Display went blank... computer beeped

July 1, 2012 at 14:42:51
Specs: Windows 7 Home Premium, AMD Athlon II x2 215 dual-core
Two weeks ago, the display went black on the computer. This computer is used as the media server in our home network, so it's always on and connected to the HDTV. Anyway, I didn't have time to troubleshoot the issue back then, so I just turned it off.

Last night, after the computer being turned off for two weeks, I finally had some time. Surprisingly, the display came on just fine. However, about 10 minutes the screen went black... except for a horizontal line across the bottom of the screen that consisted of columns of small red vertical lines. Then after about 3-5 minutes, the hard drive light on the front of the machine stopped blinking and went out. After rebooting, the display never came back on. The TV says there's no signal. The machine started beeping slowly, although I'm not sure if that was because I had to hold the power button down for 10 seconds to turn it off.

This desktop has nVidia GeForce 9100 integrated graphics on-board. It's connected via DVI to my HDTV.

A little history...

Before we got the HDTV, we needed this computer to connect via S-video to an older television that we were using as a second display. In order to do that, I had purchased and installed an nVidia GeForce 9500 GT card because it had two DVI ports and an S-Video port. That setup worked fine. When we got the HDTV, I removed the GeForce 9500 card and went back to using the on-board graphics card... connecting it via the DVI port to the HDTV. That setup worked perfectly... until two weeks ago.

So this morning, thinking the problem was due to the on-board graphics card, I figured I'd test the machine with the GeForce 9500 GT that used to be in there. I inserted the card in the same PCI-E slot it used to be in, connected the HDTV to the DVI port on the card and booted. Same thing. No display.

I didn't reload drivers, check the BIOS or change settings because 1.) without a display, how can I see what I'm doing? and 2.) I never removed the drivers or changed settings when I went back to the on-board graphics six months ago - the computer, at that time, simply recognized I was no longer using the PCI-E card.

There's nothing wrong with the TV, because it works fine under all the other source modes (i.e. television, DVD player, etc.)

Is it possible this isn't a graphics/video card issue, since the display doesn't work with either on-board graphics or the PCI-E graphics card? Am I overlooking something? What could be the problem?

Oh, and I also tried booting via my System Repair disk, but that didn't work either.

Thanks, y'all!

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July 1, 2012 at 14:51:42
Missing from your explanation is the make/model of the system, or make/model of motherboard, or the BIOS type (AWARD, AMI, Phoenix, etc). The beeping is a code directing you to what the problem is. Could be the graphics, could be an overheating CPU due to a failed or dust clogged fan, could be bad RAM, etc.


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July 1, 2012 at 17:47:39
I apologize. When I was creating the post, the form had me enter all that information in separate fields.

The computer is an HP Pavilion p6202f Desktop. Specs are as follows:

- AMD Athlon II X2 215 Dual-Core processor
- Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
- Pegatron M2N78-LA (Violet) Motherboard
- 250 Watt power supply

Unfortunately, my product specs provide absolutely no information about what version of BIOS it's running.

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July 1, 2012 at 18:39:05
Okay... now I've just tried it with a VGA monitor and still nothing. I have the side panel of the case off, so I can see inside when I turn it on. The fan on the motherboard is spinning. The light at the back of the machine where the Ethernet cable is plugged in is lit. The power supply light is on and the power supply fan is spinning. That's it, though. The hard drive indicator light on the front of the machine doesn't come on. I don't think I even hear the hard drive spinning, now.

I've checked all the cables and connectors, and everything is securely attached.

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July 1, 2012 at 19:44:52
okkkkay... so this is very strange.

So, in order to check whether or not the power supply fan was truly spinning, I had to tilt the entire computer forward so the back top of it was more at my eye level (the tower was on the floor under a desk and that's the only way I could see it.)

Then, with the bottom back of the tower lifted up in the air at almost a 45-degree angle, the display came on and the system booted into Windows 7 just fine. ? I was almost afraid to set the thing back down level, for fear it would go dark again. (I did, and it's remained powered-up with the display on for 20 minutes now.) But seriously... what's up with that?

What could be my problem here? I'm not feeling very confident that the issue is resolved, since the display suddenly went out all by itself the other day without anyone having touched the computer. Is there some diagnostic I should run now, while the thing is still up and running? Is there some way to determine if something is on the verge of failing? What could be the likely cause of all this?

Thanks again, y'all.

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