HP Media Center Display problems ..

By it_guru_2006 ·
Hello to all. I have the HP Media Center and am having a strange problem. I am trying to boot up the PC and the power comes on. I see the green power light and also hear the fan etc. However nothing gets displayed on the LCD Monitor. It keeps telling me that it is going to sleep.

I tested the LCD monitor on my laptop and it works fine. So something is wrong within the PC.

I tried the BIOS mode by pressing F1 or F5 or F10 several times but nothing seems to work. I cant even get the BIOS to be displayed on the monitor.

What can I try on my own to fix this. How to determine if the motherboard or / VGA has gone bad.

Please help.. Thanks in advance.

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All Answers

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Well the first thing to listen for

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to HP Media Center Display p ...

Is some beeps. There is a Beep Error Code that tells you what if anything is wrong with the computer and this varies between different makes of BIOS. So the AMI and Award will have a different code.

If there are no beeps then try changing the BIOS Battery and make sure that you refit it the same way that it came out with the numbers on the back readable when on the M'Board. Just remember to unplug the Mains lead and let the computer sit for some time to allow the capacitors to discharge and place your hand onto a metal part of the case to discharge any static build up that you may have.

If you have little Technical experience that's about the limit of what you can do yourself as the rest requires some idea of how things work and what happens when you turn on the system. If you go in blindly you can do much more harm than good and destroy more things that the computer is actually worth or worse still corrupt the HDD and loose all of your data.


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No beeps are heard.

by it_guru_2006 In reply to Well the first thing to l ...

Thanks for the reply. I hear no beeps at all when I boot up.

I had recently bought a new Computer table and the PC was in its own lower shelf with front door closed. Maybe this caused overheating as it was closed from all 4 corners except for the small round gap at the back to allow wires to get in.

It was heating up a lot. Could this have caused some sort of pwer failure within.

Are there any sort of troubeshoot guides on the web which might help me out..

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Yes, this can be an issue

by w2ktechman In reply to No beeps are heard.

and likely a device on your motherboard or video card has failed due to overheating. But before deciding htis, try the suggestions in both Hal's and my posts. This can narrow troubleshooting to determine the parts that need replacing.

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To me it sounds like

by w2ktechman In reply to HP Media Center Display p ...

this may be an issue with the USB ports. I have had Pavilion systems not boot if things like mice were plugged into the front ports. This can happen after a power spike injurs the port. Unplug all external devices, including your USB mouse.
If not, then your video card may be gone. If you have a video card to test with, and know how to install it, I would try this route. At least you should be able to see enough to get into the BIOS.

Do you know if anything was 'odd' last time it worked? If so, can you explain it (to the best of your memory).

Aside from testing the video card, Hal brings up some good points. If you cannot install another video card, try Hal's suggestions.

My Pavilion media center has these, an on-board card (with a plastic cover because it was ordered with an upgraded card). A tuner card (useless right now), and an add-in card. If you had your card upgraded, it may be similar to my setup. Try removing the plastic cover (if you have it) and see if the video works from there.
Also, on my nvidia card, it has both s-video and composite video ports. try outputting using one of these instead (to a tv).

One of these options should work, if not it may be your motherboard is going out (USB issue) or power supply is damaged and/or not outputting enough power.

If none of the suggestions worked, try unplugging a few devices internally (if you have the knowledge to).

BUT, If it is under warranty, call for support before opening the case for any reason.

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Thanks !!

by it_guru_2006 In reply to To me it sounds like

I will try some of your suggestions. I am searching for some online guides with pictures to help me out. I am a software guy with not any experience with hardware etc...

I can tell you that I was using the Media Center to record a TV program when this happened. Prior to that everything was normal. I only used the computer mainly as a TIVO.

But the tower was heating up quite a lot ever since I bought the new table (a week ago). I should have paid more attnetion to this but like a fool I ignored it thinking this is normal.

I bought the Media Center back in 2004 Sep so I dont think HP can help me anymore.
I will have to find some local computer shop which can atleast diagnose the problem for me without ripping me off. Any suggestions on what kind of shop to go to to get a free estimate etc...

Also how costly are mother boards or CPU's ?

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Well maybe not all is bad

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Thanks !!

Yes M'Boards & CPU's don't like getting hot but also they have quite a bit of protection built in to prevent this being a real problem as the unit should shut down before it gets too hot.

