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Monitor Goes Black for a Second or Two

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I have a Pentium IV 2.53 GHz processor, an Intel D845EBG2 motherboard, with a Samsung 930B LCD monitor connected by an analog cable to a GeForce 4 MX 440 Mad Dog Predator MX 440 Multimedia graphics card. I am using Windows XP (have all updates) and I access the Internet through Mozilla Foxfire (also updated). My monitor is 4 years old and my graphics card is probably 5 or 6 years old. The motherboard and chip are probably 6-7 years old.

Here’s my problem: every so often my computer screen will go black for a second or so. When the image I was viewing returns, nothing appears to be different. When this happened about 3 years ago, I uninstalled the card and monitor drivers, reloaded the latest ones, and the problem seemed to go away. Within the last couple of months, it started again. Not a major pain, just a black screen for a very few moments, then back to normal.

A few days ago, I decided to reformat my hard drive (not because of the monitor problem). I loaded all of my hardware and hardware drivers back up, including the latest drivers for the video card and the monitor. Since then, the screen goes black a lot more frequently and it is a lot more annoying. Still very brief, but becoming very annoying.

I have removed the video card, cleaned it, reseated it, and cleaned the inside of my case. I got all of the great advantages from reformatting my hard drive and, except for the monitor problem, it’s like having a new computer.

The green monitor light stays the same color when this happens and, if I am playing music when it happens, the music is not interrupted by it. I’m not sure if there is a pattern to it but it seems to happen mostly when I am online (it has happened while using Word) and then it seems like it happens most often just as I left-click on something on the page. But it does happen sometimes when I am just reading the page and not using my mouse at all. And sometimes, very recently, right before it happens, the screen image will get minor imperfections in it, the cursor won't move with the mouse, and then...black for a second and then...everything normal.

What do you think? I’d like to get as much life out of this computer as possible, but maybe it’s time to take her out and shoot her?

UPDATE: I eliminated the monitor as the culprit by connecting a different monitor to my computer. When this monitor went black, it displayed a notice that "The signal has been interrupted."

UPDATE: I eliminated the cable as the culprit by using another one and still getting the black out.

How can I tell whether this is only a graphics card problem or a more serious motherboard problem? Unfortunately, I do not have access to a compatible graphics card without actually buying one.

Edited by Maccwa, 27 March 2009 - 02:28 AM.

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I have the same problem with my XP system. My screen goes blank for 1/2 to 5 seconds, but everything else is running. I can keep typing, for instance, and everything is there when I get back. The mouse definitely makes things worse, a few click-drags and it's irreconcilable.

Here's another clue: I'm in a dual-monitor setup and it only affects my primary monitor, wherever that happens to be. I can swap the problem from display to display by moving my primary monitor using the display properties.

Just to pile on the fun - the mouse can move all day on the secondary monitor without causing a blackout, but the moment it hits the primary monitor, peril arrives with it.

Any suggestions/discoveries/leads to try?
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