LCD Monitor Resolution Error Message....
July 20, 2010 9:57 AM   Subscribe

My monitor says "out of range signal, change your display" but....

I have a Dell Inspiron 530 desktop PC running Vista Ultimate SP2. It's around 3 years old. I have a 24" Dell LCD monitor. Sometimes the monitor goes blank, leaving the message: "Out of range signal. Cannot display this video mode. Change computer display tp 1920x1200@60 Hz". I am in the UK.

But....(here's the thing) monitor IS set to that resolution (the native res. for my monitor). It is set to 1920x1200@60 Hz both in Windows AND on the monitor set up menu.

Any ideas anyone....please?
posted by JtJ to Computers & Internet (15 answers total)
Does it fix itself when you move the mouse or press a key? This just sounds like a power saver setting that stops displaying to the monitor.
posted by zephyr_words at 10:06 AM on July 20, 2010

Are you launching any games/apps that automatically change your resolution? Also, have you tried updating your video drivers?
posted by wongcorgi at 10:08 AM on July 20, 2010

Best answer: I'd guess maybe it's a cable issue. Check that your cable is not damaged. If you're using VGA and DVI is an option (and you're not already using it), do that. Otherwise, check the cable for damage, and screw the screws in on both ends so it's attached tightly.
posted by aubilenon at 10:21 AM on July 20, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks guys....

It doesn't fix itself. I have to reboot the whole system. (I've learned how to shut it down "blind"). No games or apps which change resolution. Cable seems Ok. (This happens once or twice a day).

I'll investigate updating the video drivers....good idea.

Other input most welcome meanwhile.
posted by JtJ at 10:30 AM on July 20, 2010

Are you connecting with VGA or DVI? 1920x1200 is a bit high for a VGA signal to operate reliably.
posted by schmod at 10:51 AM on July 20, 2010

Try running the Dell diagnostics to make sure there's not a problem with the video card. Press F12 at the Dell splash screen when booting, then select diagnostics option.
posted by kenchie at 10:57 AM on July 20, 2010

Response by poster: The cable from the tower to the monitor has blue plugs (which suggests VGA). But the blue plug at the tower end plugs through a white adaptor. I cannot see a socket on the monitor marked DVI. There are two input sockets (helpfully labelled: "Input 1" and "Input 2" on the monitor. Both appear to be the same.

I'll try Dell diagnostics later.

Thanks again, guys!
posted by JtJ at 11:57 AM on July 20, 2010

Best answer: I run my monitor at work at 1920x1200@60 over VGA. It's not flawless, but any artifacts are not at all distracting. So it's definitely possible. (At home, I do the same over DVI, and there it is flawless.)

Anyway, my guess is confused drivers. The Dell 24" I have reports incorrect DDC data to the computer, and so drivers have to explicitly recognize the wrong data and substitute their own right data instead. But I have the 2005 model, and I'd imagine that your drivers are newer than that. I personally haven't had a problem since about a week after it came out and all the drivers were fixed.

In the interim, try running at some resolution that your video card and monitor can agree on, like 1024x768. Then upgrade the drivers, change to 1920x1200, and cross your fingers.

You could also have a faulty VGA cable, or it's too long, or there is a lot of EMF interference in your workspace. A DVI cable will increase the odds of your monitor working without trouble. (A DVI cable looks like this:
posted by jrockway at 12:55 PM on July 20, 2010

Could it be Windows' UAC popups confusing the monitor?
posted by gjc at 2:46 PM on July 20, 2010

Response by poster: "Could it be Windows' UAC popups confusing the monitor?"

What? Are you kidding?
posted by JtJ at 2:02 AM on July 21, 2010

No. When UAC pops up (on my computer), the screen flickers.
posted by gjc at 4:30 AM on July 21, 2010

I have a similar problem. If I turn off my (24" Dell) monitor's power, but leave the PC running so that it 'sleeps', I get this message if I turn on my monitor before trying to 'wake up' the PC. Afterwards I would just have to reboot, as you describe.

The workaround I use, is to wake up the PC before turning on the monitor. I couldn't find a real solution.

NOTE: I'm using DisplayPort (instead of DVI or VGA).
posted by czytm at 7:46 AM on July 21, 2010

Response by poster: Curiouser and Curiouser (said Alice). Again, thanks for all your ideas and expertise. Naturally, the condition hasn't happened since I asked this question (although it's sure to happen again now I've written this!) But then I HAVE been jiggling the cable about. I'll continue to investigate and will report back later.
posted by JtJ at 8:01 AM on July 21, 2010

Response by poster: So....
Drivers are Ok. Cable is Ok. Dell Diagnostics says Ok.

I now believe that the plug on the monitor cable (coming out the back of the tower) was jammed against the wall too hard. This was causing a bad/intermittent contact and throwing up this error message. The message still hasn't reappeared (since I pulled the tower out a bit!)

It seems that I have DVI out (on the tower) and VGA in (on the monitor). The VGA cable goes through a white converter at the tower end. This made the plug/converter combination stand out from the tower (and push against the wall).

Stone me! I think we've cracked it. Once again, thanks for your help and suggestions.
posted by JtJ at 10:05 AM on July 22, 2010

Response by poster: Update:
Swapped the VGA cable for a DVI. (I found a DVI input on the monitor).
No further problems!
posted by JtJ at 2:10 PM on August 31, 2010

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