Is my video card's VGA out dead?
November 1, 2006 12:54 PM   Subscribe

VideoCardFilter: Is the VGA out on my video card dead?

My new PC came with an ATI Radeon X1300 video card with one DVI out and one VGA out. I have two 19" Dell monitors and I'm running WinXP Media Center.

I set it up with the DVI out as the primary monitor and the VGA out as the secondary monitor and desktop extension. The driver recognizes the monitor (it even recognizes the brand/model number) and appears to be controlling it. But, the monitor remains black*. I can even mouse over to and drag windows over to the second monitor, but I can't see what I'm doing over there.

The monitor appears to work fine. I was running the same monitor on my iBook via VGA out without issue. And when I switch the DVI/VGA outs on the PC, which ever monitor is hooked up to the VGA out has this problem.

Is my video card defective? I've reinstalled the driver and scoured the various menus, but I don't see anything wrong. Any ideas?

* - to further elaborate on what appears on the remains black but will occasionally "flicker" from black to a "glowing" black similar to what my TV looks like when it's powered on but has no video source. The power button glows yellow as if its on stand-by. I've made sure that analog and not the digital source is selected on the monitor.

Apologies if this is easy Google-able--I wasn't having any luck.
posted by mullacc to Computers & Internet (5 answers total)
From what you've said I would agree that it sounds like your video card is defective. Since you said it's a new PC I assume you would be able to get a replacement from the manufacturer but just in case you want to just buy a replacement, check out anandtech's RTPE.
posted by Rhomboid at 1:23 PM on November 1, 2006

Check the resolution setting on the secondary (VGA) monitor. Make sure that your monitor can handle this resolution. Try lowering it as much as possible to check.

Many LCD monitors can only support up to 1024x768 resolution. If your monitor does not support the resolution you have it set to, it will appear blank/black.
posted by doomtop at 5:07 PM on November 1, 2006

Best answer: If you can swap cables, I presume that means you have two LCDs, since I've never seen a CRT monitor with a DVI port.

Two things to check:

1. make sure the LCD is set to be accepting input from the VGA port, not the DVI. They will not generally switch automatically. You have to change them yourself.
2. Make sure the refresh rate on the VGA port is set to 60Hz. And try setting it to a very low resolution to start with. If you get a picture, raise the resolution to the native res of the monitor.... you should still have a picture. Leave it at 60hz. There's no reason to go faster on the vast majority of LCDs.

If the monitor shows a picture, but it's fuzzy, there's usually an auto-adjust button that will sync it up better.
posted by Malor at 5:18 PM on November 1, 2006

Oh you said you already checked point #1, so just do #2. :)
posted by Malor at 5:19 PM on November 1, 2006

Response by poster: Thanks guys. I tried it at low resolution, but no dice. Thankfully, the place I bought it from (Xtreme Gear) is going to refund it without hassle. I'm going to buy a dual-DVI card and try again.
posted by mullacc at 11:34 AM on November 2, 2006

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