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Monitor loses signal when Windows starts up

By Liz123 ยท 13 replies
Mar 6, 2006
  1. I turned on my computer, but forgot the monitor cable was disconnected. So I connected it. Screen stayed blank (black) (so much for plug and play, darn).
    I hit the keys that I thought would cause a Windows restart, but it didn't work. Hit ESC a few times, and then some more Alt+F4 and arrow keys and enter and so forth, but nothing worked. So I held the "On" switch pressed until the computer turned off.
    Waited a minute, then turned puter back on. Got the blue "Windows wasn't shut down correctly so must check everything" screen, everything checked out ok, Windows started to load, I saw the mostly-black screen with the big Windows logo, but just before it would normally switch to the blue screen with the horizintal animation, my monitor announced it wasn't getting a signal and went blank. Turned computer off, turned it on again, got the exact same result. I can stop the boot up and open the BIOS setup, but I have no idea whether that is going to be of any use to me.
    I've seen similar problems described, but one said "I fixed it somehow" and another mentioned installing drivers, which I don't know how to do (what drivers, where, and to where?) without Windows running. (Sorry I'm a little clueless.)
    So far I have not opened the computer, and I have double (and triple) checked the cables that everything is connected.
    Any ideas? I'm Desparate!!
    Liz (newbie!)
  2. Vigilante

    Vigilante TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,634

    You said you double checked the cables, but double-double check that you don't have TWO video cards or two plugs on the video card. Such as having onboard video and AGP. If you have two video cards, try the other one.

    Otherwise, to rule out a driver issue, can you get into Safe Mode? To get here, press F8 on your keyboard BEFORE you ever see any Windows logos. You can just press F8 once every second as the system boots if you like, to make sure you don't miss it.
    You should get a menu, use the arrow keys to choose Safe Mode.
    If that works fine, then it's a driver problem. If it still doesn't work, or the monitor cuts off even before this, then it could be a video problem instead I suppose.

    And you might already know, but the system can still be working fine even though you don't see anything. Is it still churning away on the hard drive in the background? Do you hear your startup windows sound (if you have one). Does it sound and feel like it's booting normal even without the video? Or does it seem like the system just halts?

    That aught to get us started.
  3. Liz123

    Liz123 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    There's only one socket that the monitor cable can connect to, I mean one at each end.
    Yes, it sounds like everything is booting up as normal although 'I can't see anything. I don't have sounds tunred on, but the various "grinding" noises sound typical.
    I pressed F8 once per second and was prompted to select a boot dvice. Fraid I don't have a disk or CD (the other choices) so I selected "IDE-0: Samsung SV4012H".
    Pressed F8 again while it booted. Got a screen of choices for "Windows start options." I'm afraid my Windows is in German, so here's a quickie translation:
    Safe mode
    Safe mode w/ network drivers
    Safe mode w/ prompt

    Activate startup recording (?)
    Activate VGA mode
    Last configuration recognized as functioning
    Restore directory service (Windows domain controller)
    Debug mode
    Deactivate automatic restart in the event of system error

    Start Windows normally

    --> Any suggestions?

    btw, thanks a ton for responding!
  4. Liz123

    Liz123 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Oh, you said "choose safe mode." I'll do that now...
  5. Liz123

    Liz123 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    OK, that works! So do I need to change settings in the Control Panel or something? _Can_ I, in safe mode?
    I am running Windows XP Professional, btw.

    Thanks another ton,
  6. Peddant

    Peddant TS Rookie Posts: 1,403

    You could try going to the Device Manager(control panel/system)and removing/un-installing all monitor devices,then restarting the computer,and seeing if Windows detects it again.If it doesn`t work your only back where you started.
  7. Liz123

    Liz123 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    So I've tried googling for more clues, and I wonder if I should uninstall the graphic card driver in the Device Manager to force Windows to use the standard vga compatible driver. Then maybe I can run in non-safe mode, and then reinstall the driver. I suppose I can find the driver somewhere? FRAID I don't have the Win XP intallation CD with me at the moment (doh!).
    In my Device Manager is says "Grafikkarte:" (graphic card) "NVIDIA GeForce4 MX 440" -- is that the name of the driver? I guess of the card, anyway.
    Quarter past midnight over here in D-land, and I have an early start tomorrow. I'll check back here in a few minutes, after the wash-brush routine, and see whether I get lucky again ;-)
    Thanks again Vigilante -- I'd say sleep well, but I guess it ain't bedtime yet over there...
  8. Peddant

    Peddant TS Rookie Posts: 1,403

    Great minds think alike :)
  9. kirock

    kirock TS Rookie Posts: 1,212

    Do you have on board graphics or do you have a video card?. If it's displaying in Safe Mode then it's your video drivers and Windows in Safe mode defaults to a simple VGA windows driver.

    In Safe Mode Open yoour Control Panel: Start/Settings/Control Panel/System/Hardware/Device Manager/Display Adaptors. Right Click and choose Uninstall. Reboot computer in normal (hopefully no probs) Allow Windows to install standard VGA driver. Now if it's a video card, Go to the manufacture's website/Downloads and dwnload the latest driver for your card.
    Edit: While I was typing my response..your above post were listed. Slow typer here. :)
  10. Liz123

    Liz123 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Indeed :) And we trip over each other getting our posts typed.

    Looks like: so far so good. Uninstalled the driver and restarted w/o safe mode, and no unpleasant msgs from the monitor. The hardware installation guy opened and tried to look for a driver, but <*blush*> I can only connect one computer at a time to the Internet (gotta get me a router!) so I'll have to pull the plug on the laptop here to let the big 'puter have a go.
    In case I don't check in again tonight: thanks a whole bunch for the help! Anything you need from Germany?
    I learned that "video adapter" or "dislpay adapter" in Windows is called "Grafikkarte" in the German Windows. Ya learn something new everyday, or so they say!
    Thanks again,
  11. Vigilante

    Vigilante TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,634

    Hopefully once you can work again in Normal Mode, go to www.nvidia.com and download the video drive again, this should put the right one back in place.
    Hopefully that does the trick.

    In english, "Grafikkarte" sounds closest to "Graphic Card". Not bad.
  12. Peddant

    Peddant TS Rookie Posts: 1,403

    Ich hoffe das sich das schicksall nicht mehr von Techspot wegbringen wird.Or something like that.
  13. Vigilante

    Vigilante TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,634

    No cussing on these forums peddant. lol
  14. Liz123

    Liz123 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Wow, and great minds speak the same languages! ho ho
    Thanks, too, Vigilante-- I even found the Nvidia CD that I got from the folks who put my computer together! All those (3) years ago.
    I went to a store today and talked to the guy there about putting together my next computer -- and this one threw that little "No signal" fit the minute I got home. It knows it's being replaced, and was trying to extract revenge. :evil:
    My brother told me you shouldn't talk about computers as though they have human feelings -- it makes 'em mad.
    And now my "ho ho" is turning into a ho hum -- I gotta hit the hay!
    Thanks again, and catch you later...
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