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Monitor won't turn off when machine idle

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by Anthony Buckland, Aug 31, 2010.

  1. Anthony Buckland

    Anthony Buckland Flightless Bird

    I have a Sony VAIO desktop, purchased in 2006, running
    XP Professional with SP3, fully updated. I have the
    screensaver set to none, and the power settings set to
    turn off the picture on my monitor (ViewSonic) after 15
    idle minutes. The hard drive is never turned off, the
    system never goes into standby, and the system never
    hibernates.

    This worked fine until a few weeks ago. Now I find my
    monitor always on, no matter how long the idle time has
    been. If I happen to be present at the end of a 15-minute
    interval, I can see the screen momentarily turn off and
    then turn on again, with no more than 2 seconds of
    darkness.

    I've tried updating my video card, monitor, keyboard and
    (wired, optical) mouse drivers. Nothing better than my
    present drivers was found. I've tried unplugging the mouse,
    and then the keyboard. This made no difference.

    I've found various forum discussions with Google on this
    and closely similar problems. None of them offered a
    solution (except one that would have required subscribing
    to see the responses to the question), apart from other
    users suggesting reviewing the power settings, updating
    drivers and looking in a very general sense for some
    software that might make the system believe it was not
    idle. Aside from Windows updates, the only software
    that might be recently changed would be my antivirus,
    ZoneAlarm Extreme Security, which from time to time
    updates itself. The only software I _know_ of, anyway.

    Does this remind anybody of possible causes or
    solutions? Thanks for any comments.
     
  2. Elmo

    Elmo Flightless Bird

    Anthony Buckland wrote:
    > I have a Sony VAIO desktop, purchased in 2006, running
    > XP Professional with SP3, fully updated. I have the
    > screensaver set to none, and the power settings set to
    > turn off the picture on my monitor (ViewSonic) after 15
    > idle minutes. The hard drive is never turned off, the
    > system never goes into standby, and the system never
    > hibernates.
    >
    > This worked fine until a few weeks ago. Now I find my
    > monitor always on, no matter how long the idle time has
    > been. If I happen to be present at the end of a 15-minute
    > interval, I can see the screen momentarily turn off and
    > then turn on again, with no more than 2 seconds of
    > darkness.


    If Windows attempts to shut it down after 15 minutes, the monitor blinks
    for a couple of seconds then restarts, I would suspect the monitor. See
    if there's an option in the monitor's menu to allow EnergyStar features,
    or otherwise allow it to be shut down via software. Why it might have
    changed, I don't know.. maybe that feature of the monitor is damaged.

    --

    Joe =o)
     
  3. MowGreen

    MowGreen Flightless Bird

    Anthony Buckland wrote:
    > Aside from Windows updates, the only software
    > that might be recently changed would be my antivirus,
    > ZoneAlarm Extreme Security, which from time to time
    > updates itself.



    Uninstall ZAES and see if it's the cause of the monitor not shutting off.

    Technical Support
    http://www.zonealarm.com/security/en-us/support/technical-support-zonealarm-extreme-security.htm

    Zone Alarm "products" have gone rapidly downhill since Check Point
    acquired it.


    MowGreen
    ================
    *-343-* FDNY
    Never Forgotten
    ================

