Monitor does not come on at boot up

January 18, 2008 at 07:54:27
Specs: XP home, Athlon2400
When I switch on my PC, the monitor often cuts out during boot up. I can hear a relay clicking off. The best way to recover is to switch off the monitor, unplug the video lead, reconnect and switch on again. This works 9 times out of 10. I have power saving on my PC. When I wake it up, the monitor almost always comes back on. It is only during boot up that I have the problem. This started after I reinstalled Windows on a new hard disk.
My graphics card is NVidia GForce4 Ti4200 and I have updated the driver from control panel. The monitor is a Mitsubishi Diamond Pro 930SB. I have checked that another monitor behaves normally with this PC and that this monitor works normally with another PC. I should be grateful for any suggestions.


Richard


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#1
January 18, 2008 at 10:53:37
"When I switch on my PC, the monitor often cuts out during boot up. I can hear a relay clicking off."

Some monitors have mechanical relays that you can hear switching on or off while booting or shutting down, some don't - that's normal, and if your computer and display are working normally, you tend to become used to hearing that if applicable and you tend to ignore it.

"This started after I reinstalled Windows on a new hard disk."

If you hear your monitor clicking when it didn't before after loading your operating system from scratch, something has changed.

Sometimes your video adapter doesn't detect the monitor properly when you first boot.

Make sure that the monitor has been turned on at least a few seconds before you boot the computer - if you boot the computer and power on the monitor at the same time, or power on the monitor after starting to boot, many video adapters won't detect the monitor properly.

Take a look at your Display - Settings screen.
In your case it should say the monitor is a Mitsubishi Diamond Pro 930SB or similar, on a NVidia GForce4 Ti4200 or similar if you have loaded the video adapter drivers. If the monitor is something else and/or any settings in Display - Settings - Advanced are improper for your monitor, your video adapter may not detect the monitor properly while booting. Load the drivers that came with the monitor on it's CD, or get the proper drivers for the monitor from the manufacturer's web site to eliminate that possibilty - Windows will then by default only show you the settings that both the monitor and your video drivers support.

Whenever you load Windows from a regular Windows CD (or DVD) from scratch, after Setup is finished you must load the drivers for the mboard, particularly the main chipset drivers, in order for Windows to have the proper drivers for and information about your mboard hardware, including it's AGP or PCI-E, ACPI, and hard drive controller support. If you have the CD that came with the mboard, all the necessary drivers are on it. If you load drivers from the web, brand name system builders and mboard makers often do not have the main chipset drivers listed in the downloads for your model - in that case you must go to the maker of the main chipset's web site, get the drivers, and load them.

"The best way to recover is to switch off the monitor, unplug the video lead, reconnect and switch on again."

Windows should be Shut Down when you do that - otherwise you can damage the circuits on the video card, especially if you forget to turn off the monitor first.

.......

A side note:
Many mboards will not produce a display in Windows ME and previous if the following setting is wrong. Usually in 2000 or XP you will have video in Windows even if this setting is wrong, but if it IS wrong your card will not work as it should in Windows e.g. an AGP card set to PCI will be running in PCI mode and the superior AGP capabilities will not work.
Rarely, I've seen that more recent mboards may produce an error beep pattern while booting indicating the setting is wrong for the card you are using. It's possible you'll get a message from the mboard bios as well.

I'm assuming you have an AGP video card. If yours is PCI-E, substitute PCI-E where I have AGP in the following, up to the dotted line.
Go into the bios Setup and find the setting Intialize video first or Primary display or similar, and set it to AGP or similar (e.g. or the card in the slot, or similar) rather than PCI.
This setting is set to defaults when you clear the cmos or load bios defaults - defaults often set this to PCI in older bioses, or to onboard video if you have onboard video. Only one display can be Primary at a time, in the mboard bios, and in Windows. If the setting in the bios Setup is Initialize XXX video first, that's the one designated as the Primary one.
......

In some bios Setups there is also a setting assign IRQ to AGP or similar - that must be enabled if you are using an AGP card.


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#2
January 19, 2008 at 05:30:57
Thanks very much for your comments. I shall follow these up

Richard


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#3
January 21, 2008 at 02:45:41
Thanks very much for taking so much trouble with possible solutions. I am afraid that I am still struggling – I can provide updates on some things but also need to clarify some of my original descriptions.

