PC Boots but no Video signal - not a new build

By slightly-peeved ยท 12 replies
Mar 15, 2008
  1. Hi all
    I 've had a bit of a PC issue which came to head today. The pc is about 4 years old and had a new motherboard and psu, about a year ago. A couple of weeks ago it a problem started. Whenever it boots there is a continual slowinsh beeping sound right through boot up, but once booted works fine.

    I decided to tackle the problem today and after reading a few forums I followed a hunch that it was either my graphics card or bad memory, neither of which are particularly new, so I started a process of elimination.

    1) Took out the graphics card and blew off the dust - replaced it, now pc sounds like it's booting up, same beeping but now no video signal! - blank monitor screen, nothing...

    2) After thinking oops, decided that I would take the card out again and check it was properly seated. same problem

    3) Tried taking the RAM out and put it back in - same problem

    4) Put a different graphics card in, which I know works fine - no change

    I have DDR 2700 RAM and no other same speed available to check so I'm thinking it could be the RAM, does this sound right before I go out and buy some new RAM? or does it sound more serious?

    I'd really appreciate any help.

  2. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 5,270   +101

    If you can identify the exact beep sequence and you know what BIOS manufacturer you have (or motherboard model), you can look the sequence up online and get a good idea as to what it may be.

    That said, generally most beep sequences refer to RAM or the VPU, if you've eliminated the VPU it's probably safe to try the RAM next.
  3. slightly-peeved

    slightly-peeved TS Rookie Topic Starter

    another thing

    Probably quite an important omission, just forgot

    When I took the graphics card out the first time, when I powered up i heard a feint poof type of noise followed by a familiar electrically burning smell ( to use the technical term) I sniffed inside the case and it appeared to be around the area of the graphics card & CPU. Difficult to accurately pinpoint.

    In reply to above - my mobo is an asus a7v8x, had a look for beep codes but didn't find out anything to help yet.
  4. slightly-peeved

    slightly-peeved TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Beep codes

    I think this might explain, I found this relating to my beeps:

    Award BIOS Beep Codes:

    1long, 2 short - Video adapter error
    Either video adapter is bad or is not seated properly. Also, check to ensure the monitor cable is connected properly.

    Repeating (endless loop) - Memory error
    Check for improperly seated or missing memory.

    1long, 3short - No video card or bad video RAM
    Reseat or replace the video card.

    High frequency beeeps while running - Overheated CPU
    Check the CPU fan for proper operation. Check the case for proper air flow.

    Repeating High/Low - CPU
    Either the CPU is not seated properly or the CPU is damaged. May also be due to excess heat. Check the CPU fan or BIOS settings for proper fan speed.

    Hope this helps anyone else reading in future. I think I'd best get meself some new memory and cross fingers

    I'll post if it works

  5. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 5,270   +101

    Eh that poofing and odor was probably coming from your PSU. You may want to yank that out of your PC. It may have caused damage elsewhere, if not, you're lucky and don't push it. Replace that PSU before you power the system back on again.
  6. slightly-peeved

    slightly-peeved TS Rookie Topic Starter


    I've just tried putting the memory in a different slot and now it only beeps 3 or 4 times then stops, still no video signal and doesn't seem to fully boot (by the sound of it) there is also a sort of clicking sound. I'm begining to think this is a bigger issue than just RAM, but I'm no tech genius so it's just gut.
  7. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 5,270   +101

    Copy/Paste I swear I am invisible sometimes:

  8. slightly-peeved

    slightly-peeved TS Rookie Topic Starter

    No you are definitely visible

    I did see that, but figured that because power was coming through to the motherboard, graphics card & fans etc that it was not that... perhaps I was wrong eh?
  9. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 5,270   +101

    A poofing sound with a burning odor = very bad. You do not have a working PC, so yes, it's pretty unsafe to assume that your PSU (which is releasing a burning smell) is of a perfect working condition.

    Even defective or failing PSU's can still provide power to components. Do not power that system back on without replacing your PSU unless you're looking for an excuse to upgrade.

    Hopefully, nothing else was harmed.
  10. slightly-peeved

    slightly-peeved TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Gotcha, I will replace the PSU now without further fiddling and hope that the damage was contained to that... otherwise it's a long wait until xmas!

    Thanks for your help Zenosincks
  11. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 5,270   +101

    :( Long wait until Christmas indeed. Good luck and keep us posted!
  12. slightly-peeved

    slightly-peeved TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Goodnight and god bless

    Well, I'm afraid the prognosis is not at all good.
    Different PSU, same problem, strangely no beeps though... anyway.
    Decided in true logic style to remove everything and build back together from scratch (carefully)

    The only thing I noticed, which I am begining to think is the root of the poofing, was when I took my chip out I looked at the underside and there was a tiny, yet un-nerving black spot, it certainly didn't look like it was meant to be there. I blew it (of course) and gave it a gentle wipe, but it was definitely inside the chip.

    I'm guessing that this means I have a dead processor?

    In true hardcore style I put it all back together and crossed my fingers, however sadly the darn thing still won't work (shock)... R.I.P my old friend

    Looks like I'd better do a bit of overtime.

    I could go and buy a new CPU, but I'm concerned it will just be throwing good money after bad... new CPU, new RAM, new motherboard....what next GFX, case. Might as well get a whole new PC.

    Cheers for your help, you are of course invited to the virtual funeral of my PC... at 11am GMT, virtual cake and limeade will e provided.
  13. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 5,270   +101

    Well, you can always strip it down to just the motherboard, CPU, a single RAM module that you are positive works and your new PSU. If it's still beeping at you, major hardware failure has likely occurred.

    If your PSU fried your CPU to that extent, expect that your motherboard is shot as well as other components. Best I can suggest is to test everything one by one to see what works and what doesn't.

    Good luck to you. :(
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