what's up with my monitor?

Recently, my computer’s monitor has been acting a bit strangely. I’m not much of a computer guy, so maybe this is a common problem, but it’s new to me. What happens is that the image on the screen, from time to time, gets somewhat “squooshed” from left to right, leaving a 1- or 2-inch black space on each side. Actually, the viewing image looks like a piece of ribbon candy, sort of wavy back and forth over itself. Then, I shut the computer down and the image is fine the next time I boot it up.

Can I assume that the monitor is slowly dying? What causes the (pretty cool-looking, actually) wavy effect on the picture? And should I just go out and buy a new monitor? Like I said, I don’t know much about things like this, so if it’s a common, easy problem, don’t think I’m an idiot or anything. :slight_smile:

Look at the back of it for the date of manf & who made it & the model number & give me those.

It’s a Compaq monitor, made in July 1999.

nineiron, take a look thru the monitor repair FAQ. In particular, does this seem like it?

Note that transients in a monitor are Not A Good Thing. Not likely to be repairable by a competent DIY electronic fixer. You might get lucky and find a VR that needs some DeOxIt. But keep in mind the CRTs are Darwin’s helper in thinning-the-herd. Is a 4 year old monitor worth dying for?

As to knowing the model, etc. This is Really Important Info to a tech. The first thing I do for anything I’m working on is search for that model online, Google and Google groups (sci.electronics.repair esp.). If that model has a common fault, someone has found it and posted a solution.

Knowing that you should try replacing capacitor C12 in the yoke deflection circuit on a model XYZ would be a Big Help.

No, nineiron, you’re not an idiot. The chances are quite high it’s dying. When you can’t live with it anymore, buy a replacement.

(Unless, of course, you haven’t tried checking the monitor cable plug. Is it on tight, clean, etc.?)

What ftg said. It’s dying, toss it.

Yep, sounds like it’s dead. Go to an independent computer repair store, they usually have good used 17" monitors for $50 or so (that’s what we did when racinchikki’s monitor lost its red).

Sounds like it’s in need of a degaussing (which is basically realigning your monitors internal magentic fields to compensate for any external ones). Are there any sorts of magnets near your monitor? Speakers possibly? If there are, try moving them farther away from the monitor, the magnetic field they give off may be causing the interference you describe. Also, next time it happens, instead of turning off your computer, try looking in your monitor’s menu system (by pushing the buttons on the monitor itself) and see if there’s an option to “degauss”. If you can’t find it, try looking in your monitors manual. See if degaussing fixes the problem. The reason it would fix itself when you shut down and restart your computer is that most monitors degauss automatically when they are reset. Hope this helps.