Contrast Message Errors

by on October 27, 2007

Q: When I start my desktop system, after some time I get a message of “contrast”. This message is same as when we press the “Menu” button on the monitor to adjust contrast/brightness/geometry of monitor. When this message appears it starts adjusting all the options randomly on its own. This occurs repeatedly after some time. I even formatted my system many times but problem persists. I am using Windows XP and IBM desktop machine. Maybe it occurred because of some virus?

A: While it is remotely possible that your computer has a virus, I think that you are probably dealing with an entirely different problem. It sounds to me like your monitor, video cable, or your computer’s graphics have been damaged. Such damage can happen as the result of a power surge, physical damage to the circuits, or even through normal use. Regardless, it is always a good idea to use a surge protector.

To determine which piece of hardware is malfunctioning, you should do some tests. I recommend doing all of these tests in a different building from where the computer is currently located, as this will enable you to rule out most electricity issues as the source of your problems. If you determine that the power coming to your computer is the source of your problems, consider repairing the problem and/or purchasing an uninterruptible power supply (UPS):

  1. Connect your monitor to another computer with a new video cable. If the problem exists in this setup, then your monitor has become defective and you should replace it.
  2. Connect your computer to another monitor while using a new video cable. If the problem exists here, then it is your computer causing the problem. Solutions to this problem include searching for a software update to your computer’s current graphics and replacing the current graphics with a new graphics card. If you’ve never put a new graphics card in your computer, then you should be able to find an update to your graphics using IBM.com. New graphics cards are available at major retail stores and online. Consult the owner’s manual for your computer before purchasing a replacement graphics card.
  3. If the problem does not present itself in either test #1 or test #2, then your original video cable is most likely defective. Replace it with the newer cable that you used in the previous tests. If your video cable is built into your computer monitor, you will need to replace the monitor.
  4. If you use a new monitor, new cable, and new graphics card but the computer still malfunctions, you will need to send the computer in for repair.

Be sure to recycle all of your electronics instead of throwing them away. Electronics contain chemicals that are harmful to the environment.