Question Isolating the cause of monitor blanking

May 18, 2023
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I have a dual monitor setup on a windows 11 computer that is used 30+ hrs a week.

A few months ago my primary monitor started randomly go completely blank a few times a day. It just goes pitch black for 2 or 3 seconds and then turns back on as if nothing happened. There is no bootup splash screen, so monitor isn't actually turning off and on). I haven't been able to pinpoint any patterns of what is causing it. I figured it is possible that there is some kind of driver issue, so I just ignored it and kept updating my nvidia drivers. A few months later and I don't think that is it.

I certainly have a lot of software (including tweaking software like PowerToys) that could cause this, but since it happens so rarely and with no pattern, I haven't been able to figure out what it is.

Is there some kind of software (native or not) that I could check immediately after it happens to see any errors? Or something that would point to what driver/software failed or restarted?

I know Windows has event viewer, but there is a lot of places to look and I'm not sure if I've found anything obvious.

Thanks!
 
Solution
I decided to try something out, which I think may have fixed the issue.

I noticed that whenever this happens, I am always using my Chrome browser. I am on my browser 95% of the 30 hours a week I spend on the computer. I also don't know why a browser would cause a WHOLE screen blackout (versus just the browser). So I didn't really think of making a connection to the browser.

Anyways, since I didn't find any other solutions, I decided it was worth looking at possible browser issues. I didn't find anyone with my particular problem, but I found people that had their browser blackout (which makes more sense). Their solution was disabling hardware acceleration in their browser. I don't have much to lose so I tried it. It's been all day...

Lutfij

Titan
Moderator
Welcome to the forums, newcomer!

When posting a thread of troubleshooting nature, it's customary to include your full system's specs. Please list the specs to your build like so:
CPU:
CPU cooler:
Motherboard:
Ram:
SSD/HDD:
GPU:
PSU:
Chassis:
OS:
Monitor:
include the age of the PSU apart from it's make and model. BIOS version for your motherboard at this moment?

You could try and use DDU to rid your entire platform of GPU drivers, then manually reinstall the latest GPU drivers in an elevated command, i.e, Right click installer>Run as Administrator.
 
May 18, 2023
5
0
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Welcome to the forums, newcomer!

When posting a thread of troubleshooting nature, it's customary to include your full system's specs. Please list the specs to your build like so:
CPU:
CPU cooler:
Motherboard:
Ram:
SSD/HDD:
GPU:
PSU:
Chassis:
OS:
Monitor:
include the age of the PSU apart from it's make and model. BIOS version for your motherboard at this moment?

You could try and use DDU to rid your entire platform of GPU drivers, then manually reinstall the latest GPU drivers in an elevated command, i.e, Right click installer>Run as Administrator.
Thank you for your reply. Judging off your post, it doesn't sound like there is any easy way to "monitor" for the failure?

Here is the info needed:

CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 3900x

CPU cooler: Not sure?

Motherboard: MSI x570 gaming pro carbon wifi

Ram: Gskill Trident Z RGB 32GB

SSD/HDD: a few hard drives. The primary one is Samsung 970 Evo Plus 1tb

GPU:Nvidia RTX 2080 Super

PSU: Corsair RM850x, Purchase ~ October 2020 . It doesn't seem like it's PSU issue because as mentioned monitor doesn't actually turn off and also the second monitor stays on.

Chassis: Fractal Design

OS: Windows 11 pro 22H2

Primary Monitor (the one with the problem): AOC U34G2G4R3

Secondary Monitor: Samsung U32R59x

BIOS: American MegaTrends Inc - 1.80 - AMD AGESA ComboAM4v2PI 1.0.0.2 (looks like BIOS hasn't been updated...but this is a new problem so not sure why old bios would cause)

Software which has potential to mess with display drivers: Nvidia Geforce Experience, MSI Dragon Center, Powertoys. Little Big Mouse, Splashtop Streamer, 7+ Taskbar Tweaker, Explorer Patcher

As mentioned, there are a lot of software that I can see COULD cause an issue...so that is why ideally I could see what it is that is failing.
 
May 18, 2023
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Hello! Maybe my advice doesn't apply to your problem. It was like this for me - at the moment when I sit down at the table, the monitor goes out for two seconds and turns back on. It started last year. For a long time I could not understand what was the matter. And that was due to static electricity. When winter starts, we wear woolen clothes, scarves, the air becomes very dry and this caused the monitor to flicker. I got a humidifier installed at work and this problem disappeared in just a week.
Thanks for the idea. No wool here though!
 
May 18, 2023
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I still haven't been able to figure this out. I've looked at everything provided by Windows Event Viewer to see some hint of failure somewhere, but nothing matches up.

Is there no way in Windows to diagnose why something is happening? I figured a driver hiccup or crash would show up in event viewer, but either it's not or this has nothing to do with drivers.

To be clear, it is not a physical connectivity issue. When I manually disconnect the power or display port, the desktop starts rearranging immediately to the other monitor (even if pulled for a split second).

So it's definitely something software related.
 
May 18, 2023
5
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20
I decided to try something out, which I think may have fixed the issue.

I noticed that whenever this happens, I am always using my Chrome browser. I am on my browser 95% of the 30 hours a week I spend on the computer. I also don't know why a browser would cause a WHOLE screen blackout (versus just the browser). So I didn't really think of making a connection to the browser.

Anyways, since I didn't find any other solutions, I decided it was worth looking at possible browser issues. I didn't find anyone with my particular problem, but I found people that had their browser blackout (which makes more sense). Their solution was disabling hardware acceleration in their browser. I don't have much to lose so I tried it. It's been all day and I haven't had a blank screen. Which I think most likely means the issue is fixed as I would normally encounter the issue by now.

Just posting the tentative solution on here in case someone finds this thread googling and it helps them.
 
Solution