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A conundrum: why is my monitor blank?

templewulftemplewulf The Team ChumpUSARegistered User regular
edited April 2007 in Games and Technology
I'm a fairly competent computer builder, but I am utterly stumped at this point. I'm building a new PC to play games and movies on my TV, record cable TV as a DVR, and act as an all-around HTPC. The problem is that I can't get a video signal out of this computer to save my life. Let me list these steps chronologically:

1.) I have an old case with a Chaintech motherboard, way old OEM nVidia GPU, Athlon XP CPU, and a CRT monitor. The fans and drives whir at power-on, so everything is getting juice. The monitor power light blinks when I turn on the computer, indicating power saver mode from lack of a video signal.

2.)I buy a new Chaintech video card (an FX 5200 for super cheap). It still doesn't work. I test this new video card on both the old CRT monitor and my new LCD monitor, testing both VGA and DVI ports. Still nothing. I switch out the new video card with the one in my currently-working computer, and all the video cards work fine.

3.)I buy a new PC Chips motherboard (don't make fun, I know it's a cheapo brand). I am still not getting anything to work on either the CRT monitor through VGA or the LCD monitor through DVI. I give up and go to bed.

Does anyone have any suggestions for me? Could it be the CPU? I fried my last CPU somehow, so I bought a new (second hand: it's new to you!) Athlon XP a few months ago. I thought it might be the PSU, but it worked the last time I used it and then just sat in storage. Could there be just one pin leading to the AGP slot that isn't providing power?

Help me G & T!

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    LewiePLewieP Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Your not running Doom 3 are you?
    I'm so sorry...

    LewieP on
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    templewulftemplewulf The Team Chump USARegistered User regular
    edited April 2007
    LewieP wrote: »
    Your not running Doom 3 are you?
    I'm so sorry...
    I never played Doom3, so it took me a minute to figure that out. :lol:

    templewulf on
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    AshendarkAshendark Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Does your motherboard have on board video?

    Ashendark on
    Ashendark.gif
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    HashyHashy Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Is the PC speaker beeping as it should when it boots? Is it beeping strangely? It sounds like it could just not be posting, which could be your RAM, CPU, PSU or anything, really. You need to narrow it down by removing and replacing the components one at a time until it boots normally.

    Hashy on
    :winky:
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    templewulftemplewulf The Team Chump USARegistered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Ashendark wrote: »
    Does your motherboard have on board video?
    Nope. It's AGP or nothing.

    Other suggestions made to me have been to check if the video card requires an extra power connector. It works in my currently-working computer without an extra power connector, so I would assume it wouldn't need one in the HTPC. I say assume, because there's a 2-pin connector on the card, and I'm not sure what it's for. I would guess it's for a GPU fan, but the documentation is so piss-poor, I have no idea.

    templewulf on
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    templewulftemplewulf The Team Chump USARegistered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Hashy wrote: »
    Is the PC speaker beeping as it should when it boots? Is it beeping strangely? It sounds like it could just not be posting, which could be your RAM, CPU, PSU or anything, really. You need to narrow it down by removing and replacing the components one at a time until it boots normally.
    Here's the problem, I can't figure out all the pins on the motherboard, because it appears differently from the manual, and there aren't any manuals available for download from the manufacturer. So, I plugged the speaker into what should be the speaker pins, but there aren't any beeps.

    EDIT: I don't have any extra PSUs. Do you think I should disassemble my working PC to test out a known-good PSU in the HTPC? I've never known a PSU to stop working for just one component.

    templewulf on
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    HashyHashy Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    My internet's too flakey right now to do any serious research but that particular card doesn't need any extraneous power from any kind of plugs. You said there was a 2 pin connector on the card? It should have stock cooler mounted and plugged into it as far as I can tell.

    I can't quite work out from the OP; did you try another videocard in the new setup or did you try the FX5200 in a working PC? Both?

    Hashy on
    :winky:
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    templewulftemplewulf The Team Chump USARegistered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Hashy wrote: »
    My internet's too flakey right now to do any serious research but that particular card doesn't need any extraneous power from any kind of plugs. You said there was a 2 pin connector on the card? It should have stock cooler mounted and plugged into it as far as I can tell.

    I can't quite work out from the OP; did you try another videocard in the new setup or did you try the FX5200 in a working PC? Both?
    My FX 5200 only came with a heatsink. There's no stock cooler on this model.

    I did try both a known-good card and the new video card in both a known-good PC and the new HTPC. Both cards work in the PC, but neither card works in the HTPC on 2 different motherboards.

    templewulf on
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    jmdbcooljmdbcool Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    It could be that your monitor has gone black and now will never go back.

    jmdbcool on
    dragons2.jpgdragon-sig-edge.gif
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    PikaPuffPikaPuff Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    If you don't see the DOS bootup, then something's seriously wrong with the monitor.

    PikaPuff on
    jCyyTSo.png
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    templewulftemplewulf The Team Chump USARegistered User regular
    edited April 2007
    jmdbcool wrote: »
    It could be that your monitor has gone black and now will never go back.
    Your avatar makes my laughter all the heartier.
    PikaPuff wrote: »
    If you don't see the DOS bootup, then something's seriously wrong with the monitor.
    There's nothing wrong with either monitor. At least, nothing related to this problem.

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    HashyHashy Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    It's something in the computer you haven't replaced yet. So yeah, probably CPU RAM or the PSU.

    Unplug everything that isn't neccessary--PCI cards, hard-drives and optical drives (leave a keyboard plugged in)--and double check all power connections. If boots, plug them back in one by one until you get to the source of the problem. If it doesn't, try one stick of RAM at a time or replace the RAM completely. Failing this, try a known working PSU.

