No display on monitor, motherboard dead?

#1 Posted by Nate (702 posts) -

Well, it just might be time for me to finally build a new gaming PC. Here's the problem. I've been gaming a lot the past couple days (you know, Steam summer sale) and I have a feeling that's been putting a lot of strain on the beast. This morning I turned on the computer and my monitor said "NO SIGNAL". The monitor is about 4 months old, and I'm pretty sure its not the problem. I don't have an old one around to test that theory at the moment. The PC powers on, sounds completely normal, but won't send a signal to the monitor. So options: could be my GPU. I bought it used from a friend a couple months back. He never overclocked it or anything, but you never know. I tried switching the monitor cable over to the motherboard, and still no display, but I have a feeling I'd have to actually unhook the GPU for that to possibly work. Anyone know? Could be the monitor cable. Those go bad once in a while. Could be the CPU or motherboard (in which case I'll start saving for a completely new build and suffer on my old laptop for a couple months. Here's what makes me think it's the CPU or motherboard -- The USB ports aren't working. I went to charge my phone in the USB port this morning and nothing. No juice. Also, I noticed my xbox controller's green light was not lit up. So, what does that sound like? Any suggestions before I bring it in to the local shop?

Oh here are my basic specs. It's a 2.5 year old ASUS computer I bought at best buy. I swapped out PSU and GPU and also added another hard drive. Other than that, it's stock.

Processor - Intel Core2 Quad CPU Q8300 @ 2.50GHz,

GPU - XFX RADEON HD 6850, 1GB

RAM - 8 GB

PSU - 550 Watt

Display - 22 in widescreen (1920x1024)

OS - Windows 7, 64 bit

Thanks for any help you can give. I really appreciate all the friendly experts out here in the GB community.

#2 Posted by bemusedchunk (677 posts) -

Any fans spin up/whirr?

Any lights turn on/blink?

Any beeps during POST?

No for any of those sounds like it could be a problem with the board.

#3 Posted by Bell_End (1208 posts) -

does any smoke come from the inside. if so what colour is the smoke.

#4 Posted by Geno (6477 posts) -

That it powers on at all pretty much indicates it's not a problem with the CPU or motherboard.
 
Try: 
 
- Taking out the GPU, clean the slot and the card for dust, put it back in 
- Tightening the monitor cord connection on both ends 
- Remove all USB devices except keyboard and mouse before powering on (older motherboards have issues with too many USB connections)  
- Reset motherboard CMOS

#5 Posted by Nate (702 posts) -

@Bell_End said:

does any smoke come from the inside. if so what colour is the smoke.

Yes. Rainbow smoke.

#6 Edited by Nate (702 posts) -

@bemusedchunk said:

Any fans spin up/whirr?

Any lights turn on/blink?

Any beeps during POST?

No for any of those sounds like it could be a problem with the board.

Yes. They all seem to do so as normal.

Yes, I see the blinking lights by the back of the mobo

Yes.

@Geno said:

That it powers on at all pretty much indicates it's not a problem with the CPU or motherboard. Try: - Taking out the GPU, clean the slot and the card for dust, put it back in - Tightening the monitor cord connection on both ends - Remove all USB devices except keyboard and mouse before powering on (older motherboards have issues with too many USB connections) - Reset motherboard CMOS

I'll give all this a shot. Thank you!

#7 Posted by bemusedchunk (677 posts) -

Make sure all RAM is seated properly.

#8 Posted by Mijati (897 posts) -

The fact that the PC powers up (and I assume doesn't switch itself off at any point) most likely points towards the GPU. Although it could even be the monitor or cable that's playing up. But definitely sounds something purely graphics related rather than something worse.

#9 Posted by Nate (702 posts) -

I tried Geno's suggestions and unfortunately they didn't work.

@Mijati said:

The fact that the PC powers up (and I assume doesn't switch itself off at any point) most likely points towards the GPU. Although it could even be the monitor or cable that's playing up. But definitely sounds something purely graphics related rather than something worse.

Could I test this by restarting with my monitor plugged into my motherboard's DVI port instead of my GPU's? Would I just have to take my GPU out completely first?

#10 Posted by mtcantor (947 posts) -

Do the standard tech support thing. Just start removing one variable at a time, trying to start it up, etc etc. Eventually you will figure it out.

And yes, it could be any of those things, though I suspect its your video card.

#11 Posted by ascagnel (74 posts) -
@Nate You'll probably need to. Normally you can do this from the BIOS, but without any display out, the only way to do it is remove the GPU.

Aside from the monitor and GPU, have you made any other hardware changes lately?
#12 Posted by Toxeia (729 posts) -

So read through this, two things come to mind. Do you have a tv hooked up by HDMI? The machine will prefer that over dvi or vga so check the tv if you do have one connected.

If you've got a dvi port on the mobo, hook up to that and then go into the bios and disable the on-board graphics. Then set it to display on PCI-E.

This all assume hardware's fine and working as intended.

#13 Edited by Nate (702 posts) -

UPDATE. A couple of the times I've powered up my machine it does so as normal. But 3 or 4 times now during my troubleshooting the machine has stalled. Powers on as normal for about 2-3 seconds, then just stops (power light on case turns back off, cpu fan stops spinning) and then turns back on as normal a second later. Weird! Also remember, no power through usb ports to charge my phone or green light my xbox controller.

