Monitor blacks out, replaced video card and monitor...

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bethelaine10

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Jan 8, 2006
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I am at a complete loss! I recently moved and when I got my computer unpacked it wasn't working properly, the monitor would come on for a couple of seconds and then goes to black, if you power it of then back on it does the same thing. you can position it just right and still see that XP is running in the background and can move the mouse cursor around. So my first thought was that it's the monitor, so I hooked my boyfriend's brand new monitor up to it (both are lcds), exact same thing. So naturally I assume it must be the video card, so I replace my 2 year old video card w/ his new one and tried both monitors...same thing happens. I am now worried that it may be some sort of virus. I don't know if this has anything to do w/ it but I added my b/f's harddrive to mine to act as a backup storage device, I took his hard drive out and put it back in his system and plugged in his monitor and it has the same response, but his system worked an hour ago...so that's what lead me to my virus theory but I can't find anything online - PLEASE HELP!
 
Joined
Sep 7, 2004
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Hi and welcome to TSG :)

I assume that when you had your boyfriends HDD in your system it was set as a slave - have you repositioned the jumper when you returned it?

Have you tried booting up in Safe Mode?

Try repositioning the RAM Modules.
 
Joined
Nov 25, 2005
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You seem to have a good idea on how to work on your system, but I do feel the need to remind you about taking proper static precautions. You CAN damage components (especially RAM and videocards) with static electricity, and the problem is compounded by the DRY air environment we tend to live in during the winter. Don't forget to UNPLUG the system; if you don't, then you are probably working with a LIVE motherboard, and that is ASKING for trouble.

Look at the back of the computer, at the power supply unit itself (the PSU); you should see a voltage selector switch. Be SURE it is set to the proper voltage range; in the US, it should be set to 110 - 120 VAC. Don't laugh; I've seen this problem back when I did field service, and a few times in the shop, after someone had shipped their system across country to us...

Next, you might not have a speaker attached to the motherboard (not all systems have them); it is possible that attaching a speaker would allow you to hear a BIOS beep code, which would indicate some type of hardware problem. We could then try to diagnose the beep code (three short beeps, two long and one short beep, etc.) to determine the problem.

Since we don't have a speaker to help us, I agree with the advice you've already been given by 1069; remove and reinstall the RAM. Reseating the RAM could solve this problem for you; be sure that you also reseat the videocard, and check to see that every other component is fully seated in each slot.

Though you MIGHT have some type of virus problem, let's take a real good look at the HARDWARE as the most likely culprit first. That means checking ALL connections, including the ATX power cable which runs from the power supply unit to the motherboard (is it FULLY seated?), then DOUBLE-checking them. Take NOTHING for granted; swapping the monitor and videocard were good first steps, but now you need to go through the entire system to look for the culprit.

If you've tried EVERYTHING I've suggested (hardware related) and NOTHING has worked, UNPLUG THE SYSTEM FIRST. Shutting it off is NOT the same as UNPLUGGING it. Next, remove the motherboard battery, and leave it out of the system for about 15 minutes. Better yet, if you have a manual for the motherboard, you should be able to find the instructions for clearing the CMOS, which will require unplugging the system, then moving a little onboard jumper from one position to another for a few seconds. Moving the jumper when NO POWER is applied resets the CMOS to the default settings; you can move the jumper to the proper position, leave it there for five to ten seconds, then move it back, plug the PSU in, and try to boot the system.

Whatever else you do, please don't overreact to this problem. I think you're on the right track by checking the hardware first, so be thorough and let's make sure we eliminate the most likely culprits BEFORE we move on to the less likely candidates.

Good luck; ask any questions you might have, and keep us posted on your progress.
 
Joined
Aug 2, 2004
Messages
3,370
B.E.10,

The monitor symptoms you describe indicate that the florescent backlight is going OFF. The LCD display itself is still working, which is why you can still make out the image on the screen if the external light hits it just right.

How do the LCD's perform on a different system? Are you using the same signal cable with each of the two units that you have tried??? I'm thinking it is either the cable or the connector plug that is bad, and the backlight is shutting off.
 

bethelaine10

Thread Starter
Joined
Jan 8, 2006
Messages
3
thank you all so much! i am going to print out all of your suggestions and run through them one by one. i will definately keep you posted!!
 
Joined
Apr 27, 2004
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4,719
Two short beeps indicate a memory problem, take the ram out and try one at a time in different slots.
 
Joined
Sep 7, 2004
Messages
1,912
Refer back to post 2.

Your RAM Modules could have become lose in the transportation. Reseat or swop them as bigbear suggests - the first one that is looked at could have gone "bad" - if this is so swapping them will show this.
 
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