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Troubleshooting Monitor Issues

A computer monitor is an output device that displays information in pictorial form. A monitor usually comprises the visual display, circuitry, casing, and power supply

Originally, computer monitors were used for data processing while television sets were used for entertainment.

What is the purpose of a computer monitor?

The term “monitor” is often used synonymously with “computer screen” or “display.” The monitor displays the computer’s user interface and open programs, allowing the user to interact with the computer, typically using the keyboard and mouse.

Different types of monitors

Display technology in various applications has evolved sharing the same base technology.

Both the television and computer screen started using the vacuum CRT (Cathode Ray Tube).

CRT Monitors

crt monitor

This type of monitor required more power and electronics to operate. A lot of the analog circuitry was cumbersome and took up a lot of space.

In addition to that, the CRT itself requires a certain distance between the screen area and the electron guns located at the end of the neck.

So apart from being heavy, bulky and harsh on your eyes, they actually have a decent viewing angle.

The other obvious downfall is the obvious fact that it couldn’t be used for a laptop monitor.

LCD Monitors

lcd monitor

LCD Monitors replaced the CRT. Initially, they had performance issues to do with response times, but eventually, those problems were solved.

Liquid crystal molecules are placed between two electrodes. The amount of light that can pass through the liquid crystal molecules is determined by the amount of electrical charge applied to the electrodes.

LCD Monitors require backlighting in order to illuminate the image for us to see. This backlighting technology has also undergone some revolutionary changes.

In the beginning, CFL(Compact Fluorescent Lamps) were used. The inverter boards that stepped up the voltage in order to power them up, were unreliable.

Thankfully, the CFLs were replaced with LEDs. This made LCD monitors way more reliable.

We will go into the various backlight technologies further down in this article.

Common types of Active Matrix LCD panels:

IPS Panels

In-Plane Switching panels were created to solve the poor viewing angles and low-quality color of the TN panels.

They are more commonly used in professional environments because the refresh rates aren’t the best for gaming.

But when it comes to image quality, it delivers great results. And, it comes with a little extra on the price.

The response times are faster than VA panels but slower than the TN panels.

TN Panels

Twisted Nematic panels are the most common purchased by consumers. They deliver reasonable response times at a reasonable price.

LED Monitors

Light Emitting Diode monitors are essentially LCD screens with LED backlighting to illuminate the LCD image.

Personally, I’m not a fan of this name for this type of product. If it is truly an LED monitor, shouldn’t the pixels themselves be produced by an LED itself?

Although, that technology is on its way. Television manufacturers are putting their interest in micro-LEDs. This is where microscopic LEDs are placed in an array to form the pixel itself.

I have no doubt that this technology will make its way into computer monitors.

QLED Monitors

QLEDs or Quantum Dot Display are used to convert the backlight to emit pure basic colors.

These semiconductor nanocrystals are placed in a Quantum Dot layer in order to help RGB color filters by reducing light losses and color crosstalk.

Electro-emissive versions are in its experimentation stages. This means, by applying an electric current to inorganic nano-particles, a pixel is formed by a Quantum-Dot Light Emitting Diode (QD-LED).

This would allow for great color ranges and near-perfect black levels on the display.

Common problems of computer monitor

There is always a reason for any computer monitor problem. And if your computer screen fails to work, you cannot communicate with your PC.

Here I have listed some of the reasons for screen problems that can be easily traced and fixed at user level. Other than these kinds of computer monitor troubleshooting, repairing the inside part demands knowledge and involves risks as well. So, it is advisable not to try to repair it yourself unless you know what you are doing.

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The most common computer monitor problems are the following.

Display problem

Distorted, shaking, wavy, dithering screen is the result of power interference and related problem. If your computer is near to other equipments such as TV, radio, refrigerator or other electric powered equipments, changing the place or power line will resolve these kinds of problems. In addition, turning on and off the monitor or if it is built in with screen menu, degaussing would also resolve it.


For unreadable screen, this is the problem related with improper configuration of display properties. It is also caused by incorrect display driver. Remove the driver and install it again with new and updated version.

Power cable related problem

Checking the power cable is the simplest method you can do at first when doing computer monitor troubleshooting. Always make sure that the power cord is properly fitted and tight. If it is defective you should change it before it brings serious damage to your computer monitor.

Display graphics card problem

Display graphics card (VGA CARDis the other reason for monitor problem. In modern systems graphics card is integrated with the motherboard. This card may fail to work. If this happens, you can still buy a separate video card and hook it on the available PCI express slot.

However, since there are several types of graphics card, make sure it is compatible and fit on your computer motherboard PCI slot before purchasing.

Screen menu and control related problems

Screen control related problems happen as result of poor color balance, brightness, resolution, and adjustability setting. These computer monitor troubleshooting methods are easy to configure and correct using your system control panel.

Defective parts inside computer monitor

This is a problem related with the monitor itself. If all the other computer parts are working fine, but nothing is displaying, the monitor has either defective or burned part that should be replaced.

As I have already said, repairing and replacing the inside part is not easy. Before purchasing another one, take to maintenance shop and make sure that the part is easily replaceable and cheap.

Computer monitor troubleshooting – Steps for dead or black screen

How to Troubleshoot Display or Video Issues on a Monitor

  1. Verify display or video issue on a known-good monitor. …
  2. Check for physical damages. …
  3. Verify display or video issue in Windows Safe Mode. …
  4. Update the video card (GPU) driver, monitor driver, chipset driver & BIOS. …
  5. Download and install Microsoft Windows updates. …
  6. Change the video or display settings and adjust the brightness.

1. Ensure that the power cord and VGA cable is tightly fitted in at both ends and work properly. Power on, and see something comes on the screen.

2. If you still get a black screen, unplug the monitor hook it on another computer. Power on the computer and check whether it works or not.

3. If nothing comes again, your monitor has some defective parts and should be repaired. If the monitor works on the second computer, probably the VGA card on the first computer is not working. You should buy a separate graphics card and install on PCI express slot.

If your graphics card was on the PCI slot, the problem could also be the slot. In this case moving the card to another slot may solve the problem.

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