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I have Dell PC running Windows XP that will all of the sudden stop outputting to the monitor. Forcing a restart is the only way I have found to get it to start outputting again.

This can occur when being used or when sitting idle so it doesn't seem to be a hibernation/sleep problem.

The graphics adapter: Intel 82865G

Monitor: AccuSync 70

Update: Pinging the computer did not work when it went out so it appears the problem is deeper than being just the video output.

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

How sure are you that it's a video problem, and not the PC just freezing up? Can you ping the XP box from elsewhere on the 'net after you lose video signal? Can you blindly use memorized keyboard commands (e.g. Windows-key, U, Enter to shut down)? If not, the whole thing probably froze up, not just the video output.

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You were correct, it was not a video problem. Any suggestions on what might be wrong then? – Mike Oct 1 '10 at 14:06
There are lots of questions already on SuperUser about "What do I do when my computer freezes up?" I would suggest that if you don't find your answer there, you post a new question with a more descriptive subject line. The first two things I always check: unplug and replug every cable in the box, and if that doesn't work run memtest. Bad RAM and loose cables are the two biggest causes of a freeze. – CarlF Oct 1 '10 at 16:15
Ended up replacing the computer. – Mike Nov 1 '10 at 18:27

First, check your video card fan and make sure it is functioning. Second, try with a secondary video card or a different monitor (just to rule one or the other out). If you swap out both and you still see the problem, you may have an issue with the card slot the video card is plugged into. You can also try to update drivers (while I doubt this will solve the problem, it never hurts to try).

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We had a similar problem at the tech shop where I work. Customer swapped out their monitor and the problem went away. – user3463 Sep 27 '10 at 21:01
sometimes its just the cable too, but more often then not if its the cable you see color changes when its moved, not just black. – MaQleod Sep 27 '10 at 21:25

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