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#1 2021-03-07 06:00:36

nasci
Member
From: Melbourne, AU
Registered: 2018-12-08
Posts: 20
Website

Random screen flickering/flashing

Sometimes when I'm working on something on my computer, my screen randomly turns black for a couple of seconds, and then comes back. It's very unpredictable and seems to happen in bursts. It can happen up to about 20 times per minute during one of the bursts, but sometimes it just happens once or twice. Sometimes it can go multiple days without flashing. But when it is happening, it's very distracting makes the computer pretty much unusable.

Some further details:
- I have two monitors. Usually only one goes blank at a time but sometimes both go blank (not sure if they go at exactly the same time though). The problem still occurs with only one monitor.
- Sometimes artefacts appear on the screens during these episodes, in the form of thin, grey vertical lines.
- The episodes often happen when I'm using Zoom for video conferencing. This is very annoying as I have to use Windows for my Zoom lectures at the moment. I don't know much about Zoom under the hood, but is there anything special about Zoom, such as OpenGL, that could cause this?
- There are no messages in journalctl or dmesg when the screen flickers, which makes it very hard to debug.
- In the really bad flashing episodes, the monitors sometimes momentarily show a message saying the input is not supported (not sure what this really means, but it usually goes back to flashing after a few seconds).
- I have tried different cables and monitors (both monitors are HDMI), and it doesn't happen in Windows, so it must be a software issue.
- Initially I thought the problem was with overzealous DPMS instructions so I set "HardDPMS" to "false" in /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d, but this didn't seem to make any difference.

I have a GTX 1050 Ti and I'm using the proprietary Nvidia driver. I think I tried Nouveau at one point but I don't remember if it solved the issue (I can't use Nouveau long-term though due to incompatibility with another program). This has actually been happening for several years but I've just put up with it until now. But clearly it's not just a matter of upgrading to the latest Nvidia driver or something like that. I also get fairly bad tearing but I expect that's not related.

Does anyone have any ideas or tools I can use to debug this? Thanks in advance.

I've included /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/10-nvidia.conf below:

# nvidia-settings: X configuration file generated by nvidia-settings
# nvidia-settings:  version 450.57

Section "ServerLayout"
    Identifier     "Layout0"
    Screen      0  "Screen0" 0 0
    InputDevice    "Keyboard0" "CoreKeyboard"
    InputDevice    "Mouse0" "CorePointer"
    Option         "Xinerama" "0"
EndSection

Section "Files"
EndSection

Section "InputDevice"
    # generated from default
    Identifier     "Mouse0"
    Driver         "mouse"
    Option         "Protocol" "auto"
    Option         "Device" "/dev/psaux"
    Option         "Emulate3Buttons" "no"
    Option         "ZAxisMapping" "4 5"
EndSection

Section "InputDevice"
    # generated from default
    Identifier     "Keyboard0"
    Driver         "kbd"
EndSection

Section "Monitor"
    # HorizSync source: edid, VertRefresh source: edid
    Identifier     "Monitor0"
    VendorName     "Unknown"
    ModelName      "AOC Q27P1B"
    HorizSync       30.0 - 99.0
    VertRefresh     50.0 - 76.0
    Option         "DPMS"
EndSection

Section "Device"
    Identifier     "Device0"
    Driver         "nvidia"
    VendorName     "NVIDIA Corporation"
    BoardName      "GeForce GTX 1050 Ti"
    Option "HardDPMS" "False"
EndSection

Section "Screen"
    Identifier     "Screen0"
    Device         "Device0"
    Monitor        "Monitor0"
    DefaultDepth    24
    Option         "Stereo" "0"
    Option         "nvidiaXineramaInfoOrder" "DFP-1"
    Option         "metamodes" "HDMI-0: nvidia-auto-select +0+181, HDMI-1: nvidia-auto-select +2560+0 {rotation=right}"
    Option         "SLI" "Off"
    Option         "MultiGPU" "Off"
    Option         "BaseMosaic" "off"
    SubSection     "Display"
        Depth       24
    EndSubSection
EndSection

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#2 2021-03-07 07:59:54

seth
Member
Registered: 2012-09-03
Posts: 33,337

Re: Random screen flickering/flashing

Zoom is especially annoying for a whole set of different reasons, but this sounds like something™ tries to configure the output to an unsupported modeline.

