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Why can't I see anything on the monitor

Posted on 2011-02-24
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Last Modified: 2013-11-08
Hi Experts.  I have asked this one before, but this is MY PERSONAL computer.  This is the baby.  To utilize the backups of this 3-HDD PC would take me a month.  I Prefer to locate and fix the cause of the issue with Experts' help.

                         Here it is:
At 7.44 this AM we had a brief electrical blackout. All All running PCs were turned off.  My wife's booted up nicely.(I am on it now) Another was in the middle of a deep A-Squared-5 hour scan.  Another was half way through a troublesome(anyway) windows Re-installation of XP.  And then comes Mine, the Worst one.  I get only a black screen on the monitor with amber light, no green.  So I did a bit of testing.  i put in a Win XP Cd and then I tried UBCD4W and then I tried Knoppix, in honor of a buddy of mine on EE.  I put my ear next to the HD & DVD Rom. The DVD activity light is jumping all over the place and CD spins up. It sounds like the HDD is running and loading and its light is also green. Without a CD in, I can hear the HD doing something with its LED on.

So I think all things are a go and working fine except that there is no picture for me to SEE what is happening on my Computer.  I can only hear what is going on, meaning I cannot utilize the features of a "Rescue" or boot CD.  Monitor remains amber.  I believe that the monitor or the video card took a hit from a power surge when we had the brief blackout this AM, even though it was the only one of 4 that was in stand-by.( I think)  The other 3 were actually up and running at that time.  they were ON.

So THE QUESTION IS:  WHAT CAN I DO TO GET MY VIEWING SCREEN back in working order?  What are the neccessary steps I must take to resolve my issue?  Video card 1st? Anyways, thank you i8n advance.  This is actually a  triple sized server type case that is very heavy and I am really hoping that it is the monitor that got zapped rather than the V. Card. I will follow any instructions you give me.  I just hope neither of the 2 customer's PCs are damaged like this one.  I am waiting .
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Question by:Donnie616
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Accepted Solution

by:
woolnoir earned 350 total points
ID: 34973841
Try a different screen if thats an option ? if that works its the screen, if not its probably the vcard.

Realistically it can only be one or the other.
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Expert Comment

by:rabindrajha
ID: 34973871
for me the best way is swapping. first you need to swap the monitor and see if it working. most of the cases no. 2nd remove v card and put the plug in MBD display. not then very funny, re-insert the ram and see if it works, not then you have to re-seat the processor, not then MBD gone faulty. since you have rest two system so you can play the swapping-swapping.
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Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 34974693
I would first pull the power plug out on both the tower and the monitor for 5 minutes.  I've had power supplies that didn't restart correctly after a power problem.
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Author Comment

by:Donnie616
ID: 34974806
Ok gentlemen--  thank you.  had my wife with her long arms unplug monitor from VCard and plug it into MB connector.  Same result---Blackscreen issue.  Unfortunately I did that before I unplugged the PSU for a few mins which I am currently doing.  t I really want to resolve this soon.  Thanks.
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Assisted Solution

by:jamietoner
jamietoner earned 75 total points
ID: 34974894
As suggested try another monitor, if another monitor also doesn't display, Try reseting bios defaults using the jumper on the motherboard. If reseting doesn't help turn it off pull all the ram turn it on and see if you get a no memory beep code. If you don't get any beeps then it either the motherboard or power supply. If you do get beeps, turn it off, put 1 stick of ram back in and remove the video card and plug the monitor into the integrated port. Report back with the results. Knowing the specs of the system may also prove to be very helpful.
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Author Comment

by:Donnie616
ID: 34975943
Ok thanks.  I forgot I have 2 PCs attached to this one monitor.  the Monitor is fine on the other PC. i am using it now.  So I guess that narrows it down some for you experts, I hope. Does that mean the Video Card or worse(the MB) is shot on the PC in question?  I would think so.  Ok I am plugged into the Integrated video port right now as I said above>>Same result---Blackscreen issue<<.  jamie I  have to wait til tommorrow to do the chores you are asking.  I really hope it is just the video card, since I know the monitor is fine..How could it be the mB if I hear the HD clicking and spinning up in a normal fashion.  Same with the DVD rom, when a disk is put in.all SEEMS normal except no picture.

As far as the specs, this is a home built Computer by me

MB MSI K9N6PGM(AM2)
CPU--AMD643800 dual core
Ram 2GB Geil ddr2 5300
Video card---Biostar 8400GS PC express (cheapy)
Boot HD Hitachi 160MB SATA
Storage HD 2X160Gb ATA IDE- separate channels.
PSU--Apevia 500W (cheapy) free with a case

Now just because I built this from scratch please do not think I am an expert.  I am NOT, or I would not be here.  Thank you.again.  i will return in the AM with a new Video card in hopes that does the trick.
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Assisted Solution

by:nobus
nobus earned 75 total points
ID: 34977734
hey Donnie - what a story! at least you know what to do for a couple of days...
start your pc with as little devices connected  as you see in my old article   :
http://www.experts-exchange.com/articles/Hardware/Components/Motherboards/Short-overview-of-how-to-troubleshoot-bad-hardware-when-a-pc-does-not-post.htm

that will point you quickly to the bad parts..
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Expert Comment

by:woolnoir
ID: 34978279
assuming it doesnt do any 'beeps' i would think the GFX card is at fault.
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Author Comment

by:Donnie616
ID: 34981565
Ok guys.  I made a horrible mistake.  I have no idea why, but this PC was plugged directly into the wall with a $75 surge protector a few inchs away.  Something got zapped for sure. That is why nothing else appears to be affected by this surge.  Remember I said that this is very heavy and large and I cannot move it by myself, so I have decided to try a Video card swap if I can reach it.  That is my report to you on what my first step will be.  Bye and thanks.
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 34981620
looks like you're in for a good UPS
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Author Comment

by:Donnie616
ID: 34982620
>>looks like you're in for a good UPS<<  Very true. I have made dumb mistakes like that over 60 years, since before kindergarten. Some things just never change.  The video card was the culprit. I had to use my last PCI-E card, but this is my main PC.  SOoo Important. So thanks to all for a quick resolution.

thanks again
Donnie
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Author Closing Comment

by:Donnie616
ID: 34982766
Woolnoir----You told me what was wrong within a few minutes.  thank you.  Other guys gave me very valuable stuff to take with me for the future regarding this "blackscreen" issue which happens to me more often that I let on.
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