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My PC's completely dead - no video output

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by Marcus Wood, Jan 5, 2003.

  1. Marcus Wood

    Marcus Wood
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    My PC is completely dead - most of the time when I switch it on, all that happens is the fan starts and the lights flash on the CD/DVD drives. The monitor doesn't even come on, and it doesn't seem to be booting.

    This happened a few days ago after I was watching the New Avengers (DVD1 episode 'The Midas Touch' from the boxed set). During fast forward, the picture started breaking up, with a weird green gridline pattern all over the screen (this had happened once before).

    I kept rebooting the PC, and eventually it died.

    For a few days before this, I kept getting an error saying that windows had disabled some drivers that could cause instability. Trouble is, I couldn't find the drivers it named on my list of installed software. I think they might have been something to do with CD burning software that I got with my Sony CD-R drive, so I uninstalled that software. Still kept getting the message though.

    Occasionally, if I leave the PC switched off overnight, I can get into BIOS OK, then it starts loading windows (XP) and just hangs up. When I reset it - nothing (as above).

    When I first managed to get into the BIOS, I got a message saying the computer had previously hung up for improper CPU frequency, but BIOS was showing the correct frequency.

    Once after leaving BIOS I got an error message: 'CMOS checksum error - defaults loaded' then it hung up.

    I've tried unplugging the hard drive, CD drive, DVD drive, floppy drive and taking out the memory card, but nothing has made any difference.

    Can anyone suggest anything?

    Marcus
     
  2. Squirrel God

    Squirrel God
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    You sometimes get this when your CMOS battery needs replacing.

    Also, because of the picture breakup you describe and the subsequent error messages, it could be your graphics card has died. If you can, try another one in the PC.

    Of course, it might be a combination of things.
     
  3. gargoyle

    gargoyle
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    It almost certainly sounds like the graphics card is on its last legs, make sure that the card is firmly seated in its pci or agp slot, check to see that there is no physical damage.
    If possible, try it in another pc .
    You might also consider checking if the graphic cards cpu is overheating or has been overclocked.
    Finally, you say that window xp crashes whilst booting up, try booting up in safe mode, uninstalling graphics card driver, then reinstall and reboot.

    good luck
     
  4. Marcus Wood

    Marcus Wood
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    It's interesting what you're saying about the graphics card overheating. It's a Radion AIW, by the way.

    A couple of weeks ago, I got rid of the fan (which was driving me nuts) and replaced it with one of these Zalman silent heatsinks:

    http://www.pc-arena.net/Review_full.asp?ReviewID=134

    They're supposed to work OK without a fan, unless you've got one of the latest high powered cards.

    The new heatsink seems to be stuck on OK (you glue it to the chip with the supplied thermo-expoxy), and it's worked without any problems for a couple of weeks.

    There's a facility to monitor the video card temperature in BIOS, but when I go into it, it doesn't work (the CPU temp does work). I don't know what I'd need to do to get it to work. At the moment I can't get into BIOS anyway...:(
     

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