So why doesn't the monitor work????

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carrie640

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A friend of mine is in Texas (I am in MI) and she just snatched a computer on Ebay http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&ssPageName=ADME:B:EOIBSAA:US:31&Item=8744979429


She called me and asked me to help her set it up. She powered it up and and it just stayed on the Compaq splash screen. I told her that maybe the previous owner removed the operating system (but they did provide the installation CD's) and she just need to put Windows back in. Well, I started to talk her through some of this stuff, but she told me that her monitor , which is a Dell, was like in "sleep" mode.....the amber light stayed on even though the computer was on. After a few minutes, it would pop up, but every time she tried to do something (put the Windows CD in or hit an F key at bootup), it went out again. I told her to connect her monitor from the other computer she had. That one, although a little quicker to respond, did the same thing.

I have no idea what is causing this as I have never come across this issue before. I told her that we couldn't do a thing if we couldn't see what was going on!! LOL!

So...I really have two questions......what the heck is the deal with the monitor thing and also......even if the OS had been wiped out, shouldn't this computer still boot to SOMETHING (like a DOS prompt, maybe?). It is totally just sitting on the Compaq splash screen!

Thanks in advance!
 

JohnWill

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Oct 19, 2002
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106,522
Sounds like the "bargain" computer from eBay wasn't such a bargain. :rolleyes:

I'd start by opening the case and reseating ALL the expansion cards, cables, and memory modules. After shipping, that's the first step you should do.
 
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If the OS has been wiped off the drive, then DOS isn't likely to be on there, so the system probably CAN'T boot to a DOS prompt... Of course, if your friend boots the system with a DOS bootup disk, she SHOULD get to the DOS prompt, AFTER she fixes her hardware problem.

FWIW, I agree with JohnWill that something has probably come loose inside, with the videocard and the RAM being the most likely suspects. Removing and reseating each component (videocard, NIC, soundcard, RAM sticks) into the motherboard slots should do the trick...

Since the monitor seems to work intermittently (otherwise, how would your friend see the Compaq splashscreen?), chances are that this is the ONLY problem she's going to have. That being said, if the stupid thing REFUSES to work, have your friend remove the AGP videocard completely. It is entirely possible that the original Compaq PSU is too weak to power the upgraded videocard (nVidia GeForce MX 440), and she'll have to use the onboard videochip instead (which raises issues about videocard drivers for that GeForce)...

Isn't this fun? Aren't you GLAD you asked for advice? I'm really NOT trying to discourage you, I just want you to be aware of what some of the possible problems are when you try to talk your friend through this repair. BTW, it is ALSO possible that there IS an OS on the HDD, so tell your friend to try booting the system after she solves the hardware problem. If it boots, she has an OS installed; if it shows an error message about no operating system found, you'll know she has to boot from the recovery CD...

Good luck; let us know how this turns out.
 

carrie640

Thread Starter
Joined
Jul 22, 2004
Messages
97
Thanks for the help!



LOL!!! Come to find out, she had the monitor plugged into the WRONG port!!! HAHAHAHAHAHAAAA!!!!!! I said, "Chelly, are you SURE you had the thing plugged into the right spot???"

OMG. How something SOOO simple can create such stress! LOL!
 
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But if it was plugge dinto hte wrong spot how did it get to the compaw screen? and why didnt it work on hte otehr computer? Why would there be 2 spots that worked to begin with
 

JohnWill

Retired Moderator
Joined
Oct 19, 2002
Messages
106,522
I suspect it was plugged into the MB port, and as soon as the BIOS initialized the second video card, it stopped updating the MB video outputs.
 
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