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Run Dell Optiplex without connecting a monitor

Posted on 2004-08-07
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Last Modified: 2010-04-12
Hi

I have a couple of old Dell Optiplex desktop machines that I want to use for various server purposes, but they don't seem to wanna start without a monitor connected. If someone could tell me how to get around this (probably some BIOS setting I've missed), og maybe find me a manual (pdf etc.), I would be most grateful.

The model in question is a "GXL 5133".

// abpdk
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Question by:abpdk
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tfjeff earned 100 total points
ID: 11745237
Man, I've never even heard of that system before now =).  It doesn't make any sense that it couldn't start up with out a monitor though.  What bios version are your running?
The only option I see in bios that has much to do with video is "feature connector" (settings allowed are on/off), the feature connector is a connector for things like TV tuner cards and video capture cards on the system board.  You could try turning the feature connector to OFF (provided you aren't using an expansion video card connecting to the feature connector, if you are, turning it off will cause no video).
If it truely doesn't complete POST without a monitor, the only things I can think of trying are the feature connector setting, which I mentioned, flashing the bios, and putting in an expansion card video card.
good luck
jeff
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Author Comment

by:abpdk
ID: 11749395
Hi jeff

I was running a Phoenix BIOS 1.10 A19 which I tried flashing to A20 (the newest), but it didn't make any difference. The "feature connecter" setting doesn't seem to do anything useful either. The only thing I found to work, was (as you suggested) adding a expansion video card. For reasons unknown to me, having the expansion card seems to please the machine!?

Is it just me or does im seem incredibly foolish that one has to have TWO video adapters in order to NOT use any monitor? :)

Well, thanks for the help jeff.

//abpdk
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Expert Comment

by:tfjeff
ID: 11749404
you make a good point, adding a video adaptor so you don't have to use a monitor is pretty silly...I have no idea why that system won't power on without a monitor, I've never heard of that before.  You learn something new everyday.
thanks for the lesson
jeff
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Author Comment

by:abpdk
ID: 11749658
It wasn't that it wouldn't power on without a monitor. It beeped out some BIOS code (3 long ones as I recall), but without a manual that didn't help me much.
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