Monitors randomly going black and then coming back on is a common issue that many computer users face. When our monitors start flickering or going black intermittently, it can disrupt our workflow, hinder our productivity, and even cause frustration and anxiety. If you’ve been experiencing this issue and wondering why your monitor keeps going black then back on, this comprehensive guide is here to shed light on the possible causes and solutions. A computer monitor turning on and off over and over again is clearly not the behavior you would expect so it almost always points to something being wrong.
This article aims to provide comprehensive insights and solutions to this problem, combining expertise from various reliable sources.
Identifying the Problem
There are several factors that can contribute to a monitor going black intermittently. These factors can be broadly categorized into hardware and software issues.
1. Driver & Software Issues
- NVIDIA GPU and Driver Crashes: If you have an NVIDIA GPU, check the event viewer for “Display driver nvlddmkm stopped responding and has successfully recovered.” This indicates a driver crash and recovery, leading to temporary screen blackouts.
- Display Driver Reinstallation: Corrupt display drivers can cause the monitor to go black. Reinstalling display drivers can resolve this issue.
- Rolling Back Drivers: In some cases, rolling back the driver to a previous version can fix the blackout problem.
- Outdated or Incompatible Drivers: Outdated or incompatible graphics card drivers can cause compatibility issues between the monitor and the computer, leading to display flickering or blackouts.
- Software Conflicts: Certain software applications, particularly those with high graphics demands, can cause conflicts with the monitor’s drivers or system processes, leading to display glitches or blackouts.
- System Malware or Viruses: Malware or viruses lurking in the computer’s system can disrupt system processes and interfere with monitor functionality, causing intermittent blackouts.
- Corrupted System Files: Corrupted system files related to graphics card drivers or display settings can cause instability and lead to monitor blackouts.
2. Hardware Issues
- Cable and Port Check: Unplugging, cleaning, and firmly reconnecting both the power cord and the display cable can be a solution. If the problem persists, replacing these cables might help.
- Hardware Malfunction: If the second screen keeps crashing and going black, it might be due to hardware malfunctions. Checking hardware connections and functionality is crucial.
- Video Card Issues: The video card driver or the video card itself can be the culprit. Disconnecting monitor cords and performing a Self-Test Feature Check (STFC) on the monitor can help diagnose this.
- Faulty Cables: Damaged or loose cables connecting the monitor to the computer or power source can cause signal disruptions, leading to intermittent blackouts.
- Overheating Components: Overheating of the monitor’s internal components, such as the power supply or backlight, can cause temporary shutdowns or blackouts.
- Faulty Monitor: In rare cases, a hardware malfunction within the monitor itself, such as a damaged internal component or a faulty backlight, can be the culprit behind intermittent blackouts.
3. Power and Sleep Settings
- Screen and Sleep Settings: Adjusting the Screen and Sleep settings on your computer to ensure they are set to “Never” can prevent the monitor from going black.
- Power Settings: Incorrect power settings, such as an overly aggressive sleep mode or power-saving mode, can cause the monitor to turn off unexpectedly.
4. Graphics Settings
- Disabling Dedicated Graphics: Disabling the dedicated graphics card through the device manager might resolve the issue.
General Troubleshooting Steps
Troubleshooting and Resolving Intermittent Monitor Blackouts: Before resorting to more complex solutions, try these simple troubleshooting steps:
1. Check Cables: Ensure that all cables are securely connected to both the monitor and the computer, and replace any damaged or frayed cables.
2. Update Drivers: Check for updated graphics card drivers and install them if necessary.
3. Adjust Power Settings: Review power settings and ensure that the sleep mode or power-saving mode is not set to activate too aggressively.
4. Close Problematic Software: If you notice monitor blackouts while running specific software, try closing those applications and see if the issue persists.
5. Scan for Malware: Perform a thorough scan of your computer for malware or viruses using a reputable antivirus or anti-malware program.
6. Check System Files: Use system file checkers or repair tools to scan for and repair corrupted system files.
Additional Tips for Preventing Monitor Blackouts
To minimize the risk of intermittent monitor blackouts in the future:
1. Regular Maintenance: Regularly inspect cables for damage and clean the monitor’s vents to prevent overheating.
2. Software Updates: Keep your operating system, graphics card drivers, and other software up to date.
3. Proper Shutdown: Always shut down your computer properly to avoid power surges or system instability. Shut down your PC and turn off the monitor using the power button. Unplug both the data and power cables, wait 30 seconds, and then reconnect and restart.
4. Monitor Ventilation: Ensure that the monitor is well-ventilated and not exposed to excessive heat sources.
5. Seek Professional Help: If the issue persists despite trying all the above solutions, consider seeking professional help from a computer technician or monitor repair service.
Monitor blackouts can be a frustrating issue, but understanding the underlying causes can help in resolving them effectively. From driver issues to hardware malfunctions, there are several potential causes. Following the troubleshooting steps outlined above can significantly help in addressing this problem.
Intermittent monitor blackouts can be a frustrating experience, but understanding the underlying causes and implementing the appropriate troubleshooting steps can help you resolve the issue and restore your monitor to its normal functioning.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Q: What should I do if my monitor goes black randomly? A: Check for driver issues, inspect cables and ports, adjust power settings, and consider hardware malfunctions.
- Q: Can outdated drivers cause monitor blackouts? A: Yes, outdated or corrupt drivers can lead to screen blackouts.
- Q: How do I know if my monitor blackout is due to a hardware issue? A: Perform a Self-Test Feature Check (STFC) and inspect all hardware connections.
- Q: Is it possible to fix a monitor blackout issue by adjusting computer settings? A: Yes, adjusting screen saver and sleep settings can sometimes resolve the issue.
- Q: Can reconnecting or replacing cables solve monitor blackout problems? A: Yes, often issues with the power cord or display cable can cause temporary blackouts.
- Q: Should I disable my dedicated graphics to fix a blackout issue? A: It can be a solution in some cases, especially if the graphics card is causing the problem.
- Q: How effective is rolling back display drivers? A: Rolling back drivers can be effective if a recent update is causing the blackouts.
- Q: What are the key keyboard shortcuts to revive a black screen? A: Windows logo key + P, Ctrl + Alt + Del, and Windows logo key + Ctrl + Shift + B.
- Q: Can a simple restart fix the monitor blackout issue? A: Yes, a restart can resolve temporary glitches causing the blackout.
- Q: Is it necessary to replace the monitor if it keeps going black? A: Not necessarily, as the issue often lies with the computer’s settings, cables, or drivers, not the monitor itself.
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