A plus 220-1001 – Exam Objective 5.4
A+ Exam Objective 5.4 – ExamNotes
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5.4 Given a scenario, troubleshoot video, projector, and display issues.
Welcome to ExamNotes by Dumps4shared! In this installment, we will troubleshoot some of the more common video problems you’ll need to know about.
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Accessed in the Advanced Boot Options by pressing the F8 key at
startup, Windows will offer VGA mode as a boot option. Newer versions of
Windows (8.1-10) refer to VGA mode as low resolution video. In either case, the
display mode we are referring to is the most basic video resolution and color
setting available. The purpose of VGA mode is to successfully access the system
using the standard VGA driver as opposed to the manufacturer’s driver. Using
the standard driver enables you to see your system while reducing the video
system’s impact on system operation. In this mode, your on-screen objects may
appear larger or geometrically distorted. Shown here is the Windows 8.1 access
method. Here you would press F3 to access low resolution video. You will now
have the ability to troubleshoot the system.
Startup settings in Windows 8.1
No image on
There are a variety of possible causes for this condition.
Troubleshoot this condition as you normally would any hardware issue. Start
with the obvious. Is the computer operational? Are the fans and lights all
running? Obviously there will be no image on the screen so you can’t use this
to check. However, do check the monitor (if it applies) for Power indicator
lights and check the cable connections carefully. If everything is in order,
try a different monitor on the system. If these steps fail, grab your user
manual as there may be a reset sequence.
Any heat related issues are most likely to be associated with
the graphics subsystem. Often, the demands of high quality video, rapid frame
rates, and millions of colors combine on the video chipset, which may even be
part of the processor. The byproduct of all this is heat. Although heat exchangers,
fins, and fans are capable of dissipating the heat, their effectiveness can be reduced
with dust, its only natural enemy. For example, a slight layer of dust in the
fin housing or under the fan blades can be sufficient to impede the cooling
capacity of the cooling unit. Variations in temperature may cause the system to
shut down protectively. Dust is easy enough to clean and dust buildup is important
enough to check regularly.
Here are some of the terms related to video problems that you
are going to need to be familiar with.
A dead pixel is a picture element on an LCD panel that remains
unlit despite the fact it should be displaying a color or light of some type. Dead
pixels usually remain black.
Although artifacts usually appear as a small segment of
corrupted screen output, we’ll show the most extreme illustration of artifacts
that we can find. Shown below is a screen full of artifacts.
“Artifacts” – Corrupted screen output
In the 1970’s, this condition would be remedied by striking the
display which, as strange as it sounds, would work for short periods by
reconnecting broken tube filaments. This archaic technique will not work with
solid state components. Repairs can be attempted using manufacturer designed
software as sometimes a driver patch can help which would save money and man
This condition will be present in new “out-of-the-box” monitors.
If the colors are distorted or obviously wrong, start by power cycling the
monitor. If that fails, consult the documentation for the calibration routine
or use the Windows built-in calibration wizard.
More often than not, a dim image is the result of the power
saving settings on a laptop or the ambient light settings on a flat panel TV. This
condition is remedied using the monitor’s controls to adjust the brightness.
A flickering image is the result of your monitor running a
refresh rate of below 60Hz. At or above 60Hz, the human eye cannot detect
changes in an image. If you display progressive groups of images at 60 frames
per second, those images would appear to simply flow along. If you take those
same images and display them at 50 images per second, they will appear to
stutter as each new image is shown.
image and geometry
Images on your monitor are displayed using a strict X-Y axis
description, X pixels high by Y pixels wide. 1024 by 768 is reproducible by
most monitors. If a perfect circle is shown on the monitor, variations to
either of the x-y values will result in an imperfect circle, possibly an egg
shape. Shown below is when a perfect grid of squares is displayed at the wrong
This can be resolved by setting your monitor to a standard
resolution. A very common example of this condition occurs when you display old
television shows on current flat panel wide screen monitors. The old content will
appear stretched, short, and fat.
Finally, just about the worst thing that can happen to a monitor
with years of useful life remaining is a condition called burn-in. Burn-in happens
when a single motionless high contrast image is displayed for a long period of
time, such as over a day. The result is that the image is “burned-in” or permanently
present on the display. The image may be faint but it is constantly being
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Okay folks. That’s it for 5.4. Good luck on the test!
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