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Thread: External monitor suddenly goes blank

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    44

    Exclamation External monitor suddenly goes blank

    Specs first:
    Dell XPS M1210
    2.4ghz dual core (32 bit)
    2gb RAM
    Intel Integrated 945G Graphics Controller
    Linux Ubuntu 8.04
    (Native Resolution 1280x800)

    Monitor:
    Dell 1703FP
    (Native Resolution 1280x1024)


    Essentially I am only experiencing this problem when plugged into an external monitor. (I use my laptop with a monitor, keyboard, mouse, ect. when I'm home) After a while of using my external monitor the screen will suddenly go blank. If I hit Ctrl+Alt+Backspace I can see text on the screen, but once I get back to the logon screen it goes blank again.

    If I open up my laptop often times the screen will show up on there, but no form of configuration (Re-enabling the external monitor, disabling my laptop monitor, enabling both, ect) will get the picture to show up on the external monitor. The monitors power LED will flicker green for a moment, as if it were picking up a signal, then immediately go amber and power down. This happens after about 45 minutes of use.

    If I let the computer sit (overnight per say, it will work fine all night, and then my monitor will freak out after a time again when I resume use. This is severely ruining my ability to function. I have not found any correlation to things I may be doing in Ubuntu that would cause it to crash. Even when I'm not doing anything video intensive it still crashes.

    Any help is greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance for your help!

    (Do note that I have posted twice in the Dell Forums asking for help and have received no response, though I'd try the General help this time)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    44

    Re: External monitor suddenly goes blank

    Bump. Please, I have posted three times with no help whatsoever, I'm really starting to doubt the support community here...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    Ubuntu Development Release

    Re: External monitor suddenly goes blank

    DVI or vga?

    What are your screen saver settings? System>preferences>screensaver

    what is output of:
    Code:
    xset -q
    how about xorg
    Code:
    sudo nano /etc/X11/xorg.conf
    I'm not afraid of storms, for I sail my own ship

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    44

    Re: External monitor suddenly goes blank

    I'm using the external monitor through VGA. (no DVI output on my laptop)

    Here is the output from Xorg.conf

    Code:
    # xorg.conf (X.Org X Window System server configuration file)
    #
    # This file was generated by dexconf, the Debian X Configuration tool, using
    # values from the debconf database.
    #
    # Edit this file with caution, and see the xorg.conf manual page.
    # (Type "man xorg.conf" at the shell prompt.)
    #
    # This file is automatically updated on xserver-xorg package upgrades *only*
    # if it has not been modified since the last upgrade of the xserver-xorg
    # package.
    #
    # If you have edited this file but would like it to be automatically updated
    # again, run the following command:
    #   sudo dpkg-reconfigure -phigh xserver-xorg
    
    # commented out by update-manager, HAL is now used
    #Section "InputDevice"
    #       Identifier      "Generic Keyboard"
    #       Driver          "kbd"
    #       Option          "XkbRules"      "xorg"
    #       Option          "XkbModel"      "pc105"
    #       Option          "XkbLayout"     "us"
    #EndSection
    
    # commented out by update-manager, HAL is now used
    #Section "InputDevice"
    #       Identifier      "Configured Mouse"
    #       Driver          "mouse"
    #       Option          "CorePointer"
    
    # commented out by update-manager, HAL is now used
    #Section "InputDevice"
    #       Identifier      "Generic Keyboard"
    #       Driver          "kbd"
    #       Option          "XkbRules"      "xorg"
    #       Option          "XkbModel"      "pc105"
    #       Option          "XkbLayout"     "us"
    #EndSection
    
    # commented out by update-manager, HAL is now used
    #Section "InputDevice"
    #       Identifier      "Configured Mouse"
    #       Driver          "mouse"
    #       Option          "CorePointer"
    #EndSection
    
    # commented out by update-manager, HAL is now used
    #Section "InputDevice"
    #       Identifier      "Synaptics Touchpad"
    #       Driver          "synaptics"
    #       Option          "SendCoreEvents"        "true"
    #       Option          "Device"                "/dev/psaux"
    #       Option          "Protocol"              "auto-dev"
    #       Option          "HorizEdgeScroll"       "0"
    #EndSection
    
    Section "Device"
            Identifier      "Configured Video Device"
    EndSection
    
    #EndSection
    
    # commented out by update-manager, HAL is now used
    #Section "InputDevice"
    #       Identifier      "Synaptics Touchpad"
    #       Driver          "synaptics"
    #       Option          "SendCoreEvents"        "true"
    #       Option          "Device"                "/dev/psaux"
    #       Option          "Protocol"              "auto-dev"
    #       Option          "HorizEdgeScroll"       "0"
    #EndSection
    
    Section "Device"
            Identifier      "Configured Video Device"
    EndSection
    
    Section "Monitor"
            Identifier      "Configured Monitor"
    EndSection
    
    Section "Screen"
            Identifier      "Default Screen"
            Monitor         "Configured Monitor"
            Device          "Configured Video Device"
    EndSection
    
    Section "ServerLayout"
            Identifier      "Default Layout"
            Screen          "Default Screen"
    # commented out by update-manager, HAL is now used
    
    Section "Monitor"
            Identifier      "Configured Monitor"
    EndSection
    
    Section "Screen"
            Identifier      "Default Screen"
            Monitor         "Configured Monitor"
            Device          "Configured Video Device"
    EndSection
    
