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Old 08-16-2009, 06:35 PM   #1
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Default Monitor suddenly went blank. Monitor itself can't be the problem.

I was working on my computer when the monitor suddenly went black. Nothing seemed to be different in the tower; there were no sound changes, no light changes. The monitor's power light stayed on. I recently acquired another computer and monitor from a friend and decided to hook both monitors to both towers to troubleshoot. Both monitors work fine when hooked up to the second computer, and both monitors stay blank when connected to the first computer.

So, the problem has to be in the tower. Based on the information I've given, what sort of problem does it sound like I have? What should my next step be?

The only spec I have for the machine, since I can't access the hard drive, is that it's running XP.
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Old 08-16-2009, 06:51 PM   #2
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Default Re: Monitor suddenly went blank. Monitor itself can't be the problem.

Is the monitor always completely blank, or only when it boots into windows?

It it's completely blank I'd recommend putting another graphics card in there and then trying it with that.
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Old 08-16-2009, 06:57 PM   #3
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Default Re: Monitor suddenly went blank. Monitor itself can't be the problem.

Sounds like a case of a bad video card to me.
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Old 08-16-2009, 07:32 PM   #4
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Default Re: Monitor suddenly went blank. Monitor itself can't be the problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by berry120 View Post
Is the monitor always completely blank, or only when it boots into windows?

It it's completely blank I'd recommend putting another graphics card in there and then trying it with that.
It's always completely blank.

Does anyone know if most hardware stores will let me return a video card I've just bought if I try it and it doesn't solve the problem?
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Old 08-16-2009, 07:36 PM   #5
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Default Re: Monitor suddenly went blank. Monitor itself can't be the problem.

Most hardware stores, at least computer based ones, will test out the card for you, and if it is infact not working, you know its that for sure, and offer you a full refund.

Chances are it will be the graphics card though from what you have described.

I'd suggest opening the machine and taking the card out, and then placing it back in, making sure its in tight. It could be as simple as that.
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Old 08-16-2009, 10:26 PM   #6
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Default Re: Monitor suddenly went blank. Monitor itself can't be the problem.

Try using the onboard graphics if it has it. Also, Kage, I think what the guy is saying, is that he doesn't want to buy another video card if it won't fix the problem.
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Old 08-19-2009, 02:59 PM   #7
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Default Re: Monitor suddenly went blank. Monitor itself can't be the problem.

Thanks for your help so far.

I took the machine to a repair shop today. When they plugged it in and turned it on, there was no POST beep, though everything else sounded normal. Ordinarily I know the absence of a POST beep would mean serious trouble, but in this case, the computer had stopped making the beep long before the day the monitor went blank, and had still been starting with no other apparent problem. I think the machine is POSTing, just not beeping. How likely is it that the speaker that makes the beep went out?

The shop, which also sells new computers, seemed determined from the beginning to talk me into junking the machine and buying a new one. They said the motherboard was probably fried, which I found suspicious, considering you guys were pretty much unanimous in thinking "video card."

The computer is about eight years old and has a dedicated-but-not-integrated, AGP video card. The shop told me they didn't even have an AGP card lying around to swap out and test. My suspicions were aroused again later when they offered to "recycle" the computer for me. If they're in the business of taking people's junk machines off their hands, shouldn't they be expected to have at least a few compatible AGP cards lying around?

Gibson mentioned using onboard graphics. How do I find out whether my machine has them?

If that won't work, I'm determined to at least TRY putting in a working AGP video card before raising the white flag. What's the best way to get hold of one cheaply? How do I make sure it's compatible with my machine?
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Old 08-19-2009, 03:09 PM   #8
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Default Re: Monitor suddenly went blank. Monitor itself can't be the problem.

It's POSSIBLE the motherboard's gone, but I thought you were implying it still seemed to be booting up normally just with no display? If that's the case then it's almost definitely a video card problem rather than a motherboard problem. If it's failing to boot up at all - well this could be because the motherboard's died, or it could be because it's not recognising a connected video card and therefore not progressing with the boot process.

I'd still say get a cheap AGP card, ebay is your best bet for the second hand variety, should be able to pick one up for a few quid and it's always handy to have one lying around.

The shop may or may not have had one to test it with - often it's the case that they really can't be bothered to scrounge around and find parts though more than anything else.

My advice would be to pick a cheap AGP (or PCI for that matter, either would do the trick) video card off of ebay and to try it with that. If it works then great, otherwise you can start looking at other options like the motherboard.
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Old 08-19-2009, 03:20 PM   #9
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Default Re: Monitor suddenly went blank. Monitor itself can't be the problem.

I didn't mention the lack of a POST beep in my first post because the machine had stopped making the beep long before the day the monitor went blank and there didn't seem to be any problem before. I don't think the absence of the POST beep has anything to do with this issue.

So, as long as the replacement video card is AGP or PCI, there won't be any compatibility problems? That's all I need to worry about?
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Old 08-19-2009, 03:46 PM   #10
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Default Re: Monitor suddenly went blank. Monitor itself can't be the problem.

As long as you've got an AGP / PCI socket free then yup. Obviously don't expect the card to perform brilliantly, and you might have an issue finding drivers if it's an older card - but either way, if the card is the problem then a working AGP / PCI card will at least give you some sort of a display.
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