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Monitor problems

Community Veteran
Posts: 7,180
Thanks: 56
Fixes: 2
Registered: 30-08-2007

Monitor problems

Whilst (er! playing around I suppose) "adjusting" the display properties of my monitor display I, seem to have accidently set-up a display mode my monitor doesn't like. It has gone into a blank screen mode with a slow bouncing ball type notice saying "not optimum mode" and goes on to give the recommended mode (1280x1024 60Hz) with a question mark in an orange square, moving around the screen rather like some types of simple screen savers.
Trouble is, I can't however do anything with it or get back into any type of display to alter the display back to "normal", although I'm reasonably sure the PC is working normally other than this (my Skype phone is working normally)
The monitor is a Samsung SyncMaster 713bm
The graphics are controlled by an on-board Intel output, but I'm not sure what variety, but I'd guess it's pretty bog-standard for what is a budget priced PC. And I'm using XP home.
My guess is to a) find another monitor that accepts a variety of different modes, but this might be something of a problem at this time. or b) fit a PCI graphics card and run the monitor from it. or finally try running it in "safe mode" but I'm not sure how to get it there when I can't view the screen display as it is.
Does anybody have any ideas for resetting this graphics mode problem please?
Experience; is something you gain, just after you needed it most.

When faced with two choices, simply toss a coin. It works not because it settles the question for you. But because in that brief moment while the coin is in the air. You suddenly know what you are hoping for.
10 REPLIES
MikeWhitehead
Grafter
Posts: 748
Registered: 19-08-2007

Re: Monitor problems

Just after POST diagnostics when the system is rebooting, keep hitting F8 until the startup menu gets displayed, then select Safe Mode from there. You shouldn't have a problem getting to the startup menu because the whole startup process runs in (if I remember correctly) 640 x 480 resolution.
Or do you mean nothing is displayed at all, even at boot?
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,571
Thanks: 3
Registered: 13-04-2007

Re: Monitor problems

This can be a major problem and its gone on since win98. Depending on the graphic card even if you get into safe mode it wont let you change the resolution.
The only answers at the end of the day are
borrow a monitor that will work while you change it back.
Put in a new graphic card which should force it to a new mode and then put the old one back. This can be a pain but does work.
You can boot from windows cd and do a repair.
If the graphic card is movable then putting it into another slot may force windows into thinking its a new card and reset the screen.
If you tick the box in the display setting only show res that the monitor can use this would never happen again. I am a bit surprised as when you change the screen it normally changes and says do you want to keep these setting if it went blank at that point it should revert back.
 
Community Veteran
Posts: 7,180
Thanks: 56
Fixes: 2
Registered: 30-08-2007

Re: Monitor problems

Thanks guys, after posting the original question I "hacked" my way into safe mode and BIOS, both of which remain viewable thankfully.
However, Sumuria is quite right it is not possible to change the resolution from safe mode it has only one option: 800x600 which doesn't remain after reboot into normal mode, so one try down!!
some of the other options in the safe mode menu were tried "return to an earlier setting known to work" but it obviously views the current view as a good setting and remains there Is it possible to set from an earlier "restore point" in safe mode anybody know?
I couldn't see anything in BIOS (Award) that would allow me to change the res settings, if you know better please let me know?
So it looks like the Graphics card or access to another monitor options, some time back in an effort to improve the graphics I fitted a PCI card, but it didn't work at all and eventually removed it, later info suggested a BIOS setting needed to be changed to recognise the card...but which one?
Fortunately, I have a nearby tame and usually helpful independent computer shop who might let me use some of their monitors to get out of this problem.
Experience; is something you gain, just after you needed it most.

When faced with two choices, simply toss a coin. It works not because it settles the question for you. But because in that brief moment while the coin is in the air. You suddenly know what you are hoping for.
paulby
Grafter
Posts: 1,619
Registered: 26-07-2007

Re: Monitor problems

Quote
Is it possible to set from an earlier "restore point" in safe mode anybody know?


You should be able to return to a restore point from safe mode.
Easiest though is probably to borrow a monitor. You're best using a CRT (not a flat panel) as they'll generally display something no matter what - if you get another flat panel monitor you'll likely get the same blank screen.
Community Veteran
Posts: 7,180
Thanks: 56
Fixes: 2
Registered: 30-08-2007

Re: Monitor problems

Thanks again all those who took the trouble to consider this problem...
Whilst waiting for my local PC shop to open, I thought I'd take one last look in safe mode and, selected the opening option for system restore and, found I had a restore point for 13.5 hours before I started playing with the res settings (I apparently have it set for auto set points, which I wasn't aware of before) so with nothing to lose I tried it, and it worked perfectly. No files or data lost (as far as I know) only the res settings returned to "normal" even retaining the rather nice wallpapers from the Hubble Space Telescope I'd added only yesterday.
I'd guess all these auto restore points take up some disk space somewhere but, it was worth it this time.
So thanks again.
Experience; is something you gain, just after you needed it most.

When faced with two choices, simply toss a coin. It works not because it settles the question for you. But because in that brief moment while the coin is in the air. You suddenly know what you are hoping for.
paulby
Grafter
Posts: 1,619
Registered: 26-07-2007

Re: Monitor problems

Glad you got it sorted Smiley
Paul
MikeWhitehead
Grafter
Posts: 748
Registered: 19-08-2007

Re: Monitor problems

What PJ says is right. The problem was only with the monitor in regards to the maximum it can display, so the system (as far as it knew) thought that the monitor that was plugged in was handling it fine.
Also, if I remember correctly, in the advanced options (FCool there is an option "Enable VGA mode" which boots windows normally but with a resolution of 600x800 and a 60Hz refresh rate. That would then let you alter your resolution etc (whereas safe mode doesn't). If I'm wrong on this one please correct me Tongue
Glad you got it fixed.
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,437
Thanks: 686
Fixes: 8
Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: Monitor problems

I did this a few years ago and managed to get out of it by having a second identical machine nearby. I right clicked the desktop to bring up the menu containing the properties option and then worked through how to reset the resolution keystroke by keystroke (without using the mouse) on the other machine. Boy was I glad when the screen reappeared!
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
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MikeWhitehead
Grafter
Posts: 748
Registered: 19-08-2007

Re: Monitor problems

Windows key + M
Up cursor
Return key
Shift + Tab
Right cursor 3 times
Tab
Hold left cursor down for a second or two
Alt + A

Always good to have it written down somewhere for this very reason Tongue That's the way I sorted a system before, then wrote this down so I didn't need all the hassle of doing it again Cheesy
Community Veteran
Posts: 7,180
Thanks: 56
Fixes: 2
Registered: 30-08-2007

Re: Monitor problems

Duly noted, written down, filed in every conceivble place for future reference...hopefully not needed again!!
Thanks again
Peter
Experience; is something you gain, just after you needed it most.

When faced with two choices, simply toss a coin. It works not because it settles the question for you. But because in that brief moment while the coin is in the air. You suddenly know what you are hoping for.