Repair guides for displays (or monitors) for computers or other devices with video output.

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My CRT monitor only shows a small white floating thing, nothing else.

Hello! Help!

I recently purchased a new custom built PC tower running 2 outdated operating systems (Windows 98 SE and Windows XP, to be specific). Included with that computer was a CRT (yes, I do mean CRT) monitor.

Everything was working fine, there were no symptoms that the CRT would stop functioning.

Then, about 2 hours ago, the display suddenly went black - with the exception of a small white object moving vertically from the bottom third of the display near the horizontal centre, down to the bottom. All troubleshooting attempts have failed. I turned off computer and monitor for half an hour, then turned both back on with no success. I couldn't tell what point I had shut it down right after, so I may have interrupted the computer tower's memory test - nothing was coming up on the screen so I have no clue. I checked all connections - power supply and display input/output are all good. I'm usually able to figure computer issues out on my own, but this is beyond me. I even asked my mother, because she is probably more familiar with CRT monitors. I hadn't seen one since I was 6 or 7. I'm now 16. And I never had issues with the CRT from when I was younger, but when Mom tossed the old Packard Bell tower (corrupted HDD due to failed attempt at reverting from Windows XP back to Windows ME... I still don't know why she wanted to go back to the mess that was Windows ME) she also tossed the CRT that came with it. If she had saved it all these years, I'd have a backup monitor. Anyway, when I asked Mom, she suggested turning the whole system off - tower and monitor - and leaving it for half an hour. That didn't work.

I'm honestly asking for help trying to get the CRT working again. I really don't want to get an LCD, because I found some DOS games (which I run from Win98SE) on floppy disks at my aunt's and for my first time playing a DOS game, I thought "wow, that's awesome!" So I want to keep playing that Wheel of Fortune DOS game from 1988, and I think I read somewhere that LCDs don't display some older games optimally because LCD is newer display technology. I also have old CD-ROM games that I want to play and again, optimal display resolution is a concern. I figured I would give my reasons so that I could avoid the responses like "um... why would you NOT want to upgrade to LCD". It also helps that I'm really getting into the really vintage computing. I'm only using the XP partition for programs that don't support Win98SE. For instance, the H&R Block Income Tax Software. I kinda need to file my income tax and I downloaded the software to that computer.

Money is tight, so if the CRT can't be restored to functionality, will Windows 98SE display on a widescreen TV (with VGA input)? And will Windows XP be able to display on that TV as well? I know it's not CRT so I might have issues playing some of the DOS games. It's just until I can find a cheap CRT monitor on that I can buy. This is all assuming that my current CRT is beyond saving. Hopefully I can save it.

If more specific details about the Dell CRT monitor are needed, I will provide what info I have. All you gotta do is ask. (I only have the info printed on the back of the monitor; there were no manuals or guides included when I received the computer and monitor)


Royce Rivard

This post was sent from my iPhone because my Windows 10 laptop is slower than the Windows 98SE desktop!

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Have you reseated your video card? What type of ports does it have?


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Royce not sure how to tell if the CRT is actually dead but hook your computer to your tv if it has a VGA input it should work on at least XP as for getting another monitor put an add on Kijiji and say your looking for a CRT and Im sure someone will give you one just to get rid of them I just gave away 2 last year for free when i saw an add on kijijiI just wanted them out and Im sure theres more people out there's like me out there it doesnt hurt to ask. be willing to go get it though

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Royce Rivard, I am convinced it can be fixed. Be careful so, CRT monitors pack quite a punch. there are some high voltage circuitries that can and will shock you. Two things we need to know is, what model is your CRT and if you can take a picture of what you see. Also, and here you want to be careful, take the back of your CRT and take plenty of pictures of the boards so we can check those out as well with you. the single dot can be caused by failed electrolytic capacitors and/or failed IC's on the power board. Given the age of CRT's I am inclined to suspect the caps...Please remember not to touch anything until you properly discharged the CRT and power caps.

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I don't really feel comfortable taking apart a CRT. Also, I just tried plugging in my tv thru VGA and it isn't working. It appears that the problem now lies within the computer's VGA port.


Totally agree with you. If in doubt, don't do it. Bad VGA port should not give you a single dot on the monitor. Double check the cables and make sure that the video card is properly seated. Best of luck to you.



Bit of a silly ask, but did you "select" the VGA input on the TV? Also is VGA the only video output option on your PC? Is it onboard video in your PC or a video card or perhaps you may have both and one is disabled (so the other one works). Do you know the motherboard model number? It should be printed on the PC motherboard.


I did in fact select VGA, nothing happened. There is also an AUX yellow round port for video output so I hooked that into the TV and that worked when I selected AUX2 or something like that.

I'm much more of an expert on the software side. I know the hardware terminology but I have no clue what I'm looking for in terms of a video card and the motherboard.


Hi Royce,

If you open the PC case, (do so with PC off and power removed) there is a motherboard (biggest PCB -printed circuit board). Where your video cable connects into for the video output if it plugs into the connector which is attached to a smaller board that looks like it can be removed from the motherboard, then you have a video card installed. If the cable plugs into a connector that is attached to the motherboard then you have what is known as onboard video. If you have the option to plug into two video outputs at the back of the TV then you possibly may have both.

To verify, have you now got the TV working as a screen for your PC?

If you could post a picture of the back of your PC showing the connections we may be able to assist you further. A picture of the PC with the cover removed showing the interior would also be of help.


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