Please post your xrog log after one of those flicker episodes.

The problem still occurs with only one monitor.

Can you please be more specific on this? You also said

have tried different cables and monitors

One of the outputs seems rotated (please post the output of "xrandr -q") - is that the affected one and is it a critical aspect of the problem?
Or is it always the same output (hdmi jack)?
Or the same panel?

Do you get this when you clone the outputs (ie. both show the same content)?

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#3 2021-03-08 11:47:35

nasci
Member
From: Melbourne, AU
Registered: 2018-12-08
Posts: 20
Website

Re: Random screen flickering/flashing

I checked /var/log/Xorg.0.log and there are no entries around the time of these episodes. I can't see anything else in the log indicating anything wrong.

The problem still occurs with only one monitor.

Can you please be more specific on this?

By this I meant I can disconnect either of the monitors, reboot, and the problem still occurs. I also plugged in a different monitor and the problem still occurred (however, I've only tried HDMI monitors so I will test whether DP and DVI have the same problem). To clarify, the flickering occurs on both monitors (i.e. both HDMI outputs) when they are connected, but not always synchronously.

One of the outputs seems rotated

Yes, I have one monitor in portrait orientation. I don't think it's a "critical aspect" because the problem still occurs when that monitor is disconnected. Here is the output of xrandr -q:

Screen 0: minimum 8 x 8, current 3640 x 1920, maximum 32767 x 32767
DVI-D-0 disconnected (normal left inverted right x axis y axis)
HDMI-0 connected primary 2560x1440+0+181 (normal left inverted right x axis y axis) 597mm x 336mm
   2560x1440     59.95*+
   1920x1080     60.00    59.94    50.00    60.00    50.04  
   1680x1050     59.95  
   1440x900      59.89  
   1280x1440     59.91  
   1280x1024     75.02    60.02  
   1280x960      60.00  
   1280x720      60.00    59.94    50.00  
   1024x768      75.03    70.07    60.00  
   800x600       75.00    72.19    60.32    56.25  
   720x576       50.00  
   720x480       59.94  
   640x480       75.00    72.81    59.94    59.93  
DP-0 disconnected (normal left inverted right x axis y axis)
DP-1 disconnected (normal left inverted right x axis y axis)
HDMI-1 connected 1080x1920+2560+0 right (normal left inverted right x axis y axis) 509mm x 286mm
   1920x1080     60.00*+  59.94    50.00    60.00    50.04  
   1680x1050     59.95  
   1440x900      59.89  
   1280x1024     75.02    60.02  
   1280x960      60.00  
   1280x720      60.00    59.94    50.00  
   1024x768      75.03    70.07    60.00  
   800x600       75.00    72.19    60.32    56.25  
   720x576       50.00  
   720x480       59.94  
   640x480       75.00    72.81    59.94    59.93  

I will try the following things and report back:

  1. Disabling the portrait rotation of HDMI-1

  2. Cloning the outputs

  3. A single DVI or DP monitor connected

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#4 2021-03-11 02:30:40

nasci
Member
From: Melbourne, AU
Registered: 2018-12-08
Posts: 20
Website

Re: Random screen flickering/flashing

Update: I tried disconnecting the secondary monitor, removing all related lines from /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d, and rebooting. The problem still occurs with just one monitor connected, as I expected. So I'm afraid your suggestions of disabling the portrait rotation and cloning the output won't fix it - it's not related to having multiple monitors. Any other ideas?

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#5 2021-03-11 16:22:35

seth
Member
Registered: 2012-09-03
Posts: 33,337

Re: Random screen flickering/flashing

Is the GPU possibly underpowered? Does it have a dedicated 6/8-pin power connector that you forgot to plug?
Or is it badly seated in the PCIe slot? Did you use the proper slot (not all are the same, consult the board manual - even if it's a physical x16 legth slot, parts of it could be a dead shelf only)

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#6 2021-03-14 03:07:12

nasci
Member
From: Melbourne, AU
Registered: 2018-12-08
Posts: 20
Website

Re: Random screen flickering/flashing

There's no auxiliary power connector on the GPU and it's in a full x16 slot. I'm convinced this is a software issue because the screen doesn't flash when using Windows (I'm dual booting). It does seem to be worse when the GPU is under load, like when using Zoom as I mentioned, or AutoCAD in a VM. But I think it must be either the Nvidia driver or X.org. Is there anything I can use to troubleshoot these? I've looked through the Nvidia config GUI but didn't find anything useful there.