    "Security updates should *never* have *non-security content* prechecked
     
  4. Unknown

    Unknown Flightless Bird

    Do a test. Set idle time to about one minute. If monitor shuts down, you
    know something is
    running in the background which would interrupt the 15 minute timer.
    "Anthony Buckland" <anthonybucklandnospam@telus.net> wrote in message
    news:9fWdnWC-_sZRz-DRnZ2dnUVZ_hidnZ2d@giganews.com...
    >I have a Sony VAIO desktop, purchased in 2006, running
    > XP Professional with SP3, fully updated. I have the
    > screensaver set to none, and the power settings set to
    > turn off the picture on my monitor (ViewSonic) after 15
    > idle minutes. The hard drive is never turned off, the
    > system never goes into standby, and the system never
    > hibernates.
    >
    > This worked fine until a few weeks ago. Now I find my
    > monitor always on, no matter how long the idle time has
    > been. If I happen to be present at the end of a 15-minute
    > interval, I can see the screen momentarily turn off and
    > then turn on again, with no more than 2 seconds of
    > darkness.
    >
    > I've tried updating my video card, monitor, keyboard and
    > (wired, optical) mouse drivers. Nothing better than my
    > present drivers was found. I've tried unplugging the mouse,
    > and then the keyboard. This made no difference.
    >
    > I've found various forum discussions with Google on this
    > and closely similar problems. None of them offered a
    > solution (except one that would have required subscribing
    > to see the responses to the question), apart from other
    > users suggesting reviewing the power settings, updating
    > drivers and looking in a very general sense for some
    > software that might make the system believe it was not
    > idle. Aside from Windows updates, the only software
    > that might be recently changed would be my antivirus,
    > ZoneAlarm Extreme Security, which from time to time
    > updates itself. The only software I _know_ of, anyway.
    >
    > Does this remind anybody of possible causes or
    > solutions? Thanks for any comments.
    >
     
  5. Anthony Buckland

    Anthony Buckland Flightless Bird

    "Unknown" <unknown@unknown.kom> wrote in message
    news:-OKTC9RhSLHA.2068@TK2MSFTNGP05.phx.gbl...
    > Do a test. Set idle time to about one minute. If monitor shuts down, you
    > know something is
    > running in the background which would interrupt the 15 minute timer.
    >...


    Well, that was an interesting experiment. The only
    way I found of recovering from it (no offense intended,
    the suggestion was definitely one to try) was to bring
    up an ancient CRT monitor from the basement, otherwise
    I couldn't start the system in order to change back from
    the one-minute interval. That done, I could switch back
    to my regular LCD monitor and continue life. So, to
    make things clear, setting the interval to one minute
    caused the monitor to switch off part way through
    rebooting, leaving me with a started system that could
    not display anything and could not accept any
    input. Even a recovery CD couldn't overcome the
    one-minute cutoff that had been programmed into
    the monitor as a piece of hardware.
     
  6. Anthony Buckland

    Anthony Buckland Flightless Bird

    "MowGreen" <mowgreen@nowandzen.com> wrote in message
    news:i5juaa$v7p$1@speranza.aioe.org...
    > Anthony Buckland wrote:
    >> Aside from Windows updates, the only software
    >> that might be recently changed would be my antivirus,
    >> ZoneAlarm Extreme Security, which from time to time
    >> updates itself.

    >
    >
    > Uninstall ZAES and see if it's the cause of the monitor not shutting off.
    >
    > Technical Support
    > http://www.zonealarm.com/security/en-us/support/technical-support-zonealarm-extreme-security.htm
    >
    > Zone Alarm "products" have gone rapidly downhill since Check Point
    > acquired it.
    >
    >
    > MowGreen
    > ================
    > *-343-* FDNY
    > Never Forgotten
    > ================
    >
    > "Security updates should *never* have *non-security content* prechecked


    Thanks, but I still swear by ZA for my protection. It's beginning
    to definitely seem like a hardware problem with the monitor.
    Uninstalling ZAES as an experiment would leave me with a
    system that I had to keep isolated from the net, meaning no
    mail or browsing. I appreciate that some people loathe ZA,
    sometimes for reasons which I can't discern. For myself,
    I loathe McAfee and Norton, based on experiencing horrible
    system slowdowns when using them.
     
  7. Anthony Buckland

    Anthony Buckland Flightless Bird

    "Elmo" <elmogeek@xxx.invalid> wrote in message
    news:x-GdnYB7UZSRwODRnZ2dnUVZ_tadnZ2d@insightbb.com...
    > Anthony Buckland wrote:
    >> I have a Sony VAIO desktop, purchased in 2006, running
    >> XP Professional with SP3, fully updated. I have the
    >> screensaver set to none, and the power settings set to
    >> turn off the picture on my monitor (ViewSonic) after 15
    >> idle minutes. The hard drive is never turned off, the
    >> system never goes into standby, and the system never
    >> hibernates.
    >>
    >> This worked fine until a few weeks ago. Now I find my
    >> monitor always on, no matter how long the idle time has
    >> been. If I happen to be present at the end of a 15-minute
    >> interval, I can see the screen momentarily turn off and
    >> then turn on again, with no more than 2 seconds of
    >> darkness.

