Monitor won't turn on when the system boots

Posted on 2004-10-15
Last Modified: 2011-09-20
I have a Gateway 500 SE and I can't get the monitor to turn on when I boot the system.  

Here is what i have tried so far:

1) Swapped monitors with a working machine, the monitor is fine.  

2) i swapped harddrives with an identical 500 SE and when i took the harddrive from the machine i was having problems with and put it into the working machine, it worked fine.  I put the harddrive from the working machine and put it into the nonworking tower and same problem.

3) Purchased a new PCI video card.  The 500 SE has an integrated video card - i put in the new PCI card, plugged in the monitor, hit the power button and the machine seems to boot - makes the usual noises and tests the CD and floppy for media.  After it seemed to boot, i put in a CD that i knew woudl auto run and it seems like it did because of the noise and activity light on the CD drive.

What else can i do to troubleshoot the problem?   Thanks!
Question by:aaronj
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LVL 69

Expert Comment

ID: 12320771
> i put in the new PCI card, plugged in the monitor, hit the power button
> and the machine seems to boot

Isn't this the solution?  Your motherboard video card went bad, and by using a PCI video card, it worked.  You have the answer already.

Expert Comment

ID: 12320870
You swapped the monitor, and you said it's fine, but did you put a different monitor on your problematic machine to see what would happen there?  Might give you some more insight into the problem....

>3) Purchased a new PCI video card.  The 500 SE has an integrated video card - i put in >the new PCI card, plugged in the monitor, hit the power button and the machine >seems to boot - makes the usual noises and tests the CD and floppy for media.  After it >seemed to boot, i put in a CD that i knew woudl auto run and it seems like it did >because of the noise and activity light on the CD drive.
You didn't say that the monitor displayed anything here, did it or not?  So, you'r not getting anything on the monitor with either video card??

Author Comment

ID: 12321268
Sorry - i should have been more clear...

I pulled a working monitor and tried it on the problematic machine and it did not work.

It DID NOT work after I installed the new PCI video card.  

When the monitor is plugged into either the original or the new video card and I press the power button on the computer to power it up - the monitor doesn't switch on.  

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LVL 11

Expert Comment

ID: 12321292
I would check to make sure that you don't have a bios option to use the PCI instead of AGP(onboard usually acts as AGP)
Also make sure there is no jumper that disables the onboard video. Last thing try another monitor like tebacher said.
LVL 18

Expert Comment

ID: 12321305
Callandor and tebacher:

I think he is saying that the monitor tested fine cuz he had one that he swapped from another computer.

And he's saying that he bought a PCI Card to try, and I would gather to think it didnt work, cuz of his statements that follow.  

Which sounds like he's saying it sounds like the machine is booting up but i do not get anything on the screen....the system makes the usual noises and stuff but just doesn't display anything....any ideas?!

Is what I am reading from between the lines....hehe



So just cuz the system sounddddssss like it is posting, does not mean it is.

You may have bad memory, or a bad cpu or a bad motherboard.....

Try swapping the memory from the other identical machine to see if that works, and lastly try the processor.  

It is possible it is the power supply as well....try that too.

That way you can narrow it down to those parts.  Because those are generally the ones that will cause your system not to display anything on the screen or post.
LVL 69

Accepted Solution

Callandor earned 500 total points
ID: 12321430
Ok, now it seems clearer - it SEEMS like the system is booting up, but nothing shows on the screen.  If you can't get the BIOS screen to show, try resetting the BIOS, to get everything into a default state.  If this doesn't work, you have suggestions above from DEW.
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Expert Comment

ID: 12321444
... and from Wakeup (sorry, everything rolled off the window and I didn't see yours).
LVL 11

Expert Comment

ID: 12321574
Good point Wakeup. I usually test PC's that seem to have booted up but you cant see the screen by hitting the windows key then the letter U then enter twice. this should cause it to do the last shutdown request (be it restart, logoff, or shutdown or whatever) you should get a reaction out of it. The only problem I had was  1 machine had a shortcut that started with U so it really highlighted the icon for the program (of course you can't see whats going on) and then ran the program. The other thing thats good to check is do the XP sounds come up when it seems like it's booting?

Author Comment

ID: 12321776
Thanks to everyone for the input!  I apologize that the wording of my issue ended up being the tougher problem...

I ended up using the jumper setting to reset the BIOS as suggested by Callandor and it worked!  Thanks to everyone for the quick responses and good suggestions.  
LVL 11

Expert Comment

ID: 12322182
GJ Callandor!
LVL 69

Expert Comment

ID: 12322265
Glad to help!

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Expert Comment

ID: 12543383
strange as it might sound, check the RAM!!! if youve got two sticks, try with each of those....

Else, remove shut down the PC, remove the battery, cross-jumper and manually clear RTC and CMOS. (refer to MB guide)
LVL 69

Expert Comment

ID: 12554594
preekish, did you miss the part about the problem being resolved and an answer accepted?

Expert Comment

ID: 20550054
just wanted to add that I had a very similar problem, and it was caused by the bios jumper being missing(borrowed it for another board) put it back on and the monitor worked again

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