"When I switch on my PC, the monitor often cuts out during boot up. I can hear a relay clicking off."
The monitor comes on during boot up and displays an initial Windows screen. After a few seconds there is a click from the relay and the screen goes black just before the jingle.

"The best way to recover is to switch off the monitor, unplug the video lead, reconnect and switch on again."
I might have to reboot a dozen times before the monitor stays on. Whereas this procedure is almost guaranteed to restore it. I understand the warning about the graphics card, but I think if I had to keep on rebooting, I would just throw the entire PC out of the window.

“Take a look at your Display - Settings screen.
In your case it should say the monitor is a Mitsubishi Diamond Pro 930SB or similar, on a NVidia GForce4 Ti4200 or similar if you have loaded the video adapter drivers. If the monitor is something else and/or any settings in Display - Settings - Advanced are improper for your monitor, your video adapter may not detect the monitor properly while booting.”

I had thought that I had installed the monitor driver, but had somehow failed to do so. I have now installed the driver, but this does not make any difference. In fact when I click on the Advanced tab, I now get the dreaded click and screen blanking, and need to do my unplugging trick to see what is there.

I could not find the video settings in the bios, in spite of poking around. Are these settings always available?

The Graphics card is reported by Device manager as PCI, but it looks like an AGP when I take off the lid.

I used the recovery CD that was supplied with the PC, but still had to set up mboard drivers from a separate PC.


Richard


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#4
January 21, 2008 at 09:12:02
"The monitor comes on during boot up and displays an initial Windows screen. After a few seconds there is a click from the relay and the screen goes black just before the jingle."

That's not the same thing as
"Monitor does not come on at boot up"

It would more properly described as
"Monitor does not come on after Windows starts to load" or similar.

Your Windows video adapter software is probably screwed up.

Try this.
Boot the computer to the menu where you can use choose Safe Mode etc.
As in, boot your computer, and shortly after the green light comes on steadily on the monitor, repeatedly press F8 (don't hold down the key)until the menu appears on the black screen.
Choose Enable VGA mode.
That will start up Windows normally, except the video is forced into a basic VGA mode that all video adapters support - any specific drivers you loaded for the adapter are not used in that mode.

If that gets you to the desktop, go to Add/Remove Programs in Control Panel, and find the entries for the video drivers for your video adapter, and any other entries associated with them, and Un-install them.
(You usually can't do that in Safe Mode)
If you need help with that, let me know - it would be very useful if you could tell me the make and model of the card.

Then reboot normally.
If that works, Windows will find the video adapter while booting, Found New Hardware will pop up, but it won't find the drivers for it, and it will ask you where the drivers are - Cancel that, and continue on to the Desktop, and load the drivers for the adapter using the Install or Setup program that came with the card, or newer driver downloads you already have somewhere on the hard drive if you have them, or get new drivers from the manufacturer's web site and install them, or similar.
I you need help with that, let me know. If there is more than one download for the card, it's often important which order you install them in.


"I had thought that I had installed the monitor driver, but had somehow failed to do so. "

Sometimes installing the video adapter drivers and associated programs loses track of the specific monitor drivers you have previously installed, and they may not even detect the monitor as a Plug and Play monitor - they are still there on the hard drive, but they must re-installed by using an installation program that installs them again, or if that's not available, be pointed to on your hard drive by going to Display - Settings - Advanced - Monitor - Driver ......Have Disk, and browsing to where the monitor drivers are, or similar.
Sometimes that can only be done in Enable VGA mode.

"I could not find the video settings in the bios, in spite of poking around. Are these settings always available?"

They are always available, but they may not be labeled exactly as I described.
If you have the mboard manual there is usually descriptions in it of what the settings in the bios Setup are for and what they do when set to the various settings - if you don't have or know where you put a printed one that may have come with it, the manual is usually a pdf file on the CD that came with the mboard.
If you don't have the CD, if you supply the make and model of the mboard, I can probably find the descriptions of the bios settings in a manual on the web.
If you're not sure what make and model of mboard you have, look on the mboard for obvious larger printing on it's surface that may be the model number - it's often between the slots or near the center of the mboard - the maker may or may not be obvious - and tell me what you found.

If you find nothing obvious printed on it,
I need your bios string to be able to possibly identify your mboard and/or computer system.

Go here, download BIOS AGENT.
Run BIOS AGENT to find your bios string.
- here's the link that downloads Bios Agent
http://download.esupport.com/biosag...

