Monitor or Graphics Card not working properly

Hi folks. Thanks in advance for the help :)

When I start up my computer, I sometimes encounter a problem. Occasionally, the monitor will be darker than usual. When this happens I will not be able to play certain games, most notably Left For Dead 2 and Sleeping Dogs. When I try to start them up, my screen will go completely black and a little blue box appears saying (in the case of L4D2) 98.3hz / 75hz.

Sometimes, the games will work, but every time that my monitor is darker on startup, I know it's going to screw it up.

I have an NVidia GeForce GTX 465 card with the latest drivers and an LG Flatron W2252TQ monitor. Anyone have any ideas as to what's making this happen and/or how to fix it?

Captcha: Be serious now.

Oh I'm serious, buddy!

Often blue boxes stating the frequency of the monitor or the resolution are from the monitor.
Is the frequency the only thing that shows up ?

Note that most computer monitors work on 60hz. Are you sure that your monitor supports 75hz on that resolution ?
Could it be that you are forcing a higher refresh rate on your monitor than the one it can have ?

Grottnikk:
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Hmm.. It seems to me that your monitor is trying to function at a higher refresh rate level which isn't supported. Go to your driver settings and make sure it's operating at 60hz. Do the same with your game's options.

It seems not to matter whether I put it on 60 or 75hz (I normally put it on 60hz because that's what it was on when I got it in the first place). When I try it at 60hz, then sometimes the blue box will say something like 73.5/60hz. Neither SD or L4D2 have an option to force a certain refresh rate (at least not in the regular options menues), so whatever their normal settings are, that's the way I leave them. I do put the resolution down to 1028x786 for everything I play, and L4D2 does have a habit of resetting that to 1200xsomething.

Here's the thing, though - I can always tell when it's going to happen. When my monitor is darker on startup, then I know that if I start one of those 2 games, it'll screw up. What could be making the monitor be darker sometimes when I start up? I'm thinking the root of the problem has something to do with that... Mind you I'm not tech savvy in the least, but the darker screen on start up was the first clue I had that something was wrong...

I'm guessing your monitor may be dying, try swapping it out if you've got another one somewhere in your house - that should make the problem source obvious.

Here's another strange thing about it - If the monitor starts up properly, it will never go darkened and screw up those 2 games, but occasionally it will start off dark and then lighten up later and the games will run just fine. I'd think if it was dying, it might go bad over the hours I left it on, but sometimes it seems to get better... Any more thoughts?

I'm going to be contrary to xXSnowyXx and say it sounds like the graphics card screwing up, it seems like the graphic card is ignoring the settings and setting the refresh too high of it's own accord and the monitor is just shrugging and going to read a book until the card starts playing nicely.
Although it could still be the monitor, what do I know!

A few things to try if you haven't already -

For software, have you tried completely uninstalling the NVidia drivers and then reinstalling? You might also try rolling back a few versions just see if that resolves it.

For hardware, I know it sounds stupid but I've known paid IT professionals who overlooked this, have you checked every thing's plugged in securely? (okay, they weren't the most intelligent IT pro's, but they still get paid more then I do)
Now the obvious is out the way, when it goes dark have you tried disconnected the cable from both computer and monitor, then plugging it back in?
If you can get hold of a spare one try changing the cable just in case it's damaged and giving erroneous signals.
Also, check the graphic card is pushed all the way in on the motherboard and isn't loose in any way.

If it is the monitor something you could try is, when the screen is dark turn it off, unplug the power and VGA/DVI cable, hold the power button down for 10 seconds to completely discharge the components and then plug everything back in and see if it comes back bright or not.

The whole "it sometimes sorts itself after a while" could be faulty components warming up and getting themselves back in tune with everything else, although normally they'd just tend to give up when they get warm.

Finally, to force a setting in those games you could try going to the NVidia Control Panel, and in 'Manage 3D Settings' down at the bottom of the 'Global Settings' list is the vertical sync, this should in theory force any games to the correct refresh rate (although I could've sworn L4D2 had a V-Sync option).

 

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