Data Centers

Get IT Done: Check clock speed when monitors bug out

Reducing PC clock speed can solve monitor problems


Member Ansed is having a problem with his monitor. It will intermittently enter Power Save Mode and then not return to normal operation. Ansed's machine, an AMD Athlon system with a MSI K7Tpro2 motherboard, is running Windows 98SE.

In attempting to solve this problem, he has tried substituting monitors and power cords, checking for overheating, and inspecting (and subsequently disabling) all power management settings in both Windows and the BIOS. Furthermore, he has swapped video cards (tried using a PCI video card), updated to the latest drivers, and even tried uninstalling and removing all drivers and running in standard VGA mode. All this has provided no relief. The monitor still goes into Power Save Mode even if he is "in the middle of typing something or using the system."

Members respond
Member TwitchMyth, in responding to Ansed's appeal for help, immediately pointed to the BIOS. He asks, "Have you updated the BIOS? Most power saving [function] is controlled from there."

Yes, many power management features are controlled in the BIOS settings, so this suggestion makes sense. Updating the BIOS might solve the problem. In addition, power management settings can be configured in Windows using Msconfig. Both of these areas, the BIOS and Windows, are worth looking into. As previously stated though, Ansed has already done this and the monitor continues to exhibit the irregular behavior. Looks like something else is to blame.

So is it possible that the monitor has gone bad? Ansed doesn't think so. When he replaces it with another "known to be good" unit, the same thing occurs. The replacement monitor, acting as if it has a mind of its own, erratically enters into Power Save Mode, as did the original.

Member TheChas decides to research the issue a bit and turns to the motherboard's manual. He writes, "I have had numerous strange problems with motherboards with the VIA KT133 chipset. The fix has been to manually set the CPU FSB and clock multiplier in BIOS settings. If you have a 200-MHz FSB CPU, set the FSB to 100 MHz and the multiplier as needed. If you have a 266-MHz FSB CPU, set the FSB to 133 MHz, and the multiplier as needed. If you have PC133 SDRAM, set the RAM speed so that you end up at 133 MHz."

TheChas refers Ansed to the FAQs listed on a VIA motherboard Web site.

He continues, "Another thing, how much RAM do you have? While it should not affect things while in BIOS settings, Windows can generate some strange bugs if you have over 511 MB of RAM installed. I limit ALL of my 9X boxes to 384 MB (3X 128 MB)."

Fortunately for Ansed, it looks like TheChas's clock fix worked. Sharing his thanks, Ansed graciously replies, "Thank you, I changed the clock speed and this seems to have resolved the problem. Thank you also for the link as I did find the info there useful."

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