that he’d powered the PC on/off a few times.

    Any way, my anxiety was gone. (I had already vowed never to mess with an old PC again, after I get my sister’s Celeron going. Still waiting for a replacement motherboard)

    But it was still a bit of a mystery as to what had generated the magnetic field (if that was the cause).

    BTW, I experienced the same problem on my PC twice, and the hue came and went mysteriously (took five days last time).

    Then yesterday (while going to the market), I suddenly saw the 100’ + tower (about 200 m ATCF from my house) more closely, and realized that it was a massive tower, emitting a massive dose of electro magnetic waves. The tower is in the premises of a major telephone exchange. There were eight cylindrical ‘drums’ mounted on the tower, one about 6’ in diameter. I suddenly wondered whether that was the source of the problem.

    BTW, I’ve just moved here a few months ago, and I have never encountered such a monitor problem before.

    So what could it be? Just two old PCs, nearing their end?
  2. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,729   +409

    Old monitors perhaps, the PC itself wouldn't cause that. Perhaps a bad cable or dying video card, but thats highly unlikely to have that as a failure mode.

    What you should have done (and what cycling the power on the CRTs essentially do) is degauss the monitor, usually found by going through the monitors OSD.
  3. ravisunny2

    ravisunny2 TS Ambassador Topic Starter Posts: 1,986   +12

    Isn't that applicable to TVs too ?

    Could be the old monitor. I just posted one about a bizzare modern art of flashing pixels, that my monitor displayed twice today.
  4. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,729   +409

    Yes. But most TVs don't have a degauss feature, it has to be done manually with a degaussing coil.

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