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Author Topic: weirdest hardware issue ive ever seen  (Read 3295 times)
KaptainKrayola
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« on: November 06, 2009, 04:02:32 PM »

so, i bought a new 24" badass monitor the other day and went to hook up one of my pcs to it.  upon hooking up said pc i could not get any video to the monitor.  i could hear the drives spinning and the lights were going berserk but no video. 

checked the usual culprits - vid card not seated, ram not seated, etc.  after some finagling i could get it to boot and send video with 1 ram stick in 1 particular spot ONLY.  any more or any ram in any other spots no luck.

so i flashed the bios

that fired the bastard up immediately.  had video, life was good.  a few reboots later, same issue.  so eventually after a bunch more troubleshooting i got the bright idea to swap DVI ports on the vid card and EUREKA the fucker worked.  a reboot later, no video.  swapped it again - blam worked.  couple reboots later and no video again.  so, i found a spare monitor and went about hooking up 2 monitors.  here is where it really gets fun.

the second monitor is a 19" LCD and if i have it in one of the DVI ports everything fires up fine.  once i boot into windows the other monitor fires up and takes over as hte "primary" monitor.  if i switch them, i get nothing.  if i remove the 19" and plug the 24" into the 19's spot - nothing.

i have another computer in the house with the exact same specs (only diff is i have 2x2GB stick of ram and the other has 4x1GB sticks) and it does the exact same thing.

any ideas why the PC would refuse to fire up the 24" when i turn it on and only when windows is loaded?

i dont' mind using both monitors but its just really strange that the vid card will fire up the 19" and not the 24" outside of windows.

I'm going to grab a Guiness so i expect this to be solved when i get back.....GO!


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« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2009, 04:11:24 PM »

is the 24 a goodbrand or a shitbrand?
what about the gfx card.

what windows version?
And it works not in windows? your dual booting and it works?

have you installed the monitor drivers? (yes DVI monitors have drivers, especially at the higher end...)

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KaptainKrayola
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« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2009, 04:17:49 PM »

the monitor is an Acer  so its not exactly cheap shit but i dunno how it ranks on the scale of awesome.  http://www.afterdawn.com/hardware/reviews.cfm/5313/acer_x243w (only diff is mine's black)
gfx card is an nVida 8800GT 512MB

windows versions i tried it on were XP, Vista, and 7.  The only linux install on the machine was jacked up so i couldn't try it.

The monitor works perfectly in windows its just anything prior to windows loading that it won't display anything on.  so i can't see the POST screen or get into the bios or anytihng.  nothing prior to windows loading.

im a really impatient bastard too so i don't know if i waited long enough to get windows fully loaded with just the 24" plugged in to see if it would pop on once windows was loaded.  i'll try that after this windows7 install finishes.

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« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2009, 05:04:32 PM »

It thinks it's a "TV" monitor.  Of course that doesn't quite explain all of your seemingly random failures and successes.  However, this behavior is very similar to what happens when you hook up a TV - say a 56" DLP Samsung - straight from DVI-HDMI.  The problem is some kind of delay in the communication between them.  I don't know the deeper, detailed reasons for this but a few symptoms point to this IMO:

- Won't boot except for when it hits Windows (primary reason)
- Having trouble with assigning it as the PRIMARY display, or even inconsistencies between it and your 19"
- It's a 5ms response time monitor.  Means nothing in itself but is barely under 6ms which is required for flawless movies

Try this: when you can get both monitors up at the same time, however you do it, play some looping fast video of something or just move the mouse around.  If the 24" is detectably yet barely "behind" the 19" then I'll bet it's this issue.

Also, it doesn't have a DVI-I port, only DVI-D.  Here's a post from a blog on the issue, supporting my hypothesis:

Quote
DVI-I is a connector that is compatible with both DVI-A (analog) and DVI-D (digital), which are not compatible. DVI-A is largely a computer format. DVI-D is the consumer variety of DVI, the one that most people consider to be the same as HDMI without the audio (slightly inaccurately)
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isthisthingon
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« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2009, 05:14:45 PM »

http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=1577&p=3

- This is where the specification divides itself in two; the DVI-D connector features only the 24-pins necessary for purely digital operation while a DVI-I connector features both the 24 digital pins and the 5 analog pins. Officially there is no such thing as a DVI-A analog connector with only the 5 analog pins although some literature may indicate otherwise. By far, the vast majority of graphics cards with DVI support feature DVI-I connectors.

- A major problem when dealing with digital flat panels (the primary market for the DVI spec) is that they have a fixed "native" resolution that they can properly display at. Since there are a fixed number of pixels on the screen itself, attempting to display a higher than native resolution on the screen is impossible.

So the analog would be displaying but since it's only a pure DVI-D it's not able to render - until Windows/Graphics driver does the pure digital signal  for it.
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KaptainKrayola
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« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2009, 05:19:57 PM »

so more or less what you're saying is that im hosed on this one?

on a side note, after reading your first post i went and dug up my dvi to normal old vga adapter and it worked flawlessly.  not an ideal solution but at least i know the issue now.  thanks for the insight there man - much appreciated.

is there anything i can do to get this to work short of using this adapter cable or having the second monitor plugged in?
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isthisthingon
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« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2009, 05:32:00 PM »

Return it!!  I couldn't stand to convert/downgrade a nice 24" monitor as my primary.  On the other hand, your 24" monitor will speak the same high definition language - according to the specs of your nVidia: Dual Link DVI/HDTV.  Therefore as a secondary display it's a fine choice.

