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[ The PC Guide | Troubleshooting and Repair Guide | The Troubleshooting Expert | Troubleshooting Specific Components | Troubleshooting Monitors | Image Quality Problems ]

The screen image is distorted, with wavy lines or warbling of the displayed image

Explanation: There is a viewable image on the screen, but it is not stable, but rather somewhat distorted, moving slowly, warbling, or has wavy lines moving up or down the screen.

Diagnosis: This kind of problem is usually the result of interference from another device affecting the image. There are two possible sources of interference: first, another device could be emitting electromagnetic radiation that affects the viewed image; second, another device on the same electrical circuit could be creating interference on the power line that affects the monitor. If the image appears totally scrambled and unviewable, this is usually a different problem.


  • Examine the area around the monitor and remove any devices in the proximate area that could be interference sources. Common culprits are fans, motors, transformers and especially other monitors. Putting two monitors next to each other usually will cause each to interfere with the other.
  • Try plugging the monitor into another power circuit to see if this causes the problem to go away. If it does, you may have line noise problems. Try isolating the monitor (and PC) to their own circuit or using a power protection device that includes line filtering or isolates devices.
  • Try changing the physical location of the PC within the room. This will sometimes solve the problem by moving the CRT out of the way of some unknown interference source.
  • There could be a problem with the monitor, and you may need to get it examined by a repair shop.

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