    >
    > If Windows attempts to shut it down after 15 minutes, the monitor blinks
    > for a couple of seconds then restarts, I would suspect the monitor. See
    > if there's an option in the monitor's menu to allow EnergyStar features,
    > or otherwise allow it to be shut down via software. Why it might have
    > changed, I don't know.. maybe that feature of the monitor is damaged.


    Thanks, and I'm beginning to suspect my hardware in this case.
    There are no driver updates suggested. The monitor indeed
    has a setting for shutdown, which seems to faithfully reflect the
    most recent setting in XP of the power-saving property.

    My "solution" for the time being is to turn off the power-saving
    property and to manually power down the monitor overnight.
    In the old days, I was taught never to power down a peripheral
    while the system unit was running, but this seems less of
    a commandment these days. My monitor isn't plug-n-play,
    but the system unit doesn't seem to object to its disappearance
    while the system is up. Any other opinions on this point?
     
  8. Unknown

    Unknown Flightless Bird

    What you described makes no sense to me. The program to turn off the monitor
    isn't active during booting so how did the
    monitor turn off? There are many cases of failing to go to sleep mode or
    hibernate caused by Norton. Norton starts up
    which resets the monitor power off timer. If I were you I would try 3-4
    minutes or display task manager to see what is
    resetting the timeout (display off) counter.
    "Anthony Buckland" <anthonybucklandnospam@telus.net> wrote in message
    news:XeGdnbYXAstdieLRnZ2dnUVZ_qmdnZ2d@giganews.com...
    >
    > "Unknown" <unknown@unknown.kom> wrote in message
    > news:-OKTC9RhSLHA.2068@TK2MSFTNGP05.phx.gbl...
    >> Do a test. Set idle time to about one minute. If monitor shuts down, you
    >> know something is
    >> running in the background which would interrupt the 15 minute timer.
    >>...

    >
    > Well, that was an interesting experiment. The only
    > way I found of recovering from it (no offense intended,
    > the suggestion was definitely one to try) was to bring
    > up an ancient CRT monitor from the basement, otherwise
    > I couldn't start the system in order to change back from
    > the one-minute interval. That done, I could switch back
    > to my regular LCD monitor and continue life. So, to
    > make things clear, setting the interval to one minute
    > caused the monitor to switch off part way through
    > rebooting, leaving me with a started system that could
    > not display anything and could not accept any
    > input. Even a recovery CD couldn't overcome the
    > one-minute cutoff that had been programmed into
    > the monitor as a piece of hardware.
    >
     
  9. Unknown

    Unknown Flightless Bird

    PS Cripple 'zone alarm' and try to go into sleep mode.
    "Anthony Buckland" <anthonybucklandnospam@telus.net> wrote in message
    news:XeGdnbYXAstdieLRnZ2dnUVZ_qmdnZ2d@giganews.com...
    >
    > "Unknown" <unknown@unknown.kom> wrote in message
    > news:-OKTC9RhSLHA.2068@TK2MSFTNGP05.phx.gbl...
    >> Do a test. Set idle time to about one minute. If monitor shuts down, you
    >> know something is
    >> running in the background which would interrupt the 15 minute timer.
    >>...

