When I first installed Windows 7, the power management was not working properly and the screensaver would not kick in nor woo. After I forgot to manually turn off the monitors one night, Something was wrong with power management when I first installed Windows 7 and my monitors did not shut nor did the screensaver kick in. As a result of that first night, I noticed a terrible “ghosting” effect that resembled the burn in of a CRT.
Fortunately, it turns out that burn in (or, more accurately, image persistence) is not permanent with LCDs. Though it is said that letting the monitors “relax” for a few days will fix the issue, it didn’t go away for me. Another common solution, however, is to use a solid white image as a screensaver – this basically burns in a white image and eliminates the ghosted image that was there before.
Another approach to removing LCD image persistence is to first create a solid white image and display the image as a screensaver covering the entire display area for an extended period of time, which operates the pixels in a uniform ON state rather than an OFF state as with turning the display off.
One issue I ran into though is that all of photo screensavers didn’t quite work with multiple monitor setups. Rather, they would show the white image on the primary monitor and have the other screens blank. Though this wouldn’t cause new burn-in, it obviously wouldn’t fix the issue that I had on each of my three monitors.
However, I was able to use UltraMon to achieve this, using the default integrated screensaver and changing the background color to be white. (Speaking of which - even with the new keyboard shortcuts in Windows 7, UltraMon is essential for multi-monitor setups. A new version was just released with proper Windows 7 support as well).
So, my monitors turn white after 2 minutes and then turn off after 30 minutes (based on the power settings). I’ve been running this for a day now and already I’ve noticed some of the ghosting is reduced. I’ll update this post again after a few more days to see how well it works.
Oh, and if you’re going to do this, it’s probably a good idea to reduce the brightness on your monitors so you don’t burn out the backlight bulb. Don’t make it a long-term thing either – once you’ve fixed the image persistence, you can go back to your previous settings.
As a side note, if you’re having similar issues with power management in Vista or Windows 7, there’s a new command line utility that can help you troubleshoot the problem. In my case, I was easily able to identify a USB driver that was preventing the system from entering the suspend state, and the issue was fixed as soon as I updated that particular driver.