Or better yet... RETURN IT!!!
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KaptainKrayola
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« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2009, 06:47:29 PM »

yeah im pretty pissed off right now after all this knees bent running around crap today so i think its going back.

another fun issue has come up - the pci wireless card i have in that machine apparently doesn't play nice with win7 x64.  so much for giving win7 a try today.

people all over the net are bitching about it too so i know this one isn't just me hehe.

looks like its back to windows XP for this box until i either run cable or someone puts out a driver for the wireless card that works.
honestly i don't even know why i bother sometimes. heh
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KaptainKrayola
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« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2009, 07:16:50 PM »

doing some reading and checking some other dvi cables i have it seems the DVI-D should be working fine pre-windows.  what a few sites suggest is that your video card should know that the analog pins aren't there on the DVI-D cable and send the video out over the digital pins. 

also, i checked the cables for the other 2 DVI monitors i have and they are both dvi-d cables which means they should be having the same issues, no?

i don't know much about this so im grasping at straws here.  it seems odd though that a manufacturer would sell a monitor that 99% of people out there would immediately consider to be faulty upon plugging it into their pc and not getting video. 

maybe a an issue with both of my 8800 GTs talking to the monitor pre-windows or something?

im more or less trying to avoid having to box this big bastard up and ship it if i don't have to Smiley

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isthisthingon
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« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2009, 07:38:38 PM »

For the brave who dive world-first into 64bit Win7, I'd say all new hardware or buyer beware

Quote
doing some reading and checking some other dvi cables i have it seems the DVI-D should be working fine pre-windows.  what a few sites suggest is that your video card should know that the analog pins aren't there on the DVI-D cable and send the video out over the digital pins.

Correct, except for the size problem.  With larger outputs there can be the need for additional resolution conversion that easily happens once in Windows and might possibly happen straight from the card.  Sounds like this monitor really needs to leverage the DVI-A channel prior to having the assistance of drivers once they load.  It's possibly why your straight VGA has no issue - no digital resolution conversion necessary.  It is, after all, the monitor's responsibility to handle the initial rendering prior to additional driver layers stacking up at boot:

Quote
It used to be that scaling was not even considered an important matter and was left ignored but as digital flat panels increased in popularity it became something that manufacturers worried about. The DVI specification places the duty of properly scaling and filtering non-native resolutions where it should lie, on the monitor manufacturer's shoulders. So any monitor that is fully DVI compliant should handle all scaling/filtering itself and obtaining a relatively nice scaling algorithm is not too difficult meaning there shouldn't be much difference between monitors in this respect (although we're sure there will inevitably be some).

Quote
also, i checked the cables for the other 2 DVI monitors i have and they are both dvi-d cables which means they should be having the same issues, no?

Size matters 

Quote
i don't know much about this so im grasping at straws here.  it seems odd though that a manufacturer would sell a monitor that 99% of people out there would immediately consider to be faulty upon plugging it into their pc and not getting video.

99% of the people won't have bomb-ass video cards and will see their VGA working like "magic."

Quote
im more or less trying to avoid having to box this big bastard up and ship it if i don't have to

You can also try going DVI-D from your PC to HDMI on your monitor (cable conversion, around $50).  But again, this is a conversion and I'd simply hate to have my primary on a converted channel.  So since this 24" does not have a dual link (DVI-I) you're possibly limited to VGA/HDMI conversions, secondary monitor option, or perhaps the following: 
Try getting the very latest drivers for your 24" and your video card - while it's plugged in as a secondary.  Once everything is up to date, then try switching it back to primary and see if it flies.  Otherwise I'd probably go for the return option.  I mean 24" is nice and all.  But with a 5ms refresh rate hell why not just settle for VGA output?

Go 2ms refresh - max contrast ratio - max resolution - and settle for 22"    Your games depend on it and I'll bet you'd be much happier.
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« Reply #10 on: November 06, 2009, 07:58:39 PM »

I have the same monitor.

It's a handshake issue. And you are prolly right kk, the card and monitor are negotiating before windows, but then are losing that agreement when windows starts allocating interfaces.

Short version, it might be your boot manager getting in the way. But definately should check for newer drivers both card and monitor(if there are).

That said, There is no reason why the monitor wouldn't work because of the os. It's possible the monitor is bad?
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perkiset
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« Reply #11 on: November 06, 2009, 09:39:25 PM »

Get a Mac.  Smooch
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KaptainKrayola
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« Reply #12 on: November 07, 2009, 08:29:16 AM »

so nuts, you get video pre-OS loadin (so you can see the POST screen, etc)?  that is the root of the problem here for me.  the monitor works fine otherwise.

I think i have settled on sending it back and i found a 23" at Sams cheaper.  Doesn't go up to 1920 x 1200 like this one (which is part of the reason i bought this one) but it will do 1080 and is 2ms (just for you ITTO)

gonna go check it out here in a little bit once i get this one packaged back up.
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KaptainKrayola
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« Reply #13 on: November 07, 2009, 10:55:19 AM »

Home with the 23" and it fired up immediately just like it should have.  Also got a new wireless adapter since the one i had was for shit in windows 7 so i'm fully functional on my new monitor and windows 7

i did blow away the 64bit install i had since it seemed it was nothing but trouble for drivers and re-installed the 32 bit version and everything seems to be running great. 

i'm still curious if you were getting video pre-OS load there on the acer 24" there Nuts. 
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isthisthingon
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« Reply #14 on: November 07, 2009, 03:05:52 PM »

Gratz man.  I wonder if Win7 32bit reports the same amount of RAM with 4GB in it (task manager reports 3.581GB total in my 32bit Vista Ultimate). 

I'd lose an inch any day for 2ms response time
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