Monitor will turn on, for a little while and then shuts off.

Hello everyone
I have a problem, I was checking my computer, I opened it up to check if I could put more memory into it, I took one of them to make sure if it was 128 or 64MB, I put it back, but apparently I did not put all the way, because as soon as I turned it on, it started beeping, so I shut it down right away and push the memory all the way until it latched down,anyway, after that I turned it on and the monitor turns on for a little bit and then it goes off, the monitor is fine since I checked with a laptop and it came on, I tried changing the video adapter, but still nothing, I did with 2 video adapters, I thought that was the problem, but apparently it is not, what else do you think may have happened in the process, when I turn it on I see the hard drive, but after a while nothing, I see the other lights on, I don't know what could of happened PLEASE HELP!
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>>>when I turn it on I see the hard drive<<<   Do you mean the HD light on the front?
Try taking the memory out and putting it back in.
Try a different memory stick.
Unplug the power cord from the computer ( while it is off ), set it sit for a few minutes, plug it back in, and try it.
Unplug the power cord, and clear the CMOS ( read the manual to find out how to do this ), and try it.
Did you observe the rules about earthing yourself either with a wrist-strap attached to the casing or ensuring that you were touching the casing while you did this?

Memory modules are very susceptible to static electricity, and so much so that you wouldn't be aware of any small discharge which would be enough to damage a chip.

The same goes for many other chips inside the case.

What's the make and model number of your computer (motherboard make if known)
If you know the BIOS make (Phoenix, AMIBIOS, Award), this would help
Can you specify if this is a particular "pattern of beeps" eg. 1 long, 3 short.

Earth yourself with a wrist-strap clipped to the casing (and if you want to be absolutely safe, ankle to water mains pipe :-).

GENTLY check all connectors and cables to ensure you haven't dislodged one.

Did you remove any cables to access the memory module?

Pushing too hard on the motherboard can cause damage to the tracks when it flexes.

How far is it getting into the boot sequence?  Is it when it is required normally to display the Windows 98 screen, or does it die even before displaying all the DOS Boot mumbo-jumbo?
Another thing.  Did you put the memory module back in the same slot?

Most motherboards require that you "populate" the slots from "Bank 0" first, so if you only have one , and have placed it in 1, 2 or 3, then it won't work.  Same goes for 2 modules if you have missed out Bank 0 and used any of the others.
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Cor BilDL, I think you coverd everything there, lol.

erm 1 Q: when you say the monitor goes off, mwhat do you mean? Do you mean the screen goes blank but power is still going to the monitor, or do you mean there is no power lijght on the monitor after a little while.

Also how do you know the PC is not going off too. Next time you put the machine on and the monitor goes off, look at the HDD light on the case is it still on, can you hear the fans in the case still going (are they saying "we are the champions" joke).

MariaeAuthor Commented:
When I first turn on the computer you vcan hear the monitot go on and the light is green , after a little while the light becomes an amber color, but the monitor is ok, I have tried with a laptop and it's fine, is something whithin the system, when I turn it on, I see the lights of the HDD and the cd rom and the floppy and I can hear the fans going, but after a while I don't see the HDD light anymore, I have tried switching the memory on other slots with no avail, and no there is no beeping sounds at all, what did I do?
do you thing something got fried in there, how do I detect it though?
Thanks guys it's nice to know you can come here and have nice people trying to help out.
Check to see if you jostled something else inside the case.  

You may have disconnected/ loosened something else while you were in the case looking at the memory, which could include the speaker so you can't hear the beeps.  The other big area I would look at for disconnected or loose cabling is the video card itself.  It may be getting enough signal to let the monitor know it is coming on, but not enough signal to generate a picture.  It sounds like you never see ANYTHING on the monitor itself, other than it's own power light, so you are not really getting any response from the computer.  You can also check to see if you are actually turning on all of the power switches.  There are usually one or two switches in the front (button type switches) one that is for a reset and one to turn on and off. You should also find a master power switch in the back.  It sounds like you are but at this point rechecking everything wouldn't hurt.   Usually, when you flip the rear [master] power switch your fans will pulse for a moment.

Sadly, the more things you check and come up empty on, the more likely it is that something has died/been fried, during this process.

Good Luck,
Can you see any screen display when you boot to a Windows 98 boot floppy disk?

Lets take this step by step.  doryllis raised a good point; do you see any picture at all on the monitor?  If you do, even just for a very short while, read the following:

1 - As the monitor powers up for a moment (and works fine on the laptop) we know this isn't at fault.  It may not show a picture on screen immediately, as computer monitors can take a few seconds power up.

2 - When a PC attempts to boot, firstly the bios is read.  This loads quickly, very quickly.  For this short time *the bios* is telling the display adaptor what to show.

