Two monitors go black

By nwyllie ยท 8 replies
Mar 3, 2017
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  1. Within the last few days (first discovered yesterday, was fine the week before, and computer not used daily) two of my monitors a show black screen even though the power is on. If I turn the monitor off and on it displayes for about 2-3 seconds and goes black. I DID get one (the left) to work properly one time after a re-boot. The are both an Optiquest VS12107 using VGA and are on different graphics cards. The monitor driver is the generic driver for Windows 10. Nothing has changed in the hardware depart, and I see nothing but an update to Adobe in the last week. The monitors are reported as detected and moving my mouse to either one acts as if the mouse is moving there (even though the mouse can't be seen).

    The set-up as follows:

    Left - Optiquest VS12107, VGA, GTX770 graphics card. - This screen is black.
    Center - Dell ST2421L, HDMI, GTX770 graphics card.
    Right - Optiquest VS12107, VGA, ATI Radeon HD 5400 Series graphics card. - This screen is black

    Since different graphics cards are involved I've focused on the monitors themselves, and therefore their drivers. Here is what I have tried so far:

    - I did a check for updates on the driver and was told it was up to date.
    - Although it's always worked fine using the Generic PnP driver looked for a driver specifically for the Optiquest monitor and found none.
    - I left the machine off for a time and then booted up (in case there was some heat issue). Still no luck.
    - A attached another VGA monitor to the left and it worked fine.
    - I did some web searches and tried a few things there (can't remember exactly what) and still no joy.

    The one thing I've not had a chance to try yet is to put one of the monitors on a different computer. I'll try that this evening.

    So there you have it. If anyone has any ideas I'd certainly appreciate it.

  2. Cycloid Torus

    Cycloid Torus Stone age computing. Posts: 3,004   +656

    Check status of devices in Device Manager - are they all properly identified? - are there any 'error' flags (triangles)?
  3. nwyllie

    nwyllie TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 47

    Thanks for the reply.

    Yes, the are properly identified. No, there are no errors flags.

    I took one of them and hooked it up to a different computer and the monitor would not work. Tried it on a third computer and, still, it did not work. So appears, no matter how freakish, both went out at the same time! So thanks to all those who took a peak at this post.
  4. Cycloid Torus

    Cycloid Torus Stone age computing. Posts: 3,004   +656

    I distrust coincidences. Before you chuck them, try

    Also, consider this fella's story...
    "Ok, after rebooting into safe mode and seeing that the primary monitor wasn't prioritized this time, I figured it must 've been the drivers somehow. So, reading a bit about other people's experiences with the nvidea drivers, I saw how much people hated the "Geforce Experience". So I ran DDU, which completely removes the graphics drivers and any software that comes with it. I reinstalled the drivers (just the drivers) now, and everything is now working fine again. "

    DDU which works on all video drivers is available for download here:
  5. nwyllie

    nwyllie TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 47

    And again, thanks for the suggestions. I checked out the first link and since I do have one working monitor on that computer nothing there seemed to apply.

    I'll take the DDU suggestion under consideration. What is troubling is that the one monitor I tried doesn't work on two other computers either. This is leading me to believe that it is a problem with the monitors. But I do agree with you that I don't like to believe in coincidences. Is it possible that this make and model of monitor has a weakness to some type of power spike that most other monitors don't?
  6. Cycloid Torus

    Cycloid Torus Stone age computing. Posts: 3,004   +656

    I might hope for some kind of mysterious reset which turns brightness to zero - sometimes a power cycle (unplug & reconnect both power and signal cable). Question is whether the OSD menu still works!!
  7. nwyllie

    nwyllie TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 47

    Power cycle has been done since I moved it to a different computer. I also think I pushed all the buttons on the monitor and never saw the OSD. Not where I can check it out atm, will look at it in a hour or so when I get home.
  8. Cycloid Torus

    Cycloid Torus Stone age computing. Posts: 3,004   +656

    If the backlight is out, then you should be able to see something on the screen under very strong light. I think this model is CFL and since it is 10 years old, it is likely this is what failed, but I do not know how to repair it.
  9. nwyllie

    nwyllie TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 47

    I did the backlight check but probably didn't have a strong enough flashlight. I also opened it up to check capacitors and saw nothing obvious. Then one of the connectors on the board broke loose while trying to re-assemble :(. That's a very tight area to work in trying to re-connect things. I have a co-worker who knows electronics so I might have him take a look. If it is a capacitor or something that can be replaced I still have the second one I can try to fix. I didn't look at the CFL, but I could.

    Anyway, I really do appreciate the suggestions. I've ordered a couple of replacements (as you mentioned, these are probably pretty old). Since they are a second and third monitor I don't need anything high end so they weren't expensive.

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