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When Left Idle, Screen Goes Blank & Everything Becomes Unresponsive

This is a discussion on When Left Idle, Screen Goes Blank & Everything Becomes Unresponsive within the Windows XP Support forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. Hi, guys. I'm new here, and I have a strange problem. I don't know if it's my OS, my video


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Old 08-14-2009, 08:43 PM   #1
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Hi, guys.

I'm new here, and I have a strange problem. I don't know if it's my OS, my video card, or whatever. Hopefully, you guys will be able to tell me . . .

When I leave my PC idle for about 30 minutes, the screen goes black and stays that way as if the PC has crashed. I move the mouse about and hit the keys on the keyboard, but nothing works: the screen just stays black. In fact, even the little lights on the keyboard (e.g., the Caps Lock light) don't work. Everything just dies.

Whenever this weird crash thingy happens, I have to reboot my PC, after which everything starts to work again. It happens every time I leave the PC idle. It also happened once when I tried to play a video.

I've had the PC for a few years. It's never done this before. The problem's not being caused by any settings.

My OS is XP Pro, and I'm using Service Pack 3. Any advice will be greatly appreciated.

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Old 08-15-2009, 11:16 AM   #2
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Any ideas, guys?

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Old 08-15-2009, 04:28 PM   #3
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"The problem's not being caused by any settings."

Once someone says that, the choices narrow down to malware or something you recently added (software/hardware) that is interfering with you.

So, remove anything you added just before the problem, scan for malware and get advice how and so forth in the Virus area here at the boards or do a System Restore to a couple weeks back.
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Old 08-16-2009, 07:55 AM   #4
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Thanks, CCT.

I've done a scan for malware and viruses. I didn't find anything.

I don't remember downloading anything recently, except for a Windows update.

I think I'll take your advice and try a system restore if no-one else has any other suggestions.

It's a strange problem. Only when I leave the PC idle does it happen. The screen goes black and everything stops working. I have to reboot to restore functionality.
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Old 08-16-2009, 08:17 AM   #5
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Just because I am stubborn, you do realize there are standy/hibernate settings AND a separate screen shut-off setting and that the mouse and keyboard have to be 'told' to bring your comp out of standby, etc, ie, they don't do it by default?
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Old 08-16-2009, 09:23 AM   #6
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Quote:
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Just because I am stubborn, you do realize there are standy/hibernate settings AND a separate screen shut-off setting and that the mouse and keyboard have to be 'told' to bring your comp out of standby, etc, ie, they don't do it by default?
Hibernate is disabled, and all power settings are set to never shut down.

This problem started just the other day. Before that, I could leave my PC idle all day without experiencing any problems.

Is there anything that I can do to find out what's causing the problem? I tried to look at the computer log thingies, but I didn't understand anything. I saw a few errors and warnings, but I couldn't tell if they were relevant.
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Old 08-16-2009, 11:56 AM   #7
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Now it's happening when I try to defragment.

I launch Disk Defragmenter and Hit "Defragment". The defragmentation starts. At 1%, it seems to hang. The screen then turns black and the PC becomes completely unresponsive. I can restore functionality only if I reboot.
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Old 08-16-2009, 12:02 PM   #8
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If it isn't a heat or voltage issue, then System Restore.

Heat or voltage can be checked in Bios or with some add-ons.
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Old 08-16-2009, 12:50 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fluoresce View Post
Hi, guys.

I'm new here, and I have a strange problem. I don't know if it's my OS, my video card, or whatever. Hopefully, you guys will be able to tell me . . .

When I leave my PC idle for about 30 minutes, the screen goes black and stays that way as if the PC has crashed. I move the mouse about and hit the keys on the keyboard, but nothing works: the screen just stays black. In fact, even the little lights on the keyboard (e.g., the Caps Lock light) don't work. Everything just dies.

Whenever this weird crash thingy happens, I have to reboot my PC, after which everything starts to work again. It happens every time I leave the PC idle. It also happened once when I tried to play a video.

I've had the PC for a few years. It's never done this before. The problem's not being caused by any settings.
Could be a RAM or Video Card issue. I had a similar issue awhile back with random freezing due to a corrupt NVIDIA card. But since you mentioned you have Service Pack 3 you might want to read what I wrote below:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fluoresce View Post
My OS is XP Pro, and I'm using Service Pack 3. Any advice will be greatly appreciated.
Well Service Pack 3 is basically broken (you have to go through a huge list of "steps" before you even install it if you don't want errors, such as removing some past Windows updates - and I read that it doesn't even work at all on AMD Athlon processors (I tried to install it on two different AMD Athlon computers and it basically crashed my system forcing me to use System Restore. I don't even recommend installing it. Service Pack 2 is stable.
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Old 08-16-2009, 02:22 PM   #10
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Thanks, GuitarZeroZ312.

Service Pack 3 only causes problems with HP machines, according to what I just read. Besides, I've had Service Pack 3 running for a long time. The problem started just a few days ago.
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Old 08-17-2009, 07:24 AM   #11
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Any more suggestions?
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Old 08-17-2009, 10:08 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fluoresce View Post
Thanks, GuitarZeroZ312.

Service Pack 3 only causes problems with HP machines, according to what I just read. Besides, I've had Service Pack 3 running for a long time. The problem started just a few days ago.
You might want to try removing the video card and see if this still happens. If so then that probably means the video card is corrupt. That's what happened with my machine (with mine the screen would never turn black though - it would just freeze constantly and force me to reboot).
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Old 08-17-2009, 06:26 PM   #13
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Thanks for your help, guys.

I have reinstalled my operating system. Doing so fixed the problem. I therefore no longer need any help with this matter. Thanks, once again.

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