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#7 2021-03-14 07:10:19

seth
Member
Registered: 2012-09-03
Posts: 33,337

Re: Random screen flickering/flashing

I'm dual booting

3rd link in my signature…

Other than that, look into the power/performance setting in nvidia-settings and maybe try to enforce the full composition pipeline, https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/NV … en_tearing (ignore the context, it'll prevent the GPU from powering down)
You can also try the lts kernel and/or the 390xx driver, https://aur.archlinux.org/packages/nvidia-390xx-dkms/

sometimes momentarily show a message saying the input is not supported

means there's a bogus signal and with the described context that sounds a lot like the GPU isn't drawing or getting enough power.

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#8 2021-04-13 07:35:43

kamahl
Member
Registered: 2007-09-16
Posts: 60

Re: Random screen flickering/flashing

I am experiencing the same problem with

 $ lspci |grep VGA                                                                                                                                
01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: NVIDIA Corporation GP107 [GeForce GTX 1050 Ti] (rev a1)

The dual monitors are both BenQ BL 2205. I suspect the problem is with a recent nvidia driver update (using ver. 460.67). I don't know how to solve that, downgrading caused some other problems to me.

Also check out this thread on nvidia formus: https://www.nvidia.com/en-us/geforce/fo … opicPage=3

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#9 2021-04-17 13:48:51

nasci
Member
From: Melbourne, AU
Registered: 2018-12-08
Posts: 20
Website

Re: Random screen flickering/flashing

Interesting that you're experiencing this on the same GPU as me, although that might just be chance. Have you tried nouveau?

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#10 2021-05-11 10:49:36

redgroot
Member
Registered: 2021-05-11
Posts: 3

Re: Random screen flickering/flashing

I had the same issue with 465.27, tried to downgrade nvidia from 465.27 to 465.24 also tried to wipe nvidia and installed nouveau didn't effect anything then downgraded my kernel to 5.11.16 and installed latest nvidia, problem's solved. I have no idea what the issue is.

Last edited by redgroot (2021-05-11 10:53:33)

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#11 2021-05-28 18:00:29

MoSal
Member
Registered: 2015-09-23
Posts: 32

Re: Random screen flickering/flashing

TL;DR: keep your Wi-Fi antennas away from HDMI wires.

------

I'm leaving this here since I found this thread via a search engine and I'm sure others will too.

I've been using a USB Wi-Fi adapter for years. But I bought a PCIe one recently. I ordered external antennas with it but didn't receive them yet. So I've been testing with the antennas directly attached to the adapter.

I started having those flickering issues during speed tests (other network-heavy tasks would cause similar "trouble" obviously). I moved the antennas a little bit away from the HDMI wire attached to the GPU, and voila, no more flickering.

There are probably many causes for HDMI screen flickering. But this might not be an immediately obvious one.

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#12 2021-08-03 00:06:06

jonot
Member
Registered: 2021-08-03
Posts: 1

Re: Random screen flickering/flashing

Hey, I have been having a similar issue with my second monitor since I got my GTX 1050ti. It even happened with zoom like you said. I wasn't able to fix this, but since multiple people have had this with a 1050 ti it might have to do with that

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#13 2021-08-04 10:24:50

nasci
Member
From: Melbourne, AU
Registered: 2018-12-08
Posts: 20
Website

Re: Random screen flickering/flashing

Interesting. Having previously said I don't experience the issue in Windows, I've had to use it more lately and the screen has been going black sometimes under heavy GPU load. This means it is probably a more fundamental hardware incompatibility or configuration fault (at least for me, not sure about anyone else). Does anyone else experience the problem on Windows as well?

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#14 2021-12-06 17:53:42

BrianKopp
Member
Registered: 2020-08-17
Posts: 7

Re: Random screen flickering/flashing

I'm seeing similar behavior with a GTX 1060.

