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What to do Whent there's no Video Display

  1. Jan 30, 2006 #1
    My computer won't turn on anymore. Actually it turns on just fine but doesn't display anything. The power supply turns on, all the lights go on, the cd rom drives spin, everything sounds like it's completely normal. There is just no video output. The monitor stays dark and the green light is orange instead.

    To troubleshoot I first tried the monitor. I tried a different working monitor on this computer and still no display. I tried that monitor on a working computer and the monitor worked fine.

    I repeated this process for the video card and determined that the video card works fine.

    So this means what, the motherboard is fried? That's what you would think unless it's something else which I am hoping.

    I had this EXACT problem a month ago and determined it was the motherboard. I replaced the motherboard and reassembled the computer and it all worked fine and I was happy so that must have been it. Why then a month later would it be the same issue? The new motherboard is a completely new brand but the same Pentium 4 processor.

    My current motherboard has no onboard video so I can't try that, but on the last one when I tried using the onboard video it still made no display.

    Maybe the outlet was bad but I have the computer on a new outlet because the old outlet was having problems destroying power supplies requiring me to replace like three of those. It's always plugged into a surge protector. If you need more info let me know I was just hoping that someone had an idea for me or can tell me what I should do. Thanks.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 30, 2006 #2


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    Science Advisor

    The first thing i thought was that it might be your BIOS settings. Sometimes in the BIOS there is the option to choose either the onboard or pci graphics card as the default. In either case the video card that is not set as default will behave like you described (this happened to me). However you say that you don't have onboard graphics so i don't know if it applies. You could try switching the graphics card to a different PCI slot as well.
  4. Jan 30, 2006 #3
    If it helps what happened was in the middle of a game the computer spontaniously restarted and then the mouse wouldn't move. I did a shutdown and when I went to turn it back on there was nothing. So whatever the bios settings were at least were working. I wish I could check the bios settings but I don't know how to do that if I can't see.

    Thank you very much for the response, -Job-. You gave me a really good idea. My video card is an 8x agp but now I think I will go out and buy a cheap PCI card and try that in various slots. I guess that's at least a good step before I go out and buy yet another computer to ruin.
  5. Mar 5, 2006 #4
    have you checked the ram
    i have had this kind of problem many times
    if the ram is fried you may have to get a new one
    other wise take it out make sure the contacts are clean or rub the contacts with an eraser and then plug it back in. if it still dosent work maybe the ram is fried or there may be some other problem.
  6. Mar 5, 2006 #5


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    If all you hear is the drives spinning up, that doesn't necessarily mean the computer is booting - do you see (via the hard-drive activity light) a minute or so of hard drive activity indicating booting?

    The motherboard or ram is probably dead and all you are seeing is the power supply powering the peripheral hardware.
  7. Mar 5, 2006 #6
    This thread proceeded a scary experience for me a few weeks ago. On start-up my lap-top display went 'black'. After several forced shutdowns (holding the power button down) I concluded because of a very faint display that the computer was indeed booting. (I was regreting not reading this thread).
    After shutting down for several hours I had success restarting but soon after lost the display again. I unplugged and reinserted the power cord from the computers jack and the screen came back on and I haven't had any trouble since, even after a road trip! I guess it just wanted to give me a scare? I hope seeing this question again isn't an omen but if it goes blank I will be trying the unplug/replug to restore the display. I'm convinced this was a fluke but if anyone else has shared this experience I would be interested in hearing about it.
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2006
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