PC turns on, but no video or POST

By jstluise ยท 6 replies
Apr 15, 2011
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  1. A friend was having issues with their desktop, saying that they kept getting a boot menu screen when they started it up.

    I brought it home and saw right away that the computer was not detecting the HDD, though it was detecting the CD drive. I don't remember exactly what I did, but I think I just unplugged the power to the HDD and plugged it back in. Magically on the next boot the HDD was detected and windows launched normally. Hmmm.

    I proceeded to wipe the HDD and re-install Windows XP HE (they had a lot of crap on there...was easiest to start fresh). I finished installing all the drivers and was just messing around when the system froze. On restart, I got the boot menu with no HDD, then following the next boot I don't have any video or POST screen.

    I have power everywhere (eg. I can hear the HDD spin up), but I don't get any video. All fans run, keyboard lights on, etc. The system has a NVIDIA GeForce 9400 GT card installed. I do not get any video out of it or out of the onboard video.

    Any suggestions where to go next? I am stuck...


    Update: I stripped everything off the mobo and was able to get onboard video. I guess I can just start adding stuff back and see if anything messes it up...
  2. Coodu

    Coodu TS Booster Posts: 173

    So if I'm correct, at this stage you have a booting machine after a fresh format, using the on board video adapter?

    In this case yeah, add things back in one at a time. I've had stupid things like dial-up modems, pci network cards, sound cards etc cause this sort of thing. You might even have a dodgy graphics card or a dodgy slot on your hands (GFX card slot AGP/PCI-E)

    What have you got in the machine as we speak in its bootable state? Just HDD, ODD (DVD Drive), RAM? Ie the bare essentials?
  3. jstluise

    jstluise TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 27

    Thanks for the reply. Yes, I am booting after a fresh format (I managed to get all the drivers installed and a few programs, etc...basically ready to go back to the owner) using the on board video adapter.

    I have the bare essentials right now (HDD, ODD, RAM).

    I think I tracked it down to the video card. When I plug in the video card I cannot get any video out of the on board adapter or the video card itself. Maybe a faulty slot like you say.

    Would a bad video card cause one of the IDE slots not to be detected? This was the initial problem the owner was having...I don't think they were having any problems with the video like I am.

    Thanks again
  4. Coodu

    Coodu TS Booster Posts: 173

    Good to see you're back up and running for the most part.

    You could try another graphics card if you have one handy that will fit in the slot and see if this helps. Will at least tell you if the problem is slot or card related. I'm leaning more towards the card itself but you never know.

    You won't receive any display on the onboard adapter while the graphics card is in the machine as it will be defaulting to that source.

    In regards to the IDE, I don't think that would be related to the issues with the graphics card, but if the board has a bit of age in it perhaps it is starting to show signs of failure.
  5. jstluise

    jstluise TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 27

    I'll try to get my hands on another one, but I am leaning toward the graphics card too. I figured that was the case: the display will only be on the card if it is installed and not the onboard.

    I didn't think the graphics problem would be related to the IDE, either. The problem with detecting the IDE is a sporadic problem...I'll just have to keep messing with it to see if I can pin anything down.

    Thanks for the assistance!
  6. Coodu

    Coodu TS Booster Posts: 173

    No worries mate, let us know if we can be of any more assistance.
  7. thorshammer

    thorshammer TS Rookie

    same "No video, Nno POST" - different lead-up

    Unsure whether I should start a new thread, but since it's similar...

    I started with a computer that was running but had a virus - said my son. New system to me, so I opened it up first and found it very dirty esp. the CPU fan housing. Removed it (with a bit of trouble), cleaned it and replaced it. Now when powered up, mobo power light and disk drive and CD drive all activate. But monitor only displays "no signal", no beeps when powering up etc.

    2 details:
    (1) when removing the CPU fan housing, I got some of the graphite grease that goes between housing and CPU chip cover on my fingers - but enough remained to maintain a coating.
    (2) a row of fat capacitors next to that housing - one got bent aside ever so slightly. I noticed when I had returned the housing to position, the capacitor was closer to it than the others. Gently nudged it back, now when I apply slight pressure it feels as firm as the others (so I don't think it's weld was compromised).

    Any ideas what the problem might be? Thanks much for your help.

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