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Dell LCD Computer Monitor - Padlock Icon
A guide to getting rid of the flashing padlock icon that plagues some Dell LCD computer monitors including the E177FP.

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Does This Look Familiar??
Dell LCD Monitor Flashing Padlock Icon Problem
 Computer Savvy? - Quick Fix - Just change the LCD monitor's screen resolution & then change it back.

If your Dell or other brand LCD computer monitor is displaying a large flashing animated padlock icon that goes from locked to unlocked, read below for the instructions to remove it permanently from your screen.

Solution Steps For Computers Running Windows XP

1. Click on "Start" at the bottom left of the screen.
2. Choose "Settings"|
3. Choose "Control Panel"
4. Double click on the "Display" menu option.
5. Click on the "Settings" tab on the display dialog box.
6. Move the resolution slider to a different screen size (e.g. 800x600, 1024x768).
7. Hit the "Apply" button and select "Yes" that you want to use these new settings.
8. Change the resolution back to your preferred setting. Hit "Apply" and "Yes" again.
9. The icon should now be gone for good!
10. Visit my homepage and enjoy some of Paul's Travel Pictures


The Explanation

Ok, now that we've gotten rid of that really annoying flashing icon on your computer's screen, let me explain a few things.

My father just bought a brand new Dell Dimension desktop computer with a 15" LCD monitor (model # E177FP). We noticed the animated icon popping up on the screen while I was installing some common software programs onto the PC's hard drive. The next day he calls me to tell me that the icon is back in the middle of the screen and it won't go away no matter what buttons he pushes on the front of the monitor.

I searched the web using Google and I also searched the Dell Support Forums. All the discussions or threads I found about the extremely frustrating and persistent icon were full of well meaning people incorrectly suggesting that it might be caused by spyware, adware, or a virus.

The problem is NOT caused by a virus or spyware. Don't waste your time running Norton or Mcafee antivirus software or AdAware & Spybot.

The problem must be a glitch with some Dell LCD computer monitors because none of the buttons on the front of our E177FP monitor (Menu, +, -, Power) do anything at all. You can get the on screen menu to pop up but then pushing any button makes it snap away without changing any of the settings.

Dell E177FP LCD Computer Monitor Buttons
Dell E177FP LCD Computer Monitor Control Buttons (Photoshopped)

One thread on the Dell Support message board suggested that you should bring up the monitor's menu and change something in the "OSD Lock" sub-menu. But of course you can't access any setting in the menu since touching any button has no effect on the menu except to make it disappear.

The only combination of buttons on the Dell E177FP LCD monitor that did anything constructive was pushing the "Power" and "+" buttons at the same time to shut it off or turn it on..

Once you get rid of the flashing icon by using the steps above, you can make it reappear by hitting a button or combination  of buttons on the monitor. But why would you want to do that anyway? I couldn't make the icon reappear by doing anything on the actual computer itself including restarting or changing things on the Windows XP settings.

Conclusion - If you never want to see that obnoxious flashing icon again just don't touch the monitor buttons at all. When you shut off the computer, the monitor's LED light will turn to orange indicating that it has gone to sleep. Then when you turn on the computer it will automatically turn back on.

Update - It seems that this solution works for some of the affected monitors but not all of them. One person who contacted me was able to get a brand new monitor by contacting Dell directly. Good luck.

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