    If all of this fails, it has to be the CPU by my logic.
    So, I plugged the speaker into what should be the speaker pins, but there aren't any beeps.
    I sincerely doubt this is it, but undo this as well to be sure.

    VVV The PSU is probably your next step.

    Hashy on
    :winky:
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    templewulftemplewulf The Team Chump USARegistered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Hashy wrote: »
    It's something in the computer you haven't replaced yet. So yeah, probably CPU RAM or the PSU.

    Unplug everything that isn't neccessary--PCI cards, hard-drives and optical drives (leave a keyboard plugged in)--and double check all power connections. If boots, plug them back in one by one until you get to the source of the problem. If it doesn't, try one stick of RAM at a time or replace the RAM completely. Failing this, try a known working PSU.

    If all of this fails, it has to be the CPU by my logic.
    You know, I hadn't thought of removing the PCI card. I tried it without the optical drives and HDD, but it still didn't help.

    The RAM worked in another machine, but perhaps it isn't working now. I'll switch it out with something else just to be sure.

    EDIT:
    VVV The PSU is probably your next step.
    Ugh, I was afraid of that. I've already bought an extra motherboard. This whole troubleshooting thing is getting expensive. I was hoping the solution would be some kind of reconfiguration that wouldn't necessitate another purchase. D-X

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    HashyHashy Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    templewulf wrote: »
    Ugh, I was afraid of that. I've already bought an extra motherboard. This whole troubleshooting thing is getting expensive. I was hoping the solution would be some kind of reconfiguration that wouldn't necessitate another purchase. D-X
    Why not just borrow it from your working PC as you suggested earlier? I didn't want you to go buying extra shit because of my flimsy advice :P

    Hashy on
    :winky:
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    templewulftemplewulf The Team Chump USARegistered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Hashy wrote: »
    templewulf wrote: »
    Ugh, I was afraid of that. I've already bought an extra motherboard. This whole troubleshooting thing is getting expensive. I was hoping the solution would be some kind of reconfiguration that wouldn't necessitate another purchase. D-X
    Why not just borrow it from your working PC as you suggested earlier? I didn't want you to go buying extra shit because of my flimsy advice :P
    No, no, I meant having to buy new parts to fix the problem. I fully intend on swapping it out of my current computer, but I would still have to buy a new PSU if that turned out to be the problem.

    Well, I'm at work now, so I'll try out some things when I get home. If anybody has anything else to suggest, feel free to add your ideas to the thread.

    Thanks for everything so far!

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    templewulftemplewulf The Team Chump USARegistered User regular
    edited April 2007
    It's time for a thread
    200px-Gill_SF.jpg
    Resurrection!

    Here's the deal so far: I've tested in both computers the video card, the CPU, the PSU, motherboard, and I still can't get a video signal to my monitor from my new HTPC, but everything works fine on the old PC. I even removed the power and IDE cables from my ODD and HDDs. All I need to test now is the RAM, but it was good less than 2 months ago, and it's just been sitting in static-protected bags since then.

    Are there any other suggestions? The only common factor in each trial is the case. Maybe I'm setting it up wrong? Has anybody had any experience with monitors not getting a signal from the DVI cable?

    EDIT:
    As per an earlier question, no the motherboard does not beep on boot, because I never figured out how to correctly plug in the speaker cable. Assuming that there were no beeps even with a correctly-plugged speaker, what would your advice be?

    DOUBLE EDIT:
    My working computer's motherboard uses the four-pronged power plug in addition to the main mobo plug. The new motherboards don't have a socket to plug that one into. Would this make a difference?

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    VicissitudeVicissitude Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Are you using the little standee things that keep the mobo from making contact with the case? I know people who didn't ever use those, and never had a problem, until they built something new and accidentally fried their mobo that way.

    Vicissitude on
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    SiliconStewSiliconStew Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    What is the model number of the PC Chips motherboard (printed on the board itself)? You can find the manuals for those at pcchips.com.tw. That would at least give you the correct pinouts for the speaker and power connectors.

    Motherboards and power supplies can have different power connectors (20, 24, 20+4). But if you can plug in the PSU without any other open power connectors on the motherboard, you should be fine.

    Start with just the HTPC's PSU, CPU, RAM and motherboard and see if it beeps when you turn it on. If you can test the HTPC's CPU and RAM in the known working computer, do that first to eliminate those as possible problems (assuming those parts are actually compatible with the HTPC motherboard). That leaves only the PSU and motherboard to check. If it is possible, use the PSU, CPU, RAM and video card from the working computer and plug them into the HTPC motherboard's. If it posts after power on, you can eliminate that as a possibility. That just leaves the PSU.

    SiliconStew on
    Just remember that half the people you meet are below average intelligence.
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    templewulftemplewulf The Team Chump USARegistered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Are you using the little standee things that keep the mobo from making contact with the case? I know people who didn't ever use those, and never had a problem, until they built something new and accidentally fried their mobo that way.
    Yeah, I have those little plastic mounting pin-things in correctly. I'll go take out the mobo and double check just to be sure.
    What is the model number of the PC Chips motherboard (printed on the board itself)? You can find the manuals for those at pcchips.com.tw. That would at least give you the correct pinouts for the speaker and power connectors.
    I already did. The pin layout is completely different on the actual motherboard. The manual that came with it is a 3rd configuration, different from those two.
    If it is possible, use the PSU, CPU, RAM and video card from the working computer and plug them into the HTPC motherboard's. If it posts after power on, you can eliminate that as a possibility. That just leaves the PSU.
    I did that last night, except I did it one at a time. The PSU, CPU, GPU all work fine on the old PC, but I can't get any video signal out of the HTPC. I'm going to try some different RAM tests tonight, but the situation is starting to seem grim. If the RAM isn't the problem, what could it be?

    EDIT:
    Could it be some components that only interfere in combination?

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