No video when windows loads on Custom PC

Microsoft Windows xp home edition with s...
August 2, 2010 at 04:53:47
Specs: Windows XP Home (Service Pack 3)
So, here's the deal. I had a "shell" computer I was saving for parts. My wife's motherboard blew, but the Hard Drive was still good. I put it in the shell, and have everything working except the video card. It's an older comp, so everything was SATA. I ended up getting a dual-40 pin connector card just do I could attach the DVD RAM, CD ROM and Hard Drives. In the process, it was upgraded from having a CRT monitor to an LCD. Video card in the "shell" is an old Nvidia GEFORCE 7950GT. Since this comp hadn't been used in over two years, I started by obtaining updates. Windows XP Service Pack 3 was one of them. At first, I noticed the sound wasn't working... not with monitor speakers (onboard Viewsonic VA930M monitor/speaker combo) or the Altec Lansing ACS22 dual speaker set. I was able to install the sound card from the old comp to get it working again, but it wasn't until she went to play GTA: San Andreas that I knew that anything was wrong with the video. Found out that Display Properties was calling the monitor "Default Monitor" and that it was VGASave running the graphics and that the Nvidia card wasn't even listed in Device Manager. I reinstalled drivers for the video card, but when it tells me to reboot, I will get to where it loads Windows XP, but when it finishes, I lose video signal. I know windows finishes loading due to the sounds coming from the speakers. I also know the video card HAS to be working, because it has the only ports (2 DVI ports) for the monitor, which works fine in Safe mode. I've tried changing the BIOS, several different configs, swapping card to different ports, and uninstalling/reinstalling everything... all with the same result. I also tried uninstalling XP Service Pack 3 because I read online someone who had similar problems. Except the comp won't let me uninstall the service pack. So I'm out of solutions for this. Anyone who can help will be GREATLY appreciated. Thanks.


See More: No video when windows loads on Custom PC

August 2, 2010 at 06:55:58
Can we have some paragraphs you post is extremely hard to read as a monologue

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August 2, 2010 at 12:06:13
Boot to safe mode, open display properties and choose to keep those settings. Then reboot to normal mode and adjust the refresh rate and resolution to something that's compatible with the monitor.

Now that's what I call a sticky situation

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August 2, 2010 at 12:15:21
Look, if it is needed in simple terms that post wasn't very helpful. It's bad enough I can't solve this problem on my own, and I wouldn't even ask if it wasn't my wife's computer. Try staying up for three nights trying to fix something and getting nowhere at it and see where your grammar is. This ain't high school, ya know?

So let's break it into technical terms. Bear with me, I know it's ancient and you'd probably rather not deal with it, but here goes.


Pentium Dual Core2 CPU 6420 @ 2.13 GHz, 2GB RAM
ASUS P5B Deluxe Motherboard, Rev.1.10G
Hard Disk, CD-ROM, DVD-RAM drives (all in use)
Viewsonic VA930M Monitor w/onboard speaker system (Monitor in use, speakers not used)
Altec Lansing ACS22 Dual speakers (in use)
eVGA NVidia GEFORCE 7950 GT video card (card good, but see problem)
Creative Audio PCI (ES1371, ES1373) (WDM) Sound card (ancient, but it works)

Windows XP Home Edition, Version 2002
Service Pack 3

Computer can only boot up with VGASave controlling graphics and the Display Properties stating it is using "Default" monitor. All options are blacked out, disallowing changes. When the video card is enabled, I can see the ViewSonic monitor in display properties, but as soon as I reboot (need to do so for the enabling of the card) I lose video signal after windows loads (before the user select screen)

Additional info:
This computer was a "backup". It previously had a fried hard drive and had not been working for two years. It now has a hard drive I put in it taken from a different computer whose motherboard died. The "new" Hard drive was taken from a comp that used a CRT monitor, this comp has a LCD.

Originally had the problem of video, but no sound, which I installed the sound card to remedy. Did not know it was having display problems until my wife wanted to play a DVD game and it wouldn't boot. That is when I began working on the video problem and discovered what was happening.

Attempted fixes:

1. Updated all drivers, antivirus program, spyware program, and OS (this is when I installed Service Pack 3, I did not have it previously) - no resolution

2. Uninstalled/Reinstalled all drivers - no resolution

3. Disabled all PCI devices, uninstalled all of them, rebooted and plugged them back in one by one. -No resolution

4. Attempted nearly every workable BIOS setting - no resolution

5. Reseated card many times - No resolution.

Other things of note:

Graphics card works. So do the DVI ports. I know this because it is the only place I can connect the monitor (DVI connection)

Hard Drive is the only drive connected to the motherboard directly. The CD/DVD drives are connecter using a bus due to all of them requiring a 40-pin connector.

That about sums it up.

