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Thread: Need advice from a Computer fellow

  1. #1

    Lightbulb Need advice from a Computer fellow

    Long story so please bare with me.


    Around April of this year, my PC started to display a strange glitch. The left side of the screen was bent inward. Like someone took a shovel to my windows xp display, and as a result, the left side of the screen is noticeably bent inward. I originally thought this was a video card problem. My model was a Gateway e4100. So I bought a new PC off ebay. Same model. After hooking it up, I still see the same problem! To move this story along quicker, I have bought 3 Gateway e4100's (seller refurbished) from Ebay and I am still having the same problem with this left-side-bent-inward display.

    I thought the computers were faulty with bad cards, video chipsets, or something. So I sent them all back. I have tested different hard drives, three different monitors (2 CRT's 1 Flatscreen), have taken the PC out of the living room and into one of the bedrooms for testing, have fiddled with the monitor settings for trapezoid, pin-cushion, etc., have checked out the VGA cables which aren't damaged, and then today. A Gateway e4610 with Windows 7 installed which I ordered from New Egg arrived. Manufacturer Refurbished. I got it hooked up, turned it on, and THE SAME ISSUE!

    The left side of the screen is bent inwards still! I tested my flatscreen with this new unit and the issue persists! I am at my wits end now. Can anyone take a stab at nailing down the problem? I don't know what else to do. I thought my monitor could be the issue but three monitors don't all go bad at the same time. And prior to the first week of April, everything was gravy. Then within that first week, this (whatever it is) happened.



    To Review:


    Have tested two different operating systems: Windows 7 and Windows XP
    4 different computer towers tested
    Three different monitors
    Three different hard drives SATA and IDE
    Tested in two different parts of the house

  2. #2
    RING THE BELL! Sandman21's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need advice from a Computer fellow

    You've used 3 different monitors, but have you changed out the cable connecting the monitor to the PC?
    "Nobody wants to play against Tyler Hansbrough NO BODY!" ~ Frank Vogel

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  3. #3

    Default Re: Need advice from a Computer fellow

    Quote Originally Posted by Sandman21 View Post
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    You've used 3 different monitors, but have you changed out the cable connecting the monitor to the PC?

    I have two CRT's. One, has a VGA cable built into the back. The other, comes with a detachable VGA cable. So I can use as many different ones as I want. Same thing for my flat screen. Yes, I've tested different VGA cables with the flat screen. One big black one, one thin beige one. Same result.

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    RING THE BELL! Sandman21's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need advice from a Computer fellow

    Would it be possible to take the PCs to another location with a monitor and test them there? Your at the point where you need to start ruling things out.

    Also assuming you are using different power cables as well.
    "Nobody wants to play against Tyler Hansbrough NO BODY!" ~ Frank Vogel

    "And David put his hand in the bag and took out a stone and slung it. And it struck the Philistine on the head and he fell to the ground. Amen. "
    Want your own "Just Say No to Kamen" from @mkroeger pic? http://twitpic.com/a3hmca

  5. #5

    Default Re: Need advice from a Computer fellow

    Quote Originally Posted by Sandman21 View Post
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    Would it be possible to take the PCs to another location with a monitor and test them there? Your at the point where you need to start ruling things out.

    Also assuming you are using different power cables as well.

    Probably not. I thought I already ruled out any signal interference when I tested the PC's in one of the bed rooms. With no speakers, internet or anything. Just a mouse and keyboard.

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    RING THE BELL! Sandman21's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need advice from a Computer fellow

    But you haven't ruled out a problem with the home's electricity grid...
    "Nobody wants to play against Tyler Hansbrough NO BODY!" ~ Frank Vogel

    "And David put his hand in the bag and took out a stone and slung it. And it struck the Philistine on the head and he fell to the ground. Amen. "
    Want your own "Just Say No to Kamen" from @mkroeger pic? http://twitpic.com/a3hmca

  7. #7

    Default Re: Need advice from a Computer fellow

    I am not sure how the electricity grid would cause this issue. My PC isn't shutting off, my internet connection runs fine, all the other appliances in the house run fine. I still believe it's a video card but this is my 5th PC. The e4100 I had was running fine and all of a sudden this started up. Then the ones I purchased after that had this issue from the jump.

