My display blanks and system locks up, even before windows starts.

By daemiath
May 5, 2008
  1. Hey guys, I'm at a loss. I've had my system for 5 yrs, homemade and no serious problems until now. My video card recently went bad (ATI 9600PRO) and so in the process of determining this I noticed that the screen would blank (and the system would halt whatever it was doing) within 2 mins of turning the computer on. This 2nd problem didn't occur at the same time the video card went bad, it happened about a few weeks afterwards.

    I went ahead and got a new video card, which fixed the initial graphics problem but the screen blanking is still continuing. This even occurs if I'm in the BIOS setup screen, trying to see if maybe something screwy happened.

    So now I effectively can't even use the system, it doesn't matter if I boot it in Safe Mode and as I mentioned with the BIOS screen, it doesn't even matter if windows has been loaded. I have a battery backup so it's hard to believe that the video card and motherboard got fried somehow. I tried about 8 times in a row to at least attempt to backup some things on the main HD, as I'm thinking I should just wipe the thing and reinstalling everything. But with it blanking out even in the BIOS screen, I'm wondering if it would do any good or if I'd be wasting a lot of time and effort.

    The only other thing that happened during this time was that iTunes locked up and I had been trying to reinstall it during the time I was using the bad video card (the bad video card had constant and animated artificing all over the screen, really annoying). I seriously doubt iTunes had anything to do with it but it's the only other problem I can think of that occured.

    Any help in narrowing down the problem would be greatly appreciated.

  2. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    Replace the power supply which is the usual cause, if the monitor works well on other systems... or buy a power supply tester, which will be invaluable for years and years.

    You have to think about how much you have used this five year old computer. It may have too many over-used, or worn components, as well.
  3. daemiath

    daemiath TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Hmmm... I never even knew about a power supply tester, I'll definitely grab one. I really hope it's not the PS since it's only about 18 months old but I know sometimes they just don't last. :( Would a voltmeter be able to test the ram and other components? I don't own one but I was just wondering.

    I hope that's not the case, getting a new mobo will be a pain in the **** and money is too tight right now to get a completely new system.
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