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Vertical Line Pattern on Monitor

Gary writes in with a hardware question:

Question:
When we turn on the computer, all we get is a five line vertical pattern on the monitor. This is the only screen we get. We do even get the Dell startup Globe window. Is this due to a bad video card or Motherboard?

Answer: Your pattern on the monitor could be a couple of things. I would first check the connection where the monitor connects to the video card. If its loose then your monitor will do strange things. There is also a chance it can be the monitor. If you have another computer you can swap monitors. That would be the first thing I would do since its the easiest.
 
Next I would try updating the driver. Find out what card you have and go to the manufactures website and download a new driver. You can use Device Manager to find out what video card you have.
 
If that doesn't help you can move to the video card itself. If its an add-on card I would try to remove it and reseat it in the slot (with the power off and unplugged of course). If its a PCI card I would try a different slot. If its an AGP card then you can only remove it and reseat it since there is only one AGP slot.
 
If you have integrated video (built into the motherboard) then you can try adding an add-on video card to see if that works.

 



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