This just started happening in the last few days to a PC I have had for about two years.

The oddness occurs when I do anything that causes the screen to "flash" (for lack of a better term). Examples would be pressing Ctrl-alt-delete, locking the PC (Windows-R) starting/exiting a full-screen game, or doing anything that requires admin permission (which causes the screen to blank out and a dialog box to appear).

Instead of flashing, it does a slow (~1 second) fade to black, and then either pops back on and works as usual, or goes to sleep and I have to move the mouse to wake it up. The latter only happens for certain actions (Windows-R for example).

Rebooting the PC seems to fix the problem temporarily.

The only change I can think of that I have made to my PC is that I have installed software called Fences (http://www.stardock.com/products/fences/), but the problem persists even disabling this software.

Any thoughts on what I can try?

  • Do you have any restore point where your system was working properly? If you have then try to restore there at once. – avirk Jan 8 '13 at 3:27

First, make sure Fences is removed, didn't leave its detritus behind and cannot do any harm, if it's the culprit. You can always put it back once your search for a solution is completed.

The cleanest, ideal way to do that is to perform a system restore to just before installing it. But you don't necessarily have a restore point, and it might be inconvenient. If you can,t do that:

  • Uninstall it through the control panel

  • Remove all folders with its name (search for them with Windows explorer)

  • (Not really necessary, but you could also use a cleaning program like CCleaner that would wipe registry entries from this program.)

Once Fences has been removed entirely, see if you still have the issue.

If you do, then I say your computer might be in need of a good maintenance.

  • Look around the Task Manager if there are programs at startup that seem suspicious and disable them.

  • Run a thorough antivirus/anti-malware scan on your computer. Avast! Free does this fine. I suggest a scan on startup (or however it's called in English). That's most effective. You know, that thing where the scan runs before Windows is launched, in a MS-DOS style interface.

  • Clean all leftover registry entries with software such as CCleaner.

  • Defragment your disc.

There might be other things to check, but if you don't solve the issue with those things, you might have to format your computer if you want it back to normal. Sometimes, despite protection, despite antivirus scans, despite cleaning whatever there is to clean, you just can't find why the computer has slowed down or is having weird bugs. Problems build up over time, and you can't really see and fix them all individually. Maybe something that happened recently was just the drop that made the vase wet the table. I personally think it's healthy to format a computer once in a while. And even though it's a pain to do, after doing it, things (almost) always go so much better than before.


  • I can edit your post but its good to insert the link of suggested software by you for the OP. Hope you will understand it. – avirk Jan 8 '13 at 3:36
  • I did a system restore, and all seemed to be running well for a week or so. Now it is happening again. Seems a reboot fixes it for a while, but then it regressed. Did not reinstall Fences, and did a full scan with MalwareBytes, plus I have McAfee running. Any other ideas? I don't want to reinstall Windows if I can avoid it . . . – Phil Sandler Jan 17 '13 at 19:52
  • Look for anything that would be using up your memory, CPU or even graphics card. Apart from that, really, I don't know. – Ariane Jan 17 '13 at 21:18
  • Well, this didn't solve my problem, but it was good advice, so I will mark it as the answer. For now I guess I just need to live with it . . . – Phil Sandler Feb 3 '13 at 21:36

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