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Old 1st December 2010, 02:40 AM
ElderSnake Offline
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Red face Tale of my wacky LCD monitor

Now this may or may not belong in the Hardware section, but it's not specifically related to Fedora so I'm guessing not.

Anyway I have this 19" Acer Widescreen LCD monitor AL1916W (my first mistake, buying an Acer monitor I know). I've had it for a year or so, but to get to the point, I just had a strange mishap..

I was playing around with "Wine Wordpad" with some .rtf documents. Wine Wordpad simply being Wordpad in Wine of course, which comes with latest packages. Nearly every time I opened Wine Wordpad, my screen would go blank for a second then resume as normal and ran fine.

After about the 4th time however.. it did not. It stayed blank and told me "no signal". Everything on the desktop was normal, as my music kept playing and the keyboard volume controls were audibly functioning. I also knew this was not X related, as switching to a TTY console still yielded no visuals.

So I shut off my machine and restarted, still nothing, not even displaying the BIOS. Plug an old CRT nearby in instead, sure enough, instant visuals, no problem at all.

So naturally I assumed the LCD had kicked the bucket But out of curiosity, and as I remembered something from a while ago (I'll get to that in a bit) I plugged my Acer LCD into another computer. This one had a 8600GT NVIDIA card as opposed to my ATI 3870 on this main computer. Sure enough, what do you know, the LCD works completely fine on this graphics card!

So I switched it back onto my original computer (3870). Nup, still seemingly dead. I switched the ports thinking one might somehow be dodgy with the LCD..nope no difference. I even unplugged the power to the monitor, counted to 10, and replugged it..nope.

So at this stage it became obvious the LCD works, just not with this particular graphics card. It continued on like this with me playing and swapping leads around until I got fed up and decided to go have lunch, but I decided to also leave it unplugged again, this time for half an hour.
So I come back and plug it back in, fire up my computer again..and what do you know it WORKS again

Now I think you will agree with me this is rather odd, the monitor never died, it simply would not function with my ATI3870. But leaving it half hour with no power connected whatsoever and it comes right again. And the thing that caused it all, was opening Wordpad under Wine in Fedora!

Now what I was hinting at earlier, is what makes me think it's not actually Fedora's fault. A fair while ago, I faintly remember something similar happen under Windows XP (same graphics card too). But it only happened for a minute or two, a quick unplug, reboot and it came right and I continued on my gaming at the time (I believe a particular effect or program caused it as well, hard to say).

Now I'm typing this on that very monitor right now under Fedora 14, not long after it started working fine again. I'm honestly not game to open Wordpad under Wine again, but everything is functioning as normal, even 3D applications.

I have no idea what can cause this quirk. Any ideas? I'm glad it's working still, but I can't help but wonder what can cause it.

Being a typical Acer (I've seen a fair few go), could weak capacitors be any likely cause? I simply wonder if it's (possibly) dodgy capacitors act up under certain circumstance and variables and it wouldn't/couldn't accept the signal from the ATI card for a while.

It's all I can think of, it doesn't entirely make sense. The graphics card itself could be suspect I know, but the fact is, it works with any monitor I throw at it and it's only this monitor I've ever had this issue with.
Anyway that was probably long and boring and I've possibly missed details out, but if anyone has had a similar experience or knows anything, shoot
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  #2  
Old 1st December 2010, 07:19 AM
CSchwangler Offline
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Re: Tale of my wacky LCD monitor

What about overheating issues on behalf of the graphics card?
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  #3  
Old 1st December 2010, 08:46 AM
John the train Offline
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Re: Tale of my wacky LCD monitor

Quote:
Originally Posted by CSchwangler View Post
What about overheating issues on behalf of the graphics card?
You might look at Dan's thread ' Death of a graphics card ' to see if you spot any similar symptoms.
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Old 1st December 2010, 12:06 PM
marriedto51 Offline
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Re: Tale of my wacky LCD monitor

As CSchwangler says, I'd look into whether the graphics card is overheating.

But also, someone I know had a very similar problem with his TFT monitor very recently, and it turned out to be a loose connection in the VGA cable, so maybe try another cable if you can.
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Old 1st December 2010, 01:34 PM
jpollard Offline
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Re: Tale of my wacky LCD monitor

Also check the connector on the graphics card. Sometimes these are bolted
to the card and the bolts come loose...
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Old 1st December 2010, 01:49 PM
ElderSnake Offline
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Smile Re: Tale of my wacky LCD monitor

All very valid points but what I can't understand is why it could only be replicated with this particular LCD + graphics card combo. When I tried the LCD on a different GPU or the GPU on a different monitor etc (different cables) there was never a problem.

Still, technology being so quirky sometimes, you never know and I will nevertheless make sure the graphics card is not overheating.
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  #7  
Old 7th December 2010, 01:19 AM
ElderSnake Offline
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Re: Tale of my wacky LCD monitor

Hi again folks, so just a little update on this oddity.

Temps are fine with the card, I can use my desktop and wizbang graphics effects for hours, same with playing say Urban Terror/Alien Arena etc. There doesn't seem to be an issue there.

The thing is.. it's definitely somehow related to Wine. And it's not just Fedora. I've been trying it on Arch recently as well. My screen hasn't actually cut out again like it did that time, but I swear, I only have to open up anything to do with Wine, even just the configuration window and my screen can go black for a second or two then (usually) resumes.

Now it doesn't stop me using Wine, as once it's started up it runs fine. But I hold my breath every time wondering if my monitor is gonna come back on!

Any thoughts? Is Wine somehow causing my monitor to go out of range or something wacky like that? It's very odd.
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  #8  
Old 7th December 2010, 09:11 AM
marriedto51 Offline
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Re: Tale of my wacky LCD monitor

If that were happening to me, I would be tempted to backup my .wine directory maybe with
Code:
tar -cf ~/dot-wine-as-was.tar ~/.wine
then remove the .wine dir and restart wine, just to make sure there are no rogue settings in there.
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  #9  
Old 7th December 2010, 12:38 PM
jpollard Offline
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Re: Tale of my wacky LCD monitor

simpler to just rename it... If it works out you can pick through the
settings applying them one-at-a-time.
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Old 7th December 2010, 04:02 PM
marriedto51 Offline
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Re: Tale of my wacky LCD monitor

Agreed: renaming is a better idea. Thanks, jpollard.
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