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    RING THE BELL! Sandman21's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need advice from a Computer fellow

    You've ruled out your PC, your monitor, hard drives, and different rooms. Its non of those. About the last thing you haven't ruled out is the home itself, which is why I would try testing the machines elsewhere.
    "Nobody wants to play against Tyler Hansbrough NO BODY!" ~ Frank Vogel

    "And David put his hand in the bag and took out a stone and slung it. And it struck the Philistine on the head and he fell to the ground. Amen. "
    Want your own "Just Say No to Kamen" from @mkroeger pic? http://twitpic.com/a3hmca

  9. #9

    Default Re: Need advice from a Computer fellow

    Quote Originally Posted by Sandman21 View Post
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    You've ruled out your PC, your monitor, hard drives, and different rooms. Its non of those. About the last thing you haven't ruled out is the home itself, which is why I would try testing the machines elsewhere.
    I really don't feel like lugging this thing to one of my friends cribs though lol. I have to take the subway to get to the house of one of my closest friends. My tower is a small form but still to take it a distance wouldn't be an easy chore. I also looked up home interference for desktops and mostly they're dsl or internet related.

  10. #10
    Jimmy did what Jimmy did Bball's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need advice from a Computer fellow

    A magnet close to the monitor? Thinking maybe a speaker? Guitar amp?
    Nuntius was right. I was wrong. Frank Vogel has retained his job.

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  12. #11

    Default Re: Need advice from a Computer fellow

    Quote Originally Posted by Bball View Post
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    A magnet close to the monitor? Thinking maybe a speaker? Guitar amp?

    No. I tested this in the bed room with no speakers, or anything but a mouse and keyboard. And had the same problem. In between the bed room #1 is the bathroom. And then the living room after the bathroom. I've tried different sockets as well and no dice. It's weird because in the living room I have a 27 inch tv, a fan, air conditioner, microwave, and they all run fine. I still think it might be video card related, but after 4 PC towers, including one with Windows 7. I am starting think could my luck be that bad to have bought 4 straight pc's with bad video cards? The only thing I can think of is this series of Gateway computers are the E-series. e4100, and e4610. Perhaps it's a model defect across the board? GOOGLED it and couldn't find anything.

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    The New Gold Swagger travmil's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need advice from a Computer fellow

    Since you mentioned the subway I'm assuming you're a city dweller. You live in an apartment building? Did you happen to get new neighbors around the time of the problem starting? Maybe THEY have the giant magnet. Failing that I'd call a psychic or the paranormal investigators.

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    The New Gold Swagger travmil's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need advice from a Computer fellow

    Also, you should try booting into safe mode and see if it still does it. If it goes away in safe mode I think that would indicate a driver issue.

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  17. #14
    Jimmy did what Jimmy did Bball's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need advice from a Computer fellow

    Can you post a photo of the problem? Maybe actually seeing it will cause an idea to pop up.
    Nuntius was right. I was wrong. Frank Vogel has retained his job.

    ------

    "A player who makes a team great is more valuable than a great player. Losing yourself in the group, for the good of the group, thatís teamwork."

    -John Wooden

  18. #15

    Default Re: Need advice from a Computer fellow

    Quote Originally Posted by travmil View Post
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    Since you mentioned the subway I'm assuming you're a city dweller. You live in an apartment building? Did you happen to get new neighbors around the time of the problem starting? Maybe THEY have the giant magnet. Failing that I'd call a psychic or the paranormal investigators.

    Correct. I think we have new neighbors but not sure when they moved in. Anyways I doubt anything they have would affect my PC. They live above me. I am testing my PC now on a TFT monitor and still having the same problem.

  19. #16

    Default Re: Need advice from a Computer fellow

    Quote Originally Posted by travmil View Post
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    Also, you should try booting into safe mode and see if it still does it. If it goes away in safe mode I think that would indicate a driver issue.

    The problem persists in safe mode.

  20. #17

    Default Re: Need advice from a Computer fellow

    Quote Originally Posted by Bball View Post
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    Can you post a photo of the problem? Maybe actually seeing it will cause an idea to pop up.
    Here's a screenshot of my desktop. Not sure if you can see the issue perfectly because it is a screenshot but, best I can do.

    http://i42.tinypic.com/200aes4.jpg

  21. #18

    Default Re: Need advice from a Computer fellow

    Quote Originally Posted by Grimp View Post
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    Here's a screenshot of my desktop. Not sure if you can see the issue perfectly because it is a screenshot but, best I can do.

    http://i42.tinypic.com/200aes4.jpg
    Maybe the problem is the giant porn folder discretely labeled "Stuff"?

