Archive for the ‘Hardware Issues’ Category

Dual Monitor Setup – Display Flicker

May 30th, 2018 No comments

The Problem

I have a reasonably decent video card, a XFX R9 280x TDBD.

I recently bought a second monitor and hooked it up. Old monitor was running on HDMI, whilst the new monitor was running on a Mini DP to DP connection.

I fired it up and my new 23.8 Inch AOC IPS display started flickering and jumping around??? It was a full hoizontal artifact across the screen that seemed to jump around and jitter and jutter when I moved the mouse or opened applications.


To me it appeared to be a video driver software issue. I tried playing around with the display settings and by choosing different preferences I actually made the Jitter/Jutter move from appearing on my new display to my old display, WTF? It must be a software issue if I am able to impact which screen the problem appeared on by changing software settings.

I tried full clean driver installs. I upgraded to the latest driver, and then when that didn’t work I downgraded to 17.11.1. No change.
I tried running from different ports, HDMI, DVI and DP and still no luck so not the cables.

I eventually found that in the Radeon Settings, I could open preferences and click “Restore Factory Defaults” and it would stop the problem.. However on the next reboot it would be back.

The solution

I finally googled a discussion on toms hardware where it was suggested that:

Check the clocks of your video card. They are not supposed to downclock as much with two monitors. The memory and GPU core clocks should be higher than the normal idle, otherwise they can't handle 2 monitors correctly

That makes sense, running two monitors requires a little more oommpphhh, and if your video card is running under-clocked then it may struggle.

I downloaded and installed the GPU-Z and went to the sensors tab and noticed my core clock and memory speeds seemed to be way down.
I watched when I clicked, “Restore Factory Defaults” and sure enough the Clock and memory bumped up by almost double, and the flicker stopped.

So I then remembered that I had installed MSI Afterburner at some point in the past.
I fired it up and checked how that was configured. It seemed that an empty profile (i.e. the memory and core clocks set to minimum) had been loaded and set to “Apply overclocking at system startup”.

So the problem was caused by a down clocked video card, not being able to handle running two monitors.

Problem solved, and it has not flicker once whilst I wrote this post 😛

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Windows 8.1 Upgrade and SSD optimisation warning

November 21st, 2013 No comments

Be warned.

When you upgrade from windows 8 to windows 8.1 it is actually a complete windows update equivalent to going from windows 7 to windows 8.

In doing so it blasts away a number of your settings that you may not have thought of.

When I installed my Samsung 830 SSD in my laptop I used Samsung magician to optimise and change the settings that are not required with SSD drives.

I did things like:

  1. Disabled Pre-fetch and super-fetch
  2. Turned off scheduled defrag
  3. adjusted my pagefile down to certain limit
  4. turn off write-cache buffer flushing

After windows 8.1 is installed all of these settings are lost. I found out much to my surprise as a defrag had been executed on my machine.

Here are a few articles that talk about all the possible optimisations, the first is from microsoft;
Windows 7 & SSD: defragmentation, SuperFetch, prefetch

Can You Get More Space Or Speed From Your SSD?

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Windows 8 HP Pavilion switchable video driver install

January 11th, 2013 No comments

The Problem

Recently I upgraded my HP Pavilion dv6 laptop to windows 8. Windows 8 detected and installed the default Intel HD video driver only. The switchable graphics driver was not installed. The ATI HD5650 was not being used.

The solution

The following instructions are what I did to successfully install the switchable graphics driver on Windows 8 Pro 64-Bit

1. Download the driver for your HP Pavilion model. My driver was for example here:

2. Run the downloaded driver.

  • Click Next
  • Accept the terms and click next
  • The default location will be something like “c:\swsetup\SP50640” click next.
    (I will refer to this directory through the following steps, just use your specific directory)

  • The software will extract to that location
  • When the driver installation starts click cancel

3. Install the C++ redistributable

  • Enter the video driver directory e.g. “c:\swsetup\SP50640”
  • Enter the C:\swsetup\SP50640\Packages\Apps\VC10RTx64\vcredist_x64 diretory (64-bit) or;
    C:\swsetup\SP50640\Packages\Apps\VC10RTx86\vcredist_x86 for 32 bit

  • Choose properties and set the compatibility to Windows 7.
  • Run as administrator
  • Follow the prompts and complete the install

