Desktop PC few years old, no display at all on monitor.

Hi experts, a friend of mine gave me an older desktop of his he wasn't using - an HP Pavillion a6400f Dual-Core E2200 Processor running Windows Vista. He hadn't used it in over a year he said, didn't have it plugged in or anything and just assumed it still worked. I got it back here, set it up, plugged it all in, powered it on, and no display on the monitor - not even that little colored "test-pattern" thing floating about. Just nothing at all.
   I know the monitor works, as I've been using it to try and revive another computer from a previous question. The monitor is a Dell E177FPb that is no spring chicken itself.
  Regarding the computer, fans are spinning and the illuminated power button is on... but I see no other lights or LED's on when I look at the motherboard and the rest of the innards - maybe this is normal for this model, I don't know...

Can anyone offer any advice please?

Thanks!
    Shawn
shawn857Asked:
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David Johnson, CD, MVPOwnerCommented:
add a graphics card and see if you get video. you should at least get the bios boot screen if nothing else
shawn857Author Commented:
Thanks David, I do have an old spare video card here - an nVidia Geforce FX 5200 256MB PCI card. However, it doesn't seem to fit into the only slot that it could possibly go into. On the motherboard in the general area of that slot, it has "AUDIO" printed on it as well. The only other slot that looks like it might possibly fit, there's a dial-up modem card in there. A video card wouldn't work in that slot, would it?

Thanks
   Shawn
JustInCaseCommented:
If PC don't work with integrated GPU, there's little (almost none) chance to work with added GPU.
So, if there is additional graphic card beside integrated GPU remove it and try to power up PC.
Try to swap power supply. Try to Clear CMOS - In document - Clearing the BIOS settings. Also you can try to reset memory in slot, and if you have few memory sticks, try to power on with just one memory (remove others).
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shawn857Author Commented:
Thanks Predrag... you're going a little bit over my head though - I'm not a hardware expert. You said this:

"So, if there is additional graphic card beside integrated GPU remove it and try to power up PC"

I'm assuming the integrated GPU is next to where the video port would be... but I see no additional graphics card anywhere in that area. i can't even find an appropriate slot to put in the spare graphics card I have to try it.

Thanks
   Shawn
JustInCaseCommented:
That Geforce FX 5200 (AGP card) cannot be inserted into PCI express card slot (without hammer).
:)
shawn857Author Commented:
But how can it be an AGP card when the label right on the card itself says "Geforce FX 5200 256MB PCI" ??

Thanks
   Shawn
JustInCaseCommented:
If there is additional GPU card - it would be in black slot around middle of motherboard ( you should see DVI or VGA connector on card.
location where GPU should be (if there is one)
JustInCaseCommented:
If it is PCI graphic card Geforce FX5200 (those were rare and expensive) it should fit in white slot at the bottom of motherboard.

Different card bus types
shawn857Author Commented:
I see the slot you're talking about (that you outlines in red), and it is empty. No card in it. That's the slot I tried to put my GeForce card in and it wouldn't fit. But above that slot (...to the left, in your diagram), it says AUDIO printed on the motherboard. So doesn't that mean it's the slot for an audio card instead?

Thanks
   Shawn
shawn857Author Commented:
Predrag, my card has none of those connection types shown in the diagram. It looks *exactly* like this:

http://www.ctsestore.com/pny-geforce-fx-5200-256mb-ddr-pci-video-card-0

Thanks
   Shawn
JustInCaseCommented:
That is PCI card and should fit in that bottom white slot.
shawn857Author Commented:
But in that bottom white slot is the dial-up modem card. I can just remove that and put a video card in there??

Thanks
   Shawn

P.S: I still can't see how it would fit. The male connectors on the card do not line up at all with the female slot.
JustInCaseCommented:
Yes, you can remove modem and insert video card there - it will fit, but as I said if PC don't work with integrated video card, most likely it will not work with add-on card either.
:)
shawn857Author Commented:
OK, I got the video card in that modem slot successfully Predrag and powered on... but still no display at all on the monitor :-((

Thanks
    Shawn
JustInCaseCommented:
I hope that you pull CGA cable into that card, not just insert it. :)
Remove that VGA card.
Remove all memory from slots, return memory in slot if there is more than one memory - return only one. (black and blue slots)

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shawn857Author Commented:
AHHHH, a display!!!

It came up right away with a blue "HP" logo screen and quickly went over to another black screen that now says:

"Windows Boot manager

Your computer can't come out of hibernation

Status: 0xc0000411
Info: a fatal error occurred processing the restoration data
File: \hiberfil.sys

Any information that was not saved before the computer went into hibernation will be lost"


(... and at bottom of screen in white bar, it says  ENTER=Continue)

Should I hit enter?

Thanks!
    Shawn

P.S: There were 4 sticks of RAM in there, I pulled them all out and put only 1 back in.
JustInCaseCommented:
Hit Enter
JustInCaseCommented:
Most likely there is no problem at all, just one of RAM sticks did not fit nicely in slot.
Return all sticks back and try power on PC. If there is still a problem you will need to find RAM stick that is causing problem by elimination method. That's all.
shawn857Author Commented:
Yes, once I put all 4 sticks back in and booted back up, the display was gone again. One bad stick in the bunch there somewhere. It's 4 am now in eastern Canada so I need to sleep, but tomorrow I'll begin the process of elimination. Thank you Predrag!

Cheers
    Shawn
JustInCaseCommented:
You're welcome.
:)
nobusCommented:
maybe my troubleshooting article still can be of help :
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Hardware/Components/Motherboards/A_1945.html                  (Short-overview-of-how-to-troubleshoot-bad-hardware-when-a-pc-does-not-post)
shawn857Author Commented:
Predrag, everything is a success - thank you very much! I put back in all the RAM - one stick at a time (in a different sequence) and rebooted after each one. Now ALL the RAM works - all 3 gigs! No problems!

Predrag (or anybody), just one last little question - I'm wondering if I put in the GeForce video card, will it improve my graphics capability over and above the on-board graphics? Or should I just shut up and be happy that I now have a good working computer ?

Thanks!
    Shawn
JustInCaseCommented:
Intel GMA 3100 on board will perform similar to Geforce FX 5200, but graphic driver is problematic anyway, so I would recommend against FX 5200. Better GPU would be recommended (ifor watching YouTube video), some low price video card like AMD Radeon 230 - 240.
shawn857Author Commented:
Thank you Predrag.

Cheers
    Shawn
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