    (Sorry, I'm no help.)

  22. #19

    Default Re: Need advice from a Computer fellow

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Hibbert View Post
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    Maybe the problem is the giant porn folder discretely labeled "Stuff"?

    (Sorry, I'm no help.)

    LOL! That's actually my stuff. My artwork and designs that I come up with. I couldn't think of a fancy name for it so I just went with "stuff". I know I'm lazy. :/

  23. #20
    Jimmy did what Jimmy did Bball's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need advice from a Computer fellow

    Quote Originally Posted by Grimp View Post
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    Here's a screenshot of my desktop. Not sure if you can see the issue perfectly because it is a screenshot but, best I can do.

    http://i42.tinypic.com/200aes4.jpg
    That looks perfectly fine to me. What should I be looking at?
    Nuntius was right. I was wrong. Frank Vogel has retained his job.

    ------

    "A player who makes a team great is more valuable than a great player. Losing yourself in the group, for the good of the group, thatís teamwork."

    -John Wooden

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  25. #21

    Default Re: Need advice from a Computer fellow

    Quote Originally Posted by Bball View Post
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    That looks perfectly fine to me. What should I be looking at?
    Ok I found out that screenshots won't show the exact problem because they just show what the video card transmits so no dice on the screenshot sorry. This problem is so weird though because it just like, happened one day out of the blue.

  26. #22
    Wasting Light Hicks's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need advice from a Computer fellow

    From everything I'm reading, I'm looking at your neighbor above you.

    Only way to know if it's them (or if it's your electricity or some unknown interference) is to take the time/effort to set it up at someone else's house/apartment away from the theoretical source of the problem.

  27. #23

    Default Re: Need advice from a Computer fellow

    Quote Originally Posted by Hicks View Post
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    From everything I'm reading, I'm looking at your neighbor above you.

    Only way to know if it's them (or if it's your electricity or some unknown interference) is to take the time/effort to set it up at someone else's house/apartment away from the theoretical source of the problem.

    Perhaps. I will contact a friend and see if I can work that out. I am also looking at the possibility that the Gateway brand itself has just gone south. Seems everyone has Dell or HP these days. Perhaps the Gateway/Acer merger has cranked out PC towers with low-quality parts. Although the on board graphics is intel.

  28. #24
    Jimmy did what Jimmy did Bball's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need advice from a Computer fellow

    Quote Originally Posted by Grimp View Post
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    Ok I found out that screenshots won't show the exact problem because they just show what the video card transmits so no dice on the screenshot sorry. This problem is so weird though because it just like, happened one day out of the blue.
    Just take a camera phone shot of the screen...
    Nuntius was right. I was wrong. Frank Vogel has retained his job.

    ------

    "A player who makes a team great is more valuable than a great player. Losing yourself in the group, for the good of the group, thatís teamwork."

    -John Wooden

  29. #25
    Jimmy did what Jimmy did Bball's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need advice from a Computer fellow

    Quote Originally Posted by Grimp View Post
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    Perhaps. I will contact a friend and see if I can work that out. I am also looking at the possibility that the Gateway brand itself has just gone south. Seems everyone has Dell or HP these days. Perhaps the Gateway/Acer merger has cranked out PC towers with low-quality parts. Although the on board graphics is intel.
    The odds of 3 different computers having the same problem, immediately, and no real trail on Google about it tells me the problem is not the computers per se'. Maybe they have an inherent weakness to some problem that is surrounding you that other computers wouldn't have... but even that would be suspect.

    Your neighbor's name is not Beldar Conehead is it?

    I don't really have any idea what your neighbors could be doing to cause this if your computer isn't against an adjoining wall.... Homeland security might be one of the calls you need to make

    Are they HAM radio operators by any chance?
    Nuntius was right. I was wrong. Frank Vogel has retained his job.

    ------

    "A player who makes a team great is more valuable than a great player. Losing yourself in the group, for the good of the group, thatís teamwork."

    -John Wooden

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