No video input to monitor (figure THIS one out!)

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by berk104, Nov 19, 2008.

  1. berk104

    berk104 Member

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    GPU:
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    Update 1: computer randomly started working (no changes made since last attempt) about two days ago, for no apparent reason. everything worked fine, i played cod5/l4d, etc. then last night, i put it into "Sleep" mode... and this morning the problem is back, exactly as described. no video input to monitor. zero.

    THE PROBLEM IS CAUSED BY SLEEP MODE

    Update 2: i have reset the **** out of CMOS (through the jumper, removing battery for hours, booting without battery, etc... pretty much every way you can.) to no result. still can't even get a boot/bios screen. so the problem isn't a BIOS setting, i don't think.

    so that leaves my video card, which i see as unlikely because the first time this happened, my whole comp (vid card included) worked perfectly one morning, totally randomly... then relapsed when i put it into sleep mode the next night... or something else. wnay ideas?

    WHO CAN SOLVE THE MYSTERY? please help!

    fyi i am on vista 32-bit



    Alright. Today I got out of bed, ate, and went over to my computer (which I had left in sleep mode). The monitor wouldn't come out of "Power Save" (Dell widescreen monitor), which it does sometimes, so I did a restart. However, it didn't start up then, even though I could hear my computer starting up fine. Strange.

    I then tried again. And again. And again. Despire fiddling with the monitor auto detect settings, nothing helped. So I tried a different monitor. Same result. I then confirmed that the monitor worked by plugging it into a labtop (the one i'm typing on right now).


    Anyway, this problem is especially strange because I don't even see the boot-up screen or BIOS or ANYTHING, I never get a chance to go into
    safemode (I could try spamming the key for safemode while it boots up... I did try, but I think I was hitting the wrong key) or boot from a disc or anything. I can't go to the control panel, log in, go to my device manager, etc, I JUST DON'T GET ANY VIDEO INPUT. Period. I tried using DVI and VGA ports with the same result.

    Here are my specs:

    -Q6600
    -680i Mobo
    -Nvidia 8800GTS (640MB, made by EVGA)
    -2GB Corsair RAM @ 800Mhz.

    So, I opened up my computer, de-dusted, reseated my card, RAM, all power cords, etc. No luck. Then I checked for bad memory by alternating sticks one at a time... No luck.

    So, my guess it that the problem is either something messed with the power supply (video card not getting enough power, even though the fan is going), or a dead video card.


    In summary,

    Problem: Zero video input. Can't access BIOS, safe mode, anything.

    Symptoms: Zero video input (monitor in power save nomatter what), computer starts up fine, no beeping from the case, fans all working, HD working, etc etc etc. Caps lock light on keyboard responds when I hit the key, and I think I can log in by waiting a minute then typing in my password and hitting enter (results in more HD noises, which happen when I log in) but still nothing on the screen.

    Checked: Connections, tested monitor successfully, reseated RAM and video card, checked power cords and connections.



    So. What the heck could be causing this? I'm at wit's end. And of course it had to happen on the day L4D came out. T_T

    Quick question:
    -What is the "safe mode" key? I doubt this will work since I can't see the BIOS boot up screen anyway, but it is worth a try.
    -How can I tell if it is my video card?
    -Does my 680i have onboard video? I didn't see any VGA plugs so i'm assuming the answer is no.
    -Is it possible for me to cannibalize my old 6800 card from my old dell (it uses AGP) and plug it into my 680i to test if my video card is the problem? Keep in mind I can't install any drivers or anything beforehand.


    I haven't listened to hear the windows boot up sound, i'll check for it.

    Oh another note- every time I restart, the numlock light on my monitor is on. Even if I turned it off on the previous boot-up. Which is strange. I don't know what i'm talking about, but could this mean that the settings for the computer are failing to reset (which could mean whatever screwed up the video output is not being fixed by a restart)?


    Please, i'm dying here. Help me out! Thanks in advance. Btw, if I can prove the problem IS my video card, I have a warranty on it so that isn't a problem.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2008
  2. d_mouse

    d_mouse Maha Guru

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    i'd say it's your vid card. try plugging it into the second pci-e slot and see if that works, but you may have to RMA it. no you can't use you'r old agp card with your current setup, but you could try borrowing a friends pci-e card or buying a cheap 2400pro or 8400gs, etc to test if that works.
     
  3. berk104

    berk104 Member

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    GPU:
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    I opened up my case but my sound card is sort of in the way of the second PCI-e slot, and the sound card has something plugged directly into the motherboard, outside of the card (just a little plug attached to the card by wires, right below a set of pins sticking out). Is it OK to unplug that? What is it?

    Q's:
    -What is that thing I just mentioned and is it alright to unplug both it and the sound card?

    -Can I disconnect my sound card (take it out of the case) and said "thingy" from my power supply at the sound card end, but NOT disconnect the wire that goes into the PSU? It won't be hooked up to the power supply but there will be a wire - with nothing on the other end - hooked up to the PSU. I ask this because my comp was pre-assembled (Digital Storm) and i'm not sure which wire up at the power supply belongs to the sound card (there are three flat connections, one of which i'm assuming is for the sound card, and a more square-ish one for the video card).

