LCD display issues - gfx or mobo?

  Carl-1318314 20:18 27 Dec 2008

I have a 6 month old Dell Inspiron desktop connected to my lcd tv via a VGA cable. I am using the on board display adapter and running Vista HP.

From around 3 months in, around once every month, the computer will lock up and become unresponsive. When this happens, you can hear a ticking noise from the pc. The mouse will move, but nothing will open and the PC will not respond to any command.

To shut it down, you then have to force it by holding down the power button on the tower. The next time it starts, it will display the Dell splash screen, but following that my tv then just flashes on and off, like a signal is there, but not enough to display anything. You cannot enter the bios, startup options, load from a usb drive or CD or get to the dell recovery console. It loads the bios options, but then immediately starts flashing as it cannot display it.

I know the PC is not getting past this point, even though I cannot see it as the HDD activity light stays off, and I cannot see the pc on my wireless network.

The first time this happened, I assumed the hard drive had failed and bought a new one, reinstalled Windows and made the old hard drive a slave.

The next time it happened I tried to rule out possible problems, and checked the ram and drives. After that I tried an old TFT monitor.... it booted and ran for an hour perfectly. No error messages, no hint that something was wrong. I then (with the PC still powered up) plugged it back into my lcd tv and it was fine.

This happened again about a month ago, I immediately reconnected the tft, booted the pc and replugged it into the lcd. Same thing, it then ran fine.

I thought it could be a problem with my tv displaying the resolution the pc is set to output, or the refresh rate. But that wouldn't explain the ticking noise, or the fact that it won't display the bios options etc. Ive also tried a different VGA cable.

It happened again yesterday, which is whats prompted me to register and seek second opinions. Because its such an intermittent problem just buying one or the other isn't really a viable option. Does anyone have any ideas, or seen anything like this before? It has stumped me!

  MAT ALAN 21:32 27 Dec 2008

you can hear a ticking noise from the pc.

Has the attributes of a sticking HDD, if that is the case it may be that its starting to fail..

  Carl-1318314 16:56 28 Dec 2008

I thought the same thing, which is why I replaced the drive the first time it happened :)

  woodchip 17:02 28 Dec 2008

As above you need to do a disc check, Double Click My Computer, right Click on C:\Properties\Tools\Disc Checker tick the box and do a full scan restart computer for it to do the scan

  Carl-1318314 17:20 28 Dec 2008

If it was a problem with that particular hard drive, would you not expect the problem to go away if you unplugged that drive? You would expect it to get past the bios, and to display some error about not finding an OS. But as above, it doesn't affect the system.

  MAT ALAN 18:20 28 Dec 2008

Having searched some other forums there is a suggestion it may be related to your PSU (fan in particular) might be worth looking there as well..

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