Why does the monitor randomly black out on my son’s newly built PC?

PatiA June 11, 2013

My son just built a desktop computer. I’ve tried 4 different monitors and the same thing happens – the screen just randomly blacks out. Must turn off and I have to turn on the computer again to get the screen back. This is an Asus motherboard. Is there some “green setting” that’s in there or some other setting that needs to be changed?

We’re still novices here and would sure appreciate any guidance.

Thanks, Pati

  1. PatiA
    June 12, 2013 at 6:09 pm

    Thanks everyone for helping...my husband gave up and took it to computer store to let them run a diagnostic. He really thinks it's a bad video card - still under warranty.

    • ha14
      June 13, 2013 at 7:18 am

      thanks for your feedback all the best:), do tell us if things goes well

    • Tim Brookes
      June 14, 2013 at 12:26 am

      Thanks for getting back to us PatiA. I definitely think the odd results point to a hardware problem, fingers crossed!

  2. Brandon Ragoo
    June 11, 2013 at 5:45 pm

    Based on the information you provided I would think its an hardware issue but to ensure of this I like to use a Linux live CD. Simply boot from a Linux CD or flash drive and see if the problem occurs, if it does then its a hardware issue if it does not then its a software issue. If its an hardware issue and I guess you are using on board graphics I think you should have warranty to replace the motherboard however you could always use external graphics card. If its an software issue I recommended check device manager to see if there are any issues with your driver, also ensure you have the latest driver installed.

  3. Oron Joffe
    June 11, 2013 at 4:04 pm

    The fact that they RANDOMLY black out is the most curious. Since you have tried four different screens, it is unlikely (but not impossible) that the problem is with the screen itself, but let's work through the options systematically.
    First of all, try one of the screens on a different system for a prolonged period of time and make sure it works reliably.
    Secondly, is the screen receiving power from the PC's power supply? This is rare nowadays, but this is the case, try connecting it directly to mains power.
    When it blanks out, does the power light on the screen remain on, or does the whole screen switch off? I assume it's just the picture (since otherwise it would be a problem with the screen itself, which we have already tested), so our problem is lack of picture signal.
    Does the picture only blank out when you are physically using the computer, rather than when you leave it alone? This would suggest a loose contact, perhaps in the graphics card or cable.
    Next, is the timing of blanking out entirely random? Do some testing! Measure the time to blanking repeatedly. Is there any pattern? Is it always the same amount of time? This would suggest a power-save/sleep setting so you could check that in Windows.
    If the time between blankings decreases after your restart the PC (that is, from a cold start it's, say, 10 minutes, but the next time it's 7 minutes), this would suggest either a "thermal issue" or a power-supply issue. Thermal issues are when there is a component in the system which is overheating and/or has a very fine crack in the printed circuit board, and when it reaches a given temperature it fails. The PSU problem may be that the power supply is not quite powerful enough to keep the system running. What often happens is that the system will run fine until the demand for power reaches a peak (e.g. CPU is working hard, a drive spins up and stays on for more than a few seconds, complicated graphics need rendered etc), and then the system fails.
    These are the most likely scenarios, but there are always other possibilities. If you still can't get the problem diagnosed, get back to us and describe to us the further testing you have done and what you found. Good luck!

  4. Degenerated S
    June 11, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    check the power settings and also see if some third party apps are doing this ..

  5. ha14
    June 11, 2013 at 8:27 am

    try to reset cmos battery

    check power option
    Windows 7 Power Options And Sleep Modes Explained

  6. Jan Fritsch
    June 11, 2013 at 8:25 am

    Assuming the build has a dedicated graphics card start by reseating the card into the PCI-Express slot. At the same time make sure all additional power connectors are plugged into the card and the power supply.

    Also take a look at the power supply – there should be a label stating the combined Watt. Although we don't have any details about the build this should be at least 500W for current hardware.

    If another system (with a suitable power supply) is at hand the best thing would be to put the new graphics card into the existing working system and see if it has the same issues there.

    Personally I believe it's an issue with the graphics card – a damaged capacitor or something like that.

  7. Alan Wade
    June 11, 2013 at 6:25 am

    If your motherboard has onboard graphics switch to that and see how the computer behaves. If its OK then look at your graphics card and the drivers.

  8. Rakesh Mishra
    June 11, 2013 at 5:59 am

    check the display driver whether it is properly installed or not

  9. Leland Whitlock
    June 11, 2013 at 3:33 am

    Take the first suggestion a step further and test the monitor on a known good computer that work with a monitor already. A laptop can also be used for this. The main thing is to make sure the monitor is not dying. I have seen this on monitors just before they die.

    Another possibility would be a bad cable between the monitor and computer. They are relatively inexpensive so this might also be a good thing to test. Good luck.

  10. Bruce Epper
    June 11, 2013 at 3:27 am

    If it is due to power settings where the video is blanked after a certain amount of time (normally 15 minutes in a default Windows installation), simply moving the mouse or striking a key on the keyboard should turn the video back on. You can go to the Control Panel and the Power applet to modify the settings for when the video should be turned off. If you want the video to be on at all times, you can change that setting to Never.

  11. Jim Chambers
    June 11, 2013 at 1:26 am

    If you're using a video card, try reseating it in motherboard. If motherboard has onboard video output, remove video card and try plugging monitor into onboard port to determine if video card is defective.

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