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Re: Monitor problem - images are "shaky".
Are you using the onboard graphics card? if yes try using a plug in card in the AGP slot to see if it makes a difference.It sounds like either an onboard graphics chip problem or a motherboard problem. come back to me for more emachine support, One of my specialised fields is in these computers.
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I don't think degaussing your monitor is going to help with this issue. Degaussing mainly addresses color correction around the monitor edges due to a magnetic field and applies to CRT monitors not LCD monitors which yours is. If by your term "shaky" you mean the image is unstable, then the problem is either in the main board which controls the X Y sync or with the power supply board. If you are knowledgeable with electronics you could probably repair this at home for $40 or less. If not then I would shop for another monitor to replace yours. Don't throw your old monitor away, instead post it for sale on craigslist. There are a lot of do it yourself type people who will buy this either for parts or to repair and resell. I don't know what it will bring as far as cash, might be $40 might be $5 but anything is better than zero.
This is likely the LCD panel itself - you are describing a left/right image error that can be only created by the left/right division by the LCD driver wrapped around the outside of the LCD panel. If your monitor uses a separate circuit board to drive the LCD, it could be this driver board. Either way, it will require an LCD panel - $$$
Sounds to me like the screen is starting to go bad. Best way to find out though, try another known working monitor and see how that works. If the other monitor works well then you know the original monitor is the problem.
If the 2nd monitor gives you problems then you know its the video card thats bad at that point cause you would be having the same problem on both computers.
5 years old, lamps are good for about 50 000 to 60 000 hours of life you would have to do the math based on average number of hours per week/month and see where your are, several things to check initially are inside look for blown capacitors, you can find images all over the net Google "blown capacitor image" and you will see what to look for. Next could be inverter failure as they get old and work pretty hard. Last the ccfl lamps may be dieing of old age like the florescent lamps in buildings, they get burnt at each of the ends and have a hard time lighting up. let me know what you find.
What service pack of windows xp are you running? Also, do you have your old monitor, if so, then plug it in and see if the same problem occurs. If not , go under the settings for your graphics card (not windows display options) and see if there can be a correction made to the settings for your monitor. Also, try going to microsoft.com and updating your computer (it's free) and you'll probably get the required driver to fix the problem from them. Check under your control panel and see if you have automatic updates turned on, if so you may want to limit what updates are to be installed by allowing updates but you choose which one's to install. Hope I could help. My e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org .