I would try opening the case clean it out with compressed air or something similar and remember to look at the CPU Heat Sink for a build up of Crud. Then if there is no difference pull out one plug in card at a time replace it and try it again. You may need to remove every plug in card and re seat these as well as the fitted RAM before things start working properly.

Don't pull the CPU or it's Heat Sink as they are not overly easy to put back in place without experience but provided that you ground yourself to the case and remove the mains line you should be safe as everything will be at the same Static Potential so there will be no static arcs that can destroy things. If you have an Anti Static Wrist Strap by all means use it and again touch the case with your other hand so you bring the static potentials of both you and the computer to the same level.

Quite often you can get a problem with all the internal contacts and just removing and re seating the various bits can cure the problem.

It's also possible that the Power Supply has gone bad with it being locked away and replacing this may cure your problems as there are many heat sensitive bits within the PS that are not repairable but the good news is that PS are cheap to replace particularly if they are a standard unit so you can buy one anywhere rather than going back to the original maker for a replacement.

If it's a rectangular PS you should be able to use any one that fits into the space but HP did use some propriety PS along the way which did give trouble but they where mainly in flat Desktop Case not Towers. Even when I test these I just plug in a Known Good PS and power up and see what happens. I had a Compaq EVO several years ago that worked for 8 months then died and HP had swapped several PS into the unit with no improvement but when I tried a 500 W Antec PS it worked perfectly for several hours that I left it running. I'm not sure just how they solved the problem with that one but it was their PS's not being up to scratch which was the problem and while it worked perfectly well you couldn't leave the case open and have a PS sitting on a desktop out of the case.

When it comes to prices for parts in the US W2Ktechman is in a better position than me as I'm in AU to provide both prices and places to buy from as he has the local knowledge. But if you are seriously looking at upgrading the unit you'll need to be looking at M'Board CPU and RAM as the new M'Boards take different CPU Sockets and RAM to what was used a few years ago.

Just look at the Back Panel connectors on a New M'Board and see if they are in a similar lay out to what you already have or are clustered together as quite often new M'Boards come with their own Back Plate that is removable. It should be an easy job to swap a M'Board out but look at the PS first.


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Still no luck..

by it_guru_2006 In reply to Well maybe not all is bad

I tried to open up the PC. I removed the Hard Drive and inserted it again. I also
did the same with the graphics card. I then tried to boot up the machine and still the
same problem.

I dont see any light being lit up on the motherboard. Is that a bad sign that the motherboard is burnt up.

Secondly I could not find the battery for the motherboard.

The fan seems to be running fine. Any other ideas would really help a lot.

I think I realize that I screwed up. Because my PC was heating up inside the table cabinet. I did not have that much of a gap from the front or the back in order for the PC to breath. But still one would think these machines are designed to withstand that heat or shut down automatically before the motherboard or cpu gets burnt..

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Dont stop there

by w2ktechman In reply to Still no luck..

Try removing and re-seating the RAM.

Also, did you unplug all USB devices (including the mouse)?

If those did not work,
unplug (and keep unplugged, for now) you cd/dvd drive,
Remove your TV tuner card
remove the modem (if it is there)
remove the sound card.

try booting without these
Did it work?

If not, try removing 1 stick of memory, reboot without it. If it does not work, try switching memory modules.

If it still fails, get a tester on your power supply or try a different one. If it still fails, I would suggest a new motherboard.

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Thanks I am still trying.

by it_guru_2006 In reply to Dont stop there

I remove the hard drive completely. Also tried to remove the graphics card but had some problem. I can take it out of the slot. But it has some wires plugged to front of the media center for the Composite Video in. I cant seem to figure out how to remove those. They go to the back of the graphics card circuit and are firmly secure..

Well I tried to boot up anyway and still no beep yet. I am trying to figure out what brand of graphics card and motherboard is there. No luck yet. Am still trying to remove other stuff..

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Some more news..

by it_guru_2006 In reply to Well maybe not all is bad

I think there is some good news and maybe my motherboard and processor is ok. But I am not fully sure. I put in the Hard drive back and removed 1 RAM chip and removed the Graphics card completely. I started the computer and heard a very long beep. This beep keeps repeating itself and never ends.

My machine is a HP media Center 1050y and the Motherbaord is the ASUS motherboard I think.

Would any one know what this long beep (which does not end) really mean.

I am thinking of buying a new graphics card and seeing what happens. The problem is that I will need the media center graphics card with TV tuner card in built within it.

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