A few months ago I bought myself a new computer. Since then the monitor have been occasionally flashing black for a second or so, and I've been looking for - and failing to find - a solution. Will appreciate any help here.
The entire monitor turns black, lasting for about a second, then resumes display as normal. The computer itself continues running as usual. It looks very much how it looks when changing screen resolution. The frequency in which it occurs depends on whether there's anything moving on the monitor or if it's a static screen - flashing is less frequent when the screen is static, but still occurs.
The frequency have slowly increased over the last few months - at the beginning it was every few minutes and only under load (watching videos / playing video games), now it's closer to every second. This suggests a hardware issue, but read below.
Sometimes after the black screen, it won't return to normal, instead turning completely corrupt. In these cases even quitting the application doesn't help, but physically disconnecting and reconnecting the monitor fixes the problem.
In addition, the computer sometimes gets a BSOD, blaming a driver issue for the crash. This suggests a software issue, read more below.
NVidia GeForce 660 Ti
Windoes 7/8 (see below)
What I've tried
- Using a different monitor - does not solve the problem
- Connecting the monitor via VGA instead of DVI - solves the problem
- Connecting the monitor via HDMI instead of DVI - does not solve the problem
- Using a different version of Windows - does not solve the problem
- Tried clean installations of Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012
- Using Linux instead of Windows - solves the problem
- Using different NVidia driver versions - does not solve the problem
- Also tried not installing any driver and letting Windows Update do its thing, didn't help
- Playing with the monitor settings does not solve the problem
- Tried changing refresh rate to 59, changing color depth to 16 bit instead of 32, lowering resolution
- The presence or absence of other monitors does not solve the problem
- Upgrading to a power supply with more wattage does not solve the problem
Both the working workarounds above are suboptimal to me - I prefer Windows over Linux and using analog connection leads to fuzzy image with my 1680x1050 resolution. Plus, I only have one analog-capable connection in my graphics card, while I would ideally want a 3-monitor setup.
What I Think is Causing the Problem
The fact that using Linux instead of Windows solved the problem makes me think that the most reasonable culprit is a faulty Windows driver. But how? Many others have a similar setup and it works for them...
What Does the Internet Say?
The symptom - screen momentarily flashing black - seems to be common enough:
- And many, many more.
But unfortunately so are non-Q&A forum sites where every cry for help is followed by multiple "yes, I have this problem too" or "have you tried updating to the latest drivers?". In any case I've tried following suggestions I've found, to no avail.