Tell us everything Bios Agent finds, and include any dashes, etc.
...

Bios Agent must be used in Windows.

The following works even if you have no drives at all connected to your mboard but you are able to boot and get a display on your monitor.

If you cannot use Bios Agent, the bios string is usually a long string of numbers/letters at the bottom of the first black screen as you boot your computer - usually you can press the Pause key to read it and copy it down. Press any key but Pause to continue booting.

It could also be higher up the screen under or beside the bios version line, e.g. under or beside Award Award or AMI or Pheonix...

Post the bios string here, and include any dashes, etc.
Please make sure you copied it right. Most Award and AMI Bios strings do not have spaces. Newer Phoenix bios strings, based most often on those for Intel mboards, are often like so: xxxxxxxx.xxx.xxxxxxxxx


Sometimes the bios string is not visible because a logo screen is displayed overtop of it while booting. In that case, if you are not able to use Bios Agent, go into your bios Setup while booting. Sometimes the bios version date, and sometimes the bios version number, are stated in the bios Setup screens somewhere, and/or some show the identifier part of the bios string at the top of one or more screens.
Or you could try disabling the display of the logo screen if there is such a setting, or disabling fast boot or similar, which often disables the logo screen.
Tell us what you find.
.....

"The Graphics card is reported by Device manager as PCI, but it looks like an AGP when I take off the lid."

If it is an AGP card, the slot is usually light or mid brown, it's a different length than the PCI slots are and placed farther from the outside of the mboard, and it's the first one on the middle of the mboard end.
If it is a PCI card, the slot is usually white or creme colored, there are usually several of them, and the card can be in any of them.

If it is AGP, and Windows says it's PCI, the settings are wrong in the bios setup for the card.



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#5
January 21, 2008 at 15:01:48
Thanks again for getting back to me so quickly. I'll give it a whirl and let you know how I get on

Richard


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#6
January 23, 2008 at 09:51:50
Thanks again for your patience. I'm sorry about the sloppy original description. I was trying to make a distinction between the problem which occurs on a reboot, and return from system standby, when everything behaves as normal.

There just seems to be something partway through the Windows startup that switches the monitor off (although the pilot light on the monitor remains green and does not change to yellow.)

I have to report that I am no further forward, in spite of trying everything.

I uninstalled the video drivers in Safe mode, and reinstalled after rebooting.

I then reinstalled the monitor driver, which had been eliminated by the video driver reinstall (as you suspected)

I confirmed that my card (64MB Nvidia Gforce 4 Ti4200) is AGP, and eventually found the setting in the bios. This was already set to AGP. However, Device manager still reports it as PCI:
PCI Slot 7 (PCI bus 1, device 0, function 0)

Maybe this is just a quirk of reporting?

The only other thing I can think of that might be relevant, is that when I reinstalled Windows it seemed to be working normally until I put in the SP2 disc. This is only based on general recolllection, and I am not sure how many reboots it had before that time. My previous XP installation had been updated with the same SP2 disc.

Thanks again

Richard


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#7
January 24, 2008 at 01:24:56
This morning I tried the obvious and let the computer get into Windows before I switched the monitor on. This seems to be a workaround. I'll let you know how consistent it is.

Richard


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#8
January 24, 2008 at 14:33:32
Did you find out which mboard you have, or if not obvious, do you have a bios string for this computer?
I could help you a lot better if I had that info - there are often descriptions of bios settings in the manual you and I could look at.

"I confirmed that my card (64MB Nvidia Gforce 4 Ti4200) is AGP, and eventually found the setting in the bios. This was already set to AGP. However, Device manager still reports it as PCI:
PCI Slot 7 (PCI bus 1, device 0, function 0)

Maybe this is just a quirk of reporting?"

If it's like on my computer that has an AGP card you quoted that wrong.

Mine says Location 7 (NOT PCI slot 7) (PCI bus 1, device 0, function 0)

The AGP slot connects to the PCI bus.
Location 7 is not the same thing as PCI slot 7.

However....
There may also be a setting in the bios Setup in the same place or somewhere else - Assign IRQ to AGP or similar - that MUST be enabled for an AGP card.

"I uninstalled the video drivers in Safe mode, and reinstalled after rebooting."

You often cannot uninstall video drivers in Safe Mode. In Enable VGA mode you always can.