    Section "ServerLayout"
            Identifier      "Default Layout"
            Screen          "Default Screen"
    # commented out by update-manager, HAL is now used
    #       InputDevice     "Synaptics Touchpad"
    EndSection

  5. #5
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    Re: External monitor suddenly goes blank

    how about

    Code:
    xset -q
    lspci | grep -i vga
    sudo lshw -C video
    I'm not afraid of storms, for I sail my own ship

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Beans
    44

    Re: External monitor suddenly goes blank

    Sure thing:

    xset -q

    Code:
    Keyboard Control:
      auto repeat:  on    key click percent:  0    LED mask:  00000002
      auto repeat delay:  500    repeat rate:  30
      auto repeating keys:  00ffffffdffffbbf
                            fadfffdfffdfe5ef
                            ffffffffffffffff
                            ffffffffffffffff
      bell percent:  50    bell pitch:  400    bell duration:  100
    Pointer Control:
      acceleration:  2/1    threshold:  4
    Screen Saver:
      prefer blanking:  yes    allow exposures:  yes
      timeout:  0    cycle:  0
    Colors:
      default colormap:  0x20    BlackPixel:  0    WhitePixel:  16777215
    Font Path:
      /home/ben/.gnome2/share/cursor-fonts,/usr/share/fonts/X11/misc,/usr/share/fonts/X11/100dpi/:unscaled,/usr/share/fonts/X11/75dpi/:unscaled,/usr/share/fonts/X11/Type1,/usr/share/fonts/X11/100dpi,/usr/share/fonts/X11/75dpi,/var/lib/defoma/x-ttcidfont-conf.d/dirs/TrueType,/home/ben/.gnome2/share/fonts
    Bug Mode: compatibility mode is disabled
    DPMS (Energy Star):
      Standby: 0    Suspend: 0    Off: 0
      DPMS is Enabled
      Monitor is On
    File paths:
      Config file:  /etc/X11/xorg.conf
      Modules path: /usr/lib/xorg/modules
      Log file:     /var/log/Xorg.0.log

    lspci | grep -i vga

    Code:
    00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation Mobile 945GM/GMS, 943/940GML Express Integrated Graphics Controller (rev 03)
    sudo lshw -C video

    Code:
      *-display:0 UNCLAIMED   
           description: VGA compatible controller
           product: Mobile 945GM/GMS, 943/940GML Express Integrated Graphics Controller
           vendor: Intel Corporation
           physical id: 2
           bus info: pci@0000:00:02.0
           version: 03
           width: 32 bits
           clock: 33MHz
           capabilities: msi pm bus_master cap_list
           configuration: latency=0
      *-display:1 UNCLAIMED
           description: Display controller
           product: Mobile 945GM/GMS/GME, 943/940GML Express Integrated Graphics Controller
           vendor: Intel Corporation
           physical id: 2.1
           bus info: pci@0000:00:02.1
           version: 03
           width: 32 bits
           clock: 33MHz
           capabilities: pm bus_master cap_list
           configuration: latency=0

  7. #7
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    Re: External monitor suddenly goes blank

    Sounds like for whatever reason the video vga is having trouble displaying the external monitor. There are several things that could cause this. So you will likely have to try few tests to see what the problem is. First make a backup copy of your xorg.conf.
    Code:
    sudo cp /etc/X11/xorg.conf /etc/X11/xorg.conf_backup
    Then try adding

    Section "Device"
    Identifier "Intel Corporation Mobile 945GM/GMS, 943/940GML Express Integrated Graphics Controller"
    Boardname "intel"
    Busid "PCI:0:2:0"
    Driver "intel"
    Screen 0
    Option "FramebufferCompression" "false"
    EndSection
    I'm not afraid of storms, for I sail my own ship

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Beans
    47

    Re: External monitor suddenly goes blank

    Maybe this is a stupid question... have you tried the "Fn F8" key combination? Probably not the permanent fix, but it might get you back to a working state.
    Compaq D500; Pentium 4 1.7 GHz; 768Mb RAM; Maxtor 40Gb Hard Drive; NVidia Geforce2 GFX; SoundBlaster Live EMU10K1; Hauppauge WinTV-PCI

    Ubuntu 8.04; GNOME

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Beans
    44

    Re: External monitor suddenly goes blank

    To SmokinJuan:

    Thats not a stupid question at all, but yes, the monitor still reads as technically being 'enabled'. It appears to pick some sort of random color to display, and everything goes on fine beneath that, but I can't see anything. The only reason I think it may be video related (and not compiz fusion doing someting weird) is because it only happens when I am on my external monitor. It's bizarre.

    To linux_tech: I'll boot back into Linux and try that out!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Beans
    44

    Unhappy Re: External monitor suddenly goes blank

    Update is that adding that information to xorg.conf had no effect on the issue. But seeing as I have hundreds of other issues with Ubuntu right now and I can't even boot into Ubuntu right now because of some other problem I am going to remove ubuntu entirely and rebuild both my Vista partition and my Ubuntu partition.

    I'll mark this solved, because I no longer need help solving the problem.

    (Although out of sheer frustration with both Windows and Ubuntu and utter hatred for OSX, I may just shoot my computer and roll on the ground and die)

    Thank you for your help though linux_tech. I really do appreciate it.

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