19th October 2007

and apparently it was the monitor…

posted by Eric C. in Uncategorized |

The last few days when I had a chance I’ve been assembling a new computer for my folks. Their P4 2.2GHz was starting to be cranky, so they decided to replace it rather than have me try and track down what the cause of the problems. Well, after assembling their computer, I ran memtest86+ on the RAM, Mushkin 2GB DDR800 Kit. It passed. I installed a base load of Windows XP with no problems. The motherboard I’m using is the Gigabyte GA-MA69VM-S2 motherboard with AMD/ATI 690v chipset. I’m using the on-board Radeon x1200 video since my parents don’t game. After painstakingly finding the motherboard/video drivers on AMD’s convoluted webpage (you have to go to ATI video drivers section then go to integrated/motherboard and choose it based on what the integrated video is, not what the actual chipset name is). I installed the drivers and rebooted. The system starts booting but right after the windows logo screen, my three month old Soyo 19″ LCD says “Out of Sync” and goes to sleep. “What the hell?!” I hit the power button, it turns off after shutting down, so it did actually boot to windows like it should. I boot again, does the same thing. I reinstall windows, then the video/motherboard drivers but again, “Out of Sync.” I try plugging the monitor in directly (instead of through my KVM Switch) but get the same thing. I run Memtest86+ overnight and it passes all the loops. I already flashed the bios to the newest version, F7a. I try booting to safe mode, it works fine. I mess with the settings and make sure it’s set to 60Hz and set it to something low like 1024×768. I reboot and it boots through to the desktop just fine! I do a few things and it asks to reboot… “Out of Sync”! I was pissed. The next day, I try my parents 15″ Elements branded LCD from 2003 or 2004 and it works fine! After the Windows logo loading screen, the desktop shows up and it boots through correctly! I was shocked. Then I plugged my Soyo 19″ back in, it works fine now too. Now that it worked with the Elements monitor I can’t get it to mess up with the Soyo. I try my two year old 17″ AG Neovo LCD, that works fine as well. I reinstall Windows again, my Soyo still says “Out of Sync” unless I hook up the AG Neovo or Elements monitor, and then it works with all three! As a sidenote, the motherboard only has VGA. The AG Neovo and Elements only have VGA. The Soyo has both VGA and DVI but the motherboard only has VGA, so I can obviously only use VGA with it.

I’ve installed Windows XP before, with multiple different Nvidia and ATI video cards with this Soyo monitor and haven’t had anything like this before. For the record though, none of them have been on-board video. I don’t know what is actually making this happen but I’d say it isn’t going to be a Soyo only problem. We’ve sold Soyo monitors for a little while in the store I work at and haven’t had any problems like this, so not all Soyo monitors on all systems will have this happen. Also, other monitors may be affected, as very few companies that sell monitors actually manufacturer them. So other companies monitors made by the same ODM manufacturer that Soyo had make my monitor may be affected as well.

Just thought I’d give people a heads up if they were having the same problem, as it was pretty frustrating for a while there.

Oh, and just my luck, I was using ATI Catalyst w/ southbridge drivers version 7.9 and of course they released 7.10 a few days ago. So now I’m super curious if that would somehow fix it… So I’ll probably end up reinstalling windows again and use the new video driver. I’m just too curious! If I do I’ll post back with the results.

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