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Old 06-15-2011, 12:31 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default System boots but no display

Hey everyone !

Long time away, but I just had to come here as I am having problems so I came to the best source on the Net...

My daughter has a Dell XPS 410 with a E210882 motherboard, two sticks of 512MB 533 ram. There is a PCIe video card (have to get back to you on that spec).

The problem is there is no display, even though I can hear/see the fans working, the HDD works too. I have taken all ram out and got beeps. I have tried a known working monitor with known working monitor cables and still no display. Let's see, what else ?
Oh yeah, I tried a brand new nVidia card in the PCI slot, but since it was a PCI card, not a PCIe, I am not sure that the problem is not in fact the PCIe slot on the mobo.

I have searched the forums here, and Googled, but I still can't seem to decisively figure out the problem. Any ideas ? Thanks.

EDIT: I have not taken the mobo out of the case yet, looking for a short. But I think that is my next step.

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Old 06-15-2011, 02:02 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Is it an onboard video card? As in the cable hooks up to the back of the motherboard or is it pcie? Sometimes no video can be from power supply make sure its on 115v which is behind the power supply and check all plugs secure.

If all fAils anD its a pcie take the pcie video card connect it to another tower with pcie slot and if it doesnt work then pcie card is bad but if it does work then pcie slot or motherboard went bad.
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Old 06-15-2011, 08:23 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: System boots but no display

Yes, I did mention that it is a PCIe video card. And all connections were / are good. I'm going to give it a go again tonight. Thanks for the reply, by the way.
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Old 06-15-2011, 08:39 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: System boots but no display

hey gramps, good to see you back

Quote:
Oh yeah, I tried a brand new nVidia card in the PCI slot, but since it was a PCI card, not a PCIe, I am not sure that the problem is not in fact the PCIe slot on the mobo.
So did that work?
1. Tried clearing cmos?
2. Might be trying to start off onboard video if there is any
3. Ram might be fried. Try just one stick at a time, try a different slot too.
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Old 06-15-2011, 09:18 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: System boots but no display

Quote:
hey gramps, good to see you back
Lol, I'll show YOU who is Gramps hahaha

Quote:
So did that work?
1. Tried clearing cmos?
2. Might be trying to start off onboard video if there is any
3. Ram might be fried. Try just one stick at a time, try a different slot too.
I have the subject computer open as we speak (er, type). I'll be back in a few...

EDIT: Ok, not the CMOS battery. Unseated it, reseated it. Nope. There are two DDR2 512MB 533mhz sticks, and I am going to try one by itself. I think I have already done this not long ago, but I will try that again. Also, not appearing to be ram. No beeps when installed, and not appearing to be mobo. Boots up, beeps as it should when RAM removed. Next step, trying monitor on working system. Since its this computer, I will be back tomorrow if I dont have it resolved yet. And thanks everyone
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Old 06-15-2011, 10:05 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: System boots but no display

The mobo does not have any onboard video according to the Dell specs.

A couple of thoughts... Clean the contacts of the video card with alcohol, blow out the PCI-E slot with compressed air. Unplug the PSU and clean the slot's contacts with alcohol as well.

Since the rig uses PCI-E you probably need to try a PCI-E card, especially since you can't get into the BIOS to change any settings. While the PCI might work it is hard to tell with a Dell.

Have you tried booting into safe mode to see if it might give you video? Or even disconnecting the hard drive and using a live distro?
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Old 06-15-2011, 10:17 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
The mobo does not have any onboard video according to the Dell specs.
Yeah, I just noticed that after I took the video card out, I looked for an onboard connector and there isn't one as you mentioned..


Quote:
A couple of thoughts... Clean the contacts of the video card with alcohol, blow out the PCI-E slot with compressed air. Unplug the PSU and clean the slot's contacts with alcohol as well.
Nice, I will try it out tomorrow. Past this old guys bed time already, and I work early *yawn*


Quote:
Since the rig uses PCI-E you probably need to try a PCI-E card, especially since you can't get into the BIOS to change any settings. While the PCI might work it is hard to tell with a Dell.
I hear ya on that one.. I'll keep that in mind as well.


Quote:
Have you tried booting into safe mode to see if it might give you video? Or even disconnecting the hard drive and using a live distro?
Also good ideas, I never thought of the live distro option at all. Oh and obviously it isnt the monitor because I am using it right now on my system.

Thanks for all the tips everyone ! I'll be back tomorrow no doubt.
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Old 06-15-2011, 10:38 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: System boots but no display

If it's not displaying anything at all on the monitor even in POST, then safe mode and live distro won't help unfortunately.
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Old 06-15-2011, 10:48 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: System boots but no display

Quote:
If it's not displaying anything at all on the monitor even in POST, then safe mode and live distro won't help unfortunately.
@ Soul, Arrgghh ! Well the big lady hasn't started to sing, in fact she hasn't even been warming up her vocal cords lol.

Hey guys, if it really was the RAM, wouldn't there be beeps from the mobo, just like if there wasn't any RAM installed at all ? It seems that everything else in the system seems to be functioning ok (HDD whirring, fans spinning, and I have gone through all the voltages with my meter, and everything is as the specs call for voltage-speaking).
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Old 06-15-2011, 10:58 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: System boots but no display

Depends, ram fails weirdly sometimes. If it's not installed correctly sometimes the system will do exactly what you're describing. Same thing with total ram failure sometimes. Sometimes it beeps, sometimes it don't :\
If you've got a spare stick laying around I'd definitely chuck it in and see how it goes, just to rule out the ram.

Lol, trust you to break out the dmm
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