No Signal from Monitor

Posted on 2009-05-01
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-11-08
Have a 22" Acer LCD hooked up to an eMachines PC, Windows XP.  The other night, computer was working fine.  next morning, we are receiving "no signal" error from monitor.  Monitor is brand new, computer is somewhat older (5-7 years maybe).
I have swapped cables, same problem.  moved monitor to another pc, it works fine.  went ahead and swapped out video cards, still receiving same problem.  This pc is not networked, so i can't think of a way to try to connect to see if it's even booting up.  the pc turns on and fan blows, hd makes noise, etc, but the monitor turns on and displays "acer" logo for about 5 seconds, then says "no signal" then shuts down into into power saver mode.  any monitor display issues i've had in the past were always a faulty monitor, faulty cable, or bad video card.  i've eliminated all 3 of these, leaving only the mobo (or whatever sends the signal to video cards).  i can't test the original onboard video because i'm assuming it was disabled when the add-on video card was installed, and i can't see anything to enable it.. i guess my real question is if there are any other diagnositc/troubleshooting steps i can take before assuming the problem is somewhere within the pc (beyond the video card).  As it is an older pc, if the mobo or something major is shot, we will probably just replace the computer.  however, this is my parents pc, and i want to make sure that is the problem before purchasing a new one.  any help would be appreciated!  
Question by:jc8125

Expert Comment

ID: 24280520
Sorry to ask the obvious, but have you checked the monitor to make sure it didn't accidently get switched to a different input mode? For example, most LCD monitors have the ability to take input from multiple sources, and should have an input selection button on the monitor somewhere to switch between them. (VGA, DVI, S-VIdeo, etc). Cycle through the available inputs to make sure it is not accidently changed to the wrong one.

Author Comment

ID: 24280549
yes, i've tried going through the inputs.  also tried physically switching from the vga input to the dvi-d (or whatever the white plug is called).  neither worked.  when i took to another pc, it turned right on regardless of which plug/input was used.  
LVL 18

Accepted Solution

chuckyh earned 375 total points
ID: 24280594
have you tried another monitor on this pc? how about hitting f10 or f12 when booting up and see if you can get into the BIOS.  or F8 for safe mode. both of those will give a video signal that most monitors can display.  If someone somehow set the video card to output a signal that the monitor can't display it may exhibit the same symptoms you are seeing.
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Assisted Solution

sadburger earned 375 total points
ID: 24280595
You could remove the add-in video card and then remove the CMOS battery from the Motherboard for awhile, forcing it back to its default settings, which would surely include the built-in video output.

Author Comment

ID: 24280626
chuckyh - yes, we've tried another older CRT monitor (still works fine).  it exhibits similar symptoms, in that it "clicks on" then goes into power saver mode.  no "no signal" message, but i think that varies between monitor models.  i did not try entering the bios or windows safe mode - i'll try to swing by on lunch break and give it a shot.  the chances of something having been changed, however, fairly slim in this case.  i'm actually the one who was using the pc last, and it wasn't touched until the next day.  in any event, i'll report back in a bit.  

Author Comment

ID: 24280644
sadburger - i will also give that a shot.  my problem there is that nobody seems to know if the add-on card was added for performance reasons, or because the onboard video failed at some point in the past.  i'll try to unplug the battery on lunch also, but probably won't be able to report back until later today.  
LVL 69

Assisted Solution

Callandor earned 375 total points
ID: 24281525
If it just stopped working overnight and it is a fairly old machine, I suspect a power problem, perhaps caused by a power surge or a capacitor failed in the power supply or motherboard.  You can look for signs of bad capacitors here www.badcaps.net, but they can fail without any visible clues.  Try replacing the power supply, and if that doesn't work, I think the motherboard bit the dust.
LVL 93

Assisted Solution

nobus earned 375 total points
ID: 24285487
Here my troubleshooting procedure :
clean the system from dust, then  test with the minimum setup - disconnect also all peripherals and network cables :
motherboard + cpu + 1 ram stick, video card, power supply
verify that the 4-pin cpu Aux power plug is connected
on boot, do you have a display?
if NO it is one of the connected, swap ram, Power supply, video card or monitor - leaving only motherboard and cpu
if Yes, add devices till the problem shows

you can also check the motherboard for bad capacitors as shown here :   www.badcaps.net

Author Comment

ID: 24294663
as an update, ended up taking the easy way out.  discovered the onboard video HAD previously failed, so that limited options further.  from there, found a 2.4ghz dual core 64bit w/ 4gb ram for a bargain at the local office superstore..  they're back up and running, albeit on vista... at some point when i have more time i'll continue with some of the steps mentioned above and update for future reference.  i'll split points for assistance.  

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