    >
    > Well, that was an interesting experiment. The only
    > way I found of recovering from it (no offense intended,
    > the suggestion was definitely one to try) was to bring
    > up an ancient CRT monitor from the basement, otherwise
    > I couldn't start the system in order to change back from
    > the one-minute interval. That done, I could switch back
    > to my regular LCD monitor and continue life. So, to
    > make things clear, setting the interval to one minute
    > caused the monitor to switch off part way through
    > rebooting, leaving me with a started system that could
    > not display anything and could not accept any
    > input. Even a recovery CD couldn't overcome the
    > one-minute cutoff that had been programmed into
    > the monitor as a piece of hardware.
    >
     
  10. MowGreen

    MowGreen Flightless Bird

    Anthony Buckland wrote:
    > Thanks, but I still swear by ZA for my protection. It's beginning
    > to definitely seem like a hardware problem with the monitor.
    > Uninstalling ZAES as an experiment would leave me with a
    > system that I had to keep isolated from the net, meaning no
    > mail or browsing. I appreciate that some people loathe ZA,
    > sometimes for reasons which I can't discern. For myself,
    > I loathe McAfee and Norton, based on experiencing horrible
    > system slowdowns when using them.
    >
    >




    It's *your* system. Good luck with it.



    MowGreen
    ================
    *-343-* FDNY
    Never Forgotten
    ================

    "Security updates should *never* have *non-security content* prechecked
     
  11. Chuck

    Chuck Flightless Bird

    On 9/2/2010 1:15 PM, Unknown wrote:
    > PS Cripple 'zone alarm' and try to go into sleep mode.
    > "Anthony Buckland"<anthonybucklandnospam@telus.net> wrote in message
    > news:XeGdnbYXAstdieLRnZ2dnUVZ_qmdnZ2d@giganews.com...
    >>
    >> "Unknown"<unknown@unknown.kom> wrote in message
    >> news:-OKTC9RhSLHA.2068@TK2MSFTNGP05.phx.gbl...
    >>> Do a test. Set idle time to about one minute. If monitor shuts down, you
    >>> know something is
    >>> running in the background which would interrupt the 15 minute timer.
    >>> ...

    >>
    >> Well, that was an interesting experiment. The only
    >> way I found of recovering from it (no offense intended,
    >> the suggestion was definitely one to try) was to bring
    >> up an ancient CRT monitor from the basement, otherwise
    >> I couldn't start the system in order to change back from
    >> the one-minute interval. That done, I could switch back
    >> to my regular LCD monitor and continue life. So, to
    >> make things clear, setting the interval to one minute
    >> caused the monitor to switch off part way through
    >> rebooting, leaving me with a started system that could
    >> not display anything and could not accept any
    >> input. Even a recovery CD couldn't overcome the
    >> one-minute cutoff that had been programmed into
    >> the monitor as a piece of hardware.
    >>

    >
    >

    Since you added an "ancient" CRT monitor to the debacle.
    The old method "Large Hammer" method of dealing with the problem was to
    set the monitor signal from the computer to blank without turning off
    the monitor or forcing it to standby. Some LCD displays see this first
    as a loss of signal, and may eventually timeout and shut down. Others
    just go into standby. Some of the older ones seem to display No Signal.
    There is a difference between a blank video signal and no video signal,
    And some monitors are happier with a blank vs. no video signal at all.

    There is also a minor detail that involves bi-directional "digital"
    communication between the display and the computer. If this does not
    work properly, the computer sort of assumes it has a "dumb" display, and
    supposedly behaves accordingly. This changes the way that the power
    management behaves. If working partially, problems like you have
    mentioned can occur.


    The real problem may be that the LCD monitor
    and your current power management settings don't like each other.
    There is also a possibility that a system update or a BIOS update
    is involved, and does not work as expected with settings made before the
    update(s).

    There is a question in my understanding of your problem--I can think of
    several interacting areas that might be involved, depending on your
    various settings in windows.

