Ok, this might be a bit lengthy so sorry in the long-run! I figured if I told you exactly the ins and outs of this problem, it would let you help me a little better... I hope.

My WindowsXP was custom built by a Computer company not far from where I live. I've been using it perfectly for the past 2 years, but until recently- from June onwards, I started receiving it's first share of problems. My virus scanner expired on me, and a whole load of unwanted nasties came in. My machine would load on me one day, and then suddenly freeze, causing me to manually reset it. When I pressed the restart button, the screen I have suddenly went blank with no signal. Similarly, I tried to shut the power off at the mains, and then switch it back on again to reboot. The same problem happened. I could hear the tower whirring away inside, but there was no signal on the screen. This has been continuing for the past couple of months. It's pot luck whether it lets me load onto the system or not. A few weeks ago, I bought a new Virus scanner and Security suite. Norton found a few viruses and lots of Spyware etc. That was all removed, but the problem still persists.

After that, I figured the best thing to do was to take it back to my manufacturer, who said they found nothing wrong with it- as it "had been left running over night, without crashing" They upgraded my memory, and it seemed to work. I took the PC home again, thinking it was fixed. The next day, I came to turn my PC on, but the problem happened again. Back to the shop the PC went, which in turn they ran yet more tests. The problem wasn't running the machine, it was turning it off and on again. I thought they'd fixed the problem, but similarly, the day later the problem came back to haunt me again. This time I wiped my PC myself, which it did seem to like. Some of the existing files were still visible, so obviously the format hadn't gone to plan. I took it back to the shop to have it professionally wiped, and in all fairness- they did a good job. The PC worked whenever I turned it on and off. (bearing in mind, this was when the system was running, and I turned it on/off soon afterwards) It's like the computer doesn't like running when it's cold or something! Usually when the computer tries to start when I press the power, it will freeze- freeze my mouse, and then a funny alarm will continually whine from within my tower. It's really strange. Yesterday, the problem came back once again, but I don't know how it's caused.

Someone tried to help me last night, and asked to look at my DxDiag logs, so I took a look too. To my surprise, I found two Display tabs that I could look at. Display tab 1 suggested that this monitor run in a certain resolution, and the other Display tab said another. The only thing that did appear to be different was the resolution. After some advice, I ran tests on Display Tab1 and 2. Display Tab1 worked fine, and passed it's Direct X tests. On the other hand, Display Tab2 failed all it's Direct X tests. Everything else to do with my PC passed all it's tests, except just this unknown 'Display Tab2" one.

I did some searching around in my device manager, and it says my NVIDIA GeForce4 MX 440 is working fine. Something which I don't understand is that why is there two display tabs?! I only want one monitor, but the Display configuration lets me alter settings for two. Yes, I used to run the XP on a normal monitor, but now I run it on a Flat Screen. I don't totally understand what's happening here. My friend who was helping me at the time suggested that I might have two graphics cards running in conflict with eachother? As my machine was custom built, I'm not sure what's in my tower or not! I don't really like the idea of routing around in my tower for something I don't know what to look for. I'm a bit of a novice when it comes to the technical stuff. :rolleyes: Sorry. One thing my friend was concerned at was that my NVIDIA card thing didn't have a MHQL signing or something like that. He suggested that I update my driver to the newest one from NVIDIA, but since it looks like I have two monitors- could that be the reason behind the conflict? (If there is one, and if it's causing the problems?!)

My System specs and details are as follows:

XP Home edition. Service Pack2 installed.
AMD Athlon2000+
1.67GHz 256Mb of RAM.

I'm sorry this is really lengthy. If anyone knows how to help me, ask me questions- please do. All I say is please talk to me simply though, all the technical jargon I don't understand! I'm happy to send anyone my DxDiag reports if they need them. Thanks for your time, :)

Nvidia cards can 'clone' your display across 2 monitors, as well as set up a second 'desktop' area for you to spread your work across two screens. It is normal on those cards to see a second monitor in your settings.

If you poke around in the advanced video settings area, (right click blank area of desktop, pick Properties, pick the Settings page, press Advanced button), you'll see a page with your video card's name on it, pick that page, you should be able to find Nview inside Desktop Management on the scroll bar on the left. My advice would be to uncheck the 'Enable Nview' button there and click the Apply button, which will disable multiple monitor support. Alternatively, you can scroll down under Desktop Management to Desktops, and clear the checkbox that says 'Enable Multiple Desktops', which should do the same for you. Notice that while on that page, you can also pick, and 'remove' your second display that keeps showing up.

Hope this helps, and hope I've been clear. :)

p.s. I don't think it being enabled would cause you problems, but stranger things have happened, so give it a shot.

Well thanks for the help, but my NView feature was already disabled anyway. I've configured the settings just to use one monitor, on an anolog display. I don't think that will solve the problem, but it's worth giving it a go! Do you think I should update my graphics card driver?

Sure, having the most current drivers is good anyway you go, so try that.

If you configured yourself to just use one display, that will save CPU and the Video card from processing data that isn't needed, so you're at least a leg up on that.

These things said, I doubt that that is going to solve any problems, but you never know. Even professionals sometimes get baffled by what eventually ends up curing a problem. (Seriously!) So give it a shot.

Lastly, if you paid to have your PC repaired, or it is under warrantee, the people who 'repaired' it haven't, so it's my considered opinion they still owe you.

Having said that, my advice is take the machine back to them, and tell them that 'letting it run' isn't going to make this problem crop up, and tell them what you said about 'it's almost like it doesn't like booting when it's cold', because THAT comment is very telling, and I'll explain why:

If you have, say, a small crack in your motherboard, one of the circuit 'traces', (little copper lines etched into the board), may be broken. (Or a soldered part has broke it's connection). But, sometimes it may make enough connection to work normally. However, factors like TEMPERATURE cause things to expand and contract. THat means this broken 'trace' could work fine sometimes, and not fine others. And, it would also tend to work best when heated up, (things that heat up expand, and this would likely force the trace to 'touch' where it broke, see?). We used to use this 'freeze spray' stuff to test for such bad components and bad boards, and it was a GREAT way to isolate your kind of problem. (Called 'intermittant failure).

Hope you find some of this info valuable, good luck!

Oooh, I never thought about that. I'm not really bothered with the money I spend sorting out my machine, as long as I don't pay for something I don't need. The people who fix it, charge for man hours- so that's how it clocks up. Still it's cheaper than taking it to PC World or something like that, which charge £50 an hour. My warrantee ran out in January. I will most certainly tell the technician people about this crack theory. It's a very logical explanation, and in fact- I believe this can be the answer I've been looking for!!! Thankyou so much, I'll let you know if it comes up with anything!

Please do, I'll be looking forward to hearing how this goes. :)

Best of luck!

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