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Troubleshooting video issues - Desktops

To troubleshoot video issues, follow these steps and test your video after performing each one:

  1. Check the video signal cable connector for bent or missing pins. Check the cable for cuts.
  2. Check to see if moving the monitor connections slightly causes color changes. Tighten loose connections.
  3. In the case of systems with multiple video output connections, verify that the correct connection is being used.

    • Some systems ship with two video connectors on the back, however only one is enabled.
video connector example
Example of a desktop computer equipped with 2 video output connectors.
  1. Standard on board video connection
  2. Optional video adapter connection (some models

  1. If the monitor has multiple inputs, remove the secondary connections from the computer.
  2. Remove all signal cable extensions and Keyboard, Video, and Mouse (KVM) switch boxes.

    • Use of these devices can result in severely degraded video quality or no video symptoms.
  3. Eliminate wire bundles and magnetic fields from nearby appliances, such as those from speakers, as possible influences on color quality.
  4. If applicable, remove and reseat the video adapter card.
  5. Check to see if the display is visible and check for proper color during startup and in the System Configuration Utility.

  6. Verify that the video is working by booting to the operating system in Safe Mode.

    • To enter Safe mode press F8 when the Windows logo first appears on the screen during system startup.
  7. Ensure that the most recent video driver has been installed.
    • Right click on the Windows desktop.
    • Click Properties.
    • Click the Settings tab.
    • Click the Advanced button.
    • Click the Adapter tab.
    • Click the Properties button.
    • Click the Driver tab.
    • Compare the Driver Version: with the current version and update if needed.
  8. Run the monitor setup program.
  9. Check video quality by changing the hardware video adapter to the lowest available resolution.
    • Right click on the Windows desktop.
    • Click Properties.
    • Click the Settings tab.
    • Use the Screen resolution sliding selector to change resolution.
    • The resolution selections available should be limited to the capabilities of the video adapter.
    • Some of the selections available may exceed the monitor capabilities and result in a temporary black screen.
    • Click OK.
    • Compare results with other screen resolution selections.
  10. Ensure that the display being used can support the video refresh rate and screen resolution specified in display properties.
    • The manual for your monitor should list the supported refresh rates and screen resolutions.
    • Open the Display Properties dialog box to verify that the refresh rate and screen resolutions are set properly:
      • In the Properties window, click Settings.
      • Click Advanced.
      • Select the Monitor tab to view or change the refresh rate for the monitor.
  11. Refer to "Need more help?"

Notes:

  • Some video adapters use a retaining clip, which must be moved to one side to prevent damage when removing the adapter.
  • Setting the video resolution to 640x480x16 colors in Device Manager is not the same as changing the hardware to a VGA adapter. You must change the adapter selection from the installed adapter, i.e. ATI, nVidia to a standard VGA adapter in the Display Properties dialog box.
  • Some Intel chipsets uses Dynamic Video Memory technology (DVMT) for video memory. The initial memory count can indicate less than expected system memory count.
  • Signal cable extensions and keyboard, video, mouse (KVM) switches are not supported.
  • Some I-5 I-7 Intel processors do not support on-board video and must use a discrete video adapter, while some I-3xxx CPU provides on-board video. To determine your CPU capability refer to the Intel support site.
  • Also refer to the following Tips:

http://support.lenovo.com/en_US/detail.page?LegacyDocID=SF11-D0088
http://support.lenovo.com/en_US/detail.page?LegacyDocID=SF11-D0027
http://support.lenovo.com/en_US/detail.page?LegacyDocID=SF11-D0011
http://support.lenovo.com/en_US/detail.page?LegacyDocID=SF11-D0012
http://support.lenovo.com/en_US/detail.page?LegacyDocID=SF10-D0099
http://support.lenovo.com/en_US/detail.page?LegacyDocID=SF10-D0043
http://support.lenovo.com/en_US/detail.page?LegacyDocID=SF10-D0024

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Need more help?
Please select one of the following options for further assistance:

Troubleshooting monitor issues
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Return to NetVista/ThinkCentre Troubleshooting index


  • Alias ID: MIGR-4Y6LGT
  • Document ID: HT080250
  • Last Updated :18.7.2014
  • (c) 2014 Lenovo