|"....its plugged into the right slot."|
A monitor plugs into a port, not a slot.
Do you have just the one video port?
"....its "brain was recently
wiped clean." "
I have no idea what you mean when you say that.
The hard drive doesn't need to have any data on it at all in order for you to get video while booting. The support for video while booting is built into the mboard's bios.
"You should still see some text when you first start the computer."
In fact, you should get video, at least text, even if no drives are installed or they are not hooked up.
If the computer has a video card in a slot and that's what the monitor is plugged into, if the video card is not all the way down in it's slot you may get no video, yet the mboard may beep normally. In that case, unplug the case/power supply, or otherwise switch off AC power to the case, make sure the video card is all the way down in it's slot - you may need to unfasten it's screw, remove the card, and install it again, fasten the screw - then restore the AC power and try booting again.
If someone has flashed the mboard's bios with the wrong bios version, or something went wrong during the flashing, or if someone moved a jumper on the mboard to clear the bios's cmos and didn't move it back to it's"normal" position, you may get no video, but in that case you probably wouldn't get the single short beep from the mboard.
Extremely rarely - I have only seen this with one mboard - if you have the monitor plugged into the onboard video port, there is no video card in a slot, and that onboard video adapter is damaged, you may get no video despite you getting the one normal mboard beep - in that case if you installed a video card in a slot and connecting the monitor to that MAY get you video.
Some mboards have the bad capacitor problem. That can produce all sorts of symptoms.
Open up your case and examine the mboard to see if you have bad capacitors, and/or other findable signs of mboard damage .
This was the original bad capacitor problem - has some example pictures.
History of why the exploding capacitors and which mboard makers were affected:
What to look for, mboard symptoms, example pictures:
Home page that site
- what the problem is caused by
- he says there are STILL bad capacitors on more recent mboards.
Pictures of blown capacitors, other components, power supplies, Athlon cpu's, etc.: