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Help! Flashing screen is driving me nuts...

by mvtofino / June 5, 2008 12:11 PM PDT

Hello Forum;

First, I apologize for not better researching this thread first by searching the forums, but I am unable to do much on my system due to this incessant flashing screen that is on for about 1 second then goes off for about 2 seconds then back on and off etc. So everything I do is like a dotted line so to speak; the screen is not on long enough to easily position the cursor, and it takes a lot longer to read or write anything because the best you can do is a few words at a time once your eye finds the place where it last left off.

I have done everything I can think of with respect to anti-virus, spam etc. and also having done a fresh install of Windows XP and SP2 with all upgrades, as well as all other programs on the system. My connection to the internet is via a T1 cable DSL modem.

I installed a brand new Asus M2A-VM motherboard with AMD 64+ Dual Core processor, 2 Gb DDR2 800 Mhz PC6400 SDRAM (twin 2 x 1 Gb), new 450 watt power supply, new 500 Gb SATA2 HDD all within the last 30 days. Display is a 2 month old Dell 20" flat screen LCD with built-in webcam and audio. Utilized existing case, DVD-+RW, 3.5" FDD, printer, and flat bed scanner. The wireless keyboard and mouse are both 6 months old.

I hope the foregoing provides sufficient information regarding my system configuration.

Please rescue this frustrated user. Any help or suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks in advance...

JT

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looks like
by B123456H / June 5, 2008 12:40 PM PDT

a video card problem. Try reseating the vid card, changing the resolution to the native one for the screen, and put it on the right refresh rate.

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Flashing screen update - could be a cure for now!
by mvtofino / June 5, 2008 6:28 PM PDT
In reply to: looks like

Hello B123456H:

Thanks for the reply. The "optimal" setting for this monitor is 1680 x 1050 which it was already set to. I presume this is its native resolution. Unfortunately, my existing ATi Radeon Excalibur 9200 SE video card is designed for an AGP expansion slot, and the new motherboard has only 1 PCI-Express x16 slot, 1 PCI-Express X1 slot, and 2 PCI slots of which the latter 2 are currently being used by a fax modem and an ATi Wonder Pro TV capture card, both of which are used extensively. As a result, I have been foreced to use (for the first time ever in my 25 year experience with PCs...) a motherboard's on board video capability.

My only other option with this configuration would be to purchase a new video card that can be accomodated by one of the two PCI-Express expansion slots; my guess would be the PCI-Express x16 which has a longer, more familiar looking connector slot than the other one.

Following your suggestion, I ended up at the ATi (now the AMD support site) website, and downloaded new drivers for the Radeon Express X1250 integrated/motherboard video card. It was a lengthy upgrade that I let install totally automatically, without my usual intervention.

Even though the driver CD that came with the motherboard is only a couple of months old (according to the BIOS version date and some of the other software driver dates on the CD...), the ATi website's software version date is May 21, 2008, only a couple weeks ago.

Anyway, once the new driver was installed and system rebooted in the normal fashion, the flashing screen seems to have settled down considerably. It still flashes on and off, but instead of once every second it is now maybe once every minute or two, a significant improvement. Not perfect mind you, but at least I can use it. I cannot tell for certain as yet as I haven't gotten used to the new routine. However, the joy of it not flashing is simply overwhelming, and all I hope is that it doesn't start to deteriorate as time goes on.

When I tried to adjust the monitor's refresh rate (something I have not adjusted on this monitor having relied on the installation settings so far...), there is only a single refresh rate listed, that being 60 hertz. The dialog box has been checked to show only those refresh rates that the monitor can safely display without damaging the hardware. I could have unchecked that box, but decided to leave it alone for the time being.

Well, how about that! One whole paragraph and a half without flashing once! Amazing difference this makes to one's through-put not to mention one's stress level.

Thank you very much for pointing me in the right direction. If the flashing screen returns to an annoying level again, I will invest in a new video card that will fit in the newer style of expansion slot. I would rather do that than pitch this system into the river and revert to using a pencil and paper. (d*mn - the screen just flashed as I typed that - who knows, it must have understood my intention should it start flashing again and freaked out!).

All the best,
JT

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Look on Dell's site for ...
by Edward ODaniel / June 6, 2008 10:16 AM PDT

the "drivers" download for their monitor as it appears that you need the INF file so your OS can recognize the capabilities of the monitor itself.

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Reply to: Look on Dell's site for...
by mvtofino / June 6, 2008 3:11 PM PDT

Hi Edward;

Thanks for responding to my plea for help. I had taken great pains to ensure I had the latest driver and .INI file for the monitor as I feared its webcam and audio capability might have been part of the problem. Nonetheless, I visited the Dell website, downloaded and installed the most recent driver just to be sure. Although Windows already had the best driver installed, according to the install wizard, I wanted to rule it out as a possible contributing factor.

The problem seemed to be the video driver as suggested by E123456H, and once the ATi Express 1250 integrated/motherboard video card's driver had been properly upgraded, the flashing screen was successfully resolved. At least for the time being.

I just wanted to thank you too for offering me some help. It is surely appreciated...

All the best!

JT

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