bios gone or video card dead?...

November 30, 2011 at 21:45:50
Specs: Windows XP Pro, Xeon 5160 / 3GB
Hi all,
I've been bit by the restless (dysfunctional) brain cells syndrome and wanted to convert my Precision 490 to RAID. This being on Windows XP, I took the RAID drivers from Dell, found a floppy drive after much effort, ten used it to stick the drivers in. The specific controller I have (Intel 631xESB/632xESB) was not there, so I did some guess work and used what I thought to be the best replacement (ICH9R?). In the middle of the installation, the screen went blank and I cannot get a screen to display anything on this system anymore.
I can only assume two things:
- BIOS is somehow gone - though I see hard drive activity so I assume this is not the case;
- the video card fried somehow... this sounds more likely, though I cannot imagine why would it fry during these other processes...
What do you guys think? I appreciate any input. I am extremely upset for possibly frying a perfectly good computer... I was just starting to deploy some server-like services, making it my network NAS, etc....
Thank you!

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#1
November 30, 2011 at 23:18:56
Any beeps? Do u have video card?

You know the real meaning of peace only if you have been through the war.


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#2
December 1, 2011 at 03:52:00
Hi
(this might double-post...)
No beeps, just some HDD activity by means of LEDs. Video card is an ATI Fire V3400 (there is no provisioning to hook up a monitor directly to the MB, as far as I can tell - this computer has a server MB).
I will try to drop another video card in this afternoon, just to rule that out. I have connected two monitors to this card/computer and there's nothing displayed from either. It's a totally hermetic black box at this point.
Thank you for replying!

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#3
December 1, 2011 at 04:19:35
Are u sure the onboard speaker is connected? Try to start the system without RAM.

You know the real meaning of peace only if you have been through the war.


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Related Solutions

#4
December 1, 2011 at 04:38:08
good idea - I'll try.

shouldn't diagnostic lights, though, show some error codes? this is a Dell Precision, they have four numbered lights in front and they decode to a specific schedule of issues.

thank you


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#5
December 1, 2011 at 04:50:18
OK - here's what I tried. This has a switch that triggers a "thermic solution compromised" error if the side panel is not closed. I left that open, I hear two quick beeps and code 1-2-3 is displayed (which seems to be routine activity preceding video initialization). I at least confirm that the MB speaker does work.

Also, the case for a video issue gets stronger. Would you agree?


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#6
December 1, 2011 at 05:30:38
Most boards i have seen don't beep when fault video card is installed.
Beep is a good sign that board or CPU or both may be still alive. Try to drop a normal video card.

You know the real meaning of peace only if you have been through the war.


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#7
December 1, 2011 at 18:20:15
OK, updates.
I replaced the video card, I'm getting a quick and faint flicker, and then a couple of beeps and 1-2-3 stay lit... I have no clue what's going on. 1-2-3 is supposedly a "during POST" code - go figure. In other words, there should be stuff displayed on the screen. There is no specific real trouble associated with it, just: "Routine system activity preceding video initialization. Watch your monitor for on-screen messages."
Any light shed is highly appreciated.
Thanks!

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#8
December 1, 2011 at 18:50:25
...could my PCIe 16x port - where both cards landed - be fried?... Everything in the way the computer acts most boots is normal, in terms of no beeps, HDD activity as expected (for a real skinny Windows installation)...
???
thanks!

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#9
January 16, 2012 at 13:20:33
Similar issue. However, in my case the video card has not been fried afterall, which might also apply to yours.

I've two dell precision 490 workstations. Had a HP Quadro FX3700 video card working fine for a couple of weeks in one of them until a few days back problems started. I got exactly the same system response: green lights 1 2 3 followed by two short beeps, no video output at all, and no booting. Changing the video card to a Quadro NVS440 that I had lying around gave me back a fully functioning system. Hence, the PCIe x16 slot is still functioning. Placing the FX3700 in my other 490 gave exactly and immediately the same issue, which seems to indicate its the video card that passed away. The FX3700 has a TDP of about 80W, which is well within the 150W limit. The 6-pins PCIe cable for supplying additional +75W power has always been connected. Please note that I did not do anything with bios or software raid updates whatsoever. This behavior started in my perception just out of the blue.

The surprising fact is that this Quadro FX3700 works flawlessly when I place it in a dell precision 380. I'm puzzled!!!

Does anybody have a clue???


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