Booting a system with no video

By WooDChiP
Feb 8, 2007
  1. Is it possible to boot a system with no integrated video or video card? will it just not boot?
  2. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,383   +105

    The system I have listed below doesn't have Onboard Video, but I had to get AGP 8X Video Card for it. The system BIOS will detect the card and give you a VGA appearance 640x480 8 to 16-bit color. Once you install the Windows drivers then you're new Video Card will come to life..
  3. WooDChiP

    WooDChiP TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 57

    What if you had no video card though, would it be able to display anything with no video whatsoever? or will it just be stuck at the 640x480 8 to 16-bit color
  4. kitty500cat

    kitty500cat TS Evangelist Posts: 2,154   +6

    Well, if you have no onboard video and no video card, there's no place to connect your monitor, there's no graphics engine, so no.

    If there's a graphics port on the back of your motherboard, that means that you have onboard graphics, it's like a video card built into your motherboard. Onboard graphics are often not extremely high quality though.
  5. tweakboy

    tweakboy TS Guru Posts: 467

    Nope!, good question tho,
  6. Sharkfood

    Sharkfood TS Guru Posts: 1,019

    Actually, you CAN setup a system for this purpose, but you'll need a video card to temporarily set it up for this purpose.

    The techie term for this is a "headless" system... as it has no "head" (or monitor). Many modern BIOS's allow for post/boot without a videocard. You just have to set them up this way IN the BIOS for no halt on error and no videocard... then remove the videocard needed to set this up.

    I've had to do just this with some older hardware for the purpose of making headless, dual-homed servers running non-Microsoft operating systems (BSD/Linux based). In these situations, attaching ssh over the network or XDM network x-desktops is sufficient for administrating the server and hosting client applications.

    So, the short answer is- hunt in your BIOS to see if you can disable halts on errors and no video option.
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