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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My computer is a fairly new Gateway with the guts built into the monitor. (no separate hard drive) Today I went to an Amazon page and the monitor started blinking off and on. I was finally able to shut down all open windows during the nanoseconds I could see them, and it's working now but it's done it one other time since. Just a rapid blink of screen/black/screen/black repeatedly until I'm able to shut down whatever window I'm in.

Any ideas on what could be wrong?

Of course it couldn't happen at a worse time. I've just received copy edits back on one book, and expect developmental edits back tomorrow on another. Slammed, with no time for a crash.
 

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I have absolutely no idea. ??? Rapid blinking? It could be anything from a loose cable to a virus. Whenever something strange happens to my computer, I run the antivirus software ASAP.

The best option would be to try to back up everything you need to work on, and take the computer to the shop. I'm guessing you don't have another computer you could use for a few days? :-[

Maybe Saint Google has some info...

Monitor flickering- loose wire

Monitor flickers

Computer screen keeps flashing
 

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If it's a new system then the first thing to do is to check all the wires, even the ones not going into the monitor, to double check that they all secured firmly into their sockets.

If they are and it is only happening when you access the internet then install any updates you have outstanding and restart the entire computer.

Check wires, install updates then restart...

If that doesn't solve the problem and the monitor is new then it may be something to do with the screen refresh rate, which is a bit more technical than checking wires, but it can sometimes be the cause of a screen flashing.

Hope that helps a bit :)

 

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If it were an individual component system, I'd say it was a compatibility issue with the screen driver.  Perhaps one of the programs is making a call the graphics/screen driver doesn't like.  You say you have multiple windows open--do you have multiple programs open?

It sounds like a fairly new system?  Ave you contacted Gateway?

Betsy

 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I've checked the wires and am running a virus scan now. Thanks for the tips. I'll call Gateway once I finish the scan.

I'm currently emailing myself the dozen or so documents I've been working on this week. I know....I need a better back up system.  :-[

I don't have a back up computer, unless I fight my teenager for her Mac but I fear she'd win that battle. My own laptop died right before I got this desktop.
 

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KayBratt said:
I'm currently emailing myself the dozen or so documents I've been working on this week. I know....I need a better back up system. :-[
dropbox.com or Google drive. Both free up to a generous amount. I keep copies of all my work in the cloud.
I could throw this laptop out of the window and lose nothing but some miscellaneous junk.
 

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Or Sugarsync. I've heard good things about them.

Flashing monitor sounds to me like a hardware issue. You could try to update the drivers from the Gateway page as a start, but I'd put my money on hardware.
 

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It could also be a bad power supply in the PC. I once had a monitor that would intermittently blink out...but it turned out it wasn't the monitor, it was the power supply in the computer itself that was starting to fail. As someone else mentioned, it could be the monitor refresh rate...but if you haven't changed those settings, that may not be it. Hopefully you have a warranty...

And, as others have said, back up your important documents as soon as possible...just in case.
 

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Do you know how to do a system restore? That may help. I always do that when I can't resolve something and 95% of the time it works.

Basically what a system restore does is resets your computer to an earlier point, which means that any change to your computer in recent hours and days that could have messed it up will be undone. I actually just did this today because internet was down on my computer only in the office.

What you do is go to accessories in your start menu, then to system tools, and system restore.

It will have you select an earlier restore point. I usually go back a day or two, before the issue started. Close all other programs and then do the restore. The computer will do it, shut down and restart and your problem may be solved.

Hopefully!

~Pam
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks, everyone. The computer seems to be working fine now. I can only hope it was a glitch. But am preparing myself in case it's not.

My assistant (aka:husband) told me not to touch anything else until he gets home and can check it out himself.

And I am going to direct him to this thread before he starts exploring other options. You've given me some great ideas on where to start.

;D
 

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My guess is a failing backlight for your LCD/LED screen. If there is a port to plug an external monitor on the unit, and you have one around, you can try that. If the external monitor has no problem, then that's the problem. If not, ugh.

I hated working on all-in-one units, as they are a pain in the *insert body part* to disassemble. They also never seem to ventilate well. If it has to go to the shop, avoid one that charges by the hour as it takes a lot longer to work on such units than your standard desktop. (Even laptops are easier to disassemble and work on.)

These all-in-one's seem to come and go over the years. They never stand up well. It's a cool idea, but no one ever seems to implement them properly. Next computer, avoid such designs.

Incidently, most shops way over charge for screen replacement. You can get new LCD/LED screens online for under $200. So when the shop quotes you $400-$600, tell them they're high. (Literally.)
 

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As others on the thread suggest, from your description it's most likely a hardware issue. Sometimes one of the monitor's internal backlighting lamps goes out so you can see the images if the screen is tilted in just the right angle to some other light - the most common problem.

If you suspect any software/virus related issues then I'd suggest going to ubuntu.com or lubuntu.net and downloading a LiveCD and burn that to disk (ubuntu.com has all the how-tos and why it's free etc). That way you can put the disk in your machine and boot from it and get work done (the system runs from the CD without installing, although you can install it if you want). It's good to have in case your hard drive goes bad or windows doesn't want to boot up. You can retrieve files and save them to an external USB drive or thumbdrive.

 

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Rykymus said:
My guess is a failing backlight for your LCD/LED screen. If there is a port to plug an external monitor on the unit, and you have one around, you can try that. If the external monitor has no problem, then that's the problem. If not, ugh.

I hated working on all-in-one units, as they are a pain in the *insert body part* to disassemble. They also never seem to ventilate well. If it has to go to the shop, avoid one that charges by the hour as it takes a lot longer to work on such units than your standard desktop. (Even laptops are easier to disassemble and work on.)

These all-in-one's seem to come and go over the years. They never stand up well. It's a cool idea, but no one ever seems to implement them properly. Next computer, avoid such designs.

Incidently, most shops way over charge for screen replacement. You can get new LCD/LED screens online for under $200. So when the shop quotes you $400-$600, tell them they're high. (Literally.)
Just reading and with your original description, the above is one of the first things I thought of. Given it is a self-contained unit, could also be a simple slip of a molex plug connecting the board to the panel. If you lightly jostle the panel from a corner do you see the on and off? Also check if the back has a VGA/DVI or HDMI port allowing you to plug in an external monitor. If it does, connect an old monitor and set to Mirror your display. That way of the main panel acts up again you will know wether it is computer related or just the display panel.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
After saving all my work to Dropbox, I did the following:

Ran all waiting updates. The only one that wouldn't go through was Adobe Acrobat, it tried and failed.
Did a virus scan through my paid for subscription of Kaspersky. It found nothing.
Complete shutdown.
Unplugged system from back of monitor, plugged back in. Unplugged from wall. Plugged back in.
Another Complete shutdown.

I brought it back up and so far in the last two hours, it hasn't done the blinking again.
Perhaps I got lucky and it fixed itself.

/fingers crossed

PS. Thank you! All your tips are awesome and we'll be trying some of them when my guy gets home, so I can blame him if I screw something up... :D
 

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It does sound bad.  I would make sure everything is backed up and call in the tech guys.  It does sound like a hardware issue to me.
 
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