4. Install the ATI Driver

  • 64-Bit – enter the C:\swsetup\SP50640\Bin64 directory
  • 32-bit – enter the C:\swsetup\SP50640\Bin directory
  • Choose right-click properties on the “InstallManagerApp.exe”
  • Set compatibility to run as “Windows 7”
  • Choose Run as Administrator

The driver should be successfully installed. IWOMM

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HP Pavilion dv6 3030tx memory upgrade

December 22nd, 2012 2 comments

The scenario

I have a HP Pavilion dv6 3030tx.
This is a Core i5-540M Notebook with 4GB of memory.
It is upgradeable to 8GB (2x4GB).
This computer is running Windows 7 – 64bit Home

The problem

I found some memory on eBay and purchased some Corsair CMSO8GX3M2A1333C9.

When this arrived I put them in the Notebook and the BIOS seemed to reference them saying 8GB on board but the PC would not boot and kept crashing about 5 seconds into loading windows.

I tried to run mem test and it would crash after about 3 seconds.

(Note: the eBay guy happily refunded the memory once I confirmed that they were incompatible. So I will give him a little plug, D & D Computers Online and their eBay store D & D International eBay Store
If you are in Australia, they were very understanding with my problem, so you can do much worse than buying from them.
End Plug now.)

The solution

The compatible memory for this computer is:

  • DDR3-1066
  • PC3-8500
  • CAS: 7-7-7-20
  • Non-ECC
  • Unbuffered

These specs all looked fine on the corsair memory above, apart from one thing…

The Intel HM55 southbridge chip set will only be able to use memory packaged with 256Mx8 memory modules

What does this mean?
To make 4GB of memory I could do it with 8 x 512MB memory chips or I could use 16 x 256MB chips.
(If you have a look at some memory photos you can see this as either 4 or 8 memory blocks on one side of the memory circuit board.)

The Intel HM55 chipset cannot use memory with 512Mx8 memory.

The Pavilion dv6 3030tx runs the HM55 intel chipset and hence you need to find memory with the specific 256Mx8 memory packaging.


Here are some links to the various forum posts that I used to get to this answer.

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Crysis 2 50Hz issue ATI Card on HDMI connection

January 16th, 2012 2 comments

I have been running Crysis 2 on my DVI connection no worries, but recently I changed to a HDMI cable to connect my Benq E2420HD to my Msi R6850 video card.

If you see my previous post, Benq Monitor and HDMI not working you will see that I had some issues with getting my monitor to work, but I found the settings and all was good with the world.. until I launched Crysis 2.


When Crysis 2 runs with DX 11 in full screen mode, it runs @ 50Hz.

My monitor can handle 50Hz, (it is a supported refresh rate), but the game did not fill the full screen. The full screen was black but the edges of the game fell about 1cm short or the edge of my screen.

So WTF was going on?

Catalyst Control Centre.. again..

The issue is the overscan setting. As per the previous post (link above), I had to set the overscan setting to 0%. But when the monitor switches to 50Hz it also switches to a different profile, and this profile has the overscan setting to about the middle of this bar, (approx 7.5% underscan)

The solution is:

  1. Launch Catalyst control centre
  2. Expand “Desktop Management” and click on “Desktop Properties”
  3. Set the monitor to use 50Hz and click apply
    your monitor will switch and wow you suddenly see the black border similar to when you were playing Crysis 2
  4. Switch to the “Scaling Options” and set the Overscan to 0% and click apply

When you play Crysis it will now fill the full screen.

Got to go.. stuff to shoot .. 😉

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Benq Monitor and HDMI not working – FIXED

January 14th, 2012 2 comments

Attaching a monitor to a pc via HDMI should be easy… right.

Well on hooking up a Benq E2420HD monitor to a MSi R6850 (PM2DIGD5), the image looked terrible.

It took a bit of tweaking but these are the steps you will need to follow to get things looking how they should.

Step 1. Catalyst Control Centre Settings

In my case the software was defaulting to set the scaling options to “under scaled”! (about -7.5%)

Turn the scaling off and set it to 0% as shown.

Step 2. Monitor Settings

You need to turn off the overscan feature, in the monitors OSD (on-screen display) settings.

  1. Go to the Picture Advanced page and choose display mode

    On Screen Display 1

  2. Set the Overscan feature to OFF
    On screen display overscan

    Problem solved 🙂

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