Q AND A: Connections could be at fault in monitor issues
QUESTION: I'm having problems with my new computer monitor, which works intermittently. At first it wouldn't work with my Dell Dimension 2400 PC, so I bought a new video card. The monitor worked for a while, then stopped. Now the monitor comes on...
QUESTION: I'm having problems with my new computer monitor, which works intermittently. At first it wouldn't work with my Dell Dimension 2400 PC, so I bought a new video card. The monitor worked for a while, then stopped. Now the monitor comes on, goes off, then comes on again by itself.
--Shadi Hamam, Wilmington, N.C.
ANSWER: First check some basics. Is the video signal cable that attaches to the back of the PC connected tightly? If the connector is held in by screws, be sure they are screwed in all the way. If the connection looks OK, disconnect it to see if any of the connector pins appear to be damaged. A bent pin can be straightened with tweezers. Also check to see if the video card is tightly connected.
If nothing's amiss, try the new monitor with a friend's computer. If it doesn't work on another PC, the problem is inside the monitor and you should return it.
If the monitor does work with the friend's computer, then there may be something wrong with your PC's main circuit board, called the motherboard. If so, it may not be worth replacing the motherboard (which costs $120 or more new) when you can buy a new desktop PC for as little as $320.
Q: I recently installed Windows 7 on my laptop. But it won't automatically open an application window to full-screen size. I have to expand the page manually. What should I do?
--Robert Opheim, Plymouth
A: If your Windows 7 applications won't open in a full-sized window, Microsoft suggests downloading a new video driver from your laptop manufacturer's website.
Once the problem is solved, Windows 7 applications should automatically open to the same window size and screen location they had the last time they were closed. You should be able to use two methods to alter the window's size and location: Use the minimize-maximize control at the top right of the application window, or use the cursor to "drag" a window to a new size or a new part of the screen.
Q: We have two computers using Windows Vista, and both run the latest free version of AVG security software as well as Microsoft's Windows Defender software. But Windows Defender keeps getting turned off. Can the AVG software be the cause?
--Bob Little, Surf City, N.C.
A: Several online forums report that, because AVG provides both antivirus and antispyware functions, it automatically disables Windows Defender, which is an antispyware program. Why? Running two similar programs at once may slow down your PC.