no output to monitor

April 2, 2005 at 23:06:22
Specs: 95, ?

trying to fix my friends computer, which has never worked for her: it does not give any output at all as far as i can tell to the monitor. i tried several monitors that all work. it makes all the normal startup noises: hard drive clicks, a beep...

i put in an xp boot cd, and that didn't really do anything, it seemed to be reading it and stuff though. i also put in a CD that lets you run linux from the cdrom. it read that fine also, but still no monitor output.

there is no video card, the monitor plug goes directly into the motherboard.

any ideas on how to isolate the problem? how to fix it?


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April 3, 2005 at 09:32:36

If it is one short sustained beep then the system is allowing the OS to load.

If there are a series of beeps,then you have a problem with peripheral hardware.

If you have no monitor visuals,and no extra slots and no way of checking the plug,(sounds like it's integrated) you may have to replace the mobo.

It sounds like Legacy hardware, with Dell proprietary technology,and the cost could be prohibitive.

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April 3, 2005 at 10:15:50

There is a slim possiblility that there is a jumper on the MBoard that someone set to diable the onboard video. I am assuming your friend received this computer second hand, as she didn't have it repaired under warranty. Some MBoards with integrated graghics have a jumber to disable it. If the previous owner had done this to use an addin card then this is posssible. Also, there could be a setting in the BIOS to disable the onboard video. Clearing the CMOS via the onboard jumber for that purpose, or removing the battery for a period of time, which isn't as dependable, should reset the BIOS to defaults. Onboard video should be one of the defaults. It's worth a try.

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April 3, 2005 at 11:54:02

It's almost surely the oonboard video adapter. If you have a free slot, you can add a video card.

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April 3, 2005 at 19:49:44

it is one single beep, and in fact, i plugged in some speakers, and it gave me a windows startup sound, and when i put a CD in, it spun it a bit and then played the music!

so it's starting up fine!

the monitor out is indeed integrated with the motherboard.

there are a few free PCI slots.

there is a little thing with a bunch of jumpers. i wouldn't know what to do with them besides guess and check... is there a way to look up the specific motherboard i have and see what the jumper settings for it are?

how do i clear the CMOS? would that inhibit the normal startup, since i want to leave open the option of finding a PCI video card.

thanks so much for your advice, all. it's a big help. my friend will be very pleased if i can get this thing working again, since final papers are coming up real soon.

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April 3, 2005 at 21:31:31

the jumpers are all in the default position, i discovered. i tried clearing the onboard CMOS by switching the jumper, letting it startup (two beeps instead of one) then turning it off again and switchig the CMOS jumper back to the original spot. no change.

i am pretty sure there is no jumper to disable the video.

is it possible to get a video ISA slot card?

did the CMOS thign reset the bios, or should i try the battery as well?

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April 4, 2005 at 04:05:21

You aren't supposed to start the computer in the clear position. That is why the two positions are called run and clear. If clearing the CMOS didn't help then the onboard video is probably bad. You could install an add in card, as was suggested. You didn't give any specs on your system so we can recommend what kind of card but I doubt you need to revert back to an ISA card. I would question if you even have an ISA slot. The likely candidates would be PCI or possibly AGP. If you have an AGP slot it will be necessary for you to determine what AGP speed the slot is. This info should be in your computer manual.

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April 5, 2005 at 10:45:03

thanks so much for the advice. i've pretty much decided that it's the video connector, or something very close to it. my only option is to get a PCI video card. if that doesn't work, i'm scrapping the sucker! thanks for your help all!

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