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August 2, 2010 at 12:18:50
Sorry at Dave. Didn't see your reply (must have been typing), the first part of the second post was for the other dude.

I'm sure that it can handle most any setting thrown at it. Problem is, in Safe mode, it loads up VGASave and will not let me switch to the video card.

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August 2, 2010 at 12:47:11
Dave- didn't work.

Fortunately, it can see the card in Safe mode, however it doesn't see the monitor in safe mode. (have the feeling I tried that sometime last night, but did it again just in case). It still displays it as "Default monitor on [blank space]" (it does not say it is on the NVidia card, that only happens if I enable the card in Normal mode and then go to Display Properies without rebooting).

The only way I get into windows in normal mode is with VGASave running the graphics, which defeats the whole purpose of the card. At least it grants me access to the net so I can follow up.

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August 2, 2010 at 12:49:02
If there's still no video when booting to normal after setting a lower resolution and maybe refresh rate in display properties then maybe a different driver version will help. Nvidia usually lists older driver versions as well.

Also, you should uninstall the previous drivers before installing different ones. You should be able to do that in safe mode.

If possible, try different monitors as well. If the monitor is ID'd then usually the video drivers should only allow a resolution and refresh that's compatible with it, which is why changing it to something more standard in safe mode should work--if that's the problem. But 'default monitor' usually works OK for initial set up.

Now that's what I call a sticky situation

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August 2, 2010 at 15:15:34
I will try that after work. Attempted modifying Boot, which enabled me to get it working on 8-bit.... also swapped same type card (known working) from another comp. both cards worked fine. I will definitely try that (working til Midnight PST.

If it doesn't work, do you have another trick I can use? I'm losing far too much sleep over this.

Thanks for sticking with me here.


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August 2, 2010 at 19:30:36
I can't think of anything. It's either got to be the drivers or the video card settings aren't compatible with the monitor.

Now that's what I call a sticky situation

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August 2, 2010 at 20:48:08
I don't know what your initial problem was, but I've seen that when you reboot after installing the specific video "drivers" for a video adapter, the video drivers sometimes may not identify the capabilities of monitor properly, and sometimes in that case you get NO VIDEO at all in Windows itself when you boot normally.

Don't boot into Safe mode.
You can't change the monitor drivers in Safe mode.

Boot into Enable VGA mode.
It boots Windows normally except the video is forced into a basic VGA mode just like it is in Safe mode.
Safe mode does not load a lot of things that are loaded when you boot normally.

When you get to the desktop screen , RIGHT click on blank part of the main Desktop screen - Properties
Settings - Advanced button - Monitor - Properties
Driver tab - Update driver
- No, not at this time
- Install from a list...., Next
- Don't search..., Next

- if Plug and Play Monitor is listed, select it, Next, etc., etc

OR - preferable - if you have the drivers for the LCD monitor model , on a CD that came with it, or a monitor drivers download you got from the web (you may have to extract it's contents), click on Have disk - Windows is looking for an *.inf file for the monitor model - once you have found that, select it.
If more than one model is listed, choose the correct one., etc., etc.

Close each window you opened properly by clicking on whatever at the bottom of the window until you're at the desktop screen.

Restart Windows - boot normally.

You should have video in Windows.

If specific drivers are loaded for the LCD monitor model, Windows will by default show you only the resolutions and other display settings the LCD monitor model can use that are supported by both the monitor drivers and the specific video drivers. Set the resolution to the Optimal or Native resolution your LCD model is supposed to use, if you you can.

If you can't choose the Optimal or Native resolution , choose a resolution that has the same ratio of width to height, when you divide the width by the height, and switch on Clear Type.
Turn on Clear Type in Windows XP or Vista - makes type/fonts on LCD screens look clearer.

If that's not satisfactory, ditch the LCD monitor, set the Monitor drivers to Plug and Monitor, use the CRT display.
Or - load the specific drivers for the CRT monitor.
Most CRT monitors are not widescreen - they use a 4:3 (1.333 to 1) resolution - 800 x 600, 1024 X 768, 1280 X 960, etc.

It's recommended you use specific monitor drivers for an LCD monitor if they're available (cheap models don't have them)_ because you can choose settings that can DAMAGE the LCD monitor if you use Plug and Play Monitor drivers - they were primarily designed for CRT monitors, not LCD monitors/ displays.

The term CARD is frequently mis-used. It's not a CARD unless the hardware adapter is on a physical board (PCB) that installs in a mboard slot and can be removed - otherwise it's just an adapter, NOT a CARD.
Onboard video, onboard sound, onboard network adapters, etc. ARE NOT A CARD !

If XP does not have the "drivers" for the sound adapter (or video adapter, etc.) that's built into the the mboard, they are available on the Asus web site in the software and driver downloads for your specific mboard model.

People often install video drivers and sound drivers, and other drivers, the wrong way.

