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I've had my LG 24" widescreen monitor since 2009 and 2 weeks ago I noticed the monitor turned itself off (never had it done this before) so I switched it back on to find all the settings like gamma, resolution etc. different = looked like it had been reset. Everyone in the house swears they never unplugged and plugged it back in. When I opened a webpage the fonts and zoom on the pages were different and my desktop was strange too; fonts of the icons were different etc. The screen seems blurry and when I watch movies the faces look distorted so I thought I would try to first figure out the resolution it used to be but when I go under "Adjust screen resolution" none of the options work and there is no recommended resolution marked; all the options stretch out the screen and looks terrible so right now I have it set to the least distorted one. Then since the resolution wasn't working I set the other manual settings(done by physical buttons on the monitor) back to how it used to be (luckily, I had written these down). The monitor looks better but the resolution makes it a strain to use. I thought maybe some Windows update caused this crap so I tried to System Restore: didn't work. What went wrong?

A few questions:

1) What was the likely cause of the monitor shutting down itself and screwing up the settings I have been using since the day I bought the monitor? 2) Why have the fonts changed everywhere unless this is a HDD/video card problem? 3) How do I find the perfect resolution it used to be?

The monitor wants me to set it to 1920 x 1080 but that isn't one of the options although I don't remember what resolution I used before. I use the 16:9 setting while I try the available resolution options but nothing looks good! How do I find what it used to be?

Manual available in PDF under Support: http://www.lg.com/ca_en/computer-products/monitors/LG-lcd-monitor-W2442PA-BF.jsp

Win 7. IE 9.

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If the OSD settings reset, it is not a Windows error. It sounds to me like your monitor is dying. If you're getting picture fragmentation, have you tested the monitor on another computer or with a different graphics card? –  Oliver G Jul 12 '12 at 11:10
    
Not pic fragments but just distortion cause the resolution is not set. Don't have another card or monitor. –  verve Jul 12 '12 at 21:57
    
Your monitors resolution is 1920x1080 according to the manufacturers website. If it is not set at the maximum resolution, of course you will see a poor quality picture. Do you have another computer or laptop to test it on if this is not the problem? What is your resolution currently set at in Windows 7? –  Oliver G Jul 13 '12 at 11:31
    
Right now I have it set to a 4:3 resolution cause the 1920x1080 is not showing up as an option. –  verve Jul 14 '12 at 9:52
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You should try using a different monitor right now. That way you can see if the problem is with your PC or the monitor. –  VBwhatnow Jul 16 '12 at 8:40
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2 Answers

Were there any storms right before you found the monitor off? It's possible you either got hit by a surge or you temporarily lost power. Your computer can be configured to start up automatically after losing power, but your monitor may not turn back on automatically, which would explain it being off. A surge could have damaged any number of components of the computer, including the monitor.

Nobody has mentioned reinstalling the drivers, yet. You should try that first. It's entirely possible they got corrupted somehow, perhaps by a recent update. Granted, I don't think that would cause your monitor to lose its settings, it's still a good first step.

Once you've determined it's not the drivers, the only real way to test this is with spare hardware of some sort. I saw you don't have any spare hardware, but if you can borrow from someone else, it will help a lot. It does sound suspiciously like the monitor going bad, but I don't know any real way to verify it's definitely the monitor without extra equipment.

Once you get spare hardware:

  • Replace the monitor. If the replacement monitor works fine, you know it's the old monitor. If it's still under warranty, contact LG. If not, it's time for a new one.
  • Try the current monitor on a different computer. If the monitor works fine on a different computer, you know it's something in the original one.
    • If you've determined it's definitely the computer, you'll need to troubleshoot those components one by one, starting with the video card.

If you don't have a friend with spare hardware, you might check your area for computer clubs. You can also check Craigslist for cheap spare parts in your area. They don't have to be good, they just have to be functional.

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I see that your monitor, dating from 2009, is labelled "DISCONTINUED PRODUCT" on the LG page you gave. A good monitor should last for more than 3 years, but some people are unlucky in what they buy.

For the maximum resolution of 1920x1080 not to be recognized, the monitor's firmware must have been damaged. The cause could be a faulty component, but can also be a power-surge coming at a time when the monitor was already weakening (which is why power-surge protection is always recommended).

Besides buying a new monitor, or if you would like to keep yours as long as possible, the problem lies with the monitor's EDID profiles. There is only one product I know of that can modify these profiles - PowerStrip, a free utility that can create new custom resolutions for your monitor. You could also use it to investigate the existing EDID information or to try to recreate the resolution of 1920x1080.
See for example : Customize monitor resolution settings with PowerStrip

Be careful, as this utility has a real potential to brick the monitor in a very final manner (although I don't know if this would bother you too much under current conditions).

I would also suggest trying another monitor before buying one, or trying this monitor on another computer, as the damage could have been to the (on-board?) video card rather than to the monitor (although this is somewhat unlikely).

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"For the maximum resolution of 1920x1080 not to be recognized, the monitor's firmware must have been damaged." No. Do you know for sure that the monitor is damaged? Have you taken the user through trouble shooting steps? You are asking someone to potentially brick their monitor based on a hunch. –  VBwhatnow Jul 16 '12 at 8:42
    
@VBwhatnow: And what do you expect me to do ? House-call maybe ? The trouble-shooting is for the poster to do, and for me to suggest the tools. –  harrymc Jul 16 '12 at 9:02
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You don't even know if its actually the firmware. You're just telling him to do dangerous things. –  VBwhatnow Jul 16 '12 at 9:32
    
@VBwhatnow: The problem has already happened, probably hardware. What I am suggesting is a last-ditch effort to save the monitor, and it is not dangerous if done carefully. Certainly less dangerous than what has already happened. All manipulations are dangerous: deleting a directory is dangerous (especially if it is c:\windows), installing a new product may be dangerous and so on. There are no totally safe operations on a computer, in view of the complexity of the software and hardware. –  harrymc Jul 16 '12 at 9:40
    
How do I check if the firmware has been damaged? –  verve Jul 18 '12 at 8:53
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