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Repairing and Upgrading Your PC by Barbara Fritchman Thompson, Robert Bruce Thompson

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Troubleshooting Display Problems

Troubleshooting CRTs versus LCDs begins with similar steps, but diverges due to the differing natures of the two display types. The first troubleshooting steps are similar for either display type: power down the system and display and then power them back up; make sure the power cable is connected and that the outlet has power; verify that the signal cable is connected firmly to both video adapter and display and that there are no bent pins; verify that the video adapter is configured properly for the display; try the problem display on a known-good system, or try a known-good display on the problem system; and so on. Once you've tried the "obvious" troubleshooting steps, if the problem persists, the next step you take depends on the type of display. The following sections cover basic troubleshooting for CRTs and LCDs.

Troubleshooting CRTs

CRTs seldom fail outright without obvious signs, such as a loud snap or a strong odor of burning electrical components. Most CRT problems are really problems with the power, video adapter, cable, or hardware/software settings. To eliminate the CRT as a possible cause, connect the suspect CRT to a known-good system, or connect a known-good display to the suspect system.

If the CRT is the problem, it is often not worth repairing. If the CRT is out of warranty, parts and labor may cost more than buying a new CRT, which also gives you better specs and a warranty. About the only CRTs we'd even consider repairing out-of-warranty ...

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