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dcowboys20 Honor Student
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External Monitor Flickering When Connected to HP Laptop

Hey guys,

I've been a lurker on here for awhile now and finally decided to post. I have had my HP Pavilion laptop (Windows 7) for 3-4 years now and just recently decided to hook it up to an external monitor to help with home productivity (it's only a 13'' laptop so it was about time). I took my old desktop Dell monitor and plugged it to the laptop via the monitor's VGA cable. However, recently the external monitor (which I have designated as my main display) started flickering for no particular reason. I updated my driver and then googled this issue online. The only real answer I have found is a "grounding" issue that does not pertain to me since my laptop continues to flicker even when it is not plugged in to battery power.

So, I went out to Best Buy and bought a new VGA cable thinking that perhaps the cable was old and needed to be replaced. Although the new cable initially seemed to fix the issue, the external monitor still flickers at times, sometimes every few minutes and at other times several times per minute.

Now, I just purchased a new 23" HP external monitor and although the flickering is less frequent, it still continues. I tried using a power surge and separating the power outlets for each plug (i.e., the plug's of my laptop and the external monitor) but that didn't seem to do the trick. I also tried using an HDMI cable but to no avail. Also looked at the refresh rate and I can't go below 60 HZ for the external monitor, so I seem to be fine there. Both the laptop and external monitor are on recommend resolution settings (1366 x 768 for the laptop and 1920 x 1080 for the external monitor).

It's funny because these new LED monitors are not supposed to flicker at all (at least according to the guides). That leaves me with two conclusions: there have only been two constants through all these changes: 1) my laptop, and 2) the desk I am setting everything on. The desk is not the most stable of desks and when I type fast on my laptop the desk can shake a little bit. So, I switched from the "shaky" desk to a steady table. After all day yesterday of thinking the problem was fixed, I go back to use my laptop/external monitor today and what do you know: more occasional flickering.

The only thing I can think of now is this is a problem related to my laptop. I have literally exhausted every possible solution I know of to this point. I'm very frustrated and have no idea what to do here.

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Provost Provost
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External Monitor Flickering When Connected to HP Laptop

What does no avail on the hdmi mean? It did not work or it still flickers? Do you have the laptop set to only put out to the external monitor or is the built-in display also being driven by the video card? In other words, how exactly do you have the display set up? I think you are saying you have both screen displaying an image? Are you extending to the external monitor or mirroring the built-in screen? I know the external is the primary monitor but how are you using the built-in display? I would think you would have the best luck setting it to display only to the external. The other constant in the equation is the electrical system. Have the monitors always been plugged into the same outlet? Monitors can be very sensitive to electrical anomalies. I see you use a "surge" (supressor) but the inexpensive ones do not really smooth out power; you have to use a ups/battery backup for that. Is the wall power outlet a 2-prong or a three prong? Have you tried moving the whole setup to another room or another location? Does the built-in screen ever flicker?

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dcowboys20 Honor Student
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Hi,

 

Thanks for the message!  I'll try and clear up that first post for you below.

 

No avail on the HDMI cable meant that I tried connecting to the external monitor from my laptop via an HDMI cable and the external monitor still flickered.

 

The display setup is to "extend the displays."  The reason I had this setup is because extending the displays allows me to download certain files, drag them to my laptop screen, and still do work on my external monitor.  Same thing with opening up folders, etc.  Essentially multi-tasking.  With that said, I can give it a shot by changing the display setup to "show desktop only on 2" and 2 is the external monitor.  I was not experiencing any flickering when I just was connected to my laptop, so I will test this new display setup tonight and get back to you.  Perhaps that will help?!

 

I was using a surge protector for both outlets but I recently switched desks from the "wobbly" desk to our built-in desk in the same room (which I believe is what you alluded to in your last couple of sentences).  So, instead of using the surge protector as before now I am just using our wall outlets to plug in both the laptop and the power for the external monitor (although they are each connected to two different outlets).  The wall power outlets are three prong outlets.

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Provost Provost
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It is either a defect in the video system of the laptop or some sort of an issue with the power in your house. I would say if a desktop connected to the same monitor does not cause flicker, we have ruled out a problem with your electricity. It is just very odd that you never get flicker on the "main" screen" but output through the Dsub (vga) or hdmi causes flicker. 

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dcowboys20 Honor Student
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Well I tried your suggestion and I have not experienced any flickering yet with setting the display only to the external.  Interesting!  I guess I could just use the external monitor as my display until I get a new laptop and then try to re-extend the displays.  Perhaps I can try and find another laptop and connect it to the same external monitor and see if there is any flickering to rule out the elecricity issue.

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sickofit Top Student
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Are you talking flickering as in old school refresh rate too low flickering or do you mean the screen gets dimmer or brighter every once in a while?

The school I support uses laptops with Promethean boards, which are essentially a projector (second monitor).

We occasionally get a flickering (more with the older laptops) and though I never had as many problems in my building, other buildings treated the issue with powered VGA splitters. Take that for what it's worth. The only room in which I ever had an issue was fixed with new cables to the projector.
dfadf Student
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Well, it might be related to the refresh rate (although the external monitor doesn't go below 60 Hz and I think I had the laptop at 60 Hz when I was extending the display), but the screen does not get dimmer/brighter - it simply "flickers" or "flashes" like a blink of the eye.

 

My laptop an HP Pavilion dm3 and I have had it for several years now so perhaps it has something to do with that.  It's certainly weir that the flickering goes away when I don't extend the displays.

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Regents Professor
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@dfadf,

 

It looks like this user had the same issue, but on the notebook screen instead of the external monitor.  They noted that updating the video driver worked for them as well as another user.  I know these are different systems, but the problem seems to be similar.  I take it you have already updated the driver as the original poster has.  If you have, was it updated from the video card manufacturer's site or from HP's support site for your unit?

 

What is the product number?

NOTE: Do NOT provide the serial number.

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Curt_LFC Student
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I have recently purchased 8 HP655 laptops for a school I work in.  These are to be used with the interactive whiteboards with Epson 470 short throw projectors.  When I connected them to the projector via VGA the laptop would not sync at all and would constantly flicker trying to set the resolution.  This happened even if I set the desktop resolution on the laptop to a resolution that is compatible.  My Dell Laptop worked absolutley fine using the same cables.  After trying all sorts of combinations I eventualy came to the conclusion that it must be something to do with the cable.  I recplaced the cable that came from the projector input to the laptop output and the signal then synced and appeared to work.  However similar to what is explained in this thread occasionaly maybe once or twice a minute there is a slight flicker on the screen.  I have tried updating drivers and bios but to know avail.  It is definitely something to do with the hardware output of the HP laptop as other laptops connect fine.  Any advice on this issue will be greatly appreciated.

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Retired OrnahP
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Curt_LFC,


Thank you for visiting the HP Support Forums. This is a peer-to-peer community for customers to connect and share solutions regarding their HP products.

You may have a better response at the forums for business support, if you'd like to give them a try:

http://h30499.www3.hp.com/t5/Business-Support-Forums/ct-p/business-support



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