Also, I did try taking out the GPU and booting with display from the mobo's DVI. Still 'no signal' on monitor.

#14 Edited by Nate (702 posts) -

@ascagnel said:

@Nate You'll probably need to. Normally you can do this from the BIOS, but without any display out, the only way to do it is remove the GPU. Aside from the monitor and GPU, have you made any other hardware changes lately?

No other changes lately. Just lots of gaming and some hot weather. I'm thinking those 2 factors probably pushed something over the edge.

@Toxeia said:

So read through this, two things come to mind. Do you have a tv hooked up by HDMI? The machine will prefer that over dvi or vga so check the tv if you do have one connected.

If you've got a dvi port on the mobo, hook up to that and then go into the bios and disable the on-board graphics. Then set it to display on PCI-E.

This all assume hardware's fine and working as intended.

Nope. No tv connected.

#15 Posted by bemusedchunk (677 posts) -

Maybe the PSU is failing? Whats the wattage?

#16 Posted by Nate (702 posts) -

@bemusedchunk said:

Maybe the PSU is failing? Whats the wattage?

500W, which might be on the low side for my new GPU. My old Radeon 4850 recommended a 450W, but not sure about the 6850.

In my experience when the PSU is failing it just goes and the machine won't power up. Could it be that it's only failing sometimes and isn't getting enough power to display or give me power in the usb ports?

#17 Posted by psylah (2162 posts) -

@Nate said:

UPDATE. A couple of the times I've powered up my machine it does so as normal. But 3 or 4 times now during my troubleshooting the machine has stalled. Powers on as normal for about 2-3 seconds, then just stops (power light on case turns back off, cpu fan stops spinning) and then turns back on as normal a second later. Weird! Also remember, no power through usb ports to charge my phone or green light my xbox controller.

Also, I did try taking out the GPU and booting with display from the mobo's DVI. Still 'no signal' on monitor.

I had an issue like this. It was a problem on my mobo with a bad memory slot.

I removed all the ram down to 1 stick and I was able to boot up properly, and added more memory until it would no longer boot fully, and just hang at bios.

Give that a try.

#18 Posted by Wesker411 (75 posts) -

I would try reseating everything. Ram, cpu, power supply connections.

#19 Posted by Nate (702 posts) -

UPDATE: I tried swapping out the PSU with a different one that's hardly been used. Same issue with stalling during start up and no signal display. I've completely removed the GPU and am just going on the integrated graphics on the mobo. Obviously I can't play games that way, but it should still work. Nope, doesn't. I've reseated several components (RAM, all psu connections) but not the cpu because I couldn't figure out how to get the dang heat sink off. Anyway, I'm not sure that would make a difference.

So: two options ahead as I see it.

1- Give in and use this as my excuse to build a new PC.

2- Bring it to a repair shop and pay someone a bit to see if they can figure out what I couldn't.

Thoughts?

#20 Posted by Geno (6477 posts) -

An issue like powering on for a certain amount of time before failing would seem to indicate overheating. If it was your PSU or motherboard, the reaction would be quite binary (either it would power on or it wouldn't). Try powering on again, this time pressing the CPU heatsink onto the CPU with moderate pressure. If your heatsink is loose, this could cause the CPU to overheat right off the bat on startup, interrupting display function. 

#21 Posted by Nate (702 posts) -

@Geno said:

An issue like powering on for a certain amount of time before failing would seem to indicate overheating. If it was your PSU or motherboard, the reaction would be quite binary (either it would power on or it wouldn't). Try powering on again, this time pressing the CPU heatsink onto the CPU with moderate pressure. If your heatsink is loose, this could cause the CPU to overheat right off the bat on startup, interrupting display function.

I tried pushing gently, and then quite a bit harder. No change. I have a hard time believing it's overheated as I have it about 2 feet from my AC vent that's been going all day. The whole computer feels quite cool to the touch.

#22 Posted by Nate (702 posts) -

Ok. Advice needed!

I'm at a loss for what to do here. No changes in the PC, and I brought it into a repair shop today. They charge $70/hour to work on it, with a 30 minute minimum ($35). I'm thinking about calling them back to say forget it. Could it be something cheap and easy to fix? Or am I going to be paying them $70 to tell me I need a new processor or motherboard. If they tell me either of those things, I'll pay them the money, and take my computer home and start a new build entirely (it's almost 3 years old and I've been wanting to replace it). I'm keeping my GPU, PSU, and optical drive, but everything else will be new. I'm looking at the 600-700 dollar range for all that I would need.

What would you do? Pay them to tell you what's wrong, or just forget it and start the new build?

#23 Edited by MonkeyKing1969 (2593 posts) -

My advice is not "great advice", but I fear good advice will still cost good money to do as well. Ask if the "$70 and hour" guy has a USB/PCI Diagnostic card and Power supply tester. In under 10 minutes he could tell you if the board, memory, CPU, power supply or drives is failed. That means you only pay $35. If he has the correct equipment he can test a lot in 30 minutes....if he poking around blind it could take hours....so make sure he has the right equipment.

If you like, for a mere $30 you can buy everything you need to test it all yourself...look on Amazon or New Egg. If you build PCs it would not hurt to have such diagnostic equipment anyway....think of it as an investment.

#24 Posted by Nate (702 posts) -

@MonkeyKing1969: Thanks. I'm interested. What kind of stuff would I buy to test? Specifics please.

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