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Desktop Goes Black Randomly

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Hi All,

I've been rather stumped with a problem I've had with my PC of late and haven't been able to find anything that addresses it in my search for answers.

What's happening I hear you think - well on a fairly regular basis recently I'll walk away from the computer for a few minutes leaving the monitor on, when I return my desktop has gone black. I can't see any of the windows/programs I had open previously, I can however still see the explorer bar running across the bottom of the screen with all the programs/windows I have open still appearing there. I can also still see the miniature version pop up when I put the mouse over the program tabs. If i move the mouse off the explorer bar into the desktop area, the cursor disappears. Closing all the programs doesn't help. Sometimes when I hit ctrl-alt-del my desktop comes back - sometimes I need to log out to end the problem.

Does anyone have any ideas about what the problem might be?
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In order of Hardware possible faults:
  • Monitor
  • Connections (internal and external)
  • Video Card
  • Power Supply
  • RAM
  • Motherboard
But I think it's likely just dust :)

You will need to remove the power cord
Open the side cover
Then blow out all internal dust (compressed air cans can be purchased from computer service stores)
Then re-seat all connections and hardware (not the CPU though :))
Put the power cord back in
Turn On
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