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Computer starts, no video display

Posted on 2006-06-29
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Last Modified: 2010-04-25
It all started when we tried to play a game on Comcast (after installing a new sound card, Soundblaster XFI) and it said that our processor speed was too slow. We have a K8N Neo Platinum Motherboard. We have never been able to play games on it because everything freezes. We tried to see what was what in the BIOS but things started locking up. We shut it down and opened it to verify that everything was seated and connected. When we put that side back on we had no video.

We now have the Motherboard on cardboard with the (ATI Radeon 9800) video card installed, CPU installed, HD installed and it all powers up (the video card fan was sluggish though). We still have no video.  
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Question by:Tombaugh
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Expert Comment

by:Callandor
ID: 17012924
Try a different power supply.  If this is a 9800 Pro, it requires a separate power cable to the card, and you should have a 350 watt supply or better.
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Author Comment

by:Tombaugh
ID: 17013393
The Power supply we have is TruPower 2.0 max watt 360.
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by:Callandor
ID: 17013489
That's an Antec Truepower 2?  It should be enough, but the symptoms sound like not enough startup current.  I would try a different supply just to see if the situation changes.
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Author Comment

by:Tombaugh
ID: 17013532
Yes it's an Antec model TPII-380 Truepower 2.0. I'll go see what else I can find with more "power" and give it a try.
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by:jamietoner
ID: 17014095
What cpu do you have? and what is the os showing as the cpu speed? to check right click on my computer and choose properties and under the general tab it should show the cpu speed.
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Author Comment

by:Tombaugh
ID: 17014441
The CPU is an AMD Athlon64 processor. I don't know the speed since my screen is blank with nothing more than the start screen for the monitor and then it's black.
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by:jamietoner
ID: 17014939
oops my bad forgot about that last part with no video. Have you tryed resetting the bios defaults with the cmos button its located under the sata ports, if you still get no video after resetting defaults plug in the d-bracket that shipped with the board,once its plugged in (or if it was already plugged in) what code is it giving?
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Author Comment

by:Tombaugh
ID: 17014988
If the motherboard was fried would the system power up and the screen be blank?  
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by:Callandor
ID: 17015013
Possibly.  You could have any of: bad motherboard, bad RAM, bad video card, bad power supply, or bad cpu, and you would have the same symptoms.  Do you have a working video card from another system that you can test in this one?
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Author Comment

by:Tombaugh
ID: 17015121
We did try another video card but with the same results, no video display, same power up.
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by:Callandor
ID: 17017231
>nothing more than the start screen for the monitor and then it's black

When you say the start screen, do you mean the screen that shows the BIOS version, or do you mean the Windows splash screen, or do you mean nothing apart from what a disconnected monitor would show?
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Author Comment

by:Tombaugh
ID: 17019114
>When you say the start screen, do you mean the screen that shows the BIOS version, or do you mean the Windows splash screen, or do you mean nothing apart from what a disconnected monitor would show?

I mean nothing apart from what a disconnected monitor would show. :o(
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LVL 69

Expert Comment

by:Callandor
ID: 17019173
Reset the BIOS and see if that changes things.  Try with different RAM, and if that doesn't work, you may have a dead motherboard or cpu - it's hard to test either one without a replacement.
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Author Comment

by:Tombaugh
ID: 17019228
I was attempting to check each individual RAM card when everything changed. Now when we turn it on the fans just barely start and then everything stops.  Like there is a little juice in it, it gets used and it's done.
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Expert Comment

by:jamietoner
ID: 17019372
Do you have another power supply you could try?
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Author Comment

by:Tombaugh
ID: 17019404
No, I don't...I'm torn as to what to replace/buy.
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by:Callandor
ID: 17019728
If you have another computer nearby of recent vintage, borrow the power supply for testing.
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Author Comment

by:Tombaugh
ID: 17019812
The only one close, is the one I'm on the internet with and I'm scared to death of ruining it as well.
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Expert Comment

by:Callandor
ID: 17020468
I doubt you will ruin it with a simple test.  Newegg delivers parts fairly quickly if you are near their distribution centers in California or New Jersey.
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armand278 earned 500 total points
ID: 17023154
it's a toughy the symptoms you describe of fans spinning a little when you switch on power and then stopping is a classic indication of a dead mobo, but then it also happens when you have defective ram or when your display card is not properly seated or defective only thing to do is try and test everything on another machine except the mobo, use your extra machine if you can, start with your powersupply and see if it works on the other system, next ram, run memtest, also the display card.
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Author Comment

by:Tombaugh
ID: 17023534
I live in FL. I ordered a new mobo w/cpu, power supply, heatsink/fan, I should have it by Tue or Wed. I guess I'll have to do this myself. My son was doing this on orders from his dad but dad wasn't helping him. I think he may have been resentful and therefore not very careful when he first attempted to do whatever he tried to do. From then on we had the no display problem. *sigh*

After we read on here that we needed to take it all apart and test bare bones first, my son put the components in plastic bags as he took apart the computer. I was concerned because of static. His logic was that the components come in plastic bags (he's 15, non-guru/geek, just 15). Those are antistatic type bags right? I mean that only makes sense. I'm hoping he didn't ruin the video card and sound card too now.
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by:Callandor
ID: 17023862
Putting them on antistatic bags is iffy, because they are designed to keep static from building up inside the bag on a non-powered component by being partially conductive.  See http://www.ece.rochester.edu/~jones/demos/shielding.html.    Basically, you want a nonconducting surface when it's powered up, and I usually use the cardboard box it came in.  This may have caused the outage you described.

Here's an illustrated guide on changing motherboards: http://www.linuxjournal.com/comment/reply/8219
Don't worry, we'll stay with you on this and get it working, and your son will have learned a few things along the way.
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Author Comment

by:Tombaugh
ID: 17023907
Callandor THANK YOU!!! You have been more than helpful here and on your other postings.
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Expert Comment

by:Callandor
ID: 17031994
Keep in mind that if you change your motherboard and you are running WinXP or Win2K, you may need to do a repair install to recognize the new motherboard chipset.  In drastic cases, a clean install of the OS is necessary, but you can recover the data if you do the clean install on a differenct hard drive.

How Do I Do a Repair Installation?
WinXP
http://www.michaelstevenstech.com/XPrepairinstall.htm
Win2000
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;292175
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