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Boot problem

Posted on 2000-04-18
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Last Modified: 2008-03-06
I have a 486 running Windows for Workgroups 3.11. Normally when I switch on the PC the monitor starts as well and the boot process continues. Recently when I swithc on the PC the monitor stays blank and the PC emits a seies of beeps. Nothing more happens, until I hit the reset switch at which point the monitor comes on and the boot process continues normally. What is causing this and how can I fix it?
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Question by:philkiwi
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19 Comments
 
LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:Loki
ID: 2726349
Is there a pattern to the series of beeps?  This might be a problem with your video card.  If the beep pattern is one long beep and two or three short beeps, this is most likely the case.  If so, you might want to get a new video card.  Also, you might want to try opening up the system to make sure all of your cards are in tight.  They can sometimes creep out of their slots due to the expansion and contraction of the metals or by other means.

Good Luck!
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LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:MAVERICK
ID: 2726677
This might sound silly... but is the monitor cord secure. Depending on your card, If the connector falls out, you will get beeps.

Thanks
Jon
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LVL 7

Expert Comment

by:frache
ID: 2726852
In my opinion , your CMOS battery ( cadmiun or lithium battery) is dead. Change this battery !.
0
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LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:Zoplax
ID: 2727095
If your monitor is an old one, it may be at a point close to the end of its useful life.  It seems like it's not "warming up" in time for the video card to initially detect the presence of the monitor.

Try a new(er) monitor and see if you experience the same problem.  If you do, swap out the video card and try again.  If you don't, you need a new monitor.
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LVL 63

Expert Comment

by:SysExpert
ID: 2727408
If it beeps, it is important to know how many, and the series of short vs long beeps.
This along with the BIOS manufacturer will determine the exact error.
Normal causes are
1) Card that needs to be reseated in its slot.
2) Bad RAM
3) Other hardware errors.
It is best to open up the computer.
Vacuum it out with a portable vacumm cleaner.
Reseat all the cards ( pull them out and replace them ).
I hope this helps.
0
 

Expert Comment

by:munna
ID: 2728302
Some hard drives will not "spin-up" during initial power on. Open the case, can you hear the drive shortly after you power the system on ?
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LVL 4

Expert Comment

by:kannabis
ID: 2729453
Sounds to me like your video card is on it's way out the door.  I have had this happen before on older cards such as the ATI Wonder etc,.  What type of card is this?  ISA? VESA? I would try swap a working card in there and see if this happens still.

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LVL 11

Expert Comment

by:RoadWarrior
ID: 2729642
If you have continual beeps, usually in groups of 3, until you hit reset. This is a memory problem. Reinserting the memory chips may cure it, the contacts often get oxidised over time and cause problems like this.

Many "suddenly fails to boot" problems can be cured by reseating socketed components in your computer. You might like to give everything a wiggle and push just to check.

Well I am about the 3rd to suggest this, so claim it as reinforcement rather than original. :-)

regards,

Road Warrior
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Expert Comment

by:10Bad_bob
ID: 2730948
This happens when your Video Card does not sence the presence of your monitor soon enough when you 1st boot up. Some monitors, if left on, go into a standyby mode and have a little bit of a hard time coming out of it. Try powering your monitor up a few seconds before you power up your computer and see if it improves your boot-up.
Good Luck!! Hope this helps.
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LVL 4

Expert Comment

by:kannabis
ID: 2732075
Hey Bob, what you said was already posted before

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Author Comment

by:philkiwi
ID: 2732253
Cannot power up monitor separately. As I stated in my original question the monitor is powerede by the PC and starts when the PC does.
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Expert Comment

by:10Bad_bob
ID: 2732485
philkiwi, Why can't you run a power cord from your monitor to a wall outlet or a power strip?? What am I missing here?? Fill me in.
0
 

Author Comment

by:philkiwi
ID: 2732909
The monitor is powered from the computer via a dedicated cord. It cannot be plugged in to a wall outlet or power strip.

I think the people who suggest a component not being secure are probably right. The problem has not occurred over the last two days. It  appears to have resolved itself.
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LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:vikiing
ID: 2734244
>>If your monitor is an old one, it may be at a point close to the end of its
>>useful life.  It seems like it's not "warming up" in time for the video card
>>to initially detect the presence of the monitor

Friend Zoplax: there's *NO* way to know, from the computer side, if a monitor is attached to video card or not. In fact, you can boot the machine with monitor powered off and computer will run smoothly.

Thus, monitor can delay a couple of years to "warm up" and video card, meantime, will run as if it were perfectly ready.

Since the point of view of the computer, monitor is an "output only" device, 'cause it feedbacks absolutely *NO* information (hardware of software signals) into the computer.
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LVL 7

Expert Comment

by:frache
ID: 2734423
Hi Vikiing
Not agree with :
>it feedbacks -! absolutely !- *NO* information (hardware of software signals) into the computer.

Video connector :
 
01>  RED  Red Video (75 ohm, 0.7 V p-p)
02>  GREEN  Green Video (75 ohm, 0.7 V p-p)
03>  BLUE  Blue Video (75 ohm, 0.7 V p-p)
04>  RES - Reserved
05>  GND  Ground
06>  RGND  Red Ground
07>  GGND  Green Ground
08>  BGND  Blue Ground
09>  +5V  +5 VDC
10>  SGND  Sync Ground
11<  ID0  Monitor ID Bit 0 (optional)
12<> SDA  DDC Serial Data Line
13>  HSYNC or CSYNC  Horizontal Sync (or Composite Sync)
14>  VSYNC  Vertical Sync
15<> SCL  DDC Data Clock Line


You have signals "monitor ID bit" and DDC serial data line (bidirectionnal port).

Better schema here :
http://www.pbmedia.net/hwb/co_VGAVesaDdc.html
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LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:vikiing
ID: 2736188
Well; please, write a program which detect if monitor is on or off, even if it's connected, ¿could you?

Tnx !!
0
 

Author Comment

by:philkiwi
ID: 2736466
Frache suggested that the CMOS battery is dead. If that were the case the clock would not keep accurate time I think. It is still keeping time. Those who suggested a loose component connection are nearer the mark I feel. The problem has not re-occurred over the last three days.
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LVL 2

Accepted Solution

by:
Loki earned 100 total points
ID: 2737447
If that's the case phil, I'd be happy to accept the points...  :)
0
 
LVL 4

Expert Comment

by:kannabis
ID: 2738058
So would I (:
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