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screen not coming on

By fultunni ·
My brothers computer screen is not coming on. I have tried the screen on another computer and it works ok, so it is not a monitor problem. He has had a problem with the screen coming on before and has taken it in and had the RAM replaced and fixed it. It had 1 x 128mb and 1x 64mb SDRAM PC100 ram in it. I replaced this with 2 x 128mb sdram, but the same happens. The screen's green light comes on when the computer is turned on, but nothing comes on the screen. The computer beeps, the beeps another 3 times. Does this mean it is a video/graphics problem? The computer is about 4 years old and has on board video/grpahics. Do this mean that if I tried installing a graphics/video card, there will be problems because of the onboard one - if the problem is the graphics?
Thanks

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by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to screen not coming on

Well as you have not mentioned the make of either the computer r M'Board the best thing to do would be to look up the manual for the Beep Codes and that will tell you exactly what is happening at the POST.

You can install a separate Video Card but most likely you'll have to go into the BIOS and make changes to disable the on board Video unless there is a jumper on the M'Board again you'll have to look in the M'Board manual for the answer to this one.

If it has been working correctly and just started doing this after a long period of time it is possible that a lot of muck has been sucked into the case and is shorting out things so pull off a cover and clean it out. At the same time remove the two sticks of RAM and test them one at a time as it is possible that one has gone bad or if they are different brands it could be a basic compatibility issue with different timing rates between the two so try one at a time and if it works properly without both sticks being present that would tend to make out that the different sticks have a timing issue that is causing a problem.

You could also try flushing the BIOS and see what happens as the monitor is getting a signal but not actually something that it can read hence the solid green light if it wasn't getting any signal that LED would be flashing. Generally on recent M'Boards there is a jumper to flush the BIOS but at 4 years of age I would first try replacing the battery as they can give a lot of problems when they are getting flat and do all sorts of strange things.

Col

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by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to

One other thing to look at is the RAM as the M'Board might not read the new High Density RAM so that could be your problem as well. If you have one of the Old Sticks there remove the present sticks and fit the old one and see if you get a picture. If you do turn off remove that RAM stick and fit one of the new ones and try again if at this point you do not get a picture of any sort it is the RAM is unsuitable for that M'Board. If the Old RAM sticks had Memory Chips on both sides of the PCB it is Low Density RAM and has to be replaced with more Low Density RAM this can be either 100 or 133 MHZ but it has to be Low Density and not the current crop of High Density. You could also have some EEC RAM or Parity Checked RAM which the M;'Board might not support so you'll have to read the sticker on the RAM Stick just to make sure that it isn't the wrong type. Generally speaking only the high end M'Boards require EEC RAM but it is worth checking none the less.

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by dmiles In reply to screen not coming on

If the problem only occurs when you change the memory modules,then I would start troubleshooting there
Make sure that modules are the same,it is not suggested to mix modules
Check the motherboard manufacturers web site and review the specs for memory installation and type

When using AGP or PCI graphics card you will need to disable the on board graphics
Up date the latest drivers for graphics card

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by mjd420nova In reply to screen not coming on

The beeps are a sure indicator of memory failure.
because you have on-board video it also points to memory failure. First, the video has to load, that's the first thing you see on the screen(I like to have the monitor on well before the cpu, so I can see what's going on) the next will be the flash of the keyboard lites. If you don't get that far, it's memory. The other possiblity would be the graphics chip is bad, and that's bad news, you'll have to replace the motherboard. Your problem is the main reason I
like to configure a system with all plugin cards,
when something fails, it's easier to trouble shoot and cheaper to fix.

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by Frenchwood In reply to screen not coming on

Try putting in an external graphics card, and diabling the on-board graphics. As pointed out earlier it could well be that the video memory has failed, and the motherboard is beeping memory failure to signal this.

Alternate:
Check that all memory sticks are secure in the board, and that nothing else has been disturbed, as this can cause a number of problems.

Also consider the possiblity that the board doesn't like the memory type. Older boards have some compatability issues with newer memory (usually high speed memory).

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