    -Is there any way I can prove it is my video card short of plugging in a different one?

    -If my video card IS the problem, and I plug in a different one that has nothing in common with my 8800GTS, will I at least be able to access BIOS/boot in safe mode, even without the drivers?


    Thank you for your answer. By the way, now I know my mobo's internal speaker is working right, because when I tried to change PCI slots I forgot to plug my card back into the power supply. The result was a loud ass whistle from the case (I hope I didn't do any damage by forgetting to plug it in). So I guess everything is mounted properly, or i'd be hearing that noise.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2008
  4. berk104

    berk104 Member

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    bumpasaurus rex
     

  5. hartofalyon

    hartofalyon Ancient Guru

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    - f8 key to get into safe mode.
    - 680i has no onboard video.
    - can't use agp on pci-e board.
    - numlock probably set to on in bios so it will always turn on after restart.
    - plug on soundcard probably safe to remove.
    - i'm lost at your psu/wire question.
    - if your video is indeed defective, you should be able to see the bios screen with a different video card, doesn't have to be 8600.

    now, have you tried to reset the bios? in addition, it would be helpful to set up your sound and listen for the windows start sound to ensure that your system is actually booting and is able to load windows. also, you could try to start the system with just the minimal needed to boot - 1 stick of ram, video card, cpu, hdd.
     
  6. berk104

    berk104 Member

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    Two days ago I plugged in my comp and figured "what the hell, i'll see if it works"... and it did. I changed NOTHING since my last attempt, reseated nothing, replugged nothing, etc. It just worked. WTF?

    now it is doing it again.

    HOWEVER, now I know what causes it now. It is a problem with "Sleep" mode in vista... when i put my computer to sleep then wake it back up, the tower wakes up (fans, lights, HDD spinning) but the monitor doesn't. when i do a restart the same holds true. very strange.

    so i don't think it is my video card (especially because it worked perfectly for the 2 days it was working), i'm starting to think it is a power setting or something. i have no idea why it just started working out of the blue, though.

    anybody know wtf is going on?

    PS, the weird thing is i think stuff like this has happened before, but only for an hour or a morning, then it started working fine, so i just forgot it. but never for DAYS at a time.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2008
  7. LedHed

    LedHed Banned

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    turn off hibernation if you haven't already.
     
  8. berk104

    berk104 Member

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    what do you mean?

    i've done several restarts already, btw.
     
  9. LedHed

    LedHed Banned

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    There is a power setting called Hibernation, turn it off.
     
  10. berk104

    berk104 Member

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    how? i don't have a screen. btw, i'm on vista, and i don't think there is a Hibernation mode (not when i go to the shut down menu). i just went to Sleep (standby).


    please be more specific.
     

  11. LedHed

    LedHed Banned

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  12. berk104

    berk104 Member

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    um, you realize i can't actually GET to windows, right?

    it may be that that setting is what is causing it (so i should turn it off? or on?) but that doesn't help me get my comp back up and running.


    anyway, somebody suggested i reset my CMOS. what settings will i lose if i do? i really have no business running around in BIOS, and i dont want to lose anything on my HD.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2008
  13. LedHed

    LedHed Banned

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    So you can play CoD but you can't get into Windows? Interesting...

    Hibernation in XP or Vista is notorious for causing hangups and preventing the computer from starting.

    I use sleep mode every day on Vista and I have never seen a problem even close to this, I would bet you have hibernation on.
     
  14. berk104

    berk104 Member

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    i'm having the same problem i was having when i made my original post. my comp worked for a day or two inbetween.

    anyway, what happens if i reset CMOS?
     
  15. grunger

    grunger Ancient Guru

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    Reset the CMOS and then in the power options enable Repost VGA (or words to that effect)
     

  16. kRze

    kRze Master Guru

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    Your BIOS will set to default.
     
  17. berk104

    berk104 Member

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    yeah, i get that. but i'm semi computer illiterate. what effect will this have? will i lose any data? will i have to change settings in BIOS?
     
  18. kRze

    kRze Master Guru

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    It means if you have ever changed anything in your BIOS, they will be RESET once you reset your CMOS. So yes, you would have to go into your BIOS and change it back to whatever configuration you had before. It wont change anything else but your BIOS, you wont lose data.

    Do you have an old GPU laying around that you can try in your computer? Or maybe a friend can lend you one for an hour or so to test if its your GPU that is causing this problem.

    What kind of PSU do you have?
     
  19. grunger

    grunger Ancient Guru

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    You will not loose any data stored on the disks.
    You will have to re-enter your custom BIOS settings, time+date, any overclocks or disabled devices (I disable all the stuff I don't want at BIOS level - FireWire, WIFI....) etc
     
  20. berk104

    berk104 Member

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    i haven't overclocked anything or ever gone into BIOS, so i think i'll be OK there.

    no, i don't have anybody to lend me a video card, sadly. i think this is a computer issue rather than GPU issue, however, because my GPU worked perfectly once my comp started working again, and this was caused by going to sleep mode.

    is this a setting in windows control panel or in BIOS?
     

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