NEVER install drivers for a video adapter while booting - if Windows has found a video adapter while booting into Windows and can't automatically find the drivers for it and wants you to tell it where they are - Cancel that and continue to the desktop, and install the drivers using the adapters proper install or setup files, from it's CD or from the web. If you install drivers obtained from the web, if there is more than one download, it is often important which order you install them - installing in the wrong order often cases problems.

If you pointed Windows to the drivers while booting, almost always the drivers won't install properly, and/or there are other things that are supposed to be installeed that are not.

It's possible but unlikely installing SP2 had anything to do with your problem.
Myself, for a fresh install I would install XP, then load the mboard drivers, then install the SP2 updates from the CD, then install the video drivers and monitor drivers.

"This morning I tried the obvious and let the computer get into Windows before I switched the monitor on. This seems to be a workaround. "

Maybe so but that's not normal at all.



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#9
January 24, 2008 at 14:48:08
Thanks for your comments. I'll get back to you with the information.

Richard


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#10
January 26, 2008 at 09:57:12
Thanks very much for all your help.

I have had chance to get back to the problem, and have at least some of the information.

The mobo is an Asus A7V-8X-A-L DDR 333MHz

“If it's like on my computer that has an AGP card you quoted that wrong.”

I copied and pasted the information

I did find the bios AGP setting, and it was set on AGP. Should there be a separate setting for the AGP IRQ in the bios?

The uninstall went as expected, even though I was in safe mode. When it booted, I told it not to install video drivers and did that afterwards, using the latest version that I had previously downloaded.

I’m afraid that I cannot remember whether I installed the drivers before or after SP2.

I certainly agree that having to delay switch on is neither normal or deirable, but I’m glad of any workaround that I can find.

I’d be pleased to try anything else

Thanks again

Richard


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#11
January 26, 2008 at 12:02:29
"“If it's like on my computer that has an AGP card you quoted that wrong.”"

"I copied and pasted the information"

The mboard on the computer I was looking at is an Asus A7V600, an older mboard than yours. It's possible what you see varies depending on which mboard, and/or what Windows finds in the bios settings.
Going by the rest of it, (PCI bus 1, device 0, function 0)
that seems standard for an AGP card in a slot, since it would be the first thing on the PCI bus.
However, I haven't tried removing the AGP card and installing a PCI video one and looking there - the only PCI one I have is really old - it may have same latter prt of the label if installed in the closest PCI slot to the AGP slot.

"I did find the bios AGP setting, and it was set on AGP. Should there be a separate setting for the AGP IRQ in the bios?"

In some bioses there is, but it often isn't on the same page where you set Intialize video first or Primary display or similar.
If it isn't in Setup anywhere, the IRQ is automatically enabled when you set Intialize video first or Primary display to AGP or similar.

"The uninstall went as expected, even though I was in safe mode. When it booted, I told it not to install video drivers and did that afterwards, using the latest version that I had previously downloaded.


Good, if the video ended up in a default VGA mode before you rebooted and while booting into Windows.
You can confirm that before you load the drivers again in Display - Properties - Settings - Advanced -
It should either be in VGA mode, or safe vga mode or similar there.
There may be no adapter listed at Display - Properties - Settings at that point.

"I’m afraid that I cannot remember whether I installed the drivers before or after SP2."

I'm pretty sure I have done it both ways - installing the video drivers before and after installing the SP2 updates. I would think it doesn't matter. I donb't recall any problems.
I have used only ATI chipset video cards, except for the one PCI one. I've heard there are sometimes problems with NVidia video chipset drivers, and sometimes the problems with them are never fixed. I recently saw notes when looking at a recent mboard with a NVidia chipset which I think had onboard video that said the mboard manufacturer recommends you use a certain Nvidia drivers version for one operating system, an older version for an older or different one. You could try older NVidia drivers, such as the ones that came with the card on it's CD - sometimes that fixes the problems.



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#12
January 26, 2008 at 15:28:02
Thanks, I'll ry the older driver.

Richard


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#13
February 27, 2008 at 12:57:16
Just to let you know that I don't seem to have had any luck with the older driver. I have jsut got used to switching the monitor on after Windows has got going.

Thanks for all your help.

Richard


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#14
February 28, 2008 at 06:48:49
Ok, thanks for letting us know.
I have never encountered a computer that has your problem after making sure the things I have mentioned are correct.
The only other thing I can think of is - are you sure you are loading the correct monitor drivers?

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