Aargh! No image on my monitor!

No more? I was sitting quietly playing The Curse of Monkey Island when the screen went completely blank… At first I thought it was the DPMS kicking in, that it had somehow managed to ignore my mouse movements. I pressed ⟨shift⟩ a couple of times but it didn’t help; I pressed ⟨Ctrl⟩-⟨Alt⟩-⟨F1⟩ to switch to the console, but it didn’t help.

Going back to my X server I restarted it (⟨Ctrl⟩-⟨Alt⟩-⟨Backspace⟩) but even that didn’t bring back the display. It killed all my open programs, and stopped the game music, confirming that the rest of the computer was operating normally.

Using Stéphanie’s laptop I was able to [SSH][] into my box and reboot it — the machine came up fine, but still with no image on my monitor. I then connected the laptop directly to the monitor, but that didn’t change anything. So it’s not a problem with my trusty old Matrox G400.

The monitor seems to be reacting to keypresses on the front of it and to sleep commands sent to it: the little diode switches from green to orange as usual and the monitor makes its normal sounds (a somewhat loud “boing”-sound when being awaken and a mild “static”-sound when going to sleep).

I’ve tried to let the monitor cool down a bit by having it turned off for half an hour, but like everything else that didn’t help either? Does anybody have any good ideas? I guess I should try replacing the BNC cable with a regular monitor cable, but how should such a cable become corrupt from one moment to another?!

It’s a real shame if it’s really broke — I really liked it in the five years I’ve had it.


  1. Miki Watts:

    Try giving it a single strong tap on the either the top center frame, or just behind it. I’ve got an old monitor i haven’t got around to replacing, and exhibits something similar. Tapping it in those spots fixes the problem for a day or two.

  2. Martin Geisler:

    Thanks for the tip! But Unfortunately it didn’t work :-(

    The patient is getting worse — this morning I get no response from the monitor at all: no green/orange light in the front power-button, no sounds, no nothing! I have checked the power cable… :-)

  3. Thomas Mølhave:

    Is it significantly cheaper to buy a new monitor where you are now, compared to here in Denmark?

  4. Martin Geisler:

    Yes, it looks like it’s cheaper: the best Swiss price for a top-of-the-line extreme-luxus super-cool PHILIPS 230W5BS is 1400 CHF (~6250 DKK, ~850 €) compared to the best Danish price of 10500 DKK (~2200 CHF, 1400 €).

  5. Thomas Mølhave:

    Thats quite a difference. Are you thinking of buying that screen? You would be able to sell screen real estate with such a huge monitor :)

  6. Martin Geisler:

    Yes I would! :-)

    I’m still thinking of what monitor to buy — the widescreen PHILIPS model was just an example of one of the more expensive monitors where there was a big price difference. On “normal” monitors the difference is less.

  7. Martin Geisler:

    I’ve now bought a NEC LCD2070NX for 890 CHF (4300 DKK, 575 €) — yahoo! :-)

    A widescreen monitor would have been more expensive with 1350 CHF for the monitor alone plus ~200 CHF for a new graphics card.

    And I would then have the trouble of figuring out how to get my X server to output the magical 1920 × 1200 resolution. Configuring X would probably have been simple, but playing with properitary drivers can be pretty annoying: the last time I tried one of the newer Matrox cards (a P650 — the largest Matrox card with passive cooling) I had no luck getting their Linux drivers to work.

    Getting a NVIDIA or ATI card going might be easier — I’ve heard good things about their Linux drivers. But can you get such a card without a fan? I have enough noise coming from machine already, so I wont add another fan…

    All in all it just seemed easier to go with a monitor of “just” 1600 × 1200 :-)

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