> lspci |grep VGA
01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: NVIDIA Corporation GP106 [GeForce GTX 1060 6GB] (rev a1)

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#15 2022-03-14 18:07:29

vulkanized
Member
Registered: 2022-03-14
Posts: 1

Re: Random screen flickering/flashing

Seeing similar behaviour with ZOTAC GTX 1050 2GB, using DisplayPort cable, running Xorg, i3, nvidia 510. maybe seen most often while using Firefox. Started happening noticeably often for me a couple weeks ago. monitor goes black, then picks up a usable signal again, signal may contain some tearing or what looks like horizontal lines of corrupt pixels, then the monitor may go black 2 or 3 more times over the next 15 seconds before it stabilizes again. haven't noticed how many times this happens during the day. I see nothing in dmesg or journalctl. I also run Windows on this machine and do not encounter this issue when running Windows.

lspci:
0b:00.0 VGA compatible controller: NVIDIA Corporation GP107 [GeForce GTX 1050] (rev a1)

Anyway, I'll continue to keep my packages updated, consider if I have some config issue, hardware issue, etc. Just posting my impression.

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#16 2022-03-21 13:52:06

caesarprime
Member
Registered: 2022-03-21
Posts: 2

Re: Random screen flickering/flashing

Facing the same issue with the same VGA

```
$ lspci | grep VGA
01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: NVIDIA Corporation GP107 [GeForce GTX 1050 Ti] (rev a1)
```

This only happens when the screen is having too much whiteness

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#17 2022-03-21 14:33:01

seth
Member
Registered: 2012-09-03
Posts: 33,337

Re: Random screen flickering/flashing

Random guess: Try passing "pcie_aspm=off" to the kernel.

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#18 2022-03-27 05:25:40

caesarprime
Member
Registered: 2022-03-21
Posts: 2

Re: Random screen flickering/flashing

seth wrote:

Random guess: Try passing "pcie_aspm=off" to the kernel.

Doesn't seem to work in my case

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#19 2022-04-05 16:46:44

dawierha
Member
Registered: 2022-04-05
Posts: 2

Re: Random screen flickering/flashing

I have had this issue with my laptop and some external monitors since about at least 2018. It appears on both ubuntu, arch, Xorg, wayland.
However, I only had issues with some external monitors going black and then back again and not the laptop screen itself.

I found that setting the refresh rate of the laptop and external monitor to the same rate, or turning off the laptop screen completely mitigates this issue.
So these tips probably won't help you but maybe someone else.

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#20 2022-11-24 10:10:11

GameLostException
Member
Registered: 2022-11-23
Posts: 1

Re: Random screen flickering/flashing

I have the exact same issue on a vanilla Arch install (Xfce4 + AwesomeWM) on a laptop with 2 external screens plugged via HDMI on a generic USB 3 hub, with a single USB connection to the laptop.

Reading through the existing answers on this board, I had a look at my /var/log/Xorg.0.log and would see this when both external screens go black for a couple seconds:

[ 34570.436] (II) systemd-logind: got resume for 13:76
[ 34570.436] (II) event12 - Video Bus: is tagged by udev as: Keyboard
[ 34570.436] (II) event12 - Video Bus: device is a keyboard
[ 51961.624] (II) event256 - PixArt Dell MS116 USB Optical Mouse: SYN_DROPPED event - some input events have been lost.
[ 51961.624] (EE) event257 - Dell KB216 Wired Keyboard: client bug: event processing lagging behind by 241ms, your system is too slow
[147298.769] (EE) event256 - PixArt Dell MS116 USB Optical Mouse: client bug: event processing lagging behind by 11ms, your system is too slow

The "client bug" thingy on the last 2 lines and/or the SYN_DROPPED on the 4th line could show the source of the issue, e.g. could be the hub or the connected devices tripping the whole connection? I couldn't test without these devices yet.

(NVIDIA drivers: 520.56.06; XOrg: 1.21.1.4 (12101004))

EDIT: I have all 3 screens (laptop's and 2x external HDMI Dell monitors) set to 60Hz refresh rate and still have the issue.

Last edited by GameLostException (2022-11-24 10:12:26)

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