Computer Help forum


All monitors go black EXCEPT for mouse cursor

by bestmackman / September 2, 2016 10:22 AM PDT

I have three monitors, all going through my video card (EVGA 670 FTW). Two or three times now in the past couple weeks, as I'm just going about my daily business (as in, not stressing my card by gaming), all monitors will go black except for the mouse cursor: That can still move and even travel across monitor screens. Then, after a few more seconds, sound cuts out and the mouse disappears and the monitors are completely black, although the computer is still physically on.

My question is, is this more likely to be a problem with the motherboard or the video card, or something else entirely? And how do I tell?

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Clarification Request
Tell me more.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 2, 2016 10:59 AM PDT

That GPU arrived in 2012 so it's old enough to have age issues. Sometimes I find the million mile work (heatsink compound replacement and cleaning of the machine, fan check) to be enough. There have been owners that don't want to have the work done because they want a guarantee. For that we start replacing parts.

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I'll try cleaning
by bestmackman / September 2, 2016 12:11 PM PDT
In reply to: Tell me more.

Yeah. I guess I'll just try blasting everything in the case with air and see what happens. After that...well, I got an extended warranty and Advance RMA on this bad boy for a reason.

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Why I picked clarification
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 2, 2016 12:19 PM PDT
In reply to: I'll try cleaning

Is the card could be many years old. I find that old a card can not only be clogged, have failed fans but cracked heatsink compound.

It's not a secret about why, what is done or how to do the work, but I'm encountering owners that just never heard of the need to keep the vents and heatsinks clean. Or that heatsink can dry and crack.

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Void warranty?
by bestmackman / September 2, 2016 12:31 PM PDT

I know to keep it clean, but never thought about the heatsinks themselves. The thing is...wouldn't that void the warranty?

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Never found or wrote about heatsink failure.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 2, 2016 2:35 PM PDT
In reply to: Void warranty?

Just to keep them clean and at this number of years, consider the heatsink compound can dry and crack.

I don't know your warranty or how old this is. I use the web to find when these shipped when I suspect it's older.

All Answers

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Start By Unplugging All But One Monitor
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / September 2, 2016 10:25 AM PDT

If the graphics card is being stressed and causing the black-out, (maybe overheated or needs more power), then a single monitor might allow it to run correctly. That should give you a hint as to the culprit.

Hope this helps.


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Problem is so intermittent...
by bestmackman / September 2, 2016 10:28 AM PDT

The problem is, the issue is so intermittent that I'd have to sacrifice two monitors indefinitely, never knowing whether that was the issue or whether it was still coming.

Also, just last night I played a couple hours of "Arkham Knight," which I imagine must have pushed the card to its limits, while this morning I was just watching some IT Crowd.

And to clarify, I've had this computer for 3-4 years now, and these issues just started very recently.

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Still Could Be The Graphics Card, Or Even A Monitor.. But...
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / September 2, 2016 11:59 AM PDT

...the same suggestion applies.. Either unplug all but one monitor and see what comes up, or if you happen to have another video card hanging around, try using that. Here, we test with a known good card.

Hope this helps.


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Old stuff
by Willy / September 3, 2016 10:58 AM PDT

When the GPU is pushed, it will falter sooner or later. That's the nature and since you're a gamer, it found the weak spot, the GPU or at least that's a place to look 1st. I would definelty replace the GPU with a new one or trusted tested one and allow it work and see if it remains up and working. If the problem doesn't appear for a long time you have found your problem. You have warranty, then use it, why wait and complain, use it. Don't do any fixes other than blowing out dust, etc. and go from there. As stated by others a 2012 GPU and you're a gamer, be happy it lasted this long. No pun intended but gamers tend to wreak havoc on their PCs and I have yet to find one using less an optimum setting on video and heat is a stress damage related.

tada -----Willy Happy

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All monitors go black
by dxjanis / September 3, 2016 5:17 AM PDT

My Windows 10 computers do the same thing. I'm not smart enough with hardware (or software, for that matter) to tell you WHY you are experiencing the black screen. I do know how to quickly restore the desktop. Bring up "Task Monitor" by pressing [ctrl] [shift] [esc], scroll down to "Windows Explorer", right click on that and select "restart" from the pop-up.

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