Troubleshooting Video and Display Issues – CompTIA A+ 220-901 – 4.3

When your system starts, there are a number of processes that occur to load the operating system. In this video, you’ll learn about the steps of the boot process and the tools available to help troubleshoot any issues.

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If you turn on your computer and you get no video image at all, there are a number of troubleshooting steps you should go through. But the first thing you should do is check to see if everything is properly connected. It sounds pretty obvious, but unfortunately, this is one of the most popular problems you’ll have with no video image is that a cable has been pulled out or was never connected properly to begin with.

You may also want to look at the monitor you’re using, because there may be a button that allows you to move between different input selections on the monitor itself. And it can be very easy to hit one of those and change it from HDM to DVI to VGA and et cetera. So make sure you know what type of input you’re using for your monitor. And make sure that the input selection matches where you’re connecting on the back of the monitor.

If the image is visible, but simply too dim, it may be related to a brightness control that’s on the monitor itself. And some of the more advanced video cards allow you to set brightness controls on the adapter card. So check both of those locations to see where you might have some settings set very dim for the monitor that you’re using.

And if you’re still not sure why this monitor is not displaying anything, you may want to try swapping it out with a known good monitor to see if the problem follows the monitor, or if it stays with the computer that you’re using.

If your monitor goes black after Windows begins to load, it may be a problem with the Windows driver. One of the things you can do is to press F8 when Windows is starting, and choose to start Windows in VGA mode. VGA mode is a mode that is supported across practically any monitor. So that may be able to tell you if the problem is with the driver in Windows, or if it’s something related to the monitor itself.

It may be that the monitor is working properly. In fact, you can see some images on the screen. But maybe you’re having problems with the image. Perhaps it’s flickering or the colors don’t look quite right. In this case, it’s almost usable, but it’s obviously a bit irritating to use and you do want to find out why you’re having these video issues.

If you are having problems with flickering or color, the first thing you may want to check is the physical connection. Make sure you check the cables, that there aren’t any bent pins. And you may also want to look at the interfaces on your computer and on the monitor to make sure there’s no problem with the physical interfaces there either.

If the image on the display itself is distorted or fuzzy, you may want to look at your operating system and makes sure that the settings inside of your OS match the capabilities of the monitor that you’re connecting to. Check the refresh rate in the resolution settings.

If at all possible, you want to be able to match the native resolution of the LCD display to have the best possible image. If your operating system and the monitor are matching up, you may also want to try checking or replacing the cable, especially if it’s an analog connection.

Another thing you may want to try is to disable any hardware acceleration, and have all of the processing being done in the software driver itself. That way you can take hardware out of the equation, and really concentrate on how the drivers are working on your computer.

If you’ve ever worked with a laptop that did not have the proper video driver loaded, one of the things you’ll notice are that the images and the icons look really large on the screen. That’s because the resolution isn’t set properly. So you need to make sure that you match the native resolution of your LCD with the settings in your operating system.

And one problem that exists across all different kinds of monitors– CRTs, LCDs, plasma, and others– is a burn-in issue. This is when you have something on the screen that’s there constantly, and eventually that image becomes permanent on the display. Some displays have a function that will shift the pixels after a certain amount of time to avoid any of these burn-in issues.

LCDs also have this problem with images sticking on the screen for extended periods. You may want to try displaying a completely white screen on your LCD to try to get that image to fade away from being permanently displayed.

Sometimes your problem with the display is at the pixel level. You may run into stuck pixels, which are pixels that are always going to display a color. Even if everything else on the screen is a black screen, you may see one pixel that’s lit. That is a stuck pixel.

And you might also run into dead pixels. Dead pixels are always black. They never display a color. Even if your entire screen was white, you’d be able to very easily pick out where those dead pixels are.

Problems with stuck pixels and dead pixels are generally related with the hardware. So you would have to replace the monitor to be able to resolve any problems with these pixels.

Other problems you might find are things like artifacts on the screen. Maybe you’re seeing unusual graphics appear on the screen itself. You may want to check the adapter. Make sure it’s seated properly, and make sure you have the latest drivers installed.

If you are having a problem with image persistence, especially burn-in on your screen, make sure that you power your screen off for extended periods of time. And if you see motion trails, it may be that some of the advanced video features of your adapter card are causing a ghosting or an image display as you’re moving things around the screen.

And, of course, no piece of hardware works very well if the drivers aren’t up to date, or if it’s overheating. So make sure that you always maintain the latest drivers for your hardware. And make sure you monitor the internal temperature of your computer so that your adapter car, and all of the other components in your computer, stay as cool as possible.