3 - Once complete, responsibility switches from the bios to the hard-drive.  In turn, the *hard-drive* should now be telling the display adaptor what to, erm, display :-)

As the monitor indicator turns amber, this perhaps shows that whilst the monitor, display adaptor and bios are fine, no data can be retrieved from the hard-drive.  With the PC switched off and you suitably earthed, CAREFULLY check the IDE leads are seated properly.  I had this exact issue a couple of years back with my PC.  On the face of it, IMHO, I'd say that I don't think anything has died - hopefully!

Hope this helps!

MariaeAuthor Commented:
Good morning all,
No unfortunately nothing shows up on the screen. the light goes green and then amber but the screen always remain black, what I thought of doing is try to get another hard drive and see if I see something, I made sure all the cables were in place, and everything seems fine, except I can see nothing.
Thanks for all your support.
I know that you have checked that all the cables are in place, but could you please just do one last thing before giving up hope.

I had a particular graphics card that was quite badly designed.  Even when mounted securely in its slot and secured with the screw, it didn't leave too much of the actual socket protruding out of the aperture designed for it.  It was only on the final twist of the thumbscrews that it caught the thread but, once screwed on, it held OK.

The problem arose on about half a dozen occasions when I had disconnected all cabling from the rear to do something inside the case.  It exhibited exactly the same problems, and really had me worried each time.  It transpired that if the connector was pushed onto the port even very slightly askew, then it didn't make full enough contact.

I urge you just to double-check this connection one more time just to make sure.

I don't know if you have tried this, but have you moved the card to a different PCI slot, or are we talking about an AGP card?  This is something that hasn't yet been discussed.

What type of computer do you have?  Make, Model, Motherboard make and model if possible, and the make and model of your video card would be helpful in assessing this problem in more depth.
Do this and you will find out what is exactly wrong with the machine.

1. Pull everything out of the computer execept the Ram, Video, Cpu (and Fan), and Mothorboard.
2. reset the bios by unplugging the computer and pulling the battery out of the motherboard (this battery looks like a watch battery it is a little wafer) Once you have unplugged the machine and pulled the battery hit the power button to discharge any resident electricity built up in the board.
3. Try to make it boot or post
4. If it posts. Then start adding periferals back to the machine one at a time and after each check to see if it will post
5. If it doesn't post start replacing things starting with the ram and then work your way up price wise. This way you will eliminate every possibility of conflicts.

This is the shure fire way to check to find out why a machine is not posting. let me know if you have any questions.

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Joeba280.  I fully agree with your thinking on this one, but I sense that Mariae may not be as technically adept at the inner workings of the computer or have the same level of knowledge about electrostatic discharge risks, etc as you or I have.

I hope that I am not insulting you in any way, because I don't mean this in any bad way.

What I am trying to say is that, if my instincts are correct, then this might be a job reserved for a technician.  Perhaps booting into the CMOS Setup Screen and "resetting defaults" might be more appropriate to try first before ripping the guts out of the computer.
MariaeAuthor Commented:
Good morning BillDl and Joeba280,
Thanks for taking the time to give me more suggestios as what to do with th e computer and Joe I will go ahead and do as you suggested,
and hopefully find the problem, and Bill, no harm done, I understand and I know I am not an expert, that's whay I come to you  for help an suggestions, we'll see how it goes, I may come back with some other questions when I get to work on this computer again.
Thanks for your support and cooperation
Not a problem Just let us know if you have any questions, also..... REMEMBER TO GROUND YOURSELF BEFORE TOUCHING ANYTHING INSIDE THE CASE!!!! I usually place my arm on the edge of the case or am touching the case in some way while my hands are inside it.
Mariae, that's good to hear.  I like it when somebody is prepared to try something like this and also acknowledge the appropriate safety precautions.

I have a strong feeling that Joeba280's suggestion will work.  I can't see that it will make things any worse than they are right now.

One point to note also.  Please don't be scared to grab a felt-tiped pen and mark the cables so you remember which way they came off.  Make notes, even if it means drawing a simple diagram so you know which way you were looking at it when you wrote "left" or "up" in your dissection notes ;-)   This problem has plagued us all from time to time, and it's incredibly easy to overlook the smallest details.

If you have to remove the flat ribbon cables from your hard drive and CD Drive(s), PLEASE observe the fact that there is one pin missing on the drive, and this SHOULD correspond to a blocked-off hole on the connector at the end of the cable.  Ofyen you can only locate it one way up, but I have recently seen 3 ruined hard drives where people pushed the cable on without looking at the pins with a small torch first.  The blocked-off hole bent the pin which should not have been there, had the connector been the correct way up, and broke it off.  Ironically, this pin is usually absolutely crucial to data transfer.

The same goes for pushing cards back into slots.  Support the motherbard with a finger or two when you do this, and ease the card in.  Pushing down too hard can bend the motherboard too much and crack a conductive track or solder joint.

Good luck.
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