    There are power management settings, display related settings, BIOS
    settings, and possibly settings that are made from the LCD display
    internal controls/settings. Any of these separately or in combination
    can result in trouble similar to yours.
    (Too many "knobs to turn")
     
  12. Anthony Buckland

    Anthony Buckland Flightless Bird

    "Chuck" <cdkuder@msn.com> wrote in message
    news:eAMAgztSLHA.5196@TK2MSFTNGP05.phx.gbl...
    > On 9/2/2010 1:15 PM, Unknown wrote:
    >> PS Cripple 'zone alarm' and try to go into sleep mode.
    >> "Anthony Buckland"<anthonybucklandnospam@telus.net> wrote in message
    >> news:XeGdnbYXAstdieLRnZ2dnUVZ_qmdnZ2d@giganews.com...
    >>>
    >>> "Unknown"<unknown@unknown.kom> wrote in message
    >>> news:-OKTC9RhSLHA.2068@TK2MSFTNGP05.phx.gbl...
    >>>> Do a test. Set idle time to about one minute. If monitor shuts down,
    >>>> you
    >>>> know something is
    >>>> running in the background which would interrupt the 15 minute timer.
    >>>> ...
    >>>
    >>> Well, that was an interesting experiment. The only
    >>> way I found of recovering from it (no offense intended,
    >>> the suggestion was definitely one to try) was to bring
    >>> up an ancient CRT monitor from the basement, otherwise
    >>> I couldn't start the system in order to change back from
    >>> the one-minute interval. That done, I could switch back
    >>> to my regular LCD monitor and continue life. So, to
    >>> make things clear, setting the interval to one minute
    >>> caused the monitor to switch off part way through
    >>> rebooting, leaving me with a started system that could
    >>> not display anything and could not accept any
    >>> input. Even a recovery CD couldn't overcome the
    >>> one-minute cutoff that had been programmed into
    >>> the monitor as a piece of hardware.
    >>>

    >>
    >>

    > Since you added an "ancient" CRT monitor to the debacle.
    > The old method "Large Hammer" method of dealing with the problem was to
    > set the monitor signal from the computer to blank without turning off the
    > monitor or forcing it to standby. Some LCD displays see this first as a
    > loss of signal, and may eventually timeout and shut down. Others just go
    > into standby. Some of the older ones seem to display No Signal.
    > There is a difference between a blank video signal and no video signal,
    > And some monitors are happier with a blank vs. no video signal at all.
    >
    > There is also a minor detail that involves bi-directional "digital"
    > communication between the display and the computer. If this does not work
    > properly, the computer sort of assumes it has a "dumb" display, and
    > supposedly behaves accordingly. This changes the way that the power
    > management behaves. If working partially, problems like you have mentioned
    > can occur.
    >
    >
    > The real problem may be that the LCD monitor
    > and your current power management settings don't like each other.
    > There is also a possibility that a system update or a BIOS update
    > is involved, and does not work as expected with settings made before the
    > update(s).
    >
    > There is a question in my understanding of your problem--I can think of
    > several interacting areas that might be involved, depending on your
    > various settings in windows.
    >
    > There are power management settings, display related settings, BIOS
    > settings, and possibly settings that are made from the LCD display
    > internal controls/settings. Any of these separately or in combination can
    > result in trouble similar to yours.
    > (Too many "knobs to turn")


    The problem is solved. I disconnected the phone line from the
    (wired) network to make it safe. Then I turned off the antivirus.
    Next, I noted that I had a 15-minute power-down setting for the
    monitor, and that the monitor's OSD time-out setting is also
    15 minutes, bore in mind the "don't like each other" suggestion,
    and reduced the power-down setting to 10 minutes. With that,
    normal functioning was restored (specifically, after 10 minutes
    the monitor goes black, then it goes a grey distinuguishable
    from black only in dim ambient light and announces that there
    is no signal, then it goes black again and stays that way until
    there is mouse or keyboard activity).

    The normal function survived a reboot, turning the antivirus
    back on, another reboot, reconnecting the network to the
    phone line, and another reboot, and now seems robust.
    A lot of reinitializing happened in there, and if I was solving
    problems for a living I would have done a bit more "one thing
    at a time", but I'm happy to have normality restored. I never
    did get around to looking at the BIOS settings, but thanks
    to the advice I've received I now know a lot of things to look
    at if this problem happens again.

    Thank you, Chuck, and the other respondents.
     

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