Sound and video "drivers" always have associated files that must be installed properly along with the actual drivers. If you install only the actual drivers, it's likely the device will NOT work properly.

Unless the instructions for installing a device tell you otherwise....
(this ALWAYS applies to video and sound adapters )

You DO NOT install drivers for a device while booting into Windows, if the software for the device has not been installed yet - when Windows detects a generic device or New Hardware while booting, you allow it to search for drivers, it doesn't find any, and it wants you to show it the location of the drivers - CANCEL that, continue on to the desktop, and install the software for the device using the proper installation from a CD or the proper installation file that you downloaded from the web.

If you DID install drivers that way,

(The following also applies if you want to re-install the sound software)

- for video "drivers"....

- go to Control Panel - Classic View - Add/Remove Programs and Un-install the software you installed, reboot, DO NOT install drivers while booting, let the desktop screen fully load.

Install the video software properly by running the proper download you got from the web, or if you have the CD that came with the video card that's in a slot, or if you have the CD that came with the brand name computer that has the Drivers on it, run the video software installation from the installation program on that.

for sound adapter drivers...

- go to Control Panel - Classic View - Add/Remove Programs and Un-install the software you installed, reboot, DO NOT install drivers while booting.

- go to Device Manager.
(e.g. RIGHT click on My Computer - Properties - Hardware - Device Manager)
If the sound adapter is still listed, RIGHT click on it and Un-install it.
If that was there, and you un-installed it, Reboot at least once.
DO NOT install drivers while booting.

Install the sound software properly by running the proper download you got from the web, or if you have the CD that came with the sound card, or if you have the CD that came with the brand name computer that has the Drivers on it, run the sound software installation from the installation program on that.

XP doesn't have the drivers built in for most things that first came out after XP was first released, circa 2001, and it doesn't have some of the drivers built in for things made before that.

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, USB 2.0 if it has it, and hard drive controller support. If you have a generic system and 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.

Load the main chipset drivers first.

If your XP CD does not have SP3 updates included.....

See Response 6
starting at
"If your XP CD does not have SP3 updates included, the best time to load them is right after you have installed Windows from scratch...."

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August 3, 2010 at 00:54:50
Sweet. Just got home. Work was a killer with so little sleep, but I'm glad there are still peeps who would help someone out out there. I might not get to it tonight due to fatigue, but a big THANK YOU to all who gave sage advise. I hope to post good news next time.


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August 3, 2010 at 04:10:12
Figured I'd sleep better if I tried to resolve this than sleep on it.

Listened to everything you said... Dave with a different driver version (had to find one with the whole loader rather than just the driver).

Tubes with VGA mode (so I could actually take a look around and try different configs)

and also to Tubes for explaining that a driver is just that... a driver... you also need the companion files (which is why I looked for a loader instead of just a driver).

Thank you for all your help!!!

FrankenASUS is ALIVE!!!!

If you didn't guess already, I found a previous version setup of my Nvidia driver. It auto uninstalled the old version (after prompting me) and installed the older settings. Worked like a charm! Even got the higher res and color rates.

Thanks a million! You have my undying gratitude (and I'm sure my wife's as well!)


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August 3, 2010 at 07:56:25
"FrankenASUS is ALIVE!!!!"

We're glad to hear you got it working well.

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August 3, 2010 at 11:42:06
A few comments.

"It's an older comp, so everything was SATA. I ended up getting a dual-40 pin connector card just do I could attach the DVD RAM, CD ROM and Hard Drives..."

"Pentium Dual Core2 CPU 6420 @ 2.13 GHz, 2GB RAM
ASUS P5B Deluxe Motherboard, Rev.1.10G"

Saying something is older is only relative. It's not all that old to me.
If it had no SATA support at all , that's older.

I looked at the manual for the mboard - it's dated March 2007.
Mboard manuals are often released after the mboard is first released, but still, the mboard probably isn't more than about 3 3/4 years old.

"Since this comp hadn't been used in over two years...."

Why would you stop using a computer after only no more than about 1 3/4 years ?

Your mboard has one IDE controller / mboard header. You can connect up to two IDE drives to it.

You don't need to connect two optical drives.

DVD - RAM = it's a DVD combo burner drive that will burn and read both CDs and DVDs.

The cpu accesses only one drive at a time, although, obviously, it can switch between drives rapidly.
The only time you save while burning a CD (or DVD) when you have a disk in one drive to be read and a burnable disk in the other you want to copy it to, is the time it takes to eject the disk to be read and insert the burnable disk, if you had only one optical drive connected.

You have a dual core cpu, but most people have no programs that can use more than one cpu core, and if even if they do, they can't use both in XP, unless it's a high end expensive program.
Some recent or fairly recent high end games can use more than one cpu core, but I've never heard of one than can use more than two, and that feature is supported only in Vista or Windows 7 (and some server operating systems).

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