video card trouble

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oswald23

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Jul 11, 2005
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My video card has been giving me the error "no input signal or cable disconnected" seemingly at random the past few days, but always when I turn on the computer, never had it from a reboot. I didn't pay it much attention because I had ordered a new card, which I got today. After uninstalling the old one, I put the new one in only to get the same message. Unlike my old card it never worked even after 10+ tries, so I have put the old one back in for now (gave me the error once, then worked.) The LED lights all come on and I get the normal beep, so I have no idea whats going on. The cards are AGP if that matters.
 
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Mar 18, 2005
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G'Day oswald23, this kind of problem can be difficult to diagnose, but bear in mind that the system always appears to try to protect it's operating heart in the event of low power availabliity.
I have repeatedly noted that it is a bit like power load shedding, the processor and intelligent components appear to have priority over lesser functioning components in the event of low voltage.
This is most apparent with the five volt rail being low, the computer keeps on operating but kicks off the video card.
You can obtain the free program "Everest" home 200 off the net, (google it) unzip it and load it, then find your way to a page with the sensors icon, this will allow you to monitor your temperature and voltages. Keep a close eye on the five volt rail, anything less than 4.95 volts is cause for concern.
Have a good play with this everest program, become conversant with it's features, it is an incredibly useful tool.
If you keep having the problem obtain an old simple PCI video card, just a couple of megs is ideal, and remove your AGP and fit the PCI, this will allow normal simple operation to trouble-shoot the machine. Do not work on any part of the machine with a powered lead plugged into it.
Going by your description I suspect your power supply has a problem, but I am most often wrong, so do consider that.
See what others suggest.
Cheers, qldit.
 
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I'd try the easiest, and replace the Cable. It sounds suspect to me!
 

oswald23

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Jul 11, 2005
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Small update, tried my friend's monitor, worked with the old card, same error with the new card. Didn't try the new card in his system though because I didn't want to bother him anymore.

downloaded everest and the +5v rail is hovering between +4.92v and +4.95v.
 
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G'day oswald23, yes I doubt the monitor is your problem, the old story, garbage in, garbage out! Inferring that if you are not able to supply proper video with proper synch infomation you will view garbage.
That voltage range is cause for concern, you would be aware that differing demands on supply rails especially when they get a bit low really cause confusing kinds of symptoms.
From my experience anything in the 4.92 volt area, commonly has intermittent problems.
The power supply operates on a high frequency chopping kind of design, this allows simple cheap component construction kinds of method, the various output voltages are regulated from pick-offs, from a common source so different loadings in different rails can cause significant transitions from proper regulated standards in the others.
The idea is very clever, but has a habit of causing odd problems, especially involving higher current use components, and especially video cards..
So you might see why I suggested the simple card, this would give an idea if the problem was something else.
The newer video card you got wouldn't have had a requirement for an extra power lead by any chance, did you carefully check the specs? Some of these newer cards really are power hungry!
There is a possibility the present card was on the limit of power availability and the new card is over the top.
That might give you an idea of my warped line of thinking!!(LOL)
That everest program is pretty good don't you think?
I reckon it can tell if you have a runny nose!!
I suspect you may need to try a new power supply, judging by the set-up you have you will need something in the area of 400 or 450 watts. Modern power supplies are close rated so be wary and aim high.
Some new ones have different kinds of connectors, so make sure if you do try one, it is identical to the one you have.
If you might try a new PS, observe that five volt rail from the word go, it is very interesting to see which machines have problems and what that rail measures..
Many people actually buy all kinds of new parts without realising this is often the problem.
Cheers, qldit.
 

oswald23

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Joined
Jul 11, 2005
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3
well I decided to try the card again for lack of anything else to do, and it worked. It doesn't work perfectly though, my monitor goes into power saving mode for several minutes then I hear the POST beep and it boots normally. I believe my power supply is only 300-350 watts so I will definatly check into upgrading. Not sure how power hungry the new card is, ATI Radeon Sapphire 9600 w/ 128MB ram, with a heatsink and no fan.

Is it safe to run the new card until I replace the power supply? Once it boots everything seems to be fine.
 
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Jan 1, 2005
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personally i would run the old card until i get the new PSU. For one it works more times than the new one (as you stated) and if it were me i'd just play it safe and keep the new card in an anti static bag until its ready for your system with the stronger power supply.
 
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Mar 18, 2005
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G'day oswald23, you might try knocking back the video settings this would ease your power consumption slightly and should improve the operation reliability somewhat.
If the problem is being caused by drooping power it is difficult to say what might happen, motors and things like that may not reach proper operating speeds and thus cause extra loadings, so everything may be affected.
That long boot time could be indicative of post power requirement trying to test everything all at once and falling over. If this were the case it would not be good for any of the components.
I would beg-borrow or steal another PS to evaluate, because I am wrong most often with my wild guesses. (LOL)
Nothing is ever as it seems!
Cheers, qldit.
 
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