Troubleshooting -- No video even during POST

Posted on 2006-03-19
Last Modified: 2012-08-14
Q. -- What troubleshooting steps should I take to diagnose why I am not getting any video signal, even during Power Up Self Test (POST)?

My HTPC (home theater pesonal computer):
-- Video: ATI Radeon 9000 All In Wonder
-- M/B: Gigabyte 8IPE1000G
-- O/S: Windows XP Pro (not media center)

My TV:
-- Sanyo HT30744 (hdtiv)

Previous troubleshooting:
-- Powered up the htpc (using config which worked on last use); it sent no video to the TV (via DVI to HDMI cable), even during POST.
-- Disconnected from TV and connected a regular LCD computer monitor (using a DVI to VGA adapter), and powered up htpc, but still no video, even during POST.
-- Removed video card and replaced with another ATI Radeon 9000 All In Wonder while connected to LCD monitor. Still no video.
-- Pulled cmos battery and shorted cmos reset pins to wipe the cmos.

My HTPC has been an off-again-on-again project for me. Before today, I hadn't touched it since before my 1 year old was born (go figure). When I used it last, it worked. When I power it up now, the appropriate LEDs on the system case light up, fans spin, etc., but there are no other signs of life. There are NO BEEPS when it boots... or rather is supposed to be booting. (I can't recall whether this board beeps during POST, or on error during POST, but it seems like every other pc does. I have no other video cards handy to try. This motherboard only accepts AGP 4x and 8x cards. I'd hate to buy a new card just for testing.

Question by:GrayStrickland
    LVL 32

    Expert Comment

    Pull the video card out and see if you get any beep codes . Make sure your power plugs are securely connected, both 20 pin and the square 4pin.
    LVL 11

    Expert Comment

    It may not necessarily be the video card. Your bios post is likely stopped before video.
    There are many possible reasons why you are not getting post, so isolating the culprit is the goal.

    First detatch everything, (hard drives, pci cards, etc.).
    Blow out the board. Check your power connections are firmly in place.
    PSU attached, run it (bare), and note the beep code.
    Reseat the cpu (w/thin layer of thermal silver) heatsink/fan, run it and note the beep code.

    Then ram (1 stick only), run it and note the beep code
    Then the video card, Try to run with the monitor attached and see if you get any post. If you do, while powered off, of course, add one component at a time and see where it breaks down.

    If you get no video at this point, if possible, try your cpu/ram/video card one at a time in a compatible known-good system. If one component is faulty, you can find out this way. If they all test as 'good' you're left with the motherboard and power supply.

    Note: if you got absolutely no beep codes, it's safe to say there's a fault with the motherboard.

    Check back with any new information.
    LVL 11

    Expert Comment

    BTW--if none of the above resulted in post, trying a different power supply would be a good idea before conclusively pointing to the motherboard.
    LVL 38

    Expert Comment

    Have a read through a previous question of mine here:
    It is a long and detailed question that surrounds a non-booting PC which sounded BIOS Beeps, but wouldn't boot to POST (or at least I couldn't see if it did).

    Scroll down to my own final comment which details exactly what I discovered the problem to be.  One of the image links showing the AGP card retainer is now dead, but you should get an idea of what the problem was from my description and can take a look at your own card to see if it is the same type of issue.  That card still causes the occasional problem if I the monitor cable is moved around too much while shifting the base unit around.  Unplugging and reconnecting the monitor cable sometimes pushes the card around and the problem reappears once more.  At least I know now immediately what it is, and just reseat the card while powered off until it shows a video signal again.

    Author Comment

    I am not getting ANY beeps on power-up. The Gigabyte 8IPE1000 series of motherboards (there are several sub-models, including mine) has a common manual, which explains why it gives the POST beep codes for two different bios manufacturers (see below). Sadly, I'm not getting ANY beep codes.

    Since my first post, I have
    -- swapped out the power supply, but no fix.
    -- unplugged everything from the m/b (ram, video card, sound card, hard drive, cd-rom drive, etc.)  except the CPU and the power supply, but no fix.

    I guess that means that either the CPU has gone bad or the m/b has. What else could be left?

    AMI BIOS Beep Codes
    *Computer gives 1 short beep when system boots successfully.
    *Except for beep code 8, these codes are always fatal.
    1 beep Refresh failure
    2 beeps Parity error
    3 beeps Base 64K memory failure
    4 beeps Timer not operational
    5 beeps Processor error
    6 beeps 8042 - gate A20 failure
    7 beeps Processor exception interrupt error
    8 beeps Display memory read/write failure
    9 beeps ROM checksum error
    10 beeps CMOS shutdown register read/write error
    11 beeps Cache memory bad

    AWARD BIOS Beep Codes
    1 short: System boots successfully
    2 short: CMOS setting error
    1 long 1 short: DRAM or M/B error
    1 long 2 short: Monitor or display card error
    1 long 3 short: Keyboard error
    1 long 9 short: BIOS ROM error
    Continuous long beeps: DRAM error
    Continuous short beeps: Power error
    LVL 11

    Accepted Solution

    If you are not getting any beep codes, it's probably the motherboard. If you can find a compatible motherboard, try your cpu in it just to verify it works. If you got no beep codes without ram, etc. it surely points to the motherboard.

    If you want to try one more thing, remove the board from the case and put it on a non-conductive surface, like cardboard or wood. This is to be sure that nothing is shorting it out. Try again, and see what happens. If nothing, verify the CPU and find a new board :(

    Author Comment

    It was the motherboard. I had to wait a while until I had the oppotunity to try my CPU in another board (worked) and another CPU in my board (dead; no beeps).

    Thank you for a good clean troubleshooting list.

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