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Nothing on screen

I've got 2 PCs here which both refuse to give any screen, not even the BIOS startup screen.

I have one pc which I put a second hand motherboard and CPU in. Both have worked perfectly before so I doubt they are broke as well.
When I turn the power on, everything sound good, hard discs start to spin, as do the CD players (the "busy" lichts on them keep burning though)
but it just refuses to give any sign of life on the monitor.

I've tried:

booting with nothing but the graphic card and memory on it
a new power supply
other memorymodule
other graphic card

I am kinda running out of options here so if anyone knows something I could try, let me know.

I also have a other pc just like it, which just had a new power supply cause the old one was broken (according to the costumer) when I tried to put it on, it seemed like the new supply was broken to, so I put a new one on it..wouldnt give anything on the monitor when I put it on without HDs etc. and it wouldnt work at all when I connected the HD.

These problems are out of my league as I am still learning so I hope you can teach me something for the future and give me any ideas of solutions!
1 Solution
Suggest you check out the following:

* hdd attached at end of ribbon cable on IDE1 and jumpered as master
* bios up-date so Primary Master is set to hdd and autodetect
* boot order set in bios to hdd, CDROM (if there is one), fdd

Apologies if you've been there, done that but at this moment I don't know what you have attempted.

If you've done the above then check out your cmos battery. You did say you've installed an old m/b + CPU so the chances are that the cmos battery has had no juice going into it - so it is likely to be totally flat. The cmos battery is about 2cm diam and the thickness of a coin and costs about USD3. You'll need an exact replacement - they're sold in many different outlets.

Hope that helps
Can you try a different monitor you need to verify that the monitor is good.
TFOAuthor Commented:
Tried on a other monitor, didnt work
As for Partickab's ideas.
I dont have any image on screen, so I cant get into the bios whatsoever.
Correct me if I am wrong, but I should get a BIOS screen with just a motherboard with memory, CPU and a graphic card. Even if the battery is dry it should get the BIOS screen.

Something is probably defective, but I just have no idea what!

More suggestions please ;)
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reseat the CPU.  also, pay attention to beeps when the computer starts up.  lack of any beeps could be a bad sign.  also you might want to check to see if the board requires a fan on the CPU.  i've read that there are certain boards that will refuse to work if the CPU fan doesn't spin to a certain speed, this is to prevent the user from burning the CPU
TFOAuthor Commented:
I could try to remove the CPU and putting it back on, but I doubt that is the problem since everything spins up.
The CPU always worked on that board. it had a fan on it.

There are no beeps, everything just spins up...but nothing on the screen
TFOAuthor Commented:
I could try to remove the CPU and putting it back on, but I doubt that is the problem since everything spins up.
The CPU always worked on that board. it had a fan on it.

There are no beeps, everything just spins up...but nothing on the screen
Remove every card but the video card and reboot. If it POSTs(Power On Self Test) then put 1 card at a time back in and reboot untill it stops POSTing. Do the same with your RAM. Try putting a known good video card in the machine too.
Also make sure you unplug ALL THE DRIVES from the IDE channels. A bad drive controller could cause this problem.
And make sure drive cables are connected properly (not reversed).  Red stripe connects to pin 1 at each end.  If you connect it 180-degrees off you get solid hdd light and no boot.

Also check that the switch and led wires are connected right (power/reset/hdd led/etc.).

Does that board have onboard graphics. If so are you using a different video card or the one onboard?
If you are using a different video card, then make sure you go into the bios or set the jumper onboard and disable the onboard video.

Also there was a period of time when some P4 MBs were first coming out and some had a different voltage requirement on them for the video card. Check into this as well if the above solution is not your problem.

What is the MB of the system we are talking about here.
This might sound stupid, but I have seen it and been called out to a customers house to fix it. If the motherboard has built in graphics and u have installed a new graphics into it is the monitor connected to the right card.
 Have seen what BBirvine just mentioned. Client had added new graphics card and monitor connected to the on-board video card (force of habit, I guess).  Anyway,,are you getting a good loud beep (this means POST routine is good)? If not,,then you amy have a CPU or MoBo problem, since if your graphics or memmory were at fault, you would get several beeps, depending on BIOS manufacturer.

1. Clear the CMOS with the jumper.
2. Remove everything from the board.
3. Plug in just the CPU, Fan and RAM.
4. Switch on.
5. Listen to beeps - depending on the manufacturer of the BIOS you should get either 1 or 2 beeps.

What are the results.


Do you know if you have an AwardBIOS or AMIBIOS?
TFOAuthor Commented:
No beeps, no onboard graphics.
Weird though cause I got the motherboard and CPU out of a working PC myself, seen it work and placed into this PC.
Then everything spins up but no beeps and no screen!

Could it be that the board needs a specific powersupply?
I got it out of a Packard Bell computer, its a P3 500 with I think an Intel board with Amibios.

I am running out of options so I guess that board or CPU might have been damaged while transfering?
TFOAuthor Commented:
ok, I just solved the problem
I completly disassembled the pc, and found that a piece of dirt got stuck between the CPU and the board.
Damn I feel so stupid for not trying that right away.
My first problem I post and right away a stupid one :)
Thanks for everyone who tried to help me, your tips are usefull and written down for the future!
Thanx alot!
TFOAuthor Commented:
Eventually the CPU seemed to be the problem..a piece of dirt/plastic to be exact..I found it because you said plug in just the CPU etc. so that made me get the whole computer apart, and rebuild it like you said.

also your answer was very clear and step by step.

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